Hello and thank you for visiying my site. My name is Sophie and I am a qualified and accredited Clinical Animal Behaviourist and Dog Trainer. I hold a Masters degree in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling from Southampton University and a Bachelors degree in Zoology from the University of Sheffield. I’m a full member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) and Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT UK), number 01208. I am also registered with the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC) as both a Animal Training Instructor and a Clinical Animal Behaviourist. My qualifications, accreditation and experience mean that I can offer you the highest standards of knowledge and practical support to help you with your dog’s behaviour.
I grew up in the Peak District and also spent some time living in Australia. The abundant wildlife in these areas inspired my love of animals and led me to study for a degree in Zoology with a focus on animal behaviour (ethology). I became interested in pet behaviour in particular through owning a variety of pets, including my much loved and missed Irish Setter, Cassie. I pursued this interest at the University of Southampton, studying for a Master’s degree in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling which I gained in 2011.
I have worked in a variety of roles within the pet care industry, such as a veterinary receptionist, in pet retail, in boarding kennels, and offering private dog care and walking. These experiences have developed my knowledge and practical experience of animals and their owners. I have also instructed practical dog training classes, and classroom based theory courses in animal behaviour and welfare for Northampton Borough Council’s Adult Learning Service. On completing my degree I enjoyed working as Scientific Officer for the RSPCA, providing scientific information on animal welfare and behaviour for projects, campaigns and to the general public.
I now live in Cheltenham with my husband Andrew, daughter Eleanor, and Border Collie cross Golden Retriever, Sammy.
Training Methods and Philosophy
I only use kind and effective reward-based methods of behaviour modification and training which are designed to help reduce anxiety, reward desirable behaviours and motivate your pet. I also strongly believe in supporting the human end of the leash. Having worked through behavioural issues with my own dogs, I understand that at times it can be stressful, frustrating and worrying for the whole family. My role is to support and motivate you throughout the training process without judgement or blame.
Sophie Briggs is a full member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers UK (APDT), member number 01208, and the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors. Members of these associations have been assessed according to a strict code of practice and have agreed to abide by kind, fair and effective principles of training. We do not use coercive or punitive techniques or equipment.
Up to Date Methods
Sophie stays up to date with the latest advances in the field of pet behaviour by regularly attending conferences and workshops provided by the APBC and the British Veterinary Behaviour Association.