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Meet Karen Thompson

Real Life Dog Training

About me

I have always had dogs in my life and first worked with them when I got my first weekend job as a 14 year old working in the local kennels. When I left school at 18 I got a live in position at a boarding kennels where the owner also bred and showed poodles. It was here I learned to “groom”.

In my early 20s I did try having a proper job when I trained as a nurse (human variety) but after 2 years as a staff nurse on a surgical ward I decided my heart was really with the dogs. I returned to what I loved best and have worked with dogs ever since, mainly as a professional groomer in various locations. I established my own business Trim Dogs, now situated in Baughurst, in 1996. In over 40 years I have had experience in handing many hundreds of dogs, all of whom have added to my understanding of dogs and how to communicate with them.

I started formal obedience training with my own dogs in 1980 and went on to compete in Kennel Club Obedience competitions for over 30 years. Although I was never madly competitive I did work a couple of dogs up to C Class (the top open class)but more importantly I enjoyed lots of fun with my dogs both in training them and going to the shows. I started judging in 1995 and judged all over the south of England and later on enjoyed a few trips to judge in Holland, Belgium and Germany. I started instructing at Basingstoke and District Dog Training Club in 1998 and have taught all levels and abilities from puppies through the Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme, to the competitive obedience class in addition to private lessons for individual clients. I now compete in Agility competitions with my amazing border collie Twix!

Over the years I have kept up to date with the modern developments in training methods and have attended many workshops and seminars to learn more about the theory behind the techniques of the modern methods we now use to train our dogs. All the training techniques I use now are based on positive reinforcement using lots of reward based activities to ensure the learning process is an enjoyable one for both the dog and the owner.

What I offer

Puppy Pre-School

Puppies start to learn from the moment you bring them home. They are like little sponges in those first few weeks and teaching them is easy if done correctly. So, before they can go to training classes, whilst you are waiting for the vaccinations to kick in, I can come to your home and help set you and your pup on the road to a long and joyful partnership with some simple fun learning games.


Beyond the training hall

Taking your pup to a well run training class is an excellent way of extending their learning as well as allowing for structured socialisation with other dogs and people. It can be a bit daunting trying to reproduce the exercises you are shown in the controlled environment of the training hall when you are out in the real world. I can help you transfer the skills your pup learns in class with a few sessions starting in your home and then venturing outside where there are more distractions.

Problem Solving

We all want the perfect dog that walks beautifully beside us on a loose lead, which comes back to us when we call and has perfect manners with all other people and animals. Sadly there are lots of reasons why our dogs do not fulfil our idea of perfection. We need to do some remedial training to help them understand what we want so that we can build our relationship with them and help them fit in to our lives. I can help with most issues you may have with day to day behaviour such as lead pulling, refusing to come when called and unruly household manners. I can also advise on socialisation or reactive issues your dog may have with other dogs or maybe even people.

How I work

I recommend that I do an initial consultation at your home where I can meet you and your dog on your home turf! I will ask about your dog and any history to establish your desired goal that you wish to achieve from training. Sometimes one session is enough to give you the help you need to set you on the right path to reach your ambition. If that is the case I am always happy to follow up and chart your progress by phone communication. If you require further face to face instruction I am happy to meet up again, create a plan and build up the training gradually and if beneficial, to do some work in other locations.

What is the cost?

 Initial Consultation (usually 1.5 hours) £55

Follow up sessions (45 minutes) £40

Mileage will be charged at 5p per mile if over 10 miles from RG26 5JL

Please call  07775387075 or message me

Email and mention The Darling Dogs Of May

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