Puppy School Tutors
Puppy School tutors come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Many have thriving careers in rescue shelters and some work as veterinary nurses, dog walkers, dog groomers, dog training professionals or behaviourists. Others work as accountants or teachers during the day but have many dog-related hobbies and interests in their free time. Some have left full-time work with dogs to raise a family. What they all have in common is a passion for training puppies and a keen interest in animal welfare and behaviour.
All our Puppy School tutors have been carefully selected for their experience and practical skills with dogs. Our tutors are also chosen to have empathy, respect and concern for people since it is essential that the same reward-based training techniques be extended to the owners of the puppies in the classes as well as the puppies themselves.
Many of our tutors are full members of the Association of Pet Behaviour Councillors (APBC)
Puppy School is proud to be a Practitioner Organisation of the Animal Behaviour Training Council (ABTC) and to uphold its values.
The ABTC is the regulatory body that represents animal trainers and animal behaviour therapists to both the public and to legislative bodies. It is the only animal welfare charity that is primarily concerned with protecting the psychological welfare of animals undergoing training and behaviour activities. Many of our tutors and associate tutors are recognised as Animal Training Instructors with the ABTC and others are working towards the qualification.
Some of our tutors are also registered as Clinical Animal Behaviourists and Accredited Behaviourists with the ABTC.
Many of our tutors are registered with the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), a benchmark of excellence in positive, reward-based dog training. Some of our tutors are registered with the Pet Professional Guild of Force Free Trainers (PPG), some are also members of the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT), and others are Kennel Club Accredited Instructors (KCAI).
Our Puppy School tutors and associate tutors must undergo extensive training before teaching Puppy School classes. This includes an application and interview process, six days of comprehensive theory covering a range of topics from animal learning to lesson plans (taught by founder and director, Gwen Bailey and Puppy School tutor of 15 years, Catherine Tomlinson, both of whom are APBC registered and registered with ABTC as clinical animal behaviourists), 3 days of supervised practical work and a comprehensive correspondence course.
We monitor our Puppy School classes regularly to ensure the highest standards are consistently being maintained. Tutors are carefully overseen by Regional Managers to make sure they are using all the skills necessary to become excellent, positive, reward-based puppy trainers.
Our tutors must uphold our Code of Conduct at all times and must complete a sufficient amount of Continued Professional Development each year.
You will find many of our tutors at events such as the APBC Annual Conference, Woof Conference and at many other seminars, workshops and lectures across the country that provide insight into the science behind modern training techniques. Many of our tutors have studied to degree level or higher and have a BSc or MSc in Animal Behaviour and Psychology or Zoology. All our Puppy School tutors and associate tutors strive to uphold standards and keep up to date with the latest behavioural science.
Founder and Director Gwen Bailey
"I've lived and worked with dogs all my life, starting with the family's assortment of cross-breeds and a weekend/holiday job at the local kennel which taught me so much and gave me lots of practical handling experience. Later, with a BSc degree in Zoology, I wanted to do something to help dogs have a better life so I became Information Officer and later Animal Behaviourist for one of the UK's largest animal welfare charities.
After working with rescue dogs as Head of Animal Behaviour for the charity for 12 years, I realised that there would always be more dogs needing new homes than there would be homes for them to go to. In addition, many of these dogs had behaviour problems which made it more difficult to rehome them. The task seemed never ending. It became clear that the way forward lay in education of new owners, particularly during the early stages of puppy-hood when owners are keen to learn and puppies are very impressionable.
So in 2002, after writing the successful Perfect Puppy book, I set up Puppy School, which has grown into a fantastic UK network of well-trained professional trainers who helps new owners give their puppies the best possible start in life. Well-trained, well-behaved dogs is the goal so that owners want to keep them all of their lives and even if the dog is unlucky enough to find itself in rescue one day, it will be easier to rehome. Thousands of puppies have now passed through Puppy Schools across the country and we hope that all of them have had better lives as a result".