Iain Lewis from High Wycombe

Iain Lewis

When and how did you get into dog training?

I trained my first dog in 1973 a Border Collie called Joey. I worked for the local newspaper  and they did an article with me and the trainer at the time who was   Barbara Woodhouse. I began teaching in around 1999 shortly after I met my wife at dog agility, I enjoyed every moment of it and still continue to do so

What do you like the most about dog training?

Firstly, the best thing has to be that though dog training I met  my wife Melanie

I enjoy the challenge of taking a raw handler and dog and turning them into a team that has a special bond. The best feeling is seeing the dog and handler at the end of each session with a smile on their faces

How long have you been part of the KCAI scheme?

I originally joined the scheme many years ago but due to pressure of work I couldn't carry on at that time. I returned to the scheme about three years ago to finish my accreditations

Why are you a member of the KCAI Scheme?

I think it is the best dog training scheme around because it is designed to set standards in lots of disciplines and encourages you to learn more than just teaching. It also encourages you to keep those skills up to date, gives the public confidence that they are getting a reputable trainer using  positive reward methods  and is supported by the biggest dog organisation in the UK the KC.

What would you say your biggest achievements in your career have been so far?

  • Qualifying Mist as an area Search Dog and also reaching championship status with her in UK Agility and also qualifying her for Crufts in the Breed Ring.
  • Training Hesky one of my dogs to his first Challenge Certificate in the show ring in 2003.
  • Being part of the British Flyball Association team of the Year in Flyball with my dog Skye in 1999
  • Being asked to judge my own breed at  a championship breed show in June next year
  • Being responsible for running the Border Collie breed booth and winning best stand twice  Discover Dogs

Is there any work that you do with or for dogs, in addition to dog training instructing?

I have been a qualified Search and Rescue Dog Handler for six years and currently work for Search Dog Buckinghamshire and also hold the post of Training Officer within that organisation. Search Dogs Bucks is all voluntary and part of Lowland Rescue. I, along with my qualified dog Mist have attended around 150 searches. My wife is also a qualified Search Dog handler with Bodger and Jupiter.

I also run my own Hydrotherapy pool and work with clients to help rehabilitate their dogs after injury  and to keep dogs fit with ongoing problems .

Do you own a dog yourself and if so what is its name/breed?

I along with my wife own eight Border Collies under our Shemella affix - Bodger, Mist, Mercury, Jupiter, Shadow, Sirius, Dream and Drift. Bodger and Mist are brother and sister and are seven years old, Mercury, Jupiter and Shadow are brothers and sister aged five. Sirius aged 2 is Mist's son and Dream and Drift aged 10 months are Shadow's daughters. Not forgetting the cat Hermione!

Comments made by individuals that nominated Iain

  •  'Iain has infinite patience and makes training fun, enabling learning. He has an ability to understand the dog's personality thus helping the handlers to learn by understanding their dogs. He is an active member of search and rescue in Bucks.'
  • 'Iain is amazing!!! He goes out of his way to get the best out of you and your dog. He is also very happy to help on a one to one basis if you are struggling with something. Never screams or shouts if you do things wrong and gives you the confidence that you can do it.'
  • 'This man never ceases to amaze me with all his dedication and hard work in a variety of fields in the dog world. His agility classes are the best he is the most dedicated reliable and honest man and is there to help anyone and of course most importantly their dogs. He does tireless work with search and rescue, talks with children to help educate, teaches agility does hydrotherapy, judging this is just a few things among a long list, so to try and put into words how this man has helped is nearly impossible as he works tirelessly for everyone and deserves the recognition and award.'
  • 'Iain has given myself and my dog confidence in ourselves, I have struggled with confidence most of my life and my dog knows my emotions, Iain has had lots of patience teaching us agility for nearly 2 years, and taking part in this activity has given both of us confidence as Iain is always encouraging even when I mess up! I admire how he puts lots of hours into his search and rescue dog team, saving lives in the community with him and his wife's much loved border collies. He is always cheerful and encouraging, I look forward to our lessons each week as our success in learning is having a very positive effect on myself and my dog, at the beginning she was unsure and concerned at the see-saw apparatus, but Iain has spent time encouraging her always in a kind positive way and she enjoys all the equipment now.'
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