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Earlier this year, Gwen took the plunge, and left Blue Cross to 'go it alone'

Following the success of The Perfect Puppy, Gwen wanted to find a way to make sure that as many puppies as possible get a good start in life

- and so the Puppy School was born.

The Perfect Puppy

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Article in: Dogs Today (Dec 2002/Jan 2003)
Gwen Bailey & puppies learning to be perfect!
School rules!

Have you ever wished that Gwen Bailey could personally teach you how to have the Perfect Puppy?
Well, thanks to a new puppy training franchise now your wishes can come true...

Carolyn Menteith

Anybody with a good collection of dog books will surely own a copy of The Perfect Puppy.

Of all the books written about raising a puppy - from the very first day you bring him home, through adolescence, to finally ending up with a well-mannered member of canine society - this is the best. It is well written and packed with great pictures that make every step simple to follow.

That The Perfect Puppy is such a great book is really no surprise when you discover it was written by Gwen Bailey - someone with the ideal credentials to advise anyone on how to bring up the perfect pup.

Carolyn Menteith
is Dogs Today's roving reporter & a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the International Society of Anthrozoology. She is often accompanied by her Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Digby

Up until recently, Gwen was the head of behaviour at The Blue Cross, and achieved so much during the 14 years she was there - but The Blue Cross wasn't the start of Gwen's doggie story.

As a child, Gwen's family always had pets, and she describes herself as being a 'real animal child'. She especially loved dogs, and spent all her spare time working in a boarding and breeding kennels. She started there when she was 12, and stayed until she was 16. Looking back, Gwen realises that the kennels were not very well run and were really quite dubious, but, at the time, she loved it.

At the kennels, Gwen learnt a great deal about dogs and their behaviour.
Many times, she was left in charge, and had to introduce new dogs to the existing pack. She began to find she could anticipate where problems were going to occur and what dogs would get on with others.

With the fearlessness & confidence of youth, Gwen would handle the scariest of dogs without incident, and, by the time she left school, she was hooked.

Knowing she wanted to work with animals, Gwen went to Reading University to study zoology, but, after university, she wasn't sure what to do next.
In her indecision, she went into publishing, and worked on scientific publications for Oxford University Press. She stayed there for three years, but knew this wasn't where she wanted to be.

Then The Blue Cross opened its new centre and head offices at Burford, Oxfordshire. Taking a substantial salary cut, Gwen went to work for them as an information officer.

She found herself giving advice to new owners about looking after their rescue dog or cat, because, at the time, animals were rehomed without much in the way of support. Gwen could see there was a need to remedy that, and so started writing information leaflets.

New owners had far more questions about dog behaviour and training than anything else - and so she started to research the subject, with the aim of making the dog leaflet more comprehensive. To learn more about dogs and their behaviour, she spent time with behaviourist John Rogerson.

All her work, research, and hands-on experience turned into the best-selling book The Perfect Puppy.

With all this knowledge and skill, Gwen started to help dogs with behaviour problems, and, within two years, The Blue Cross realised that its information officer was doing far more than just giving information.

Recognising Gwen's potential, the charity appointed her as a full-time behaviourist - the first within a rescue organisation.

With Gwen providing behavioural advice and making sure that the dogs and puppies were well socialised, The Blue Cross quickly found that dogs who had been rehomed were less likely to be returned.

As the only behaviourist at the charity, Gwen found she was flying up and down the country to Blue Cross centres to deal with tall the behaviour cases, and so she was given an assistant.

Then Gwen had the idea of training someone in each centre to deal with the more minor problems, freeing her up to deal with the more serious cases. This was highly successful and this model has since been copied at other rescue organisations.

Gwen now had a large team to manage, and was formally appointed as head of behaviour.

There followed many years of work at The Blue Cross where Gwen constantly pushed for, and achieved, better ideas and practices, trained many staff to deal with problems within their own centres, gave talks and lectures all over the world, saw behaviour cases, and generally became internationally known and respected.

Her achievements at The Blue Cross had been revolutionary - but Gwen finally decided it was time to move on to a fresh challenge.

Puppy School training classes making the video

Earlier this year, Gwen took the plunge, and left The Blue Cross to
'go it alone'.

Following the success of The Perfect Puppy, Gwen wanted to find a way to make sure that as many puppies as possible get a good start in life - and so the Puppy School was born.

Go to Puppy School!

The idea behind Puppy School is that Gwen will train people to run puppy classes.

These people will be handpicked by Gwen to take on a Puppy School franchise in their area, and will be personally trained by her. They will be given a tried-and-tested format to follow within their own classes, and, if they run into problems Gwen will always be on hand.

Anybody who enrols on a Puppy School - no matter where it is based - will be following the same programme.

Gwen has also made a video to go with the Puppy School training programme so that owners can have a constant source of easy-to-follow reference to help them make sure they get it right.

The first group of Puppy School franchisees finishes its training in January 2003, so, at the beginning of next year, watch out for a Puppy School coming to a venue near you.

The idea is simple but it could change the lives of so many puppies and owners.

To find out more about Puppy School, write to Gwen Bailey, PO Box 186, OX7 3GX
Email, or visit the Puppy School website.

Also see Gwen Bailey's article on Ingredients for the Perfect Puppy & Gwen's book The Perfect Puppy

Click on a picture to learn more ->
Click on a picture to learn more ->
Training for Life - Puppy/Dog Training Classes in a box!
The Rescue Dog/ Adopt the Perfect Dog by Gwen Bailey
The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey
What is my dog thinking? by Gwen Bailey
What is my cat thinking? by Gwen Bailey
Good Dog Behaviour/The Well Behaved Dog by Gwen Bailey
The Puppy Handbook/ The Ideal Puppy by Gwen Bailey