On The Scent Dog Training, Suffolk

About Us - Sophia Taylor and On The Scent

About On The Scent

Here at ‘On the Scent’ we try our best to provide training which is fun, kind and motivating for both the dog and the handler.

Dog Training in Bury St EdmundsOur classes are held in the East Anglia village of Great Ashfield which is situated between Bury St. Edmunds and Stowmarket in Suffolk, we are drawing clients from Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Essex and London and in 2012 we had a client travel from Germany over night to attend one of my Friday morning Classes, this was very humbling.

The classes take place outdoors on our new ten acre site, where we are able to train in a more natural environment, with all the smells and some of the distractions that may be encountered in everyday life.

We used to be in the village of Thurston, Suffolk on a smaller site, but as we expanded we felt we wanted to increase the type of training and services that could be provided.

We provide training with a ‘behavioural influence’ as the two go hand in hand, along with the skills needed to have a well balanced and happy dog.

All types of dogs are welcome to attend our classes, however, our speciality is in the ‘hunt, point and retrieve’ breeds and the ‘working cockers’. Our aim is to teach the handler to train their dog.

Swayne and Partners veterinary Surgery in Bury St. Edmunds hold five week ‘puppy socialisation’ classes for puppies who are not yet vaccinated and I was delighted when they asked ‘On the Scent’ to take one of the five sessions to discuss the importance of training dogs and their owners, as training and behaviour has moved on quite a bit in the last ten years. 

At the vet puppy socialisation class, handling skills, name recognition, the sit restraint and general obedience are discussed along with ‘controlled play’ with other dogs, inside and outside the home and the importance of timing, consistency and positive reinforcement.

We also train Dogs which are deaf, both in Obedience and Dog Agility.  For further information do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Other instructors are also welcome to come and watch our classes, as we feel it is important to share knowledge with each other however great or small, as none of us will ever know it all and as most of us are aware, all dogs are different and all handlers are different and no two ‘dog/handler’ relationship is the same. 

This makes our work fun, interesting and challenging, which keeps us on our toes !

‘On the Scent’ do not profess to have all of the answers and are happy to call upon those more experienced in our field of work than ourselves for their help, support and advice, as this is another way in which we can grow and improve our skills for both our clients and their dogs.

May I just add by saying a huge THANK YOU to Paul, Teresa, Sara, Bethany, Eddie, Hannah and Rachel for all their ongoing help and support. We all work well together as a team.  I do appreciate all their help.  With them on board ‘On the Scent' has been able to grow. 

About our pets... we currently share our home with various animals but sadly we only have two dogs now, Guinness and Spider as Otis was put to sleep in September 2010 as He had a brain tumour.  He was only five years of age and is missed very much. With regard to our hen family, we only have Mary, Martha, Olivia and Octavia. (See gallery for photographs). 

Thank you and God bless you all.  Sophia


Master Guild of Dog TrainersAbout Sophia, MGoDT (MT) Member Guild of Dog Trainers (Master Trainer)

Guild Master Dog Trainer (www.godt.org.uk) & KCAI Scheme Member working towards accreditation.

Read Sophia's Book - available now!

As a child I was brought up with dogs, cats and horses and always felt I had an affinity with them.  My father and mother always encouraged my enthusiasm for animals and as I grew up I started to concentrate more on the dogs and the training that could be achieved through food reward and praise like teaching simple tricks and tasks around the home rather than the horses.

Sophia Taylor - Dog Trainer in SuffolkBack then dog training was mainly check chains and formality in the classes I attended and play was not incorporated in the class situation.  We didn’t know any different then.  Thank goodness training has progressed since then and I am delighted that the majority of clubs today now use play as well as food reward and praise to achieve results from the dogs being trained, whether for obedience competitions, gundog trials or agility. 

I had several different work placements sine leaving school and before starting on my dog training journey my main line of work was as the only Qualified Foundation Wear Consultant in Bury St. Edmunds and surrounding counties.  ( Measuring and fitting ladies of all ages with their undergarments).

I met many people from all walks of life from the shy young girl buying her first undergarment to the elderly lady wanting to be fitted with their old fashioned corsets. 

