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    • 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!”

    Personal Development

    In addition to the extensive input into canine behaviour and psychology as outlined in the course structure,the IPACS is designed to support the student’s own personal development. The early blocks bring self-awareness and encourage reflection and emotional balance. In being mindful of health aspects students are asked to consider symptoms, reasons and solutions for their own stress issues as well as dogs’, and to assess stress levels whilst considering self-help strategies.
    Along with growing awareness comes a realisation of an individual’s true levels of competence. Gaining knowledge along with building skills and strategies, the process moves towards greater competence and self-confidence.
    Students are encouraged to think for themselves, rather than expecting easy answers or formulas that are unrealistic. They take increasing responsibility for the planning and flexible implementation of those plans and the reviewing of practical work.

    Team building, based on trust, is another key part of the course. There is a strong element of group work in the majority of the blocks. Awareness of others’ responses, body language and attitudes are taken into account for effective communication. Students are guided to formulate relevant and mindful questions and to be aware of the impact of their wording during discussion and case study work.

    Self-development continues further with guidance through the case studies, and students are encouraged to take the part of both counsellor and client. Basic counselling skills and in-depth problem solving are key features, and students are encouraged to consider carefully short- mid- & long-term strategies for overcoming problems based on information-gathering, realistic aims and time-scales through the insight they have gained during their attendance.

    Throughout the course students will have opportunities to reflect upon their own strengths and weaknesses and to take account of their personal limitations when working in the areas of canine behaviour and human development. Many will go on to develop greater clarity in stressful situations and to face them with creativity, balance and improved confidence. Each component is a part of the whole encompassing compassion, spirituality and real ethical values.