I have always been passionate about dogs and in the last 20 years I have owned and fostered in excess of 40 dogs.
My interest in understanding dog behaviour stemmed from when I began fostering, often the dogs homed with me presented with a number of issues stemming from neglect, poor training or to owners who were no longer able to give the dog the level of commitment it needed. Most of the dogs were difficult to rehome, which meant I had to provide a safe environment, but with stringent boundaries to ensure that every dog had the opportunity to live a happy life. I have always believed in the effectiveness of positive reinforcement in both my own dogs and dogs I have trained and supported. In 2010 a close friend asked me for support with her dog, this then led to me supporting other friends with their dogs and by word of mouth this introduced me to a range of different people, with different dogs, and in finding solutions to different issues. Over the last 10 years, I have been able to impart my knowledge and experiences of dog behaviour, management, and training. I do not have any degrees, qualifications, or certificates stating what I have learnt, just lots of positive and productive experiences over the years.
Clients will tell you that it is they who were trained, as most of the time the dogs generally knew what was expected of them! I enjoy a warm rapport with people, and this extends into my training and in offering ongoing advice should you need it or encounter problems between classes.
My stance is that dogs are not too dissimilar to humans in that they go through the same stages of the human life cycle: babies, toddlers, children, teenagers, young adult through to old age. This includes all the same sort of experiences and risks presented throughout life too. Humans have people in their lives to guide them, model behaviour and show them right from wrong to reduce the risks of harm to themselves or others. It is imperative that dogs are supported in the same way. I aspire to support owners to equip themselves with the with the know how or knowledge of how to deal with man’s best friend.
Why Use Positive Reinforcement Training?
The method uses a reward system for desired behaviours. Every dog is different, so rewards can vary, i.e., treats, praise, or toys. The reward itself encourages your dog to repeat the required positive behaviours, therefore being one of your most powerful tools for shaping or changing your dog's behaviour.
Over the years I have found this method to be the best and most positive way of training. My motto is ‘why take a sledgehammer to break a nut?’
Unfortunately, overly assertive methods still exist as dog owners do not question aspects of how training is delivered. Neither, based on my own observations, do they say anything when they feel their dog is being treated unfairly or appears to be fearful or scared.
You want a relationship with your dog that helps to ensure they feel safe, are happy, and trusting of everybody around them. This can be achieved through my training, free from cruelty or force – a much better way to move forward with your furry friend.
Valerie at Paddywhack dog training is fantastic. Me and my Labrador Copper have been to 1-2-1 training sessions now and have learnt so much. The training is fun and enjoyable. Copper loves Valerie and i feel so positive when we come away from a session and confident we can practice all that we have learnt. Recommend Valerie and her way of training to anyone. Brilliant service and carry on as you are Valerie your brilliant. Valerie's understanding of dogs is amazing and you can see this in the way she trains. Thank you so much Sophie and Copper x ....READ MORE>Sophie P - Copper - Tidworth
We have been taking Freddie, our border terrier to Val (paddywhackdogtraining) since we got him at 8 weeks old. He wasn't toilet trained and didn’t sleep through the night. Val helped us with all that. We have worked on his house manners, recall, lead work and not jumping up, and many other fun things to keep him happy. I am so delighted that at four months old I feel as though I have total control, and can walk him off the lead and him come back when called. People often stop me to comment on how well behaved my dog is. Val is a very pleasant person, that has had to teach me more than the dog, because often when he was doing something wrong, it is because of my mistakes. She has taught me with a lot of laughs and fun. I feel as though I have a new friend. Thank you so much Val ....READ MORE>Liz - Freddie - WInchester
Val at paddywhackdogtraining has helped me nurture my exuberant Doberman puppy. She uses her expertise to help you train your dog to be well behaved and responsive. The training sessions are fun and consistent. Val is firm, but supportive, which ensures that both the dog and the owner can learn. Val loves dogs, this shines through in her classes. She is fearless and dedicated to the wellbeing of the animals and their owners. The best trainer in the area, by far! Thoroughly recommended! ....READ MORE>Alison M - Winchester
I first met Valerie in the local park walking her three Great Danes while I was out with my then 4-month-old puppy Willow and was immediately impressed at how well behaved her three dogs were. We chatted briefly and Valerie gave me her card inviting me to come for a free trial session with Willow to see how I liked her method of dog training. At the time I was still attending puppy classes near Winchester, but when those finished, I booked a session with Valerie straight away. I’d had an excellent dog trainer for my older dog Ozzy when he was a pup, and the training classes I’d been going to with Willow weren’t up to the standard I was used to. I would highly recommend Valerie as a dog trainer and am looking forward to joining the group classes at the village hall in due course. ....READ MORE>Anna M – Willow – Kings Somborne
Finn, my German Shorthaired Pointer, and I did a number of sessions with Val starting with the basics, leading up to more Gun Dog focused training. Her professional manner and insight into Finn’s areas of weakness was brilliant, she gave me the tools and reassurance necessary to make further progress with Finn’s training, building confidence between myself and my dog. Finn, now 14 months, has a fantastic recall, is a balanced and sociable dog and a real joy to have and this is very much down to the work Val put in with us both. It is also nice to know that ongoing support is available should I ever need it in the future. I would not hesitate to recommend Val to any dog owner as she has a unique understanding and many, many years of experience of training and working with dogs. ....READ MORE>Sarah K – Finn – Winchester