The most rewarding part of my work though had to be the ladies who would come to be via the Hospitals who had undergone surgery for a mastectomy.  I was able to help them feel like a shapely lady again and play a very small part in their re cooperation process.  These ladies had wonderful sense of humours and were a delight to meet and help.

Of course there were also the comedians at Christmas, the young men who were wanting to buy for their girlfriends who would pop in slightly merry as they felt they needed Dutch courage to come into the lingerie department of the store.

However, my heart was always with animals, especially dogs and slowly as time went on I started to help friends to train their own dogs as well as my own, eventually helping me to make the decision to start training other people and their dogs on a one to one and finally starting up the classes.

As of 21st Ocober 2009 I have been accepted as 'Guild Master Dog Trainer'. For further information please go to www.godt.org.uk .

I am a member of the KCAI scheme, working towards accreditation. The full title is ‘the kennel club accreditation scheme for instructors in dog training and canine behaviour’. Click here to find out more: http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/482.

Since starting up ‘On The Scent’ I am meeting some wonderful people and one of them, Teresa, has proven to be a real asset.  We hit it off straight away and discovered we have the same desire ‘to promote responsible dog ownership’ in a fun way. Since we first met Teresa has now gained her certificate in Canine Behaviour and feel that between us we will continue to make a great team.

After appearing in the November 2009 issue off the Suffolk Magazine,  I have been invited as of January 2010  to write a monthly column for them on Dog Training and Behaviour.  I feel extremely lucky and blessed to be given this opportunity to continue to promote responsible dog ownership to the general public.

I feel I would like to mention that for me personally if it wasn’t for my Christian faith my path may have been very different. 

Thank you for visiting the 'on the scent'  website.  We hope you enjoyed its content and will want to tell your friends about us

Visit us again soon!


About Paul, ACAI (Agility Club Approved Instructor)

I started out at 'West Suffolk Aglity Club' where Jacqui Woods trained both Sophia and I to teach the sport.

I have been teaching agility for over five years and thoroughly enjoy the sport.

I have competed at a low level but due to work commitments I have not competed for some time.

Paul, dog agility trainerSpider, my working cocker spaniel, will be competing at his first show in October 2009 with Bethany handling him.

In October 2011 I completed and passed the intense 4 day ‘Agility Instructors’ Course held in Guildford, Surrey and I am delighted to announce that I am now an  ‘Agility Club Approved Instructor’.

Spider is fed on Purina Proplan
Spider is fed on Purina Proplan.


About Sara

SaraI am married with two daughters and live in Bury St Edmunds. I first met Sophia at ‘On The Scent’ when I started obedience classes with our first dog Meg, when she reached 12 months of age we began agility.

In time Sophia asked if I would learn to teach agility and so I became an assistant instructor in agility. Sadly we lost Meg at the age of 5, but just three weeks later we heard of an eight month old Labradoodle needing a new home as his owners couldn’t cope with him, we named him Dylan.

Obedience classes started again and improvement was made and at 12 months agility began. We have also started gundog work after entering him in a local scurry where dummies have to be retrieved from water and on land, he learned very quickly just from watching the other dogs.

Dylan has since been accepted a Pets As Therapy dog and I have now been accepted as a student member of the Guild of Dog Trainers and intend to increase my knowledge further in many aspects of dog training. I am hoping to attend the Agility Club Instructors Training Course in October 2012


About Helen

Helen GoodallMy name is Helen Goodall and I have been a practising Dog Behaviourist since 2000, mainly in the Suffolk area.  I am certificated with the Canine Behaviour Centre. Working with organisations such as RSPCA and Action Aid for Animals, she has successfully rehabilitated and re-homed many dogs needing critical help.  I am a Veterinary Nurse and resident Dog Behaviourist for Haughley and Thurston Veterinary Surgeries. 

I have known Sophia for many years and encourage owners to join Sophia’s agility training as a vital part of a dog’s learning and positive experience process. Agility is a great way to improve a dog’s physical confidence and ability.  Sophia’s outdoor facilities create a calm open environment in which your dog can learn and have fun around other dogs, safely.   

Part of my service is to visit you in your home and work with you, developing a therapy and training programme that is specific to the needs of you and your dog.

