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Dog Train & Behave Week

Champion Top Tips

As the main focus for the event is to raise the awareness of the benefits of dog training, we have got the UK's top 'Champion' trainers involved. All of our 'Champions' only believe in kind reward based methods of training. You will find a number of different articles written by our champions throughout the site.

Dr Roger Mugford's Top Tip

Top Tip to follow

Fiona Whelan's Top Tip

If your dog pulls on the lead, do not fall into the trap of just holding your lead shorter and tighter as this will enable him to pull more effectively. Think of a tug of war team "Take the strain & pull". Step backwards to release the tension and only move forward when the lead is slack.

Victoria Stilwell's Top Tip

Top Tip to follow

Carolyn Menteith's Top Tip

"Remember that it takes two to pull! Change direction, change speed, lure your dog back to the right place with a tasty treat.... Do whatever works, but don't get into the vicious circle of 'you pull, I pull'. This is dog training and it should be fun and easy - not a tug of war competition!"

Colin Tennant's Top Tip

Top Tip to follow

Gwen Bailey's Top Tip

"If you get a puppy, only move forwards when the lead is slack and NEVER when it is tight."

Champion Backgrounds

Dr Roger Mugford

Dr Roger Mugford, Britain's leading animal psychologist, who founded the Animal Behaviour Centre in 1979, is committed to helping people with problem pets. He has also introduced the practice of behavioural therapy to veterinary surgeons throughout the UK, thus saving the lives of many animals and the sanity of their owners. In the 27 years since its inception, over 50,000 pets (including dogs, cats, parrots, horses and the odd ferret!) have passed through the Animal Behaviour Centre, benefiting from the wide experience and expertise of Dr Mugford and his colleagues.

Roger has written two books 'Dr Mugfords Casebook' and 'Dog Training the Mugford Way: Never say NO!'. He is widely published in veterinary and scientific journals and is much in demand on radio and television.

In addition to his involvement in the Animal Behaviour Centre, as Managing Director of the Company of Animals, Dr Mugford has also been responsible for the invention and development of various accessories designed to restrain or in other ways improve the behaviour of dogs, most notable of these are the Halti Headcollar and the Halti Harness. These items, along with hundreds of other training accessories and toys designed to make pets happy, are widely available through the pet trade and other outlets.

Casting his net wide in recent years, Roger Mugford has also become a spokesman for animal rights in general, and is actively involved with such causes as The Born Free Foundation (Zoocheck), Animals Asia, Captive Animals Protection Society and humane societies around the world.

He is a strong advocate of the psychological benefits which animals bring to people and believes that people who love animals are more sociable. Pets help us cope with stress, raise our self-esteem, encourage healthy exercise and make us laugh, and as he says, 'it takes so little to make a dog happy'.

Victoria Stilwell

Victoria was born and raised in Wimbledon, England and has been working as a dog trainer in London and New York since 1990. Currently, she can be seen in the UK and over 20 other countries worldwide in the hit TV series, "It's Me or the Dog," counselling families with problem pets and solving their dogs. behaviour problems. She has also written a companion book for the series, titled "It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet", published by Harper Collins. Her second book, "Fat Dog Slim" was released in February 2007.

In the early 1990's, Victoria created her own successful dog-walking company and immediately recognized the need for qualified professionals to help her clients with the training process. While pursuing a successful acting career (working in the West End as well as in numerous TV series, commercials and voiceovers), she expanded her focus into dog training and behaviour counselling by working with some of Britain's most respected dog trainers and behaviourists.

In 1999, Victoria moved to Manhattan where she co-founded Dog Trainers of New York, a dog training and behaviour modification company working primarily with families and educating children on safe and effective dog handling. Her unique background, personal sensitivity and innate training skills quickly made her one of New York City.s most sought-after dog trainers. With a particular fondness for rescue animals in need of behaviour rehabilitation, she devoted much of her time and energy to a number of the many animal rescue organizations in New York, serving as an advisor and giving regular seminars on the subject of dog rescue and rehabilitation.

In 2002 Victoria expanded her business and created Dog Trainers of New Jersey, earning further acclaim as one of the nation's top dog trainers. She has also worked as a volunteer adoption counsellor for the ASPCA, and her dog-related writings have been published in numerous magazines and journals. Victoria is certified by the Animal Behaviour and Training Associates and is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

Victoria is deeply committed to education and training as a way of reducing the number of animals that are owner-surrendered and abandoned due to a lack of knowledge and understanding. She is also a patron of the Waterside Action Group (WAG), which campaigns against puppy farming. Among the other organisations with whom she is associated are Deed Not Breed, campaigning to re-write the UK's Dangerous Dogs Act to remove breed-specific legislation as well as Vets Get Scanning, promoting mandatory pet micro chipping and scanning by vets.

