What we do

Providing your dog with loving care, training and the best stimulating dog walks and enrichment services possible.
Kate only uses force free, reward based methods and has successfully completed the Instructor Training Programme with WaggaWuffins Canine College gaining a Distinction 95%

Our Services

Each service starts with a complimentary  ‘meet and greet’ so that we can get to know you and your dog’s needs and find the right combination of walks, training or activities that will help keep your dog busy and entertained.

Enrichment Walks

Enrichment Walks are packed with fun training games and activities led by an experienced and qualified dog professional, exercising your dog both physically and mentally to really tire them out for the day.


Brain Games

Mental stimulation is just as rewarding to a dog as physical exercise and our individualised enrichment sessions will keep your dog’s mind occupied with fun tricks, clicker training, brain games, interactive food puzzles and scent work.

Enrichment Walks

Even just one, walk a day when done by a professional who knows how to keep your dog mentally exercised while doing the physical exercise can be the difference between a bored dog who acts out at home and one who relaxes more and demonstrates good impulse control behaviours.
A Sniff & Wagg Enrichment walk ensures that your dog is mentally exercised along with the physical.

What makes us different?

Does your dog return from its walk full of energy and still ready for more?

Most people think dogs only need physical exercise, but that’s only about 40% of your dog’s energy expenditure. What actually causes your dogs to sleep for longer is proper mental exercise.

We take a bit of extra time to work with your dog on a walk, this means your dog has to concentrate more, focus on us, and filter out all the distractions around them. All this added concentration costs your dog energy. Simply put—the more we ask your dog to think, the more energy they will burn.



It is not necessarily about walking further, it is about walking smarter.  A mentally stimulated and tired dog is much more likely to relax comfortably and act-out less than a physically exhausted dog.

Adrenalin is a stress hormone and it is released when dogs are involved in Strenuous exercise.

Sniffing games and moderate exercise activate something called the Seeking System part of the brain.  It’s a part of the brain that is also responsible for the release of Dopamine.  Dopamine increases feelings of motivation and reward and is related to enhanced memory.  Dopamine feels good.  



We play lots of fun nose games.
There are lots of amazing adventures a dog can have through their nose, from searching for toys or treats hidden in leaves and long grass to ‘cheese trees’ or ‘cheese walls’ and even ‘tuna tracking’.

Does your dog have a talent for jumping (up on people)?

Then your dog will love our Parkour and low level agility sessions! – Practicing low impact behaviours on different natural obstacles in the environment.

What your dog doesn’t know is that we are secretly teaching them to only do it on command from now on.

 



Do you worry when letting your dog off lead that it won’t come back to you?

We build fun proximity games into each and every one of our walks. These games teach your dog that being close to the handler is a fun place to be and that place is where they want to be and feel safe.
We will also periodically call/whistle your dog back to us and reward for good response and recall.

Name response. At random moments during a walk, we call your dog’s name. If they stop to look at us, we reward the dog’s good response skills.

We play Hide and Seek Games. A fun game to play outdoors in the woods and it also helps to strengthen recall in different areas.



During our walks we will stop to take a moment to work on your dog’s basic obedience skills like a sit and wait or a down. We will reward good response with their favourite game, tennis ball,  game of tug or by playing a game of ‘sprinkles’ where we throw treats into long grass for them to find using their olfactory skills.

Although insured to walk 6 dogs, we keep our group size small and when possible keep to a maximum of 4 dogs per walk to ensure your dog receives lots of individual attention.

We take a mindful and positive approach to dog training using only kind, force-free methods. Positive reinforcement dog training is a modern, science-based approach which uses the principles of behavioural science to teach and communicate with dogs.



After the enrichment walk is over your dog will be dropped at home with a tasty Kong, helping to keep them occupied for longer.

Who are Group Enrichment Walks for?

  • Dogs who can safely and reliably be let off their lead
  • Dogs who are comfortable and friendly around other dogs
  • Dogs who can commit to at least one fixed day per week

How can my dog become a member of the Sniff & Wagg Family?
After a complimentary initial ‘meet and greet’, all dogs joining will be required to complete a solo walk. This enables me to get to know your dog better and find out what motivates them so that we can assess which type of walk will be most suitable and then integrate them safely. More solo walks may be necessary before joining the group and this will be assessed on an individual basis.
Solo walks are charged at £20 per walk for 1 dog or £30 per walk for two dogs from the same family.
Once the solo walk is completed, and all has gone satisfactory, your dog will be ready to meet their new friends and join in the fun on our enrichment walks.

