Alex Smith owns and manages Sociable Dogs, and runs classes in Adel & Pool in Wharfedale.
"I started Sociable Dogs to give people confidence and reassurance with their dogs. The classes and sessions I run help people understand their companions, be able to live and work with them successfully and joyfully, and prevent problems from getting out of hand.
I've had a dog in my life for as long as I've been alive (which is knocking on for quite a while now...!) Currently I am owned by two cockerpoos - Tig (aged 3 years) and Scout (3 months!)
I am absoutley passionate about raising dogs to be happy, healthy and fulfilled by their lives with us humans. To say I am obsessed with dogs in something of an understatement. I'm also a serial attender of dog related seminars and training events. Heroes include Gwen Bailey, Ian Dunbar , Sarah Whitehead, Victoria Schade, Patricia O’Connell, Susan Garrett, Chirag Patel, Susan Friedman and Ken Ramirez.
As well as being a Puppy School Tutor, I am very proud to be a registered Animal Trainer Instructor with the ABTC (Animal Behaviour Training Council). The ABTC are a regulated body for trainers and behaviourists and it is the only animal welfare charity that is primarily concerned with protecting the psychological welfare of animals undergoing training and behaviour activities. ABTC sets and maintains the standards of knowledge and practical skills needed to be an animal trainer, training instructor or behaviourist, and I am very happy to part of this organisation!
I am also a qualified Perfect Fit Harness fitter, and a Raw Feeding Advisor with Natures Menu.
In my other life I am qualified bookkeeper and director of Bookkeeping Leeds – a separate business in North Leeds tending to 25 clients. I know which business I prefer doing.....! :-). You can find out more about me and how I ended up this way here...... "
Karen Boardman assists Alex in all things dog related - and runs the classes in Bramley:
"I have been involved in dog training classes for over 10 years with my own dogs and helping with training. My first two dogs were Westies, and I now have a Miniature Schnauzer boy called Flint and a working-type Cocker Spaniel girl called Robyn. I regularly compete in agility, and have made it to the top championship level and have competed at Crufts. I also enjoy trick training, running with my dogs, and heelwork to music.
As well as being a dog trainer I am also a data manager working in cancer research. I am a biologist by background and enjoy learning about the scientific-background to dogs and learning to help make training as effective and enjoyable as possible. Prior to moving to cancer research I worked for Guide Dogs for the Blind and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, and I have fostered a couple of Guide Dogs in training. I am also a qualified canine massage therapist and Raw feeding Advisor with Natures Menu.
I have been working with Sociable dogs since February 2016. I love being able to help puppies, dogs and their owners learn to work together – it’s amazing how much progress is made during a 6-week block of classes or during a 1-2-1 lesson. I particularly enjoy working with the dogs that struggle to cope with everyday life, such as those that are worried and those that are over-excited"