Visit our online shop

Upcoming courses

    View all courses
    • We both loved the way Sheila Harper presented herself - not to 'tell' or 'advise' us on what to believe or not (like many trainers do in a sometimes intimidating manner) but to allow us to think...
    • It was superbly facilitated and directed with dog handling, case studies, and in-depth perspective being important.
    • Sheila is not into "Sit", "Down", "Stay". The concentration is on having a positive and gentle development with your dog - you are a team - so that you can both enjoy...
    • I have been to presentations before where your attention starts to wander and where you can’t wait for the course to end. I was completely focused on this course for the whole 2 days; there was...
    • “What a weekend that was! Will life with my dog ever be the same again? I hope not! I now have some tools for a new start with my first ever dog who, at 14 months, had lost his trust in me...
    • “I soon realised that my inexperience really didn’t matter, as what we had come to learn about was new to everyone. We all had a similar motivation for doing the course. To do the best...
    • “A wonderfully stimulating and well organised weekend. It exceeded my expectations both in content and presentation.”
    • “I admire Sheila’s passion, calm positive energy and tireless motivation for teaching and sharing her profound, pioneering and unique philosophy and knowledge of dogs and owners.”
    • “I learned a great deal and ‘Bod’ was so relaxed and stress free due to your fantastic organisation. I do so appreciate how much hard work and thought goes into the preparation of...
    • “At that time, I still believed in Pack Leadership, dominance, control and obedience. Sheila opened my eyes and mind to the possibility that there was a different way to work with my three...
    • “I wanted to say a big thank you for the hard work and time put into the courses and for the patience and understanding of where I am at and what I have still to learn. It could be quite...
    • “We haven't been able to stop thinking about what we learnt and we're hungry for more. We bought half a dozen books to keep us going!”

    FAQs - Courses and Seminars

    Please can you let me know the timings of your day or two-day courses?

    Most of our courses are run along similar lines, but once a place is booked we inform those attending of specific start times. Registration is usually at 9.30 a.m. for a 10 a.m. start. The day tends to finish around 4.30 - 5 p.m. Times are approximate, according to subject content and the needs of those attending.

    Our day is divided into four teaching sessions, each of approximately 1 3/4 - 1 1/2 hours, with breaks of 15 - 20 minutes and a lunch break of 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours.

    Timings for a typical course would therefore look something like this:

    • Session 1: 10 – 11.30 a.m.
    • Break 15 - 20 minutes
    • Session 2: 11.45 - 1 p.m.
    • Lunch break: 1 p.m. – 2.15 p.m.
    • Session 3: 2.15 - 3.30 p.m.
    • Break 15- 20 minutes
    • Session 4: 3.45 – 4.45 p.m.

    Our belief is that it is not the amount of time but the quality of opportunities for learning and information that are important.

    Personally, I prefer shorter breaks. Why do you plan your days like this?

    Research shows that learning is optimised with shorter sessions, and that regular breaks are important. We are also aware that those who have brought dogs with them not only need to look after their own needs but also those of their dogs. If owners are allowing us the privilege of seeing and working with their dogs we owe it to them to have enough time to give their dogs the care they deserve.

    I have to leave early on one of the days. Can I expect a script of the course?

    Unfortunately, the answer to this one is no. Although Sheila puts a large amount of effort into planning subject material in advance, she will not write a script as this limits content. Sheila has been a teacher for almost 30 years: she has a framework and plans presentations and practical work to cover the course description given in the prospectus and on the website. However, she is experienced and flexible enough to tailor her programme as she goes along in order to meet the needs of the majority of the audience. This means that if she knows that she has additional material that will supplement points raised, she will often use breaks to find suitable video footage, slides or studies, for example.

    I am coming to one of your two-day courses soon. I have booked a handler place, so what can I expect?

    First of all, handler places are limited to avoid putting any dog or owner in a compromising position. The number of handler places is designated according to the subject content of each specific seminar. For those 2 - 3 day courses where dogs with issues are expected to attend, there will be a maximum of eight dogs, and where the topic is more general we have increased the number to 12.

    Practical courses are divided into sections. There are usually four parts to each day (please see FAQ on course timings) and normally sessions 2 and 4 are those where the majority of handling is done.

    If you have booked a handler place, your dog will be required to stay in the car for the times he is not working in order that he can relax and get more out of the practical sessions.

    Practical handling sessions may include demonstrations with dogs, working with a single dog at a time, and opportunities are often taken to work within a small group. Sessions with dogs will be planned according to the needs of each individual dog and owner, but it is important that no dog is overworked or is burdened with unrealistic expectations.

    Your dog’s welfare is of the utmost importance to us and we do everything possible to minimise anxiety and to maximise learning and coping potential. We therefore restrict the number of dogs inside the venue, and allow plenty of time for rest in order to keep stress to a minimum.

    During theoretical sessions dogs are expected to remain in the car, but there are plenty of breaks to allow you to see to your dog’s needs. Please ensure that adequate shade, ventilation and access to fresh water are provided at all times. Please keep your dog on a lead at the venue and respect that not all dogs cope well with others so always check before allowing any approaches to another.

    I am intrigued to see that you ask those attending not to wear perfume or essential oils. Why is this?

    We have found from experience that many people and dogs are adversely affected by scents. Mild symptoms include headaches and nausea, but some of our staff members can be badly affected, even going into a state not dissimilar to an anaphylactic shock, which can be extremely distressing. We have seen similar signs in dogs and would prefer not to compromise anyone, student, staff member or dog. We are well aware of the benefits of essential oils which can be good healers but can be dangerous if used with inexperience.

    It is embarrassing for us to ask those attending to remove perfume, and therefore thank you for your co-operation in advance.

    Is it possible to make a recording of the seminar?

    Please do not put us in a difficult situation by asking if you can record the subject content. Freedom of speech is compromised, and many students feel too uncomfortable to ask questions or to make their own points. Please leave recording devices at home.

    During a practical seminar members of Sheila Harper Ltd took some video footage. Is it possible to have a copy of this?

    We will not make any footage available to the general public as this goes against our code of ethics. No footage will be used for criticism or to discredit anyone, but may be used for constructive discussion or suggestions for improvement.

    Sheila Harper Ltd reserves the right to involve course delegates and dogs in video sequences which may be used in teaching materials at a later date and attendance at our courses would indicate your acceptance of this.