Animal Magic Dog Training is owned and run by me – Claire Stewart BSc (Hons).
So who am I?
I spent my childhood with a Border Collie x Labrador called Skippy. She really was a ‘child’s best friend’ and we had many adventures together. I have very fond memories of those years but can remember the nipping, wetting, chewing and pulling on the lead too!
Fast forward through marriage, child birth and full time work to 2000 when, working part time from my home office, I decided to keep the young dog that was left in a friend’s garden. Jess was my first dog as an adult and she came with problems! She was a beautiful German Shepherd Dog but when she came at seven months old she was not house trained, could not walk well on a lead or come back when called. She was terrified of fireworks and was sometimes nervously aggressive towards people and dogs. What a first dog to take on!
Over the next two years I had help and assistance from a professional dog trainer (who’d have thought that would be me one day?!), was introduced to clicker training and, through Cheltenham and District Dog Training Club, developed an interest in competitive obedience. I received a great deal of help and support from knowledgeable and experienced people and learned a lot about dogs.
Eventually the time to came to repay this assistance by helping others and passing on the knowledge I had gained. At the beginning of 2003 I was invited to start taking classes at Forest of Dean Dog Training Club, and later that year also began teaching at Cheltenham and District Dog Training Club. I decided to complement this practical teaching experience with academic and practical study – I needed some clarification that what I was teaching was true.
I studied for six years and graduated top of my year from Bishop Burton College/Hull University with a Bachelor of Science with Honours degree in Canine Behaviour & Training in 2010. The advantage of the HNC, FdSc and BSc courses I studied is that they not only required me to complete written assignments but also to train my dogs for various disciplines and tests and to be examined on my ability to teach classes and individuals.
In addition to teaching at the training clubs and studying, I began taking on private clients. This led me to launching one to one training as Animal Magic in July 2007 and Animal Magic group classes in July 2008. In March 2010 I was successfully assessed by and accepted as a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. In January 2016 I was assessed and accepted as a member of The Pet Professional Guild. I am KC approved as a judge for Competitive Obedience and Rally in the UK and as an assessor for the KC Good Citizen Scheme at all levels. In 2019 I qualified as a ScentWorkUK trainer. I am an Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC) Animal Training Instructor.
I now run Animal Magic Dog Training and Animal Magic Pet Care in Gloucester and share my home with my family, Oliver the cat and our three dogs. Carney (Border Collie aged 12yrs) is now in semi-retirement but continues to compete in KC Rally at Levels 5 and 6, Thistle (Kooikerhondje 3yrs) who has made a good start in Novice/Class A in Competitive Obedience and has achieved her RL3Ex title in KC Rally, as well as introducing me into the world of breed showing, and our new edition, Ember (Kooikerhondje 10mths) who has already acheived her Trick Dogs Advanced title.