Colin Tennant

Colin C. Tennant has trained dogs and developed methods to improve their behaviour for 30 years. He has trained in Law, Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy and the Police Dog Section. He has also competed successfully in working trials and obedience to the highest levels in the UK. He set up the Canine & Feline Behaviour Centre in Hertfordshire & London, where he has gained much experience with dogs and cats, advising on a diverse range of behavioural problems and showing owners how to gain control. He is also one of Britain's leading media expert in dog and general pet care and behaviour and regularly appears in BBC & ITV programmes.  Colin is also a successful pet film Director, Producer and Broadcaster for Video & BBC TV. He also is an author of the new definitive book on dog behaviour: Breaking Bad Habits for Dogs. & 21 Days to Train Your Dog.

He currently writes for many of Britain's top Pet Magazines and National Newspapers. He has an international client base and visits problem pets in many countries. He has also had the privilege of consulting with members of the British Royal Family, Middle Eastern Royal families, celebrities and their array of naughty pets.

Fiona Whelan

Fiona Whelan has worked at The Animal Behaviour Centre of Dr Roger Mugford, in Chertsey, Surrey, for 5 years as head trainer and behaviour specialist and is now the centre manager. As well as offering behaviour consultations by veterinary referral and one-to-one training lessons the centre runs a full range of courses for puppy and adult pet dogs, including growl classes, clicker training and also the ever-popular agility.

Fiona studied Kennel and Cattery management and Animal Science (specialising in Canine and Feline studies) at De Montfort University whilst working for the RSPCA in Lincolnshire firstly as re homing co-ordinator and then as Branch Secretary. She then went on to run her own successful behaviour and training business in Lincolnshire for 8 years before taking up the offer to move to Surrey to work for Roger in 2002.

She now spends a lot of her time travelling the country giving lectures on animal behaviour to animal care industry students, veterinary personnel and trainers. She is also a regular contributor of articles for The Vet Nurse Journal.

Fiona has 3 dogs of her own; a Doberman cross GSD and 2 Australian Cattle Dogs. She regularly takes part in agility competitions and has previously been involved with competitive obedience, flyball and ringcraft.

Fiona is a long standing member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and as such is a devoted advocate of kind, fair and effective training.

Carolyn Menteith

Carolyn Menteith is a dog trainer and behaviourist with over 20 years experience of working with animals.

She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, the Kennel Club Accreditation Scheme for Instructors in Dog Training and Behaviour, and the Society for Companion Animal Studies.

Carolyn has been writing prolifically about dogs, dog training, dog behaviour, dog care, and dog welfare in national magazines and various other press for many years, and is currently a major feature writer for Your Dog magazine.

Carolyn's first book, the Dog Manual published by Haynes, was launched at Crufts 2007, and her second one is out in June.

She is also an experienced broadcaster who appears regularly on radio programmes as a dog expert . and has also presented or co-presented TV programmes and series. such as What.s Up Dog? (Carlton TV), Celebrity Dog School (BBC1 for Children in Need) and Barking Babes (Granada) - as well as many others.

Carolyn can most recently be seen as a judge on Top Dog (Animal Planet), a new TV programme being shown in spring 2007, which searches for the country.s Top Dog, while celebrating the bond between dogs and their owners.

She also recently wrote and presented a series of dog training DVDs to be released solely in Japan.

Carolyn is passionate about reward-based dog training and has a deep desire to improve life for as many of the nation.s dogs (and owners!) as possible. She lives in Surrey, UK with Adrian, her husband, and Digby, her beloved, and somewhat infamous, Polish Lowland Sheepdog.

Gwen Bailey

Gwen Bailey has a BSc (Hons) in Zoology, and pioneered the use of dog behaviour knowledge in the rehoming of unwanted animals. She was the first person to be appointed as full time animal behaviourist by a leading UK national animal welfare charity and worked as Head of Animal Behaviour from 1988-2002. Her success in solving behaviour problems with rehomed dogs has helped prevent thousands of dogs being passed from home to home, substantially improving the rehoming success rate.

In June 2002, Gwen set up Puppy School, a UK network of puppy class tutors trained in animal behaviour and offering socialisation and reward-based training classes run to a very high standard. For further information, please visit

Gwen lectures at national and International conferences, runs animal behaviour training courses for staff at animal charities around the world and has written many books & education leaflets including the best selling 'The Perfect Puppy' and 'Dogs Behaving Badly'.

Gwen is a member and past Chairman of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors. She is also a Trustee of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Please see and for further details.

© 2015 The Company of Animals Ltd