What we do

A professional dog walker, approved dog trainer and canine enrichment specialist, Kate only uses force free, reward based methods and has successfully completed the Instructor Training Programme with WaggaWuffins Canine College with Distinction

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.
For dogs from approximately 8 months and older


Enrichment Visit

Mental stimulation is just as rewarding to a dog as physical exercise and our individualised enrichment sessions will keep your dog’s brain active and healthy and also give them some nice gentle exercise.
Ideal for a growing puppy or your older dog.

Words cannot express how grateful and happy we are to have such a warm caring person to look after Phoebe.

Thank you so much for the love, support and care you show to both Phoebe and us both. We love the photos and videos showing what a fun-filled time she has when she’s with you, plus her four-legged friends of course. Phoebe is always happy, safe and well cared for, nothing seems too much trouble for Kate and we would not hesitate to recommend her services to anyone.
David & Brenda

I feel at ease knowing my dog is in such loving and respectful hands.

I researched Sth Cumbria & Nth Lancashire for many months for a doggie daycare facility but found a unique 1:1 training, dog walking & dog minding company with Kate from Sniff and Wagg. Kate helped with some early puppy training techniques, through to group walks. The integration into group walks was done with such thought and care. Kate has always been flexible to specific areas of training as a ‘top-up’ or with techniques that need deeper integration. My dog always returns happy and pleasantly tired after spending a stimulating and safe time with Kate and other dogs.
Tarsha, South Cumbria, 12/5/20

 

Kate is extremely knowledgeable, trustworthy and Ted thoroughly enjoys his time with her and the other dogs

From the minute we brought our new puppy home; Kate was at the end of the phone offering help and support, providing us with vital information as to how best to care for him.  She came round within the first week to introduce herself to him so that he could start to form a relationship with her and before he was 12 weeks old, she had started to train some basic commands.  We had 1-1 training sessions for him within the first 6 months, where Kate would come 2 or 3 times a week.  As he started to get older we could introduce Kate’s enrichment sessions.  Ted is coming up to 12 months old now and he still sees Kate on a weekly basis for group and enrichment walks, which he thoroughly enjoys. 

Kate is an amazing lady who not only is great at understanding what dogs need but also great at treating dogs as individuals.

Wilf adores being with Kate on his enrichment walks. It gives us peace of mind that Wilf is part of Kate’s family. I cannot recommend Kate highly enough. Kate is truly a special person with amazing skills when it comes to dogs.

Kate is amazing, our girls love her & can’t wait to out with the gang.

Enrichment Walks

Our small group enrichment walks are not your standard dog walk they are packed with fun games, scentwork and activities led by Kate Cert. WCC ADTI, an experienced and qualified dog professional. Exercising your dog both physically and mentally to help you have dog who relaxes more and demonstrates good impulse control behaviours.

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.

Let the Sniff-Ventures begin…..

Physical exercise makes up only about 40% of your dog’s energy expenditure. What actually causes your dogs to sleep for longer is proper mental exercise.

I take a bit of extra time to work with your dog on a walk and provide them with challenges, this means your dog has to concentrate more, focus on me, and filter out all the distractions around them. All this added concentration costs your dog energy. So the more I 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.  Simply put – dopamine makes your dog feel good.  

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



We love to slow down and to stop and play lots of fun scentwork games.

There are lots of amazing adventures a dog can have through their nose, from searching for catnip scented toys, small treats or tennis balls hidden in Autumn leaves or long grass to ‘cheese trees’ or ‘sausage walls’ and even ‘tuna tracking’.

Your dog will love our Parkour and low level agility sessions! – Practicing low impact behaviours on different natural obstacles in the environment. So when we see a tree in the environment or a bench or a log, we incorporate these into some trick training.
Its a great confidence booster and helps the dogs to get incredibly fit and also  helps to build their relationship with me.



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

I use my knowledge and skills as a dog trainer and build fun training games into each and every one of our walks. These games motivate your dog to listen and teach them to stay connected even when presented with all the other exciting distractions in the environment.

Name response. At random moments during a walk, I call your dog’s name. If they stop to look at me, they get rewarded for good listening and response skills.

I love to play Hide and Seek Games, It’s a fun game to play outdoors in the woods and it also helps to strengthen your dogs recall skills.





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

Mental stimulation is just as rewarding to a dog as physical exercise and our individualised enrichment sessions will keep your dog’s brain active and healthy and also give them some nice gentle exercise.

I will come to your house and set up an enriched environment or a confidence building course either inside or outside in your garden. Your dog will be provided with a variety of different surfaces to walk over and different scents, tastes and novel items to explore freely.

Alongside this we also have the option to do scent work, explore interactive food puzzles or play some fun training 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.



 

 

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.

 


Playing shaping games 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.

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.

As your puppy grows, we will start to combine the enrichment visit and extend it to add a short walk locally until they are old enough to join a group walk.

Safe travel protocol

As a professional in animal care, you won’t be surprised to know that your dogs safety is paramount and dogs travelling with me do so in total comfort. My 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 Me

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

I have 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:

I am committed to expanding my knowledge of dogs and endeavour to keep myself up-to-date on the latest studies.

  • The School of Canine Science – Scent for 6
  • Scent work Enrichment – Canine Principles Accredited Certificate Course