Today we’re talking to Stella Bagshaw who’s based in Cirencester. She is a dog expert and trains dogs from the RSPCA and Battersea Dog’s Home and this is her story.
Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into dog training.
I became a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers in 1997 after taking courses with the Animal Care College.
The use of aversion and punishment training was prevalent at the time, and I was looking for ways to train dogs without punishing them.
I have since gone onto becoming a licensed trainer with the Clever Dog Company, a registered animal training instructor with The Animal Behaviour and Training Council and an assistance dog trainer with Dog AID.
I also coach other trainers with my friend and colleague Sarah Whitehead. We work with dogs from Battersea and RSPCA.
Do you specialise in a certain behaviour?
All behaviour, with training personalised to each dogs personality, temperament and breed.
What one word would you choose to sum up your training style?
Empathy – with both dog and owner.
Do you have dogs yourself?
I grew up with dogs and have had them most of my adult life. At the moment I have two dogs.
Kite is a crossbreed who came from rescue, and Snitch is a Chinese Crested Powder Puff.
Kite came to me at about two years old, and as far as I know she had been tied up in a garden for most of her life. She is a truly amazing dog and has been with me many times to Crufts and other venues to give training displays. She’s always enjoyed dog sports including Tracking, Agility, Rally and Flyball.
Snitch unfortunately has various medical problems including epilepsy. He’s a very sweet but nervous dog. Despite these problems he enjoys life, with walks and training coming close second to snuggling up on the sofa!
What do you think are the most important qualities for anyone working with dogs?
Up to date knowledge, patience and a sense of humour!
What’s the most common type of problem you see?
The most common problem I deal with is dogs who are nervous around other dogs.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about dog ownership?
Each dog is an individual.
What advice would you give to a frustrated dog owner who is having major issues with their dog?
Find a good trainer who can help.
Remember you are not alone. There are many dogs out there with issues. We cannot simply tell dogs not to do something. We need to teach them what it is we want them to do instead.
Some things take a lot of training to improve, but often there are management techniques we can use to help whilst training is taking place.
Major issues can put a strain on the dog human relationship. At the same time as working on any problem, a good trainer will help you to realise your dogs hidden talents.
How do you relax and recharge after a long week’s work?
Walking and training my own dogs..
Finally, what is the one thing you wish all dog owners knew?
Owning a dog is a huge commitment!
Want to work with Stella?
Like what you hear? You can get in touch with Stella here:
Business name: Train Dogs 121
Areas that are covered: I’m based in Cirencester area, but I cover Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire too.
About Stella Bagshaw
Based in Gloucestershire, UK
Expert in dog training