During an initial consultation and progressing through hourly follow-up sessions, working with you and your dog on any behavioural problem. I specialises in dog aggression, socialisation, fears and phobias, separation anxiety, body language and the effects of stress.

“It is essential that I help an owner understand why their dog behaves the way they do. Devising specific methods of practical help and guidance enables the owner to feel more confident in situations. They can help their dog listen to them and trust them, rather than responding through fear or protection, for example. I encourage owners to keep in contact between sessions via phone or email, it is important to me that owners can feel supported throughout the process of their dog’s behaviour modification.” 

All behaviour modification therapy programmes devised by me, are based on positive association principles and the influence of positive guidance and leadership.

To learn more about me and my work, visit my website www.dogsbehavingbadly.co.uk For consultations and more information, call me on 01359 241890 or 07788  718852.


About Hannah

Hannah & HenryDogs have been part of my life for many years. I have great memories of playing with our family dog for hours, and became really interested in training dogs when I got my cocker spaniel Henry from a rescue centre.

He needed far more to keep his brain busy than a simple walk, so I started gundog training with Sophia. Training Henry has taught me a huge amount and is a challenge that I really enjoy: he teaches me something new every day, whether I like it or not!

Learning through play has been a great way to train Henry and I think so many dogs could benefit from this approach. Now I hope that I can share some of my experiences, and continue to learn myself.


About Eddie

Hannah & HenryHello my name is Eddie. I have loved and owned dogs for nearly thirty years, including two Black Labradors and a Border Collie, but unfortunately I don't have any dogs of my own at the moment. 

I help Sophia on Fridays and Saturdays with some of the training.  This all came about when my Granddaughter wanted to do agility with her Jack Russell, named Ozzie.  I saw the advert in our Parish Magazine and contacted Sophia.  We came along and did some basic training before starting on the agility.  They both enjoyed their time doing this as it is fun for the dogs as well as being good exercise.

At these sessions I got talking to Sophia about my interest in dogs and dog training and let it slip that I had been heavily involved at another Club a few years ago.  It was while I was at this Club that an opportunity came for me to go on a Day Course with a wonderful lady called Turid Rugaas.  In her native country of Norway she spent many years studying dogs and their body language.  There are many signs and signals that dogs use and most of them are Calming or Conflict Resolving signals.  If you ever have the chance to read anything by Turid grab it with both hands and read!!  It was during these chats that I was "mugged" by Sophia and found myself agreeing to get back into training under her guidance. 

I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive having not instructed for about ten years and the training was very different then.  However, I think I have fitted into Sohpia's ways which are more in line with the way I was thinking when I finished my time at the previous Club.

Instructing now is much more enjoyable because the owners, and more importantly the dogs are having fun at the same time as learning.  I am also having fun and learning new things all the time.


About Rachel

RachelMy interest in all things canine really took off after getting my rescue Sasha 4 years ago.  She had been very badly neglected and needed lots of care to bring her back to physical health.  Training her is fairly easy; being a Rottie she loves her food so is easily motivated.  Her behaviour problems however have been a different story; most are now sorted but by the time I got her at 22 months the emotional and psychological damage was pretty deep routed and even now at 6 her fear and dislike of other dogs too close to her remains a challenge for both of us!

Inspired by Sasha and our journey together, 18 months ago I started a Diploma in Canine Behaviour and Psychology with Compass Education (www.compass-education.co.uk), which I will finish at the end of 2012.  I also enrolled on a Dog Training Instructor course with the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT).  I have finished this course and am awaiting the results.

In addition, I also found Sophia and have been working with her as an instructor ever since.  Her knowledge, experience, enthusiasm and encouragement have been invaluable.  I hope to work alongside Sophia for many more years to come!

I also bring with me 15+ years experience of training in a large Public Sector organisation and have a professional qualification in Training & Development.  The knowledge, skills and experience are easily transferable to the dog training world!

I believe strongly in force and pain free training using positive reinforcement methods.  Although not yet a member of the APDT, I abide by their Code of Practice, which in short is: kind, fair and effective training.  Full details of their Code of Practice can be found on their website at www.apdt.co.uk. I am also a student member of The Pet Professional Guild (www.petprofessionalguild.com) who also believes in force free training philosophies and methodologies.

