An Introduction to me Kiri Downes

DipCAPT Level 5, APDT No 00937, CBATI Instructor, VSPDT Instructor, Dog Yoga Instructor, Scent Work Level 4 (Pam MacKinnon), Herbal Pharmacology.

I have always adored animals, always the child with the rabbits & guinea pigs. The little girl that would cycle everywhere with her rabbit Dandelion in the front basket on her bicycle to seek out fresh dandelions for him to munch.

My love for horses was enormous & I spent hours at a local yard in Needham
Market, Suffolk taking care of Dawn the Donkey & Susie the White Grey Pony affectionately known as Dudie.

We had dogs too.  Jasper the Dalmation bred for his looks rather than his brain.  Gypsy, a street dog that we managed to rescue from death row after much pleading with our parents.  Gypsy was an absolutely fabulous dog who put up with 8 kids and their sometimes outrageous behaviour!  Then we had darling Tess, from a rescue centre, a real poppet.

a picture of kiri downes holding a dog

My Story....

At the age of 21 I started working at ‘Pets & Gardens’ in Haslemere, Surrey. I worked here for 4 glorious years.

In 1996 I started Petwatch – taking care of your Pets when you can’t.

I started part time at Brinsbury Agricultural College in September 1996 studying Dog Grooming every Tuesday & staying on in the evening to study my first Canine Management course tutored by Harry Carter.

This was the beginning of years of study in to Canine Behaviour & Training with the very best of teachers within the modern & forward thinking professional canine & animal world.

I began assisting in classes with C C Guard in Midhurst in 2002 & also joined in with Puck my Duck Tolling Retriever.

I went on introductory courses with the APDT and it was through the APDT that I learnt about COAPE (Centre of Applied Pet Ethology) tutored by Professor Peter Neville, Sarah Whitehead, Val Strong & Robert Falconer.

I feel honoured to be part of such a forward thinking group of Animal Behaviour Consultants. I have worked through COAPE's education courses & am a Level 5 COAPE Practitioner & Trainer.

I have been assessed by the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers). I have met a high standard of teaching skills and a strong understanding of how dogs learn.

I am a CBATI – Certified Behaviour Adjustment Training Instructor – qualifying under stringent & multiple tasks. Grisha Stewart is the founder of BAT and is an amazing inspiration to the modern forward thinking Science based dog training & animal world.

I am also proud to have worked with Sarah Whitehead at ‘The Clever Dog Company’ based in Windsor & I have recently been assessed to become a member of Victoria Stilwell's Training Team (VSPDT) which I am very proud of.

I am a Dog Yoga Instructor taught by the lovely & very talented Jo-Rosie Haffenden who is part of the Canine Science Team with Nando Brown.

I am a volunteer Trainer for the charity 'Dog Aid'. Supporting and training client's and their dogs to assist in day to day tasks and challenges. I am very proud to be part of Dog Aid.

All the training and behaviour work that I do is based on Positive and choice based learning. Teaching puppies, dogs & rescue dogs how to relax & learn, modifying tricky unwanted behaviours & re - establishing a balanced equilibrium between handler & hound.

No Positive Punishment and no intimidation or force.  Sometimes we allow the environment to reinforce, sometimes we allow the trigger to be the reinforcer, sometimes we the teacher reinforce, sometimes we use a training marker and sometimes we do not. The reinforcer is what the dog desires in that moment and this will commonly change depending on mood state and environment.

Much of my work now is 1-1, bespoke to individual needs. I am happy to run classes/workshops at a client’s request. Every dog is different & every handler is different — I take pride in my ability to adapt to an individual's need, breed specifics & owners realistic goals.

I have worked tirelessly over the years to excel at my job and I am very proud of my achievements thus far.  Dogs are my passion, and to understand how they learn and how I can help them when they need it, takes years of dedication to education.


  • Canine Management at Brinsbury College

  • Dog Grooming at Brinsbury College

  • Think Dog! - COAPE

  • Think Dog Advanced! - COAPE

  • Think Dog Practical Course

  • Training for the future - an intermediate Award in Puppy Class Instruction - Sarah Whitehead at COAPE

  • Advanced Diploma in Practical Aspects of Companion Animal Behaviour & Training - DipCABT - COAPE Level 5

  • COAPE Practitioner

  • COAPE Practitioner & Trainer - Level 5

  • Advanced Pharmacology - COAPE

  • APDT Instructor No 00937

  • Clicker Certification - CAP 1 & CAP 2 Distinction - Kay Lawrence at Wagmore Barn

  • Canine Diploma in Applied Zoopharmacognosy - Caroline Ingraham

  • Agility Instructors Level 1 & Level 2 advanced - Diamond Dogs

  • CBATI Certified Behaviour Adjustment Training Instructor - Grisha Stewart

  • VSPDT - Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training - Assessed Trainer


I have attended Seminars including: Jean Donaldson, Dr Ian Dunbar, Lisa Clifton Bumpass-Biology of Aggression; Kay Lawrence Puppy Seminar;  Clicker Expo; Woof Conference; Puppy Culture- Jane Killion; The Bite Conference hosted by Victoria Stilwell; APBC Conference — the list goes on & on...

New concepts, theories & handling techniques are often changing and developing.  I never stop learning. "Knowledge is power"

And finally....

I saw this image on Facebook a while ago and I would very much like to share it as it does perfectly sum up my philosophy and ethos towards animal behaviour and training.

If you would like to more about me and my methods please do get in touch...

an image summing up Kiri's phiilosophy


I am very proud to belong to these organisations and to support and work with Charities such as Dog Aid.

Ready to find out more?

Get in touch to book an appointment!

Find Us

We operate from two locations:

Kingsholme. Scotland Lane. Haslemere. Surrey. GU27 3AB

Diggaport House, Pigs Leg Lane, Bridestowe, Devon
EX20 4ER


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07771 637016


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