Val has had family dogs since she was five, and has shared her life with a mongrel, golden retriever and three Staffordshire bull terriers. As an adult she became interested in teaching other people to train their dogs, initially in the world of 'showing'. Determined to have the correct knowledge and skills she attended various seminars and workshops and found her way to the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) Instructor's course, knowing that they used positive methods and members teach owners and dogs using kind, fair and effective methods. She worked for some years at a local club, as well as helping to set up a show dog training club for Staffordshire bull terriers, and moved to Puppy Pals in 2000 to develop her knowledge generally, particularly in 'clicker' training . Having gained experience and improved her skills teaching classes and one-to-one sessions with many dogs and owners, she applied, and was accepted for, membership of the Association. Val joined the committee of APDT,UK and two years later was elected as chairman. Having served five years in the post - the maximum allowed - she stepped down in 2013.
Val is passionate about helping people to understand their dogs, and believes that anyone who teaches owners to train their dogs should have good knowledge and understanding of the correct way to do so. She has been involved with the education side of APDT,UK for several years and tutors on the same courses that taught her so much when she started out.
Val believes that every owner is an individual, each wanting different things from their dogs and whether that be a well mannered family pet, Crufts show champion, an agility whiz or myriad other things the foundation stone is the same - a good relationship with your dog, which starts with having a dog who understands what is required of him. She teaches - as do all the Instructors at Puppy Pals - positive, reward based methods of training. Coaching owners to not only teach their dogs basic exercises, but helping them to understand how to teach their dog to do pretty much anything they want as their training progresses as well as helping them to understand their dog.