Train with Sarah Whitehead

Walking Nicely on the Lead 

One-day focused practical session


Quite often, it’s not the complex theoretical issues that cause us and our clients the most trouble - sometimes it’s the every-day basics!


Take walking nicely on the lead, for example.


I'm sure you already train walking nicely on the lead using positive methods, but if we are honest, it often doesn't work very well.  


Clients often struggle to:   

  • 1.

    Even get started, especially if their dog is a strong puller.

  • 2.

    Practise the exercise correctly, even with help.

  • 3.

    Practise when going solo – in fact, most of them don't practise at all!

Sarah has once again revolutionised the training landscape with her own method which is far more effective, and although some of the techniques are familiar, there are some aspects that aren't. And these make all the difference.


Until now, Sarah has only taught this method as part of the two-day ThinkDog Practical course. (That means that if you attended the Practical a while ago, you won’t have had the opportunity to try out this new way of doing things.) 


However, in 2018, Sarah Whitehead and Stella Bagshaw are going to run a ONE DAY practical session 

with a single focus:


Walking nicely on the lead

(And…as a bonus… Sarah will also cover her new ideas 

on training dogs not to jump up).


If you've ever wanted to: 

  • 1.

    Train alongside Sarah in a practical and hands-on fashion

  • 2.

    Improve your skills and have more confidence in dealing with unknown dogs in practice, rather than text-book theory

  • 3.

    Accelerate your hands-on 'clean clicker training'

...then this course is for you!


Refreshments and lunch are included in your ticket price.


If this sounds like the course for you, book now! 

Places are strictly limited to 10x handler tickets and 12x spectator tickets. 


This course will sell out, so book now to avoid disappointment.


Friday 23rd March   SOLD OUT 



Friday 15th June 2018   SOLD OUT


Registration and coffee at 9.30am 

Running times 10am - 5pm


Battersea Dogs’ Home, Old Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 2JN.


A bit about Sarah

Sarah Whitehead, BA(Hons), MSc is a Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist, with a passion for canine body language and facial expression.

Synonymous with excellence


Sarah Whitehead has over 25 years' experience in the industry, she is a world-renowned international lecturer, best-selling author and pet behaviour counsellor seeing dogs and cats with behavioural problems on referral from veterinary surgeons (even consulting with the Royal Family!). 


Sarah has an MSc in Animal Behaviour and is a full member of the APBC (Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors) and APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers, no 00156). She is also one of only a small number of specialists to have achieved the status of Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB) and is an Animal Behaviour Training Council (ABTC) Registered Clinical Animal Behaviourist.

A bit about Stella

Stella is one of the country’s top positive reinforcement trainers. We call her the ‘Clicker Queen’!


Stella specialises in behaviour and training problems, and also ran puppy and dog training classes for many years too. She is an APDT member and is co-instructor on the Think Dog! Practical course with Sarah.


Stella also trains dogs for TV and film work and her own dogs have appeared in adverts, photo shoots and movies!


PLEASE NOTE! This course is only for those who are serious about wanting to be able to teach loose lead walking in the fastest, most effective way possible that isn’t reliant on luring and are currently frustrated with the difficulties associated with that technique.


It’s NOT for obedience heelwork (different technique entirely!), or for those who are happy doing what they are doing and don’t want to change, (or be coached)! We want all our participants to be open-minded, motivated and have fun on the course!


The course will be a single-focus topic – our plan is that everyone who books a handler place will practise this technique and have the chance to ensure they get it right with our help, by working with unknown dogs in the rescue shelter. As we know, every one of these is different.


Of course, you will also get to learn the technique as a spectator, but you won’t get a chance to actually practise the training.

(And sorry but no videoing will be allowed.)


FAQ - click on the question to reveal the answer!

The course is held at Battersea Dogs’ Home, Old Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 2JN.

We handle the dogs in the centre – so please leave your own dog at home (you can practise with him or her afterwards!)

There are 12 handler places only.

Yes! You can opt to come and watch – every dog is different, and we learn something from each one. There are 12 spectator places only.

Some of the coaching may be repeated as it’s the same exercise we are covering, however, every person and dog is different, and if you are like me, you never get tired of watching training magic happen before your very eyes!

As a bonus, the day will also include my thoughts on training dogs not to jump up. (And why I don’t teach sit to greet!)


Getting the most from your course:


Coming on a practical course often raises lots of questions for students, so we have endeavoured to cover them here so you get the most from your course, and have a great time on it. 

Of course, please do ask if you have a specific question.




We have a maximum of 10 handlers and 12 spectators on the course. Stella and Sarah take the course and we also have assistants in the room, alongside staff from the rescue centre we are training at. We teach using experiential learning, observation, coaching, and discussion. There is no written work and you are not required to submit work after the course.


We train with dogs that are waiting for new homes in the rescue centre. We do this on an individual basis - this is far from being a dog training class and the dogs all have individual needs so we prefer to focus on them one at a time. (Please note, training multiple unknown dogs in the same room, with students of varying abilities is highly problematic, increases stress and arousal and can create behavioural issues.)


We generally start the training indoors as there are fewer distractions for the dogs (and students!) although we do sometimes move outside, weather and individual dogs’ needs permitting.


You will be invited to train individual dogs (with help from demos, an explanation of outcomes, protocol, safety and ethics etc, so you are confident in how to approach the training).


Everything that you need for the training is provided – including clickers, toys, treats etc. You just need to bring an open mind and a sense of humour!


During the practical training, other participants can observe (often the most powerful way to learn) and your instructors will coach you individually. This is gentle and fun – please be assured that we use positive reinforcement with our students as well as the dogs! Feedback tells us that students love the opportunity to be coached while they train and that they really (really!) enjoy it. 


How do we train?        


Stella and Sarah are both well known for their use of clicker training, and this is a method with which you may well be familiar, or have already used. We will discuss why this method is preferable to the rather old-fashioned use of lure/reward, and we will teach you how to use ‘clean clicker training’ – utilising conditioned reinforcers (these do not have to be the actual clicker), in training this exercise.


Please note: we do not use punishment-based methods, startle devices or aversives, nor do we ever intentionally put dogs in situations that trigger behavioural issues.


Nature of the course:


This course is fun and friendly, with lots of student interaction and chances to ask questions relevant to the practical training we are explaining, observing and doing. We work through a curriculum, but not in a regimented way, so if you are someone who likes to sit and be taken step-by-step through power-point theory, this is not the course for you!




We regret we are unable to offer refunds on Courses and Events, but will try to offer transfers to an alternative equivalent course date, or accept someone else in your place, provided we have been given enough notice (subject to availability, please see below):

  • More than 16 weeks' notice before the course starts – We will transfer you to another course or event of the same value at no extra charge, assuming that there is a place available on an equivalent course within the next 10 months.
  • 4-16 weeks' notice before the course starts – we will transfer you to another course or event of the same value assuming that there is a place available on an equivalent course within the next 10 months. An administration fee of £25 will be charged.
  • Less than 4 weeks' notice before the course starts – We regret we cannot offer a transfer or refund. Course places bought as gifts carry the same cancellation policy.

If we cancel a course:

ThinkDog Ltd is entitled to cancel any course/event at any time. In such cases you will be contacted and given the option to transfer to another course of the same value or receive a full refund of your payment.


There is a chance that filming could take place throughout your course/event, please let us know if you would rather not be involved. Sorry but no private filming is permitted. 


For our full Terms and Conditions, please see