Hello! I'm Sara. I have been training dogs and owners for the past 10 years, and it is a job that I never cease to be passionate about.
After working in public relations for nearly a decade, I was keen to move into a new career which would enable me to work with both people and animals, with the aim of performing a role targeted at improving the welfare of animals, whilst also deepening the human-animal bond.
To kick-start this career change, I studied for and achieved a degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare with Distinction from the University of the West of England, whilst volunteering as an Animal Welfare Assistant for the national Blue Cross animal welfare charity.
Upon completion of my degree, I was delighted to land a full-time job as a Project Dog Handler for the Blue Cross, and during my years working for the charity, I was lucky enough to work with hundreds of amazing dogs and many knowledgeable, skilful and inspiring people. I learnt a LOT about assessing dog behaviour, and about planning and implementing management and training programmes targeted at mitigating and resolving specific behaviour issues, as well as providing dogs with the everyday life skills they would need to help them flourish in their new homes. I loved working with the dogs, and their new owners, providing advice, coaching and follow-up training support to help these budding new relationships to blossom!
Whilst working for Blue Cross, I also completed my training as a Clinical Canine Massage Therapist, and went on to work for a local veterinary practice for several years, where I ran weekly puppy socialisation classes and provided one-to-one behaviour and training support to practice clients.
Now, through Complete Canine Dog Training, I run group training classes and provide one-to-one training sessions and behaviour support plans for puppies, 'dogolescents' and adult dogs, with the sole aim of helping you and your dog to live your best lives possible together.
The most successful relationships and most effective training methods are based on clear, calm and consistent communication alongside mutual understanding and trust. I work solely using kind, compassionate, positive management strategies and force-free, reward-based training techniques to help you and your dog develop the strong and enjoyable relationship that you both really want!
I am a proud member of The Pet Professional Guild - The Association for Force-Free Professionals.
Complete Canine Dog Training is fully-insured with Cliverton Insurance.
As a teacher and coach, I believe it is not only my pleasure but my responsibility to keep up-to-date with the scientific understanding of dog behaviour and training, and the practical application of management and training techniques. No one person knows everything about anything, but as a teacher and coach I believe in learning as much as one possibly can about the subject one is offering expertise in.
Through practical workshops, online courses, seminars, webinars, conferences and private study, I continue to be lucky enough to develop my knowledge and skills with organisations and individuals who are leading the field in dog behaviour and training research and education, including:
Animal Events UK
Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors
Dr Ian Dunbar
Dr Karen Overall
Learning About Animals
Pet Professional Guild
Professional Association of Canine Trainers
In addition, I trained for 2 years with the Canine Massage Therapy Centre to achieve their Therapeutic Canine Massage Diploma (accredited by Ascentis). I am a member of the Canine Massage Guild, and since early 2015, I have been providing remedial soft tissue therapy and performance massage to pet, working and sports dogs through the other arm of my business, Complete Canine Massage Therapy.
I am also a certified Dog First Aider.
What clients say
“Sara has the ability to make both dogs and their owners feel relaxed, whilst gaining the interest and attention of both. With her mild manner, engaging personality and innovative ideas to capture the canine curiosity, she encourages a willingness and desire amongst the dogs to do well in the exercises.”
Sally-Anne with Goose the Labrador