About Sarah Ripley | HotDogs K9 Training












About Sarah

If you think that training is less about ‘discipline’ and more about your dog’s education, we’re definitely on the same page!

The back story – because that’s why you’re reading, right?

I grew up in the UK around farm animals, dogs and horses – watching them, interacting with them and loving them came as naturally as breathing. 

I started dog training as a hobby (competitive obedience fascinated me!) but I found the methods of the time harsh and instructors ‘military’ in their approach, to both the dogs and their handlers.

I bailed quickly; saddened and sickened by the misery I was seeing in training classes.  It was many years before I dipped a toe into competitive dog training again.


Life moved on; I went to university. 

Not surprisingly I ended up studying Animal Behaviour and Psychology.  And I loved it! All of a sudden I had the ‘book learning’ to make sense of all the things I’d ‘instinctively’ understood as I’d grown up. 

The old passion to be around animals re-ignited and I started working in shelters and dog training classes again.  Wow, how things had changed…

I was introduced to reward based ‘marker’ training.  My head exploded: here was the sweet spot between the science I’d been studying and the art of animal handling I’d grown up with. I’d finally found my calling!

Suddenly, once again life intervened, this time sending me to Australia and then New Zealand.  The rest, as they say, is history.

The Professional Bio 

Sarah has spent the last 20 years accruing qualifications and experience so she can offer you the best training possible:


  • First class BSc (hons) Animal Behaviour and Psychology 
  • DipCABT (Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour and Training) 
  • Cert IV in Workplace Training and Assessment (so she can teach the human end of the lead)
  • Certification in Fear Free Training for husbandry and cooperative care.



  • Part of the Behavioural Team at Woodgreen Animal Shelter
  • Trainer/head trainer with numerous dog training schools and clubs in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Founded HotDogs in 2017

Since 2005, Sarah has successfully competed in Agility, Rally-O and Competitive Obedience with multiple dogs.

In 2014 she Won Test C at the New Zealand National Dog Obedience Assembly and in 2016 her husky x, Breezy, became an Obedience Grand Champion. 

After a break from competition, she has now just started competing with her latest young border collie, Felix – who won both his classes the first weekend he ran competitively.