My name is Sara Ward and I have been involved with and owned dogs since childhood, all with different and sometimes challenging characters. It was through my love of working with my own dogs that I decided to complete a dog training instructor course that covered all aspects of dog ownership and training.
To further my education I attended seminars, read everything I could and worked with other local and international trainers. All with different types of dog training and methods. It was during this time that I recognised that I wanted to do something different, something that focused on the owners not just the dogs.
I continue to attend seminars during the year, visit Crufts and other shows to keep up to date with the amazing amount of products that come out each year. I hold an Animal First Aid course certificate as well as a St John Ambulance certificate. I am a member of the Kennel Club Accredited Instructor Scheme and am working for full accreditation. In addition, I worked with Bedlington Terrier Rescue Foundation for two years as an area coordinator and part of the behavioural and training group. I have worked with other rescues too over the years.
My philosophy to dog training is very simple. Having a dog should be a happy and fun experience that enriches your life and that of your dog. It shouldn’t be full of dos and don’ts and it certainly shouldn’t be complicated. Most importantly, I recognise that each dog is an individual and so is each owner.
I believe that by offering a personal approach to dog training – whether working in groups or individually – I can help you gain valuable skills to deal with any issues in a relaxed atmosphere AND in the place where you need help the most wherever that is.
Above all, I want to bring some FUN back into dog ownership for both human and canine clients! All my classes and sessions use positive and reward based techniques which encourage good behaviour and self-control from your pup.
I look forward to working with you in the future!
Dog Training Instructor course with The Walkabout Group
Jan Fennell Foundation Course in Canine Communication
St John Ambulance First Aid in the Workplace certificate
ProTraining Europe Canine First Aid certificate
Dorwest Herbs Product Knowledge Training Scheme
Dog Nutrition Course from Nutrience Dog Good
Kennel Club Good Citizen Certificates
Grisha Stewart three day workshop learning the theory and skills of BAT 2.0
Compass Learning Foundation in Canine Behaviour Management (currently working towards diploma)
Kennel Club Accredited Instructor course (awaiting accreditation)
CPD related training
Sheila Harper seminar on Calming the Stressful Dog
Carolyn Menteith lecture "Puppy Parties - What you need to know"
Dr Roger Mugford lecture on dog behaviour
Dean Hart of The Canine Studies College lecture "An exploration into the symptoms and treatment of Canine Anxiety, Fear and Phobia"
Robert Alleyne day seminar
Angela White lecture "Training the Handler - a look at instructing, communication skills and your role as an instructor and advisor"
Stephen Jenkinson lecture "Commercial Dog Walkers - adding value and reducing conflict"
Angela White demonstration "Clicker train your problems away"
The Dog Bite Provention Conference with Speakers - Victoria Stilwell, Sarah Fisher, Grisha Stewart, Kendall Sheppard, Chirag Patel and others
Amber Batson - Aggression in Dogs course
Meet the rest of the team............
Coming from Battersea Dogs Home as a very boisterous stray, it was through Bertie that I gained my qualifications to be a trainer and the experience of working with him gave me lots of new skills.
He continued to surprise and delight me when he learnt something new or visited a new place. He was proof that you really can teach an old dog new tricks. Bertie was qualified to Kennel Club Good Citizen Silver level. Sadly he passed away in April 2017 at the grand old age of 15 years old and is very much missed.
Bella came to us at 18 months old, an ex-breeding bitch from a puppy farm. She had been bred from at least once and still showed the trauma of losing her pups and the environment that she was brought up in. Always a loving dog, it took her at least six months to settle in and even then she was never truly house trained. At that stage in my training I knew that I had to accept her for the dog she was and work with her. She had some funny quirks but she also could be a wonderful companion to those she loved. It was because of her barking and unsocial behaviour that I started up the Small Dog Social Club. We would walk with a group of other small, anxious dogs and owners and just let them get to know each other. Bella was amazing with the pups and I can't remember how many of them she accompanied on their first off lead experience! She and Bertie were devoted to each other and when she passed away in 2013 he was totally lost without her as we all were.
Edie came to us from Bedlington Terrier Rescue and from day one fitted in so well at home and in the classes. She has been socialised since we got her and often helps out in class! We've been to Crufts to do a display and Discover Dogs twice to help out on the BTR stand. She's even featured in a book (Dogs in Jumpers) and has her own knitting pattern!
Each dog is an individual but I can honestly say she is probably the best dog I've ever owned as she is very chilled and relaxed. And I'm delighted that she finally passed her Bronze Award in July 2017.
Rupert is the baby of the family and has already passed his puppy foundation certificate. He's nearly a year old and has started his show career well with two firsts (including a best puppy and best of breed) and some seconds and thirds. He and Edie are playmates and best friends and even though she can find him a little annoying, she loves him very much. Rupert will be joining the Bronze course in 2018.