Karen Wild

Karen Wild BA (Hons) Dip App Psy, is a full-time U.K. dog trainer and behaviour consultant with over 20 years in the field. She has a degree and diploma in Psychology from the University of Nottingham,

Karen is a Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB) and is a full member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC). She is a registered Animal Training Instructor (ATI) and Clinical Animal Behaviourist with the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC).

Karen has authored five books on dog and cat behaviour. The most recent is 'Being a Dog' (Hamlyn publishing), but also What your Dog Wants, 21 Days to the Perfect Dog, and co-authored The Pawfect Guide to Thinking Like a Dog and The Purrfect Guide to Thinking Like a Cat with well-known Vet Emma Milne.

Karen is a regular speaker including the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors annual conference and the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) Congress as well as regional British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) events.

Karen's work focuses on training and rehabilitation of dogs - and their owners! She has specialised in behaviour and puppy work for the last few years, but her dog career has ranged from class teaching, obedience, flyball, agility and working trials competition to running a popular dog display team. When she started her own family Karen realised there was a genuine need for one-to-one help with dogs in the family environment. Her passion is to create and rebuild the 'enjoyment factor' that can come from family dog ownership.

Karen strongly believes that there is 'always a way' and prides herself on her commitment to uniting families with their dogs.

Karen has a number of famous clients including politicians, film directors, journalists, models and television personalities and is noted for her down-to-earth friendly approach. She is a regular contributor to Dogs Today Magazine.

Karen's friendly, fair and family-focused approach to dog training can be accessed via her site www.pawprintpets.com or why not email Karen on [email protected] ?

Blog posts by Karen Wild

karen wild pickles winking at daft humans

Holding back - the intelligent art of tolerance in dogs

Chatting with a client during a behaviour session recently, I was moved to comment. They stated that their dog was extremely large and that they were afraid. The dog had grabbed at visitors' trouser legs on two occasions and on another, had nipped someone's ankles as they retreated from the room. The family lead a very busy but gentle life with callers at all hours and times, and this dog was described as a nervous puppy, right from the outset. Always hiding, or going to her crate when people arrived. Despite their socialisation and training attempts, this pup remained wary and shy.

Patchwork Pups copyright Karen Wild Pawprint Intellidogs ltd

Patchwork Pups - do we need 'breed'?

We don’t have a pack of dogs – we have a patchwork.

For me there is no such thing as ‘What breed?’ – partly because it takes so long for me to describe the various mixes we own, but also it makes me feel uncomfortable.

By talking about breed, I am somehow defining our dogs in a way I would never do with any other living creature. Let’s use our moggy as an example. Our cat is ‘Button’. He’s just himself (as any cat owner knows, very much himself!). He has his own way, his likes and dislikes. He’s black and white, and sleek, and fit. He leaves Hannibal Lecter-style demonstrations on our front lawn that would be worthy of any modern art installation, leaving you queasy and just a little bit intrigued all at once.

So, I don’t define him as a breed, and it’s the same with my dogs.


Talking to the animals! with Rosie Barclay

I owe the internet a debt of gratitude. Twitter and facebook, and of course Dog Star Daily, have opened up some great friendships and collaborations for me and have allowed me to meet some amazing dog trainers from all over the world. I have learned a lot and remain humbled by their skill, experience and compassion. I thought it was my turn to repay some of this debt by introducing some of the top pet behaviourists here in the UK so we can share their experiences, too. What makes someone choose this career?

Rosie Barclay BSc(Hons) MPhil CCAB is a Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist and Chair of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC). As well as TV and radio appearances and working with dogs and owners, Rosie has used her skills to help the animals at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey. I asked Rosie how she first got into the training world.


Shock collar ban enforced in Wales with hefty fine for owner

A dog owner in Wales was today fined £2000 plus ordered to pay another £1000 in court costs (almost $5000) for using a shock collar on his dog.