I love all breeds of dog but my passion is for Rotties (of course!), Boxers, Staffies and all other bull and large breed dogs.  It is in those I am specialising and will be starting classes on Saturday 2nd February 2013 at On the Scent.  Please contact me if you are interested in joining on 07411 364436 or email rachela10@live.co.uk.  Likewise if you have a behavioural problem with your dog or would like a 1-2-1(s) instead of joining a class please also contact me – if I cannot help you, I will know of someone who can. 


About Teresa

Certified in Canine Behaviour and Animal |Learning Theory. Dog Aggression CIDBT. Associate of CFBA (Canine and feline behavioural Association.)

Teresa, of Feisty FidosHaving been brought up around dogs from an early age i have always had a keen interest and understanding of them. I have always been surrounded by animals and developed an interest in horses and riding from an early age which has stayed with me .

I now own three dogs of different breeds who from time to time help me with my work in the rehabilitation of dogs with aggression issues which usually stems from insecurity and fear. They also pick up on local shoots during the season so get to exploit their natural instincts and instils discipline in an extremely distracting environment.

After leaving school i went onto work in a local breeding and boarding kennels where i gained vast experience in dealing with dogs of all types, shapes, sizes and temperaments. Of course dogs in a strange environment can behave differently than they would at home which taught me how to be aware and deal with them sympathetically whilst in our care.. some were not always friendly towards the staff!

After having my family and they became more independent i decided to pick up on my dog-related persuits by attending a course at a local agricultural college and gained a National Certificate in Kennel and cattery management covering, first aid, nutrition, husbandry, business studies, grooming, breeding, showing and training where i achieved a Distinction. Whilst doing this i done work placements at in vets, boarding kennels and rescue kennels which sparked my interest in dogs with behavioural issues.. I then went on to complete an Advanced Award in Canine Behaviour course which covered Canine Developement and Learning theory. Whilst doing this i started to work alongside a local Dog trainer Sophia Taylor of On The Scent gaining vast experience in teaching classes from puppies through to older dogs.

I  have now run my own business Feisty Fidos dealing with more challenging dogs for the past 8 years and have gone onto complete a course with the CFBA Canine and feline Behavioural Association in Dog Aggression which is my speciality. I am now an associate of this organisation as they provide a professional back up to my business and strive to keep ahead of new training techniques in the future.

I currently offer Home Visits, 121 lessons for Rescue Dogs and during the course of the summer months small group training for more challenging dogs or dogs with little or no training. Working as part of a team enables me to  offer more opportunites to clients who's dogs need to move onto intergrating with or around other dogs so they continue to improve, which in turn offers more support to owners who feel their opportunities are limited beacause of their dogs issues.

I can be contacted on 01359 252320 email teresa@feistyfidos.com or www.feistyfidos.com to view my website. I can also be found under members on the CFBA website.


About Sarah

SarahI have grown up surrounded by dogs, from Great Danes to Dachshunds and all sizes in between!

Animals have always played an important part in my life and we are really pleased that our children now get pleasure from our dogs and other pets. My eldest daughter Maisie is now learning from Sophia as she assists in classes and really loves spending time with all the dogs, as well as learning agility with her own dog Chilli.

I work as a dog walker. Whatever the weather there is nothing nicer than walking across fields with a group of dogs. Some dogs I am walking as their owners are at work and some because their owners are unable to walk longer distances or just want their dog to have a fun walk with other dogs.

Sometimes it's short walks or home visits for puppies or one to one walks with dogs who would rather not socialise, but everyday is different and I feel very lucky to meet so many fantastic dogs!

07901 687927


About Maisie

MaisieI have always loved dogs and when I was 7 we got our first family dog, a Miniature Schnauzer. For my 14th birthday I was allowed my own Spanish Water Dog, Chilli.

I’ve been coming to On The Scent since Chilli had her vaccinations and we’re still here a year later! Training her made me realise how much I love handling dogs!

I love helping out at On The Scent and am learning from Sophia how to be a dog trainer. Since Chilli turned one, we have also started doing agility together.

Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!

  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
  • Sophia & Paul's Dogs, and other animals!
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