Sara Davies: pet behaviour counsellor, dog & puppy trainer, in South Devon, U.K.
Puppy Training & Socialisation Classes in Brixham, Totnes & Dartmouth
After the Puppy Course
Educational Talks
About Me, Sara Davies
Contact & Resources

About Me, Sara Davies

The business logo for Dr Sara Davies BVMS MRCVS CTC - vet, behaviour counsellor & trainer ‘working for pets and their people’ - and contact information: 37 Mt Pleasant Rd, Brixham, Devon, TQ5 9RP; 01803 859634; petsandtheirpeople@yahoo.co.uk

Rita and me in my office at home with her two best motivators - food and her ball

This is me with my dog, Rita. See if you can guess what three breeds are in her...answer at the bottom of the page

In a nutshell, I am a ‘pet advocate’. I take all my current knowledge, assimilate that with new research coming out and lectures I attend, and translate it into useful bite-size chunks for the public and professionals to use practically; in doing so I hope to expand understanding of the needs of pets and improve their welfare. I now spend the majority of my working week on ‘prevention’, such as my puppy training and socialisation classes, and the rest of my time on ‘cure’ with pets who already exhibit problem behaviours. It is good that the public have people to turn to when things go wrong with their pets’ behaviour but I also feel it’s an uneconomic use of my time and expertise to just concentrate on this, which is why I spend so much more time on prevention and education. 

Rita on my sofa, just 15 weeks old

Rita at 15 weeks old on my sofa at home

Relevant Qualifications

  • July 1993: Bachelor Degree in Veterinary Medicine & Surgery from Glasgow University. The Dr Ian Lauder Prize for the student with the most marks in the small animal clinical component of the final professional examination in Veterinary Medicine 
  • April 2001: Advanced Diploma in the Practical Aspects of Companion Animal Behaviour & Training, awarded by The Centre of Applied Pet Ethology
  • March 2002: Certificate in Training for the Future: Running Successful Puppy Socialisation and Training Classes, awarded by The Centre of Applied Pet Ethology 
  • June 2002: City & Guilds Level 4 Certificate in Further Education Teaching (Stages 1 & 2), from South Devon College 
  • June 2016: Graduated, with honours, from the two year programme at Jean Donaldson’s Academy for Dog Trainers which has earned itself the nickname of ‘The Harvard of Dog Trainers’. My entry into The Academy was by a full tuition scholarship, one of only three given that year. Jean Donaldson is the author of the game changing book ‘The Culture Clash’ now in its second edition. It is the favourite dog book of many reward based trainers and is on the recommended reading list of more courses than I can count.
  • September 2017: Completed certification at Level 1 as a Fear Free Certified Professional through Fear Free
  • November 2018: Completed certification at Level 2 as a Fear Free Certified Professional through Fear Free

Relevant Experience

  • Nine years in small animal veterinary practice 
  • Sixteen years in dog and cat behaviour and training. I have run classes in Brixham since 2002, in Totnes since 2004, in Torquay from 2002 to 2016, and in Dartmouth since January 2017. Over 2800 puppies have been to my puppy training & socialisation classes and I have seen over 500 pets for one-to-one pet behaviour counselling and training
  • Two years as a part time lecturer at South Devon College, teaching units of BTEC Animal Care courses to teenagers and adults 
  • Nine years working part time as an activity leader at Pennywell Farm & Wildlife Centre, in Buckfastleigh, where I worked with children of all ages and animals of all sizes 

Rita on a hot day at my agility venue, a field in Dartington near Totnes

Adult Rita enjoying a summer's day at my agility venue. Guessed what she is yet?

Relevant Professional Memberships

I am a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and a full member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC). Both of these organisations require certain levels of experience and academic achievement in order to join. I am also registered by The Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC) as a ‘Veterinary Behaviourist’ and a ‘Clinical Animal Behaviourist’. This is important as the ABTC is the closest thing we have to a regulatory body for behaviourists and trainers in the UK, all be it currently voluntary. As part of my continuing membership of these organisations I have to complete a minimum of 35 hours CPD (continuing professional development) per year to update my knowledge and skills; I have far, far exceeded this each year since 2010.

And Rita...

Have you guessed what she is yet? She is mostly Chihuahua with a bit of Border Terrier and Toy Poodle thrown in; she and her five littermates were the result of a 'happy accident' between two dogs in the same household. She is very partial to cats - in a good way!

Rita and CJ, one of my chickens from the British Hen Welfare Trust, in my back garden

And here she is with CJ, one of my old back yard chickens, making friends

Links to the professional organisations mentioned above

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)

The Academy for Dog Trainers

The Centre of Applied Pet Ethology (COAPE)

Fear Free

The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC)

The Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC)

And follow these links to find out more about what I can do for you

Click here for all the info on my puppy training & socialisation classes

Click here for all the info on what can follow the puppy course

Click here for all the info on educational talks

Click here for full contact info

Messages from my clients

Milo the Collie x Cocker Spaniel on Dartmoor

“Thanks for all your help Sara, you seem to have endless energy, enthusiasm and knowledge when it comes to caring for our canine friends.  We really enjoyed the puppy classes, learnt loads, and will be signing up for the After School Club.  I'd thoroughly recommend you as a trainer to anyone, and to quote you, anyone considering puppy training, shouldn't 'dilly dally' in getting started.” Tim and Lin Clyburn & Milo the Collie x Cocker Spaniel

Molly the Chihuahua x Jack Russell Terrier with her people

We took our new pet puppy along to puppy classes
As such time of easy learning
By both sides so very soon passes
And so she might be
Socialised with other dogs before maturity
 
There was a Newfoundland
And a Bichon Frise,
Two Shih-tzu crosses and a Cockerpoo
That had all come there
For puppy training too
 
The classes were run by Sara Davies
A fine teacher who is as such acclaimed
Who could and did work doggy miracles
With just a few treats and nicely timed usage
Of each of our puppies’ names
 
We did wonder mind if in another life
A ballerina she might have been
As she moved among the puppies with such grace
As if she had danced Swan Lake
Or as Titania the fairy queen
 
She even knew how to handle our Chihuahua cross Jack
Who being full of vim and verve
Could out run all the others by using a technique that
Resembled a half roll followed
By a full judo-like body swerve
 
It is hoped soon that our puppy
Will progress week by week
And on graduation be the kind of dog that everyone likes to meet
When out walking in the park
Or on the pavement in the street
 
A dog you see is not to us just
A thing that sniffs, poos and pees
But a living creature that we
Will love and hope to have be a credit to us
Who are now its adopted family!
 
Kevin Pyne, Clare Thorp, and Molly the Chihuahua x Jack Russell Terrier

The business logo for Dr Sara Davies BVMS MRCVS CTC - vet, behaviour counsellor & trainer ‘working for pets and their people’ - and contact information: 37 Mt Pleasant Rd, Brixham, Devon, TQ5 9RP; 01803 859634; petsandtheirpeople@yahoo.co.uk

Logos for The Academy for Dog Trainers, Fear Free, the APBC (of which I am a full member) and the Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC) with whom I am registered as both a ‘veterinary behaviourist’ and a ‘clinical animal behaviourist'

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