Top Dogs was founded by Saskia Ellis back in 2002.
Dogs are, and always have been her passion. She has had careers with police dogs, rescue dogs and assistance dogs. She has always owned dogs and has trained with local agility clubs since the age of 10. She started running classes in 2007 after leaving the Dogs Trust to have her first child of which she now has three.
She has also worked within the fields of grooming and pet sitting over the years but training remains her passion. She became a member of the UK Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) in July 2014 (Membership no. 01224) and the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT) in January 2016. Saskia is also a trainer for Dog AID who are one of the main UK assistance dog charities. She currently has 2 dogs: Hugo a 4 year old Lurcher and Molly a 10 year old Labrador collie cross.
Both the APDT and the IMDT are part of the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC) which is the regulatory body that represents animal trainers and animal behaviour therapists to both the public and to legislative bodies. It sets and maintains the standards of knowledge and practical skills needed to be an animal trainer, training instructor or animal behaviour therapist, and it maintains the national registers of appropriately qualified animal trainers and animal behaviourists. It promotes the welfare of animals in their interactions with humans, lobbying for humane methods in training and behaviour modification, and for the education of the animal owning public.
Basically this means that the training carried out here at Top Dogs is regulated and must be humane to the dog, unlike a lot of other local training clubs/organisations who choose not to be regulated and sadly often choose not to use only the kindest methods.
Jan joined Top Dogs in 2015 with her daughter Jade. They are in charge of all the dog walking and the puppy training. They also help out with the other training workshops. They have always owned dogs and currently have 4 including a Scooby the Labrador, Oscar the terrier, Bella who is a Patterdale and a Baby French Bulldog named Millie. Jan has successfully completed the Top Dogs behaviour course as well as some courses run by the IMDT. She is very knowledgeable and has a great rapport with all the dogs she walks.