WaggaWuffins Puppy Class Online Support Area
Kennel Club Accredited Instructor Scheme Dog Trainer of the Year 2015
Gundog Club Accredited Instructor
I’ve always had a keen interest in dogs and have been training dogs for over 20 years. I started dog training using what is called traditional methods which involved using correction and choke chains as that is what I was taught by the experts at the time. Although it worked I was always uncomfortable with this approach and sought to learn alternative ways to train and this is what set me on my journey. My journey taught me that dogs can be trained effectively and to very high standards using kindness and motivation and by building the right relationship of trust and mutual respect. Learning should be fun for both humans and dogs
12 years ago after completing a course in running training classes I set up my own pet dog and puppy classes at the local church hall as a hobby using a positive approach. These classes grew into two night and six classes. Four years later after completing the COAPE Diploma in the Practical Aspects of Companion Animal Behaviour and Training and an Advanced Award in Practical Behaviour Therapy I took voluntary redundancy in my day job as a Business Improvement Analyst and started dog training and walking full time.
I signed up to the Foundation degree in Canine Behaviour and Training with Hull University at Bishop Burton Agricultural College part time and completed a total of 5 years study, topping up with a BSc (Hons) in Canine Behaviour and Training and graduating in 2012. During this time I found my own venue which started as WaggaWuffins K9 Activity Centre and is now WaggaWuffins Canine College.
I continued to study and spent a couple of years learning with Learning About Dogs, completing my CAP (Clicker Trainers Competency Assessment Program) 1 and 2 with distinction, attended a teachers week and the training to become a CAP Assessor.
After Graduating from Bishop Burton with my Honors Degree I had a call from the college saying I’d had the highest grade given for the practical instructing module ever given out and would I be interested in teaching their Foundation Degree Organising Classes and Instructing Module. I did this for 2 years. I was also approached by COAPE who were developing a Level 5 Ofqual Regulated Diploma add on to their first year and I taught the practical modules for 3 years for them .
Understanding the importance of teaching people in my role I went to study a City and Guilds Award in Education and Training and have recently learnt about Emotional Intelligence Coaching and Mindful Coaching.
We now run an National Open College Network Training Program for Dog Training Instructors which means we have a fantastic team of trainers teaching at the College . All our Training Class Instructors are not only qualfied to train dogs but also to teach people. Providing you the customer and your dog with the perfect, professional educational experience.
A Full Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT UK) Membership no. 1058
A Registered Animal Training Instructor with the Animal Training and Behaviour Council (ATBC)
Throughout Helen’s career she has always been involved in the teaching, training and assessment of learners. This began as a Regional Trainer, and then progressing to a teacher/trainer in a Further Education College where she developed her skills and knowledge and successfully achieved a Certificate in Education in Business.
She obtained her A1 Assessors award and V1 Verifier award and for 10 years was successful involvement in writing, developing, delivering and assessing a range of courses and qualifications to 14-19-year olds and adult learners.
Helen has always had a passion for dogs. Labrador Retrievers have always been part of her life from childhood and the latest addition to her family is Vinny a working line bred Labrador.
A few years ago Helen made the decision to start her own business as a professional dog walker and quickly realised that she needed to update her skills and knowledge in this area. She enrolled onto a canine first aid course and began researching and reading books to develop her dog training skills.
Helen decided to enrol on a dog training course and researched numerous courses but decided on WaggaWuffins Instructor Course as it combined theory and practical learning which best suited my learning style.
‘I had the most amazing learning experience on the handler course, met some lifelong friends and it made me realise that I wanted to combine two of my passions as a career, teaching and dogs’.
‘This is the part where I still pinch myself on a regular basis to make sure its real! Jane Ardern agreed to mentor me and allow me to assist in lessons and then offered me a position as a trainer’.
‘I feel extremely privileged and proud that I get to work with, support, guide and help a diverse range of people daily. There is no greater achievement than knowing that you have made a difference to a person or dogs life in a positive way’.
Within my role as trainer at WaggaWuffins, I am committed to supporting each learner to achieve their own personal goals. I will demonstrate coaching and mentoring skills to develop and encourage each individual to expand their skills and knowledge in order to allow them to progress, not only to achieve their own goals, but as a handler that demonstrates empathy and understanding towards their dog’s ability, requirements and emotional wellbeing'.
Helen is currently working with her young dog Vinny through the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dogs Scheme and the Gundog Club Graded Tests.
We provide a unique service where we can give you the guidance and support to understand and train your dog better, while having lots of fun using a kind and compassionate approach. We can help you build a strong and rewarding relationship with your pet dog, helping you create an obedient and well behaved family pet that you can be proud of ……..