About

Emma Phillips (MSc, BSc, UKCSD, WSDA, CHW, UKA Judge, WSDA Level 1 Judge) - Behaviour and Training Coach

(Yes this is how you study for a masters degree as a dog trainer!)

Paw by Paw Training in Dorchester is owned and run by Emma Phillips. Emma has been training dogs for nine years, pursues an extremely active programme of continued professional development, both theoretically, as demonstrated by her undertaking in September 2024 a PhD in Animal Science at the University of Newcastle, and practically, demonstrated by her commitment to training her dogs professionally at least three times a week. 

Emma currently holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Reading in Zoology, with a specialisation in animal behaviour, a masters degree from the University of Edinburgh in Clinical Animal Behaviour, a tracking instructor qualification from the UK College of Scent Detection (UKCSD) and is a level 1 Canine Hoopers World Instructor. Emma is canine first aid trained. 

Emma specialises in serious problem behaviours, particularly aggression. Her life with her own dogs has given her first-hand experience of how challenging it can be to live with a dog who has these problems so she is passionate about helping her clients through this. Emma addresses these issues in one to one sessions, working closely to support both owner and dog with whatever they need, as well as through her incredibly popular Reactive Rovers classes designed to help dog reactive dogs and introduce them to a class environment. 

It is Emma’s job to coach you to becoming the best behaviourist or trainer your dog needs you to be. The goal of any work you do with her is that you leave the service able to deal with any issues that your dog may throw your way. This means that you need not rely on her services for every new weird or wonderful behaviour your dog performs. You’ll have the necessary knowledge to deal with it by yourself. 

Awards

The Paw by Paw Team have been awarded the following awards: 

  • Pet Training Service of the Year for the South West of England in 2020 from the Prestige Awards
  • Pet Training Service of the Year for the South West of England in 2021 from the Prestige Awards (2 years running!) 
  • Pet Training Service of the Year for the South West of England in 2022 from the Prestige Awards (3 years running!!!)
  • Pet Training Specialist of the Year in 2024 from the Prestige Awards
  • Independent Dog Trainer & Behaviourist of the Year 2023 by the Education & Training Awards by Corporate Vision

Pumba - Call Me Mr Pig (NTD, ITD, ATD, ETD, vRL1-Ex)

Pumba is a ten year old Patterdale terrier who has been with Emma since eight weeks old. He’s been a very challenging dog to work with as he has incredibly strong prey drive which means getting his attention out and about in the countryside has been a challenge at times! Due to bad experiences he has also been afraid of children and men in the past but you would hardly notice this now. 

Pumba is the reason Emma is so passionate about remedial life skills training as she recognises how much loose lead walking and training a solid recall have improved their day to day lives. Upon leaving the house or a training hall Pumba used to pretty much pay absolutely no attention to Emma no matter what she tried, what treats she had or how exciting she was! They’ve done extensive behaviour modification in the form of counterconditioning, desensitisation and shaping to help him overcome his fear of children and men. For fun Emma and Pumba train and compete in  trick training, parkour, tracking, rally, obedience. He is now retired from training agility due to not enjoying it as much as other sports. His show name is Call Me Mr Pig (hopefully some Lion King fans get the reference!). He currently has his Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert Trick Dog (one of three Patterdales in the world to have this title! (as of February 2021) titles, RallyOnline Level 1 Excellent title and the first leg (out of three) towards his RallyOnline Level 2 Excellent title. 

Pumba suffers from a long term skin condition which means he needs regular medication in the form of an injection. In order to minimise the stress of these injections Emma has worked really hard to make the vets not only a fun place to be but to make injections as pleasant an experience as possible. Pumba is now able to have injections without any restraint or force whatsoever and as a result absolutely loves his monthly vet visits! 

Pumba’s 2023 competing season for obedience includes coming 4th in the Introductory class twice in July! Pumba’s 2024 obedience competitions resulted in a 4th place in every Introductory class we competed and a Best Training Round award at every BCOS show we attended. 