Canine Enrichment Sessions

Living in a home environment most dogs have the opportunity for regular walks. However, there’s an equally important body part that needs to be exercised: your dog’s brain. Even with the best intentions, our modern busy lifestyles mean we do not provide the level of mental stimulation that dogs need.

While many behavioral problems stem from boredom the answer isn’t always add more exercise. Many times just adding 30 minutes of training or interactive play can be more beneficial than hours of physical exercise.

Each individualised session is designed to give your dog a mental workout and to have some fun, from learning new tricks, playing brain games, completing interactive food puzzles or playing scent games.

 

During our sessions we train your dog to use their nose to search for a scent
Games that incorporate nose work encourage a dog to tap into their senses in a new and challenging way. Playing scent games is an outlet for dogs natural behaviour that leads to something rewarding.

One of the best things about teaching a dog some basic nose work is that  theyre never too young or old to learn; it’s a great activity for any dog



 

 

Have you heard of the saying “use it or lose it” ?

Just like humans, memory and learning ability tend to decline with age. The good news is that brain games help reduce some age-related brain changes, so activities that demand mental problem solving aren’t only fun, they are also good for the mind.

 

 

 

Thinking of enrichment as not something ‘extra’ we provide for our dogs but as a necessary part of their mental health, reduces problem behaviours and improves dog quality of life.


 

 

Playing shaping games with the clicker (or praise word/food reward) encourages your dog to think creatively and try new things. Dogs of all ages can benefit from this gentle, stress free way of teaching games. And as physical contact with the dog is not necessary it is also great for nervous or anxious dogs.

Puppy Visits
Enrichment sessions are perfect for puppies under 6 months of age.
Exercise at this young age needs to be limited so as not to cause any detrimental damage to their bone development and in particular their growth plates.

A professional input into your puppies early learning experiences, I will work on teaching manners and self-control. Your puppy will learn:
Food manners
Not to jump up
Sit, down, wait
To settle and relax
To come when called.

We will build your puppy’s confidence by laying out a small course in the safety of your own home or garden your puppy will experience different surfaces, textures and enrichment toys.

Your puppy will be introduced to some scent work and learn to search for a specific scent.

During the visits any basic feeding,  training or toileting routines you have started can be reinforced to keep consistency.

Safe travel protocol

As professionals in animal care you won’t be surprised to know that your dogs safety is paramount and dogs travelling with us do so in total comfort. Our van contains purpose built and professionally fitted pet transportation cages for each dog, with at least two entry and exit doors per cage and the floor is entirely covered in rubber matting for easy cleaning.
Although insured to walk 6 dogs, numbers when possible are limited to a maximum of 4 dogs.

For those warm days we have air conditioning and dog cooling mats for each cage. Water is always carried as standard.

Kate is first aid trained and always carries a canine first aid kit.

About us

Kate Sykes Cert. TPTD (Certificate in Teaching People and Training Dogs)

I have spent all my life owning or working with dogs and  spent over 13 years working for Guide Dogs UK where I gained a City & Guilds level qualification. This included Distinctions in dog handling, body language, canine learning theory, dog care, anatomy and physiology of dogs and veterinary knowledge.
I gained experience of working not only with the dogs in training but also spent time working in the hospital block,  where I regularly cared for dogs recovering from operations and those needing specialist care such as diabetes and epilepsy.

I continued to update my skills and knowledge and I am a qualified dog training instructor having successfully completed the Instructor Training Programme with WaggaWuffins Canine College with Distinction (95%).

Credentials and Experience

  • The Practical Application of Teaching People and Training Dogs
    Wagga-Wuffins Endorsed Instructor Training Programme
  • Certified to provide Canine First Aid & CPR by Rachel Bean RVN MCFBA – updated July 2019
  • City&Guilds (Ofqual recognised) Dog Welfare and Kennel Management
  • Diploma in Animal Care from Myerscough College
  • Introduction to nosework – Fenzi Dog Sports Academy
  • Nosework Games – Fenzi Dog Sports Academy

Licensed and insured

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checked

Kate has also completed a ‘Build your Dog’s Confidence with TTouch’ course.
Tellington Touch is a gentle approach to the care and training of animals based on co-operation and respect. It uses a combination of specific touches, lifts, and movement exercises which helps to release tension and increase body awareness. It also helps establish a deeper rapport between humans and animals through increased understanding and more effective communication.

Current studies:

Kate does her best to keep herself up-to-date on the latest studies and is committed to expanding her knowledge about dogs.

Scent work Enrichment – Canine Principles Accredited Certificate Course