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Smiles Dog Training















Sarah works by observing each dogs behaviour – as understanding it fully is essential. She then responds to its nature and any dog behaviour issues it is showing. As is typical of most dog behaviourists Sarah travels and works one on one with the owner in the home. Though in exceptional cases where the dog behaviour dictates, the training may take place at her Hampshire base.

As with all dog behaviourists communication, observation and understanding are the keys to good dog behaviour. It is the owner’s responsibility to learn what their dog is “saying” and why. All dog behaviour training is based on co-operation between human and animal. The dog must have confidence in their owner, the owner must have confidence in their dog and the animal must have confidence in itself. This is confidence is achieved by understanding, communication and observation.

Dog communication refers to body movements and sounds dogs use to send signals to other dogs, animals and humans. Dog communication comes in a variety of forms, and is part of the foundation of dog social behavior. Dogs use certain movements of their bodies and body parts and different vocalizations to express their emotions. There are a number of basic ways a dog can communicate its feelings. These are movements of the ears, eyes, eyebrows, mouth, head, tail, and entire body, as well as barks, growls, whines and whimpers, and howls.

Humans however communicate differently. Our main form of communication is the voice. The timbre, tone and volume the voice conveys many different messages to the dogs. This has to be managed with great care and used in the minimum. Our body language is our strongest form of communication.  Our eyes can be used to praise or halt an action and the body to signal your requirements or to block undesired behaviour. Our voice should be used as little as possible and when used it should be low pitched and quiet.

Dogs watch us constantly for the small subtle movements which signal their next move. We have to train ourselves to use our bodies, eyes and hands to communicate, rather than our voice. The gentle brush of one’s hand on the dog’s head should be regarded as a reward. As well as training the dog, Sarah also helps owners to carry on the good work themselves and to understand their dog’s needs.

The domesticated dog has evolved over many years and, of all animals, is the only one that wants to be of service to humans. Indeed there are numerous occasions on record of dogs saving humans, using their own initiative. No other animal has the will – or wish – to help and serve us.

Courses run throughout the year contact Sarah for more details or to find out more services.

For other useful links to friends of Smiles Dog Training please visit our Links page.


About Sarah Miles

Hampshire dog trainer and dog behaviourist.Owner of Meonvalley gundogs.


Sarah grew up in the country surrounded by dogs, horses and the normal child’s menagerie of small animals, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits and hamsters.


Initially, she worked as a horse trainer and riding instructor in West Sussex, Surrey and Oxfordshire - becoming an instructor for Riding for the Disabled in Turville Heath, near Henley. She later ran a riding school and polo yard again always with a dog or two at her side.


A chance meeting on a train resulted in her landing a job as an administrator for an Australian stockbroking firm in the City, where she quickly progressed to a fully-fledged trader. Even when commuting and living in London Sarah always had a dog at her side, indeed it was a condition of her employment that her dog came to work with her.


At the start of the new millennium, her enduring love of dogs drew her back to working and training dogs full time from her Hampshire home.


She has trained dogs across the South East of England i.e. Hampshire, Wiltshire, West Sussex, Dorset, Devon, Surrey and London gaining an enviable reputation for her highly-effective techniques.


She currently has 10 dogs of her own, with whom she competes and works successfully.

What is a dog behaviourist?

A dog behaviourist studies dog behaviour, and works towards modifying and managing the behaviour of particular dogs, with emphasis on problems such as aggression, separation anxiety, fears, timidity, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive dog behaviours. read more...

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