Timon - Timmy Choos (NTD, ITD, ATD)

TimonWebsite

Timon is Pumba’s brother from the same litter. He is also a challenging dog but in very different ways from Pumba. Timon’s prey drive is much less extreme, therefore being easier to own day to day and simply take for a walk. However, he goes 0-100 in a blink which has been a challenge to learn to channel and control appropriately, especially when he just wants to go crazy! Anything overexciting leads to him jumping up (he can reach Emma’s face!) and snapping his mouth. He does not intend to bite but he can occasionally catch you in the process and it’s a little painful! After lots of hard work this is much less of an issue but the journey fixing it taught both Emma and Timon more than any textbook ever could. 

As a team, Timon and Emma have struggled as soon as external pressure is placed onto training so their activities have mainly focused on just having fun together. Despite this, Timon has his Novice, Intermediate and Advanced trick dog titles. Timon is trying his paw at rally with Emma’s mum, Susan, and has his first leg (out of five) towards his RallyOnline Level 1 title. 

Timon is absolutely petrified of the vets and this is something Emma has been working on with him for a few years. They’ve worked on consensual handling at home and desensitisation to the vet practice which scent work has helped hugely. Timon has come on leaps and bounds, previously he would scream upon being driven into the car park. He’s now at a stage where he can do scent work in the car park by the practice happily, enter the practice and do some tricks on pieces of equipment such as the scales and examination table, although he’s still very worried as soon as a vet comes near him which is still a work in progress. Going to the vets with your dog when they are ill or in pain is bad enough even when your dog doesn’t mind the vets too much so Emma is passionate about turning the vets into an experience Timon can tolerate if not enjoy. 

Sonic - Trerethern Blue Indigo

Sonic is a nearly two year old Australian Shepherd she was Emma’s present to herself for completing her masters degree. Sonic is a wonderfully social and happy young lady who is currently focusing on just learning about the world and becoming the best version of herself. She has started the foundation training for competitive agility and obedience. Sonic is making her debut in kennel club obedience rings this summer and hopefully her first kennel club agility show will be in November! 

Julia Tonner (IMDT) - Training Coach

Julia is an IMDT qualified trainer who has over nine years of experience working with dogs. She currently trains her dogs, Yoda and Frodo, in agility, obedience, rally, as well as working on the life skills necessary for them to be her perfect canine companions. She has recently welcomed new puppy, Ruby, who is learning the foundations necessary for daily life and is hopefully a new competition dog should she take to it!

Alongside her full time job, Julia has been volunteering to help at classes in Hampshire, Scotland and Dorset and has been helping out at Paw by Paw Training since August 2018. In addition to working full time and helping out at classes Julia pursues an extensive range of continued professional development including an Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma with The British College of Canine Studies and Puppy Lab with The School of Canine Science. Julia is canine first aid trained.

Julia is a wonderful coach who easily adapts to the client in front of her (both dog and human) and can come up with sensitive, creative solutions to any problem placed in front of her.

Shannon Rodway (BSc, NAVP) - Veterinary Physiotherapist

Shannon owns SR Veterinary Physiotherapy and is a veterinary physiotherapist who treats both Emma and Julia’s dogs. Having seen how fantastic Shannon is with nervous dogs (remember Timon is petrified of anyone who acts like a vet!), Emma and Shannon started working together on cases where Emma felt the patient would benefit from physio treatment. Shannon has joined the team for our popular Reactive Rovers classes to highlight any areas where dogs may be in pain as pain is so closely linked to aggression and reactivity. In addition, one to one clients are often referred to Shannon. 

You can find out more about Shannon HERE

Values

Mission

Our trainers are devoted to making your life with your dog easier, whatever that may mean for you. Our mission is to help you sculpt the life with your dog you envisioned when you brought them home. 

Vision

Our trainers envision you enjoying training so much and having all of your day to day training or behaviour needs met that you continue to train your dog past what you need purely because you both enjoy the experience that much!