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About Me

Caroline Ward

Hello! I'm Caroline Ward, a passionate dog trainer and lifelong animal lover. My journey with animals began in childhood, growing up with our family dog, Monty, a Cocker Spaniel, and a variety of small pets. Though circumstances kept me from having another dog for many years, my love for animals never waned.

 

But in 2008 we welcomed Bella, a bouncy papillon puppy into our home.  I trained Bella and worked as a volunteer trainer at a previous club, from 2010 to January 2014.

 

In mid 2014 as the club had to close I joined FITdogs as we had just welcomed Darcy a Shetland Sheepdog as a rehome and we started rally together to build up our bond and once again I was privileged to be asked to be a volunteer trainer.  In 2016 FITdogs Club was born.

 

Sadly, Bella crossed the rainbow bridge in July 2021 and Darcy in November 2023 but their memory continues to inspire my work with dogs.

In 2016, Joey, our second Papillon, joined our family, and I continued to grow my knowledge and love for dogs. Then, in August 2022, Matilda a wild child of Papillon puppy, catapulted into my life, adding another member to our family

Darcy Bella and me.jpg

Darcy, Bella and I 

Experience

My Experience and Values

I am a committee member of the Pet Professional Guild (Canine division) and was a volunteer trainer for the charity DogAID helping pet dogs train to become assistance dogs for 7 years.

My continuous professional development includes numerous workshops in puppy training, lifeskills, and cognition, such as "The Dogs Mind and Social Learning in Puppies" with Claudia Fugazza in 2019 and Judy Luther's Trust Centred Training.  Recently, I completed Chirag Patel's online puppy training week in February 2023.

My fascination with canine cognition deepened after discovering Christina Hunger's work teaching her dog to communicate using buttons. This led me to Kathie Gregory's Free Will Teaching ethos, which greatly influences my overall approach. My personal development has now taken a more holistic turn, transitioning from a positive reward-based, force-free trainer to embracing the comprehensive principles of Free Will Teaching.

 

At FITdogs Club, I now provide online holistic teaching for puppies and dogs, prioritizing kindness, compassion, and empathy. I focus on each dog's well-being and joy for life, employing only positive methods while ensuring safety for all. I recognize dogs as family members and aim to nurture loving, trusting friendships between pets and their parents.

My online-only model, allows me to reach and help more puppy and dog parents while spreading the Free Will Teaching ethos.

 

My Values:

  • Nurturing Relationships: Building loving, trusting friendships between pet parents and their dogs.

  • Family First: Recognizing and treating dogs as integral family members.

  • Kindness and Compassion: Teaching with empathy and without negative methods.

  • Well-being and Happiness: Focusing on the overall well-being and joy for life of our dogs.

  • Life as a Journey: Teaching through life's experiences rather than training for specific situations.

  • Open-Mindedness: Maintaining an open mind to avoid rigid goals in teaching.

  • Responsibility: Ensuring the safety and well-being of our dogs, ourselves, and the wider community.

 

Contact me to book a session or to learn more about how I can support you and your canine companion through holistic teaching.

Matilda and me.jpg

Matilda and I

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