The Puppy School Family
We are an amazing family of around 150 UK-based, friendly and knowledgeable tutors who share animal-welfare goals as well as a love of teaching and educating. Many of us have been teaching puppy classes since Puppy School’s inception over 20 years ago and, collectively, we have over 750 years of puppy training and behaviour experience!
Founder - Gwen BaileyPuppy School Director for 20 yearsInternationally renowned behaviourist, Gwen Bailey, BSc(Hons), is Founder and Director of Puppy School. She is a Clinical Animal Behaviourist and Animal Training Instructor with Animal Behaviour Training Council, member and past chairman of Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC), author of 14 books on dog training and behaviour, including Perfect Puppy, and is considered one of the leading practitioners in her field.
Our Behaviour Trainer - Nicole HarrisPuppy School Tutor for 14 Years.Nicole Harris, BA(Hons) PGDip CABC CCAB, has been running Puppy School classes for 14 years and is an Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC) Registered Clinical Animal Behaviourist and Animal Training Instructor. She is a member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) committee, a certified member of the Fellowship of Animal Behaviour Clinicians (FABC), a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and the Professional Association of Canine Trainers (PACT). Nicole creates and presents Puppy School’s twice-yearly puppy behaviour courses for tutors and associates.
Tutor Trainer - Catherine TomlinsonPuppy School Tutor for 20 YearsCatherine Tomlinson BSc(Hons), MSc(Applied Animal Behaviour), PGCE is a Clinical Animal Behaviourist and Animal Training Instructor with ABTC, a member of the APBC and has been running Puppy School classes for over 20 years. Catherine is a Regional Manager and plays a big role in the tuition of Puppy School’s new trainees.
Tutor Trainer - Claire LuscombePuppy School Tutor for 20 yearsClaire Luscombe has played an important and innovative role in Puppy School since its inception, running classes for over 20 year and now helping to teach and educate our existing tutors and trainees. She is a Regional Manager, Animal Training Instructor with the ABTC, and member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.
Regional Manager Team Leader - Eleanor McCallPuppy School Tutor for 16 yearsEleanor McCall has been running Puppy School classes for 16 years and is a Regional Manager Team Leader. She is an Animal Training Instructor (ABTC), a qualified Animal Reiki Master Practitioner, and a recognised Instructor for both Hoopers and Scentwork.
Regional Manager Team Leader - Chrissie PargeterPuppy School Tutor for 16 yearsChrissie Pargeter has been running Puppy School classes for 16 years and is a Regional Manager Team Leader. She is an Animals Training Instructor (ABTC) and a Human Resources Officer.
What makes our tutors so special
There is a wealth of dog-related experiene within Puppy School and the quality of our tutors is incredible. Many have a certification in animal behaviour from accredited academic institutions. Some have a degree level education in animal behaviour and welfare, and others hold a Diploma or MSc in Companion Animal Behaviour and Counselling. All have years of experience of working with dogs and puppies.
In addition, a number are full members of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors and, hence, registered as Clinical Animal Behaviourists (acknowledged by the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC)).
The majority of our tutors and associate tutors are recognised as Animal Training Instructors with the ABTC, and others are working towards the qualification.
Many are accredited by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, a benchmark of excellence in positive reward-based dog training.
Many of our tutors have thriving careers as behaviourists, as veterinary nurses, or in rescue shelters. Others work as accountants or teachers, or raise families but run puppy classes and have other dog-related interests in their free time. Quite a few of our tutors work as dog sitters, dog walkers or dog groomers. Some are volunteers involved in dog walking, home visiting or fostering. Some do puppy walking or work for the assistance dog charities. All own their own dogs, from Affenpinschers and Pugs to Labradoodles and Wirehaired Vizslas, and many are interested in scent work, obedience, agility, gun dog work, Canicross and Hoopers.
All tutors have a common passion for puppies and a keen interest in animal welfare and behaviour. Everyone contributes regularly to the exclusive Puppy School forum where ideas and problems are discussed and solutions offered. This allows for our massive collective knowledge to be tapped into whenever necessary to help puppies and their owners.
To find out more about our wonderful tutors, click here:
Gwen Bailey, Founder and Director of Puppy School, pioneered the use of behaviour science to assist with the successful rehoming of unwanted dogs, and worked as Head of Animal Behaviour for a leading UK animal welfare charity for more than 12 years. Longing to do more preventative work to stem the flow of puppies flooding into rescue during adolescence, she ran puppy classes for years in her spare time and saw for herself how early help for owners created better behaviour and stronger relationships.
“After years of working with rescue dogs, I realised that there would always be more dogs needing new homes than there would be homes for them to go to, but worse still, many were poorly behaved, making it less likely that people would take 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.
After realising that clients at puppy classes wanted action and practice to get things right rather than listening to advice, she put all things she wanted to tell them into a book, Perfect Puppy (becoming the most successful book on puppies of all time which is still in print nearly 30 years later), and developed the classes to be much more about precise demonstration and coaching of owners to help them perfect their training techniques.
At the time, there were few positive training classes for young pups, and in 2002, Gwen began teaching other professionals in dog industry to run successful classes. Puppy School was born and has grown into a fantastic UK network of well-trained professional trainers who help new owners give their puppies the best possible start in life. Over 100,000 puppies have passed through our Puppy Schools across the country, and the tutors and associate tutors have grown into a strong, united and incredibly knowledgeable family.
“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."