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Puppy Education


Obstacle Skills




Novel Surface

Karen regularly updates her training skills undertaking courses at Learning About Dogs and attending seminars held by some of the world’s most prestigious dog trainers and behaviourists.  

September 2015 saw Karen achieve her level 2 TAGteach teacher Accreditation.  This is an amazing teaching method that will be incorporated into classes. 

Professional development has also included specific courses related to puppy training including a week long course with Dr. Helen Zulch from Lincoln University School of Life Sciences to study the most up-to-date life skills training for puppies.  Karen is also a graduate of The Karen Pryor Academy Puppy Start Right Course and has now updated the young puppy course to reflect these new skills.

Karen is an Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC) Registered Animal Training instructor (ABTC - ATI)

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Puppy Start Right Course

Course information
This course combines the best of the Karen Pryor Academy Start Right for Puppies with the Life Skills protocols from the University of Lincoln. Having graduated from both courses, Karen has further developed her level 1 classes with an emphasis on preventing common behaviour problems and helping your dog to take responsibility for being well behaved. Ideally these skills are incorporated into daily life so time spent training your dog is reduced. This will of course take consistency and commitment from you as an owner, but once good  habits are formed it will become a natural way of living with your dog.


The 6 week course will help you to understand how our dogs learn, acquire the skills to help them learn and work out how to integrate learning into your daily lifestyle. The Life Skills have been phrased from the perspective of the dog.  The emphasis of the course is on what the puppy is learning at all times, not what we are training him to do.


Classes have a weekly theme to demonstrate to puppy owners how to fit the very important socialisation activities in with day to day experiences.  The themes are, heath and handling; wheels & childrens toys; obstacles and costumes and appearance


In order to take the skills you are learning in the class outside into the real world, one class may be partly outside - you will get plenty of warning to dress appropriately for the weather! The first class lasts 90 minutes and is delivered via a Zoom webinar.  It is without puppies. All other classes are in-person, last one hour and are with puppies


A copy of the book ‘Puppy Start Right: Foundation Training for the Companion Dog’ by Kenneth Martin & Debbie Martin is included in the package and incorporates all of the skills covered on the course.  You can choose from a hard copy or Kindle version.  The Kindle version can be viewed on any device including a laptop/Macbook where an audio version (similar to Audible) can be selected.

This class is taught by a highly qualified instructor with a canine honours degree, a graduate of Life Skills for Puppies Trainers course (Lincoln University), and the Puppy Start Right course (Karen Pryor Academy), APDT membership and experience in the field of animal behaviour and training.


Who is it for?
Suitable for puppies 8* to 20 weeks with a maximum of 4 puppies per course.


New courses start every 6 weeks.

The first session is an induction class (without puppies) on a Monday evening from 7.30 - 9 pm via Zoom webinar.  This is an essential part of the course and all owners are required to attend.  It last approximately 90 minutes.

The 6 weeks practical classes are held on a Tuesday evening between 8.30 & 9.30 pm and start the day after the webinar.




Alresford Village Hall, Alresford, Essex CO7 8AY  

Additional Information
Scientific research tells us how important the first few weeks are for your puppy.  The experiences he has during the first 12 weeks of life are crucial to how he copes with the world for the rest of his days.  Until recently guidance from vets suggests that puppies wait until at least a week after their second vaccination before being able to mix with other dogs and to start experiencing the outside world, however more recent research suggests that puppies are protected after their first vaccine.  Balancing the need for socialisation and the potential behaviour problems associated with delaying socialisation, against the protection of the second and possibly third vaccine is a decision that new puppy owners need to consider in conjunction with their veterinary surgeon.

*We strongly believe in the benefits of early socialisation, so are happy for puppies to join only after their first vaccination.  

This leaflet explains more about the benefits and risks puppy socialisation and vaccination. Click here.

Puppy Start Right

Puppy Level 2 onwards
APDT Good Companion Award Courses

Course information

Puppy Level is a 7 week course designed to either progress you and your puppy from the basic skills learnt in the Puppy Start Right classes or as a start for training with your puppy.  Puppy level 2 will allow you to work towards the APDT Good Companion Award.  Only 4 puppies and their families in each class.

Foundation Level is a 7 week course that usually runs alongside the Puppy level but has a different assessment criteria.  It is suitable for older puppies who are just beginning their training journey.  As with other courses only 4 puppies and their families in each class.

Improver Level is a 7 week course for Dogs who have passed either the Puppy or Foundation Levels Good Comanion Award.  As with other courses only 4 puppies and their families in each class.

What is included?
●    7 weeks tuition learning and progressing basic behaviours
●    Access to a resources library with videos, handouts and other useful links
●    Continuing assessment of the award criteria
●    Certificate and rosette for those passing their APDT Good Companion

PLEASE NOTE: these classes usually run on a Friday evening but not always on consecutive weeks.  Please see the course dates on the What's On page by clicking the 'join' button


Who is it for?
Puppy level is for puppies who have completed the Puppy Start Right Course and for older puppies up to 7 months who wish to start training.   We strongly recommend that puppies under 20 weeks start on the Puppy Start Right Course. Pups between 8 months and one year will take the Foundation Assessment.

Cost £150


Alresford Village Hall, Alresford, Essex CO7 8AY


The Award

Full details of the award criterion can be found here.

The Guardians Guide can be found here.

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Private Training Sessions

How do they work?

Private sessions are tailor made for you and your dog.  They are particularly useful for focussing on a specific training need (such as coming back when called or walking nicely in a lead).   The packages offer the best value and ensure you have continuity with your training; however I can offer a one-off booking of 90 mins will include a discussion with you about how we will teach the new skill(s) and how to manage the issue whilst you are training.  A follow up summary email with handouts and video links will be sent so you have all the tools you need for practice.

All sessions take place in your home or garden, or via Zoom webinar if you prefer.

All private sessions are payable in advance either by PayPal or BACS

PLEASE NOTE: these sessions are not designed for behavioural problems such as aggression, separation anxiety etc. but for personal training needs.  Behaviour consultations have a different format and fee structure.

Single Session


What’s included:

  • 1 x 15 minute Zoom consultation to plan training 

  • 1 x 60 Minute private coaching sessions in your home or local area

  • Choice of session content (to be agreed in advance)

  • My travel expenses up to 5 miles in each direction.  Additional miles charged at £0.50 per mile

  • Clicker

  • Additional hours charged at £60 per 60 minutes

Silver Package


What’s Included

  • 1 x 15 minute Zoom consultation to plan training 

  • 3 x 60 Minute private coaching sessions in your home or local area (dates to be agreed in advance)

  • Choice of session content (to be agreed in advance).

  • My Travel expenses

  • Clicker

  • Video and written handouts to support your training

  • Weekly email check in

  • 3 x 3 minute video feedback sessions

Gold Package


What’s Included

  • 1 x 15 minute Zoom consultation to plan training 

  • 6 x 60 Minute private coaching sessions in your home or local area (dates to be agreed in advance)

  • Choice of session content (to be agreed in advance).

  • My Travel expenses

  • Clicker

  • Video and written handouts to support your training

  • Weekly email check in

  • 6 x 3 minute video feedback sessions

How to Book


Please telephone or email in the first instance.  We will agree a date and you will be asked to complete a booking form (link below) and pay the fees.  A appointment confirmation email will be sent. 

Private Sessions
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