Meet Our Puppy & Dog Training Instructors
Our puppy and dog training instructors have a wealth of experience to share with you. Here each tells a bit about themselves and why they got involved with dog training:
Terry Amey (Club Founder)
Unfortunately Terry lost his fight with cancer on 5th November 2017. Purbeck Agility Group is his legacy and will continue to operate in his memory.
- Association of Pet Dog Trainers (UK) # 00631
- Kennel Club Listed
- Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme approved examiner (all levels)
- Dog & Cat First Aider (Sparsholt College)
- Recognition & Control of Aggression in Dogs
“I had my first dog in 1948 and was assured that it was a ‘sheep dog’. In fact, looking at the photographs, I now know it was a Border Collie cross. Nevertheless, it proved to be an introduction to teaching simple things like ‘sit’, ‘down’ and ‘shake hands’.
In 1991 I was introduced to the idea of being a ‘proper’ trainer almost by accident. The agility club, of which I was a member, was getting too large for the owner to manage single-handed and she asked me if I would like to help out with the training. This was presumably because I had agility competition experience, albeit at a low level and with only minor success.
When the club closed down in 2000, I decided to start Purbeck Agility Group with the wishes and support of other members as none of us wanted to give up our dog training practice.
There’s a lot of satisfaction in starting with young puppies and their handlers and helping them progress through the various levels of confidence and competence in their dog training. The Kennel Club’s Good Citizen Dog Scheme provides a good structure to follow for obedience training. That’s why I registered our club for the scheme and underwent the qualification process to become a KCGCDS approved examiner.
I remember back in the 1980s it was standard practice to recommend that the best way to house-train your puppy was to teach it to use sheets of newspaper by the back door. The theory was that it was then only a short step to having the pup find its own way out into the garden. I discovered a major drawback to this theory when one day my daughter was sitting on the settee reading a newspaper… Can you guess what happened next?
Yes, you’re right. The newspaper (and my daughter) ended up very wet!”
- ‘Learn to Talk Dog’: Canine Body Language and Facial Expressions
- HTM / Freestyle Workshops & Private Tuition with Richard Curtis (Crufts’ International & National HTM & Freestyle Champion)
- Accredited Canine Hoopers UK Instructor (ACHUKI) Level 1
- Passed Requirements of a Heelwork to Music Judge Examination
- Alumni of Susan Garrett’s Handling 360
- Alumni of Susan Garrett’s Recallers Programme
“The first dog I did any sort of obedience training with was a 4-year old rescue rough collie/alsation cross we called Prince. That was in the late 1970s when I was living near Lichfield.
I remember the first local obedience dog show we entered Prince in. He was not good at retrieving, but loved a bright, orange cushion he would play tug with. Because he was in the beginner class we could use anything at all for the retrieve, which is why I decided to use his cushion. So, I threw his cushion and sent him to fetch it.
What did he do?
He ignored the cushion and decided to go ‘water’ the ring post! Talk about embarrassing! He lost points for that and I reckon he broke the record for points lost in a local obedience show ring!
I moved down to Dorset in 1986 and started running dog training classes as part of the Purbeck Agility Group in 2011, after training my own dog with them. That’s thanks to Terry who had a wonderful way of persuading you to get involved!
My husband and I had adopted a rescue puppy from Ireland. Sukie was about 14 weeks old when she joined our family on 28th Dec 2009. (Freddie was 6½ when he joined us on 16th January 2014).
Thanks to the training I got at Purbeck Agility Sukie & I gained all the obedience awards for the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme within a few months.
Because the classes were great social occasions for Sukie and me, I continued to attend. It was at one of the advanced classes that Terry introduced us to some of the Heelwork to Music moves, specifically the weave. We call it the ‘Frankenstein Walk’ because of the way you have to bend over to encourage your dog to go through your legs when you first start teaching it to your dog!
Sukie & I teamed up with our friends Glen (handler) & Kiera to create a very short routine to show at some of the events the club attended during the summer months. As a result Terry was asked by other dog owners about Heelwork to Music (dog dancing) classes and, because he knew I had attended a number of workshops run by Richard Curtis (UK and International HTM & Freestyle champion), he asked if I would be willing to run some classes. No-one (as far as I’ve been able to discover) offers HTM classes in Dorset so I agreed.
Lots of studying, attending HTM workshops and working with my own dogs meant I was able to help & encourage anyone interested in the sport. I passed the Requirements of a Heelwork To Music Judge’s Examination as part of the qualification process for judging at Kennel Club HTM Shows.
I have completed Susan Garrett’s online Handling360 (agility) and her Recallers courses. Susan Garrett is a worldwide agility and obedience champion.
I studied and completed Sarah Whitehead’s online course ‘Learn to Talk Dog’ in Canine Body Language and Facial Expressions and have attended First Aid for Dogs introduction sessions.
I am now an Accredited Canine Hoopers UK Instructor – Level 1. Hoopers is a relatively new sport in the UK and is proving to be very popular in Dorset.”
“I’ve had and trained my own dogs for 35 years. I’ve had 4 German Shepherds. One we used at a friend’s shoot as a beater and retriever and I also did obedience with her. Another, boy, I showed. Two were just family pets doing basic obedience.
I have had two rescue Rottweillers, one of which I achieved the Silver level of the Kennel Club’s Good Citizen Award Scheme (thanks to Terry). I also took him to agility classes with PAG and we were a member of the PAG agility demo team.
Now I have my Belgian Malinois, Ruby! Stuart, my husband, and I rescued Ruby, in November 2015. Ruby and her brother had spent their first year locked away – with no access to sunlight. You can understand why she was terrified of everything: lead, collar, people, toys, the car – and even more so – of other dogs. It took over a week to persuade Ruby to let anyone touch her.
With patience and gentle training I built Ruby’s confidence so she was able to start enjoying activities such as Rally-Obedience, Agility and Hoopers. I use all this experience to help my class members.
Before retiring we ran a local, dog friendly pub. We frequently had up to 18 dogs staying overnight with their owners! So I’ve met and mixed with most breeds.”
Find Out More About Our Classes
Why not join us? Take a look at our training classes: