Meet Sarah

Want to understand your dog?  Be able to change their behaviour and improve your connection with them?

Good!  You’ve come to the right place! 

Sarah takes her role as a trainer very seriously and she’s on a mission to make the science of dog training both accessible and fun. 

 No gobbledegook, no B.S. myths. Just canine science and proven dog friendly methods, tailored to your unique situation and served up with a dose of individuality.

Sarah teaches people the same way she teach dogs (ok, she doesn’t use a clicker and treats!). She’s found that the approach that works with animals works just as well with people: break it down, make learning achievable and fun, celebrate success and don’t sweat the mistakes.  Having tried to learn new skills herself she knows exactly how demotivating info-dumps, confusion and corrections can be.  

 That’s why Sarah provides easily digested information in different formats, coupled with a relaxed, positive coaching approach.  


Nothing warms the heart quite like a puppy gazing adoringly in your eyes

Connection in heelwork – we’re even in step!

How Sarah Trains Dogs

When teaching dogs, or changing their behaviour, the training methods Sarah uses are force free, pain free and a whole heap of fun for everyone. She believes learning shouldn’t be a drag for either you or your dog. A dog’s life is too short to waste time together being miserable!

With an academic background in animal behaviour and psychology, and 20 yrs practical training experience, Sarah’s helped a lot of dogs and people. This means she can give you the understanding to proactively prevent problems and the skills to change behaviours if necessary.

The Birth of HotDogs 

Hotdogs, the business, was born out of a desire to help other dog lovers, who, like you, not only want a well-behaved best friend but who ALSO want that deeper connection and relationship. Sarah does her very best to apply those kind and compassionate teaching principles to both ends of the lead. No learner, human or canine, deserves to be berated or corrected for making mistakes.

What  She can’t do:

  • Wave a magic want and fix everything for you.  Changing behaviour takes effort – your effort!
  • Provide a training Band Aid.  There’re few quick fixes in dog training – or life for that matter.  
  • Change your dog’s basic personality.  Sarah can help you help your dog be the best they can be, but she can’t make them something they’re not.


“Sarah helped me tremendously when my confidence in both myself & dog were at a very low point. She worked very hard with us & taught me a huge amount about both myself & my dog.

Sarah has a real ability to see & understand the issues & many different tools to use in each situation.  She has a wonderful box full of positive training skills and is happy to try other options if the first doesn’t work until she gets to something that suits us both… 

…I like the way that Sarah doesn’t have just one box that everyone has to fit into and how well she works each partnership on its own merits.”

— Anne M. and Frost

Want to Know More?

Have a dig around this website.  Checkout some blog posts – lots of free information there.

If you’ve just got a new puppy and are feeling a little bit “OMG! Where do we start?” there’s a PDF booklet you’ll find useful. 

And if you really want to get your training off to a flying start there’s an online course that’ll teach you the Nuts ‘n’ Bolts of Teaching Dogs using proven positive reinforcement/reward techniques. Training is SO much more than just giving cookies and toys!

 Rather work with Sarah in person? Get in touch!  She usually replies within 48hrs, often much faster.

Competition doesn’t have to be a serious business

Felix, Sarah and Pooh (ObGrCh Pinehill’s Brisk n Breezy)

In Case You Were Wondering…

Sarah is a self confessed training nerd. She is addicted to perfecting the application of behavioural science to better the lives of both dogs and their people.  

In her spare time she writes, trains her own dogs for competitive obedience, reads science fantasy novels and eats too much chocolate.  (Not necessarily in that order!)

Sarah has published articles in the NZKC Dog World Magazine and presented seminars and workshops on the science of  training both here in NZ and internationally.

For those who like achievements and titles:

  • BSc (hons) Animal Behaviour and Psychology (1st class)
  • DipCABT (Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour and Training)
  • Cert IV in Workplace Training and Assessment
  • Certificate of Excellence for “Living and Learning with Animals; The Science & Technology of Behaviour Change” course.
  • Fear Free Certified Trainer
  • Obedience Grand Champion
  • Winner of Test C at the National Dog Obedience Assembly. (Biggest obedience trial in the country!)
Contact Me To Learn More