My name is Elaine Cowling, I have always been passionate about dogs and training. As a child I was not allowed a dog, so at 13, I volunteered at my local RSPCA centre, enabling me to gain lots of experience working with a wide variety of breeds and temperaments. As soon as I was 18, I bought myself my first pup, a bi-coloured German Shepherd, who I went on to compete very successfully with in open obedience competitions. I have owned and lived with many dogs, of different breeds, including the 5 that I currently have, who are all rescues/re-homes.
I first ran training classes 30 years ago, but trained very differently to how I do today. Like most people of my age, I was heavily influenced at that time by Barbara Woodhouse, and trained using check chains and a combination of force and reward, I was never very comfortable with the force part of the training as I wanted to work with my dogs as part of a team, not as a bully. When I met Angela White, she introduced me to using play to teach and reward my dog, resulting in dogs that were happy to work for me.
It was not until many years later that I had a change of lifestyle that led me to deciding to do a degree in Applied Animal Behaviour and Training, which I completed very successfully, gaining particularly high marks in the training and behaviour modules. I then went on to teach Animal Behaviour and Training at college, up to degree level, completing my teaching qualification (PGCE).
By this time, I was no longer competing with my dogs, but continued to own a variety of breeds, training them for fun (obedience, agility etc.).
I still teach, but on a part time basis, and I set up Positive Dog Training Solutions as I wanted to help more people have a better relationship with their dog and to show them that they can achieve this by the use of scientifically proven, positive, reward based techniques.
Throughout my life I have owned a wide variety of animals, from small furries to livestock and horses. Some of the subjects I taught at college included animal first aid, as well as animal handling and husbandry across a very wide range of species, including reptiles/snakes and birds.
As a member of the Pet Professional Guild, I abide by their guiding principles, which can be read here:
All of this means that you can be assured that your pets are in safe hands
My current dogs:
.update: Unfortunately, Millie, my 15 year old Lurcher is no longer with me :/