My background in dog training started when, having joined Kent Police in 1981, I achieved my ambition of becoming a police dog handler in 1989. I went on to train and handle several German shepherds for general-purpose duties and also one in the role firearms support dog for several years. I qualified for the regional police dog trials twice with my last patrol dog Zak during which time I also handled a Belgium Malinois in the role of a non-compliant (attack) dog. I have also trained and handled several springer spaniels in the roles of drugs detection and explosives detection dogs.
For the last six years of my service, I was a police dog instructor with Kent Police and achieved accreditation at the Regional Police Dog Training School at Surrey Police as an instructor for General Purpose Police Dogs and also for Explosives Detection dogs. As well as training and handling my own explosives detection dog, I undertook initial and refresher courses to train handlers and their dogs in the roles of general patrol duties, specialist drugs and explosives search and firearms support roles. Along with being part of the team that undertook the annual licensing and testing of these dog teams, I also carried out assessment courses of police officers that had applied to become police dog handlers.
During my service, I carried out many studies of canine psychology and dog training methods in order to enhance my knowledge and develop my methods, which coupled with my practical experience, has equipped me to offer assistance with all issues relating to dog behaviour and training. I would say however that no matter how much you think you know, you never stop learning when it comes to working with dogs as there is always something new to learn and so beware of anyone who tells you they know it all…they don’t!
I started working with members of the public and their dogs in 2008 whilst still employed as a police dog instructor. In 2011, I retired from the police after 30 years’ service and which enabled me to fully concentrate on providing my own dog training service.
Zak and I at his last police dog trials during the crowd control exercise
I am a member of the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers (BIPDT) and an Associate Trainer with the National Association of Security Dog Users (NASDU).
As a result of my experience and studies, I firmly believe in teaching your dog using positive reward based methods including food, toys, verbal/touch praise and where appropriate, clicker. Dogs cannot be bullied into learning anything positive and I work hard to teach you how to engage with your dog and how to get them to engage with you. A listening and watching dog is a learning dog and this approach is also used to overcome behavioural issues as well as obedience and training problems. Learning how to communicate with your dog and how to establish the correct relationship is the key and I can help you do this. Most dogs are not bad, they just need the right guidance and opportunities to ‘get it right’ and together, I can help you achieve this.
Working with owners and showing and teaching them how to train their dogs or how to overcome behavioural issues and to see the results is always a thrill and I have met some wonderful owners who all have one thing in common: they love their dogs and just want the best for them.
I am totally committed to every dog and owner that I work with; I want the very best for you and your dog and will work as hard as I can to achieve all that is possible.
I am married to Suzanna who is vastly experienced in dog care and breeding. As well as caring for her own dogs, she has over 20 years’ experience of working with dogs in commercial boarding/quarantine kennels and private breeding kennels and has achieved NVQ’s in the above areas. Since the year 2000, she has been the manager of the Kent Police kennels. We live in Iwade near Sittingbourne with my retired police dog Zeb, a springer spaniel and our French Bulldog, ‘Mimi’.