Denise Hubbard

Denise is a dog training instructor from Middlewich in Cheshire, who teaches the Good Citizen Dog Scheme, Obedience training, Gundog Working Tests, Field Trials and conducts behavioural consultations. She has been a KCAI Scheme member for 16 years and is a Kennel Club Accredited Instructor in Companion Dog Training.

We caught up with Denise to find out a little more about her involvement in the canine world….

Denise has been involved with dogs since the age of 15 and now almost 50 years! She is the owner of Waggtails School of Dog/Puppy Training which was established in 2000.

Denise says that she gets a huge boost from seeing just how much a dog can come to live in harmony with its owner after having a bad start in life.   She said “Seeing an owner for the first time achieving control with their dog brings a lump to one’s throat.”  She loves being able to work with first time owners, helping them to achieve their goals in understanding their breed, teaching them the importance of routines, being consistent, applying necessary boundaries and the “Five Freedoms”.  She also enjoys working with dog owners or children with disabilities, stating “It’s the thrill you get from seeing their faces. A huge smile appears with their dog by their side.”

Denise describes one of the most successful moments in her career as working with a five year old child, Freddie, who has Pathological Demand Avoidance Behaviour. This means he has difficulties with social communication, interactions, and has repetitive patterns of behaviour in activities or interests. She says: “Freddie’s excitement coming alive when teaching him with his dog, Misty, how they both benefit from each other’s company as a partnership is changing Freddie’s life for the better. Karen, Freddie’s mum knows with Misty by Freddie’s side he is safe, relaxed, comfortable, and able to talk to Misty as a friend.” One of Denise’s training techniques includes teaching Misty to place her paw on Freddie if he gets stressed, which calms him again.

Denise also participates as part of a team of pickers and is currently training her Labrador puppy for The Kennel Club working tests. In the past, she was a puppy walker for Guide Dogs for The Blind over seven years and has been a Pets As Therapy dog helper with two of her Labrador’s. She has been attending Crufts since she was a small child and has helped check tickets at the door for the last three years. She is also a Bronze and Silver level Good Citizen Dog Scheme Assessor and regularly organises Waggtails dog displays for local charity shows.

Denise has three dogs, Blaze, a seven year old male Labrador receiving several awards at Kennel Club Working tests, certificates for picking up on shoots and the Gundog Working tests. Bertie, a five year old male German Wirehaired Pointer – shown him to a high level several times in best of breed, Championship shows and has twice qualified for Crufts. Fern, her newest five month old female Labrador is being trained in Gundog skills in preparation for the Kennel Club’s working tests. In total she has passed five dogs with the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme across the bronze, silver and gold levels.

Denise is always trying to encourage more wheelchair users at her Waggtails Training School and as a trainer she can cater for many learning needs in a relaxed atmosphere. She says “Waggtails gives them the confidence to go on to train for the Good Citizen Dog Scheme awards in all levels. I have autistic adults in my class and I train them to their level of ability. I also encourage young adults to train their dogs - for the youngsters this is a huge boost of confidence and a sense of achievement.”

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