Meet Your Instructor
Updated: Dec 29, 2021
As a parent of 2 fur babies myself ( my 2 recues boys Charlie & Blue seen in the photo below), I understand how overwhelming it can be to find the right trainer for you AND your dog/s in such a vast and unregulated industry. So, I thought I'd write a blog for you to find out more about me and my journey into the world of dog sports.
I'm Emma, Owner and Head Instructor at Paws4Sports. My passion for teaching dog sports to pet dogs and their owners is driven by my desire to enhance dog and owners lives together. I believe that participating in sports with your dog not only creates a unique bond and understanding between a dog and their owner, but also has a vast list of benefits to a dogs well-being.
I first started my career working with with dogs in the rescue industry from 2014-2017. I started as a part-time volunteer here before moving into a full-time welfare role, where I was responsible for the dogs welfare and training, as well as assisting in their rehoming. This helped me gain invaluable knowledge and experience of different breeds and behaviours which formed the foundation blocks for where I am today. Working in dog rescue was where I was first introduced to the world of dog sports/activities. In the dog rescue environment, participating in activities is not only a great way for the dogs to have fun, give variety and help bond with their handlers and new potential adopters, but is also hugely beneficial for their mental health and well-being during their time staying in the kennels. This is where dog sports and their benefits first peaked my interest and I began looking into different activities to do with my own dogs.
In 2017 I went on to set up my own business, originally launching as a dog walking and home boarding business which over the years with lots of hard work, training, qualifications and on-going learning, went on to develop into Paws4Sports where I now specialise in teaching dog sports to pet dogs and their owners. My true passion.
Below are some chapters of my journey so far... I say so far, as my learning journey will never be finished. I'm a true believer that there is always more to learn, there is always room for improvement and there are always more experiences to encounter.
''If you think you know everything, you will never learn anything'' - Gandhi
After taking up Canicross as a hobby during a difficult time in my life and experiencing the extensive benefits of running with my dog first hand, in early 2018 I became a Certified Canicross Trainer with DogFit so that I could introduce other dog and owner teams safely to the sport and make it more accessible to dog and owner teams local to me to join in on this new and growing dog sport. I regularly Canicross run with my own dog Blue as a hobby and enjoy exploring the countryside together as a team. I'm really passionate about encouraging more dog and owner teams to try Canicross together, particularly those who like me prefer running with a four-legged companion for motivation and enjoyment, even if they don't see themselves as a natural runner.
In 2021 I qualified as a Run Leader with England Athletics and also became Co-Founder and Head Canicross Instructor of the Sporty Paws Certified Canicross Instructor Course, sharing my extensive knowledge and experience to provide trainers with everything they need to know to launch their own Canicross business and run Canicross training sessions for pet dogs and their owners (You can find out more HERE.) In addition to this, I'm also currently studying to become a Certified Running Coach with the United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy.
In June 2019 I qualified as a Certified Mantrailing UK Instructor and brought the sport of Mantrailing to North Yorkshire, where at the time I was the first Mantrailing UK Instructor in the whole of Yorkshire! In 2020 I also qualified as a Mantrailing UK assessor, equipping me with the coaching and assessing skills to qualify Mantrailing teams through their Levels. I regularly Mantrail with my own dogs and attend numerous trailing workshops and advanced courses to continue to expand my knowledge and keep up to date with skills and technique. I am also a member of the Mantrailing UK Instructor Guild which provides on-going support, training and troubleshooting advice with Head Instructor and operational Mantrailing dog handler, Lisa Gorenflo, as well as being part of a network of other experienced Mantrailing UK Instructors. Being a Guild member also provides the opportunity for me to regularly attend monthly online training webinars and discussions as part of my continued personal development. In November 2021 I was invited to become Mantrailing UK's Head Instructor for the North East Region where i'll now also be involved in developing and implementing Mantrailing UK's Instructor training.
In 2020 I qualified as one of the first City & Guilds Scent Detection Handlers and Instructors with The UK College Of Scent Dogs which has enabled me to offer a new exciting dog sport to pet dogs and their owners. I'm also a proud UKCSD ambassador and as part of this, provides me with access to ongoing webinars, workshops and training opportunities to expand my knowledge and skills. Being an ambassador allows me to gain exclusive access to on-going troubleshooting advice and support from my mentors Dr Robert Hewings & Karen Hewings whom together have a wealth of experience in police search dog handling for both drugs and explosives, alongside a support network of other expert Scent Detection trainers. I'm also a qualified Blue Instructor and Level one Judge through World Scent Dog Association.
In 2020 Paws4Sports also became members of the UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter. Becoming a member of The UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter provides assurance to the public and other professional bodies that they've been checked, supported and monitored by a reputable accrediting member organisation. I'm really proud to display the UK Dog Behaviour & Training Charter symbol at Paws4Sports reflecting my ethical approach to dog training. The introduction of the charter is a big step forward to help ensure that dogs and their owners get the best possible support and training in such an unregulated industry.
If you'd like to join me for training and or find out more, please visit my website at www.paws4sportsyorkshire.com
I hope to meet you soon and introduce you and your dog to the fantastic world of dog sports!
Paws4Sports Owner & Head Instructor