CAROL CLARK (Owner, lead trainer and behaviourist)
Carol's background in a caring profession and her passion for dogs fitted together neatly when she started Down Dog in 2008.
As a child, Carol wanted two things. The first was to be a doctor. The second was to have a dog - but her parents said no. She worked hard to achieve aim number one in 1981 and eventually worked in various medical jobs at senior level in the NHS. Having married another doctor, she achieved her second aim, getting a Border Collie called Ben in 1983. Several other dogs followed, she learnt a lot about training dogs and then she taught at a local dog training club. Some years later she took on a dog with severe fear aggression. To help him, and to avoid being bitten so often, she trained as a dog behaviourist, too.
In 2008, after 7 reorganisations in 11 years each requiring her to reapply for her own job, she got fed up, took early retirement and relocated to the beautiful Ards peninsula. Being easily bored and wanting a new challenge, she set up Down Dog Training and Behaviour.
Carol has over 35 years experience of dog training and behaviour work and there's not a lot she hasn't seen or done by now.
Carol has the honour to be the first Kennel Club Accredited Instructor for Companion Dog training (at advanced level) in Northern Ireland and the first and only Kennel Club Accredited Instructor in Behavioural Training in Ireland. She holds the Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour Management (with Distinction), is a Guild of Dog Trainers Master Trainer (GoDT 138) and is a Qualified International Dog Training Instructor.
Her passion is teaching people how to understand, train and help their dogs.
GARETH SMYTH (Trainer)
Gareth has been involved with dogs his whole life. He attended a Down Dog puppy course in 2013 and was so impressed he came to join us!
Gareth has completed the Think Dog course with Sarah Whitehead and has undertaken several other courses with top international trainers including Ian Dunbar, John Rogerson and Chirag Patel. He has been with Down Dog since 2014 and progressed through assistantship to become a Trainer in 2017.
He competes very successfully in KC Rally. He runs our Perfect Pet, Wonderful Walkies and Reliable Recall courses, assists in all other courses and also assists with the behaviour 1-2-1 work. He has been instrumental in helping develop and running Down Dog's Graduate Get-together - Putting It Into Practice (PIIP) courses.
Gareth is also the technical lead for Down Dog and helps develop, film, edit and publish our webinars and online courses. He also bravely puts up with Carol's technological ineptitude and stops her crashing the Down Dog website too often.
CATHERINE MOORE (Assistant Trainer)
Catherine first came to us for work experience in 2017 and we liked her so much she's stayed.
Catherine has always loved animals and has just got her first puppy. She has completed her Animal Care course at college and is currently training to be a first class groomer. She will also be undertaking suitable courses with top trainers to develop her knowledge and skills, starting with the intermediate Think Dog course with Sarah Whitehead.
She helps run all our basic courses and is learning about our more advanced classes. As Carol gets more decrepit, she will take on more and more work within Down Dog.
She also runs her own dog walking business in the Comber area.
LAURA WARD (Assistant Trainer)
(Laura is currently away building her own human family, but we hope she will be back in the future)
A lifetime dog owner, Laura has been working and volunteering with dogs since the age of 14. She has always had a keen interest in behaviour and, inspired by our positive training methods, came to Down Dog in January 2017.
Laura has been honing her skills in dog training under Carol’s instruction and is becoming a very able assistant. She has completed online training with Sarah Whitehead and Susan Garrett and is attending further training courses with two more of the world's top trainers in 2018.
Down Dog Training & Behaviour was set up by Carol in 2008 and has grown from strength to strength. In preparation for the forthcoming 10 year anniversary in 2018 there are quite a few exciting changes planned! Watch this space.....
All training is done with positive, reward based methods. Down Dog's aim is for everyone to enjoy, understand, and have fun with, their dogs. We are currently training people and their dogs in three fixed locations and you can find maps to them here.
Tel: 07482 775526
We can't always answer your call immediately, but please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Tuesday: 09.00 - 18.00
Wednesday: 09.00 - 18.00
Thursday: 09.00 - 18.00
Friday: 09.00 - 16.00
Saturday: 09.00 - 13.00