All about Charlie Clarricoates

Born, France 1963.

I was raised in East Yorkshire and my first experience of dogs was unusual, my brother had finally persuaded our parents to let him have a dog, a German shepherd bitch called Elsa. She was a young 6 month old rescue dog from the local welfare group and the plan was to have her live in a kennel outside in the garden. Needless to say Elsa was not too happy about this and constantly whined, barked and howled with the result that my brother would sleep in the kennel to try and keep her calmer and quieter as the neighbours were getting quite upset by the racket poor Elsa produced. Sadly we had to realise that Elsa needed more than we could give and she was re-homed! Understandably our parents insisted that if we wanted dogs then it should be when we moved out, but since that day I have been fascinated with dogs and their behaviour and read every book, magazine I could lay my hands on.

1982. My first dog was a handsome (of course he was) male GSD called Taska, It was great fun training him but not so fun on the courses available in the area, some of the classes were downright brutal and I left many schools refusing to do what the Instructors insisted I do to my dog!

1989. I then joined a new club called Paradise for dogs, the chief instructor was Andy Paradise who was really keen on using fairer methods when training dogs, Andy took me on as a trainer to help him and he was a breath of fresh air. He introduced me to John Fisher. John had written a brilliant book called Dog Wise, this book was about Training a London Parks patrol dog with ground breaking new techniques.

1990. These techniques John wanted to see being used in dog training classes and so I was elected to hold a training class using the techniques straight out of the book. It was an unbridled success and we launched a new dog training centre using ground breaking, effective techniques.

1991. I then became Manager of a thriving pet super store and for several years advised thousands of pet owners about diet and products for their pets.

1995. I was promoted to Joint Managing director responsible for the running of the dog training centre and pet super store.

John Fisher also pioneered a new training technique using dog training discs, he introduced them to one of my own dogs and very kindly showed me how to introduce them whilst I was learning about behaviour counselling at his practice in Little Bookham.

1996. I was introduced to Peter Neville who was a member of the APBC and after a few months he invited me to be an associate of his practice.

1996. I was then invited by John Fisher to help form a steering committee with the task of launching a new association of Pet Dog Trainers, the APDT.

In 1998 I decided to start my own business and returned to my premises on Crow Hall Farm, Charlie's Dog Training Centre opened, a year later the hydrotherapy centre for dogs was launched.

In 1997 I began writing for the magazine YOUR DOG and became one of their panel of experts who responded to readers about their problem dogs. I now also advise and feature in regular radio broadcasts for BBC Radio Cambridge.

We have featured in a number of television productions one being a series called Anglia Help-line and in 2002 we were filmed for a discovery programme on dogs and training.

2003. New indoor training centre built.

In the past we have agreed to train dogs to help detect Prostrate Cancer in men for a Cambridge University research project, it is interesting to note that the only other species to suffer from prostrate cancer is dogs!

Jo and I have been regular contributors for Dogs Monthly, with a popular and often quoted column.

Our K9 Activity Centre opened in Spring 2013 and has proved a great success. We are always keen to make training accessible and fun. In the K9 project we work with young adults with difficulties in their personal lives providing a unique experience in which they learn the importance of responsibility and self-confidence through handling and instructing dogs in our safe and well-equipped facilities.