About Us

Hi! My name is Sarah Hursthouse.  I head up the Dogskool team.  

I am a qualified Dog Trainer and Canine Behaviourist, with many years experience of working with dogs of all shapes and sizes!

I am, what they call nowadays, a “positive” dog trainer. That is, I like to find ways to reward a dog for something I want him to do, rather than punish him for something he probably hasn’t been taught how to do properly in the first place!

I have a University degree, an Advanced Diploma in Canine Psychology and I am a Gold standard Approved Instructor with the Academy of Dog Training and Behaviour.  I am also a member of the Pet Professional Guild and a Kennel Club examiner for the Good Citizen Dog Scheme.

I have been working with dogs for over 18 years now and prior to that, I have years of experience in breeding and showing, as a former Dog Handling Champion. I am also a qualified Dog Groomer.

about_us_002-newDogskool is also a proud sponsor of Alsager Animals in Need in Cheshire and I have worked with Animal Lifeline to assist stray or abandoned dogs in the area.


I am also a “DogAid” approved Assistance Dog Trainer.

I’m a qualified “Expert Witness” and offer assessments and behavioural reports for criminal and civil dog-related cases.  I can attend Court and give evidence.  

I’m a regular voice on BBC Radio Stoke as a local “dog expert” and do phone-ins on dog behaviour.  I have written a series of Ebooks on dog behaviour that I’m sure you would find useful!

I have 4 dogs of my own, 3 Border Collies and a Sheltie and enjoy Flyball, including competing at Crufts, the British Flyball Championships and the European Flyball Championships. We were delighted to make the Crufts Flyball Final in 2017 with my Flyball team, finishing Third overall, with all the team dogs trained in my beginners Flyball class originally!  I also ride horses, just to keep me busy! 

I’d also like to introduce you to the Dogskool team..

Our fabulous Dogskool Instructors…

Michelle Caisley 

“My brilliant dog is called Freddie.  He’s a Plummer Terrier and we do a bit of everything including scentwork, agility, tricks and, our favourite, training with games.  I’ve also got the family dogs Lily and Millie who are now 12 and 13.  They still love training and learning new things and they both went to Dogskool’s beginners’ class and Dog Club when they were younger!  Having Freddie has opened up the world of dog activities to me even more than before and I’m passionate about doing something with your dog whatever that might be.  I believe that training is never done and giving your dog a job is great for them mentally and physically and the bond you have with them in turn gets stronger. 

I’ve got many years experience both assisting in classes and teaching my own classes. I’m a qualified trainer with the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers, Pro Dog Trainer, have a degree in animal behaviour and welfare and have an Open College Network Level III “Principles of Dog Training and Behaviour”.  I love seeing dogs and their owners gain confidence, grow their relationship and have fun training together.  I’m a dog walker as well as a trainer so I’m never happier than when I’ve got dogs around me.  When I’m not working with dogs, I’m off on adventures with my own dogs, volunteering at a local wildlife rescue centre or I can be found at my allotment!”


Michelle Turnock

“I currently own 2 dogs, a Cockerpoo called Tillie and a “Sprockerdor” called Stanley.  We all compete at Flyball with Pupuparazzi Flyball Team and we also do regular scent work classes.  Stanley introduced me to the world of Gundog training which is great to channell his natural instincts and Tillie and I have done a number of tricks classes in the past which are great for bond building.  I have 4 years experience of dog traininig, from assisting to teaching my own classes in obedience, flyball and agility. My main aim is for owners and dogs to enjoy their training and have a really strong bond so I incorporate lots of tricks and fun games into my courses. My spare time is generally spent with friends and family and I love discovering new walks with the dogs too when we’re not away at Flyball competitions!”


Courteney Garsden

“At present, I own a Pug called Pablo.  I also have 5 other family dogs who keep me busy.  Pablo and I love to take part in obedience, flyball, agility and parkour.  Any spare time we have is spent learning new tricks and exploring new walks.  As well as this, I enjoy pet photography, so you can always find me taking photos of dogs somewhere!  My deaf Bulldog Merlin loves to take part in Dogskool’s fun classes every week and these have helped him grow massively in his training. 

I started my dog training journey in 2014 as a volunteer for Bulldog Rescue and Rehoming.  Since then, I have gained a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management and then went to University to complete a FdSc in Canine Behaviour and Training.  I am also a fully qualified Canine Myotherapist. 

As well as being a part of Dogskool, I am a professional Dog Walker and a Trustee at French Bulldog Rescue GB. Along with behaviour and training, I work closely in rescuing and rehabilitating dogs who have complex medical and behavioural needs.  It is always rewarding to see dogs grow in confidence through training. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a dog and owner learning together through positive, fun training.”