Barbara is head trainer and founder of Puppy Poppins and has over 10 years of hands-on training experience. Canine Behaviour and Training has always been Barbara's passion and, after finishing a Masters degree in International Business and working in Marketing for a few years, she decided to follow her passion and dedicate her time to helping dogs and their owners build a strong and positive relationship.
Barbara trained with the Association of Pet Dog Trainers in 2012 (APDT No.01273) and has completed a Certificate in canine behaviour & training with the Cambridge Institute of Dog Behaviour and Training (CIDBT), completed several courses with leading behaviourist Sarah Whitehead and regularly attends conferences and training courses by associations such as the APDT or Pact to further expand her knowledge and stay up to date with the latest training methods. She has also acquired ABTC ATI Accreditation which forms the latest standard in canine training.
Our Training Method
We only use positive, force-free methods in our training sessions and classes. Not only is this a fair and fun way to teach new things and communicate with our dogs, it is also usually the fastest and most sustainable way to teach new behaviours. By encouraging your dog to think and actively engage with us we can change behaviours quickly and reliably and build a strong and positive relationship at the same time. Your dog will behave well for you and you won’t have to constantly remind them to come back when called, not to pull on the lead or not to jump up on people because they won't even think about doing those things in the first place!
We use clicker training to teach our dogs new behaviours because it is incredibly precise and therefore helps us communicate clearly with our dogs. As a result they learn quickly and with minimal misunderstanding and frustration along the way. Most dogs that have been clicker trained will actively offer good behaviours and thoroughly enjoy training!
A few words on dominance and pack theory
For a long time people have been taking inspiration from wolves to explain our pet dogs’ behaviour because of studies conducted in the early 80's. The assumption was that dogs, who are misbehaving, want to exert dominance over their owner and challenge the owner's leadership in the pack. Therefore, the owner has to be the alpha in the house and show the dog who is the boss.
Nowadays we know that these studies had been performed on randomly mixed, captive wolves who show very different behavioural patterns than actual wild wolf families would naturally do; wolves are shy, family oriented animals that work as a team in a well structured manner. The alpha pair has a similar function to a mother and a father in a human family: they breed, help provide food and protect the family. Your pet dog is no more wolf than we are chimpanzees (actually 1.8% more but you get what I mean) which is why we use modern training techniques that are based on science and experience as opposed to creating a power struggle over who is in charge resulting in frustration, fear and intimidation on both sides.
What People Say About Us
"Barbara is a brilliant trainer! We had 1-2-1 classes with her for our cheeky 9 month old puppy and she really taught him - and us - a huge amount. You can ask her any question without feeling daft and Barbara was great at going back to basics and giving us lots of confidence in and outside of our home. Our dog was also really pleased and excited to see her - would thoroughly recommend!" - Joanne
"Barbara has helped us make a significant change with our rescue dog Kayla, who is a Staffie/Alsatian cross. When we adopted Kayla she lacked confidence and was terrified of pretty much everything. She was reactive to every single dog she saw and was quite a handful. Following our 1-2-1 home sessions with Barbara, Kayla has progressed past the point the rescue centre told us was possible. Using the clicker training method, Barbara has helped us work on Kayla’s obedience as the basis for improving and controlling her behaviour. Having had several sessions Kayla is noticeably different in how she behaves and interacts. She’s less reactive to dogs, can be put into social situations with other dogs with little to no issue and is more relaxed on her walks. Thanks to working with Barbara, Kayla has started to enjoy the life of a dog that she was deprived of before we adopted her." - Pip
"Barbara is a great teacher of puppies and their owners. The lessons are well structured and her delivery is clear and professional. She promotes a nice, friendly atmosphere in which the puppies and owners feel comfortable however easy or difficult the puppies are. The lessons progress in a logical way, making the instructions easy to follow and practice at home. The dogs are allowed some time to socialise in an orderly way. There are useful hand outs and Barbara always has time to discuss particular issues. The venue is very good with off road parking and toilet facilities. I would strongly recommend Barbara to dog owners whether this is their first experience of owning a dog or not." - Simon