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)
- 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)
- MDSA Member
- Passed Requirements of a Heelwork to Music Judge Examination
“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 has 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 means I am able to help & encourage anyone interested in the sport. I’ve also 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 am currently working through Susan Garrett’s Handling360 course. Susan Garrett is a worldwide agility 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 a member of the MDSA (Musical Dog Sport Association); a world-wide organisation focused on excellence in the Heelwork to Music and Freestyle sport.”
- Think Dog – Canine Behaviour and Training to Advanced Level
- Think Dog – Dog to Dog Aggression
- Animal Care College – Advanced Nutrition for Dogs & Cats
- Pet Care Professionals – Canine First Aid
- Possible Canine – Canine Dietary Formulation
“Having got my first Labrador puppy aged 15, I stuck with that breed right until 9 years ago when Daisy my first labradoodle entered my life.
They are renowned for their sense of mischief, and Daisy led me a merry dance, introducing me to the world of canine behaviour. I discovered a lot about dog training with Daisy, and she progressed to advanced level doing obedience demonstrations in her own special way. Her performances usually ended in much embarrassment for me, and much entertainment for the crowd, with Daisy playing for laughs. As a result of training Daisy I became addicted – to both learning more about the way our doggy friends brains work and to labradoodles, and I have since added 2 more to my family – Poppy and Beamish.
After a long career in IT a change was required so I could spend more time with my dogs, and I now run a dog walking/home boarding business (Dogtrekker) and have met and cared for a vast number of dogs of all shapes and sizes.
My own dogs have all been to obedience classes from puppies upwards with the youngest, Beamish, recently gaining his Gold award for the KC Good Citizen Dog Scheme through Purbeck Agility Group. They all love classes – even the 9-year-old Daisy – and the two younger doodles also enjoy Agility and Heelwork to Music/ Freestyle (dog dancing) training. Daisy has a number of health issues and this has led me to study canine anatomy & physiology and to train in canine nutrition, with a particular interest in the behavioural effects of diet in dogs with food allergies.
Having trained in canine behaviour, I am now working towards a dog obedience instructor’s qualification.”
- Canine Behaviour Diploma – Currently Studying
- Dog Walking Professional Diploma – Currently Studying
“Dogs have always been part of my life and my parents had dogs before I was around. They have often said they would have rather re-homed me than the dogs!!!
It was in September 1993 that I had my very own dog Gemma, a Border Collie. I took her home at 8 weeks and the training began! I started off with the puppy classes and continued on to the advanced obedience classes until she was old enough to start the Agility training. And that is when it really all started.
I trained with my Dad and his dog Meg at the time and, of course, there was no competition between us!! (Just that Gemma and I were much better than them!!!). Gemma and I did well at training and soon went on to competitions.
After a few years of competing we were getting clear rounds and finally we were placed Third in a competition. In the next competition we got a second followed. I was delighted when we achieved first in a competitor field of some 300 dogs. Gemma was so quick going round, she completed the course in just less than half the allowed time with no penalties… she was like a little rocket.
I then started to help out at the agility club, training handlers and their dogs, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
In 1997 along came Poppy who was a rescue Saluki Collie cross. She was a challenge but we still enjoyed having a go at Agility.
In July 2007 we unfortunately lost Poppy followed by Gemma in December 2008. At that point I said let’s take a break from dogs!!
Well that lasted two weeks!
I started searching, but this time I wanted something completely different. So in February 2009 along came Tilly a black miniature Poodle! She was certainly different!!
Did I learn? No chance, as in February 2010 Dotty arrived… another Black Miniature Poodle (Tilly’s half-sister).
Although they have both done a little agility it has not been as much as I would like.
In 2011, because I love the dog world so much, I decided to start an online pet accessories business (Planetpaws.co.uk), which then grew to include a local pet food delivery service.
At the beginning of 2014 I decided to bite the bullet and give up full time employment to become self-employed and really focus on the pet business which now provides: training, dog walking and doggy day care.
Dogs have, and always will be, my passion. They come in different shapes and sizes but all have an opportunity to enjoy the fun of agility.”
Find Out More About Our Classes
Why not join us? Take a look at our training classes: