I am excited to announce that I will be offering a series of FREE training courses, in conjunction with, and funded by, The Woodland Trust, as part of a new pilot scheme which they are trialling.  The first course will take place in late Autumn 2020 and consist of four parts.

This is part of a much larger project to increase community interaction and promoting "Woodlands and Wellbeing."  It is a fantastic opportunity to join in with the Uffmoor dog walking community.


Please see the note below in relation to attendance if living in a Tier 3 area.


The Essential Skills series consists of 4 workshops which cover all of the skills needed to get your dog off to the right start when out and about in the countryside.  Although not essential, it would be of most benefit to attend all 4 sessions.  It is recommended that you attend the “Think Dog” session, even if you cannot attend all of the other 3 topics.



It is hard to enjoy going for a walk with a dog who is pulling our arms out yet, more often than not, loose lead walking is so very boring for both dog and owner.  This results in a dog who switches off and pulls like a small steam engine, and an owner who does not enjoy going for walks or who just lets their dog off the lead because it is far too stressful otherwise.

During this session we look at how to engage with our dogs on walks, how to be way more interesting than the distractions of the woods, but also how to use the woodland around us as reinforcement and enrichment. You will be given the skills to go away and practice, practice, practice, in a fun way.       


This is a session without your dog and the most important to attend!

During this session we consider the behaviour of dogs, debunk myths, and look at why they behave in the ways that they do.

We take a walk through the woods and discuss what we can feel, smell, and hear, and the distractions that you may be up against when walking your dog. 

We look at why dogs behave in certain ways, how to combat this, and different methods to reinforce the right behaviours to build a strong bond with your dogs. 

We also discuss the best types of walking equipment for comfort, safety, and welfare.  We then discuss dog walking etiquette, the Yellow Dog scheme, before going for another little stroll to see what body language that we can find from dogs in the woods.  Finally, there is time for your questions and discussion.                                                                   

3.    RECALL        

Having a reliable recall is something that most owners only dream of.  Why would our dogs want to come back to us when the environment is so much more interesting and exciting? It can be difficult enough in an open field but even those with a half decent recall can find it a little too much to come back when on the trail of a deer, or even a rabbit.

This recall session is the foundation session for the advanced recall, 2 session, workshop, later on. We look at key methods for engaging with our dogs throughout our walk, to make recall easier, as well as fun games and techniques to make coming back to you fun. 

Dogs will be required to be on a longline (not a flexi lead) for this session.  Please bring a longline, of 5 meters or more, with you.                                                                               


Recall and loose lead walking are great skills to have, essential skills, yet, let’s face it, they aren’t that much fun.  Yes, we can teach them using fun games but how do we keep our dogs interested in us and wanting to be with us throughout the walk?  We play interactive games!

Ask any qualified behaviourist or trainer and they will tell you just how much they hate ball flingers.  Owners think that their dogs enjoy to play fetch, and I am sure that they do, yet to repeat this over and over again results in an over aroused dog which can cause problems for hyperactivity and anxious or reactive behaviour.

This workshop teaches you how to use the environment to enrich your dogs life, to get them using their brains to think about what they are doing, to be methodical in their actions, calm even.  You will find that your dog is mentally exhausted, even if you have not walked very far, and for dogs who are not always comfortable in their environment, or usually run off to interact with other dogs or people, you may well find that they begin to look for the next Parkour obstacle, rather than focusing their attention on other dogs!


To make it easier for you to understand which group is best for you and your dog, we have devised a traffic light system.

PUPPIES - UNDER 20 Weeks Old

Although puppies are classed as Green dogs, I will always try and accommodate them in their own class, if numbers allow.

Please read the Green Dog criteria when booking.

Calm and Sociable

Dogs who are comfortable around other dogs and people and show no signs of anxiety.  Dogs should display relaxed body language and behaviour with other dogs and people within close proximity.  Dogs should not be excessively pulling and vocalising to get over to interact with other dogs or people.

Body language should be soft and relaxed.  Please see attached body language guide which can be used as an example.

Anxious or Excitable 

Dogs who display anxious behaviour such as cowering, avoidance, submissive behaviour, whimpering, etc but not aggression (barking, growling, lip curling, snarling, snapping or air biting, biting). 

Dogs who show aggressive behaviour only if another dog gets right up in their face may attend this session if we are notified at the time of booking.  If you are unsure please check .


Dogs who display obvious signs of distress and discomfort when around other dogs or people.  This may be in the form of signs of panic, barking, growling, lunging, snapping, biting.

This also includes dogs who have a bite history (have bitten in the past) and those who do not show obvious signs and will “bite without warning.”

There are no events available for "Red Dogs" you will need to book behavioural assistance.

If you book on to a session which is not suitable for your dog, you may be asked to leave and book on to the next suitable class instead. 


Current Dates for these FREE training sessions are: 

Part One: Loose Lead Walking Skills - Tuesday 20th October and Sunday 1st November 2020

Part Two: Think Dog - Tuesday 3rd November and Sunday 6th December 2020

Part Three: Reliable Recall Foundations - Tuesday 8th December and Sunday 13th December 2020

Part Four: Fun, Games, and Relationship Building - Tuesday 15th December and Sunday 20th December2020

The calendar will provide you with a link to the booking site, if you click on the relevant date.

The Woodland Trust are currently open to running these sessions on other days and times, depending on interest.  If you cannot make these dates, but would like to attend the training, please do get in touch and let me know which days and times (morning, afternoon, evening) would be best, and I will pass the information on.


Email: [email protected]

Or text: 07749 348 742

and I will get back to you as soon as possible.


Due to Uffmoor being in Tier 2, and the Government website stating that Tier 3 residents should not travel out of their area unless for specific reasons such as work, college, or medical reasons, we are only allowing owners from Tier 2 to attend the December sessions.

As with throughout the Covid period, the Government rules have been lacking clarity and are open to much interpretation, however, as I and many others seem to agree, this reads as though Tier 3 residents should not be entering Tier 2 for exercise or non compulsory education and training.

I believe that, as dog trainers/behaviourists, we are allowed to enter Tier 3 for work purposes and carry out the dog training in the Tier 3 area providing we abide by Tier 3 rules, however the client in the Tier 3 area cannot travel to us in our Tier 2 area.

I would rather air on the side of caution with this and welcome those in Tier 3 in the New Year.

Thank you for your understanding and stay safe.

© Copyright Helen Gerard - United Wellbeing