Sheila Harper

Sheila Harper was founded in 1995

Education providers, canine behaviour and health professionals

Founder Organization

Sheila Harper

Since 1995 we have been providing unique educational courses worldwide, working face-to-face with our students. Well-known for our ground-breaking practical approach to canine behaviour and handling, we have, over the years, developed innovative canine-related courses for self-interest and for aspiring professionals, some of which are independently accredited.

How we work

Rather than having a focus on training or “modifying” behaviours, our aim is to enhance the individual’s understanding and competencies, teaching how to accurately observe and understand canine communication and behaviour and to respond in a sensitive and appropriate manner. We aim to eliminate the root cause of any problem rather than only treating the symptoms or only using management strategies.

Many dogs will not have had the opportunity to develop positive experiences in life, leaving them vulnerable, unable to think for themselves, putting themselves and others at risk as they are overwhelmed in new situations.

Our aim is to help the dog to develop his potential in everyday life, through experiential learning, taking into account the ability and emotional resources of each dog as an individual. This helps them to develop the necessary range of skills they need to feel comfortable and live harmoniously within human society. We offer ongoing support to both dog and handler.

Respect and ethics

Our organisation is recognised for its highly ethical approach. We are keen to respect the dog’s autonomy as a sentient being, and take every step possible to help the dog to make informed, un-coerced, decisions. The abilities of dogs as sentient beings are greatly underestimated. Recent scientific research supports the ability of dogs to be able to think, feel and to work through logical, thoughtful processes. We are sensitive to their emotional and physical needs, and are considerate of their well-being at all times.

What we offer

In addition to running courses we offer practical one to one work, small group work, individual behaviour counselling sessions and support health and behaviour through self-medication (Applied Zoopharmacognosy). Much of our work takes place in the real world of the dog rather than the classroom or any other sterile environments.

Our associates

Past students associated with us continue to update their knowledge and support each other within our organisation. Whether from the UK or overseas, all associates have completed a minimum of our 1 ½ year practical and theoretical course (International Programme for Applied Canine Studies, also OCN accredited), and many have completed higher level in-depth courses.