Animal Magic Dog Training and Animal Magic Pet Care in Gloucester are owned and run by me - Claire Stewart BSc (Hons), MAPDT1077
I am a full time dog training instructor and behaviour consultant with many years experience of training owners and dogs to live a happy life together.
I spent my childhood with a Border Collie x Labrador called Skippy. She really was a ‘child’s best friend’ and we had many adventures together. I have very fond memories of those years but can remember the nipping, wetting, chewing and pulling on the lead too! As an adult, I decided to keep the beautiful, young German Shepherd Dog abandoned in my garden but she came with several problems! At seven months old she was still not house trained, could not walk well on a lead or come back when called. She was terrified of fireworks and was sometimes nervously aggressive towards people and dogs. What a first dog to take on!
Over the next two years I had help and assistance from a professional dog trainer (who’d have thought that would be me one day?!), was introduced to clicker training and, through a local dog club developed an interest in competitive obedience. I received a great deal of help and support from knowledgeable and experienced people and learned a lot about dogs.
Eventually the time to came to repay this assistance by helping others and passing on the knowledge I had gained. In 2003 I was invited to start taking classes at two local dog training clubs. I decided to complement this practical teaching experience with academic and practical study – I needed some clarification that what I was teaching was correct.
I studied for six years and graduated top of my year from Bishop Burton College/Hull University with a Bachelor of Science with Honours degree in Canine Behaviour & Training in 2010. The advantage of the HNC, FdSc and BSc (Hons) courses I studied is that they not only required me to complete written assignments but also to train my own dogs in various disciplines and to be examined on my ability to teach classes and individuals.
Whilst volunteering at the training clubs and studying, I launched one to one training as Animal Magic in July 2007 and Animal Magic group classes in July 2008.
In March 2010 I was successfully assessed by and accepted as a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, meaning my training is considered 'kind, fair and effective'.
I am Kennel Club approved as a judge for Competitive Obedience and Rally in the UK and as an assessor for the KC Good Citizen Scheme at all levels. I am a Registered Animal Training Instructor with the Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC) and a qualified ScentWork UK trainer.
I am a provisional member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC), which means having gained the relevant academic qualifications, I am gaining the practical experience necessary for full membership. This role is governed by the ABTC, giving assurance to clients of the knowledge and expertise they can expect. Details can be found here.
I complete many hours of continuing professional development each year to ensure I am up to date with the latest that science has to tell us about dogs, about learning theory and about techniques. In September 2020 I will embark on two years of post graduate study when I begin my MSc Applied Animal Behaviour and Training
I have a passion for teaching owners to understand their dogs and for helping them to live harmoniously together.