Shock collars (e-collars) were banned by the Welsh Assembly in March last year. The owner, Philip Pook, used the collar to contain the dog within the boundaries of his home, magistrates were told. Pook claimed he had not realised the collars were illegal in Wales.

Dougie, the collie in question, was found wandering a beach near his home in Ogmore-by-Sea, wearing the illegal collar. It appears that the dog had still escaped over the boundary wall at the home even though it was wearing the very collar intended to prevent such an escape. Magistrates were also told that the dog had a local reputation for escaping beyond the shock boundary and was well-known as 'the dog with the shock collar'.

girl with dog

Female dogs expect the unexpected better than males?

Are female dogs better at spotting when things are not as they should be? I'm not sure whether the explanations are what they seem, but a recent study on dogs at the University of Vienna appears to show that female dogs are more able to notice changes than their male counterparts.

Corsin Müller and fellow researchers discovered that when a tennis sized ball was rolled behind a screen, and a similar but larger sized ball appeared at the other side (or vice-versa), female canine subjects stared at the different sized ball for longer than male canines. The males, by contrast, did not stare at the new sized ball any longer than they had stared at the same sized ball appearing.

You can watch the video here

dog asleep under umbrella in rain karen wild

Pre-emptive power for pups!

What is that saying? 'Saving for a rainy day'.

dogs and kids karen wild blog

Treating your dog like your kids? Let’s hope so!

It’s often the case that you hear a criticism levelled at some dog owners. The reason, it is stated, that their dogs do not behave is this: ‘The dog is their baby’. The owner can rather tragi-comically be portrayed cuddling the dog and buying it diamante accessories. Everybody shakes their heads in disbelief. This apparently leads to all sorts of unwanted behaviours in the dog. The dog is sometimes then punished – it is ‘spoilt’, ‘naughty’, ‘cosseted’. The list goes on. The statement is ‘This dog behaves like this because they treat it like a child’.

And yet, I always felt a certain unease with the comparison. I work with dogs and I work with children. Some of them – in both groups - are pretty tough to handle! In children, what we might call ‘challenging behaviours’ can be highly disruptive and interfere with group activities, or with their own learning.

Coco Chocolate Labrador with Adam

Coco Academy 2 - the Agility Challenge!

Yesterday the air filled with the sound of laughter and applause! I looked around. Was I at the Oscars? Were we in a theatre or at a show? No. I was in a schoolyard surrounded by young adults, a head teacher, and a dog.

Welcome back to the Coco Academy!

flyball dog leaping a hurdle karen wild

The sound of Zero Tolerance

Does zero tolerance have to be as hardline as it comes across? The very name sounds off-putting.


I’d like to share with you my positive experience of zero tolerance!

I was just musing on a comment made to me today about flyball potentially creating incessant barking in some dogs.


If you have ever watched this incredible, fast but simple to learn dog sport, you will know what I mean. At Crufts each year the noise can be deafening as dogs become utterly absorbed in this leaping, catching, retrieving relay race of a game. Excitement is infectious, so before long you have a whole arena of it – a wall of sound.

It then occurred to me that our flyball team never had this problem! Years ago I ran a dog display team and we taught tricks and fun and games, of which flyball competition was one. None of our dogs barked, even though they adored flyball practice.

Why was this?

karen wild foot prints and dog paw prints walk together across sand

Walking the gentler way - what is your legacy?

British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli said in the 1800's, “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”

When I was a young girl, I was dimly aware of a doyenne of dog training known as Barbara Woodhouse. When I say aware, it was one of the programmes my Dad used to watch whilst wiping tears of amusement from his eyes. “Listen to her!” he used to exclaim “She’s really telling them off!”. Of course, he meant the hapless dog owners of course, and not the poor dogs. Her resounding “Walkieees!’ command I still hear today, mostly when my friends and sometimes even my clients, are teasing me mercilessly about my job. Even James Bond got in on the act, telling a tiger to ‘SiiiiT!’ in the film, Octopussy.

This legacy is worth studying since as they say, history repeats itself, so let’s delve in a little closer.



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