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About Us

Doggie Baywatch

Sue McCabe B. Soc. Sc. M.A. APDT UK. KCAI CD A* ABTC

Muttamorphosis Dog Training & Behaviour  is run by Sue McCabe KCAI CD A* and was established in 2005. Sue hopes that she offers more than the average dog trainer. She sees every dog as an individual & every owner who gets in touch as someone who wants to help their dog. Sue is unique in that not only is she very much a dog person, with a degree in social science (including psychology and sociology), she is also very much a people person too.

Sue was first introduced to dog training when, like so many, she owned her first ‘problem’ dog. From there, she has spent almost 20 years training and competing with her own dogs in obedience, agility, flyball and working trials. She was a member of the Working Trials Club of Ireland for many years.  Sue currently owns 3 dogs. Sage is a 13 year old rescue Border Collie & Guinness (CD Ex) is a 5 year old rescue Border Collie who she currently competes in Working Trials and Obedience with.  The most recent addition is a Jack Russel Terrier called Jellybean. She also shares her house with 4 rescue cats & a human. Most of Sue’s animals are failed fosters who came temporarily & stayed for life.

Sue hold a certificate in Intermediate Canine Psychology with the Animal Care College which took 2 years to complete. In 2016, Sue attained KCAI Companion Dog Advanced status following 3.5yrs work and is the only person currently in Newcastle, Durham, Cumbria or Northumberland to hold this qualification. It is a nationally recognised and externally verified teaching qualification. Accredited members must be able to show a wealth of practical experience training, handling and living with dogs, as well as demonstrate skills and academic knowledge and a dedication to the profession.

Sue has been a fully assessed member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers UK since 2007. This offers a guarantee of quality when choosing a training class or private dog trainer/behaviourist. All members have been assessed in a class environment & tested thoroughly on the behavioural advice they are giving to clients. APDT UK members also follow a strict code of practice which ensures that punitive techniques and equipment are not used. Sue is proud to be a member of the Animal Behaviour & Training Council, upholding professional standards for those working with animals in the UK.

Sue has also reached Competency Assessment Level 1 for clicker trainers. This qualification was gained through training and assessment by Kay Laurence’s Learning About Dogs Team, recognized by many as the authority on clicker training in the UK.

Since 2010 Sue has been granted Kennel Club Listed Status which allows her to teach the Kennel Club Good Citizen Award to Gold level standard. These training courses are designed to result in sociable dogs who can be taken into public places without causing disruption & with full owner control. As well as the dog-blog on her own website, Sue currently blogs for esteemed US website Dog Star Daily and has also contributed to online magazine Woof. Her articles are regularly published in the APDT UK members magazine.

While reading books is vital to ensure a firm grasp on learning theory, practical handling & training skills are equally important. Before becoming a professional dog trainer & behaviourist, Sue worked as a volunteer in the dog rescue sector for 15 years where she gained vital safe handling skills. She has trained extensively with John Rogerson of the Northern Centre for Canine Behaviour & has attended training workshops and seminars with Dr. Ian Dunbar world renowned vet, trainer and behaviour.

Sue has been involved in training dogs for tv work for the past 3 years. Her own dog Sage plays Mischief in popular kids drama CBBC The Dumping Ground. Sue is also a regular contributor to local radio features involving all things dog.

Theories of dog training & behaviour are constantly evolving & Sue believes that her continued learning & experience can only serve to help her deal with each & every dog on his own merit & help all dogs live a safe, happy and healthy life. For this reason, each year Sue attends as many seminars & workshops as possible (for a full list of qualifications & annual CPD training please see below).

For over 15 years Sue worked in the voluntary dog rescue sector as a kennel hand, dog fosterer, temperament assessor & re-homing officer.  Sue fosters & hand rears kittens & puppies. She has helped to whelp several litters of rescue pups in her home & has fostered adult dogs in both the short & longer term. Some of her more recent fostering jobs have included 15 week old GSD pup on his 4th home, an 11 year old German Shepherd involved in a cruelty case for the Newcastle and Northumberland RSPCA & 2 Romanian street dogs. She has also worked professionally in a dog boarding kennels & as a grooming assistant.

In 2016, Sue began temperament assessing dogs for the North East Charity Wag & Company.  She volunteers her time on a regular basis to add to the growling numbers of dogs and owners joining this wonderful scheme, who offer company and social opportunities to older dog lovers across the North East.

List of courses/seminars/workshops attended from 2005 to present:

General Training & Handling/Instructing

  • Dog Training, Handling & Instructing (theory & practical), John Rogerson, Dog’s Trust, Darlington, Aug. 2005
  • KC Good Citizen Bronze Award, practical assessment @ Roshanna K9 Academy, passed with GSD Scout.  Sept. 2006
  • KC Good Citizen Silver Award practical assessment @ Roshanna K9 Academy, passed with GSD X Misty Sept. 2006
  • Dog Friendly Dog Training Done Right, Seminar on Training Theory & Class management (adult dogs & puppy classes). Dr. Ian Dunbar, July 2007
  • Behaviour Instructors Course, Shelia Bailey,  class managementtraining/behaviour course (theory), Derbyshire Canine Centre, June,  July Sept. 2008
  • Games and exercises for Dog Training class, workshop (practical), Dr. Ian Dunbar, Dublin Ireland,April 2009
  • Canine CSI workshop on training retrieve, search, scent detection & fun dog skills (practical).  John Rogerson.  Lancashire. Oct. 2009
  • Canine Communication and Handling Skills lecture, Turid Rugaas,  Craiglockhard, University of Edinburgh- Oct. 2008
  • 21 Day Behaviour Counselling/Training course (theory & practical). India with John Rogerson. Jan. 2010
  • Class management & Organisation lecture, Dog’s Trust Darlington, John Rogerson, June 2010
  • Lure/Reward Training for Off Leash Control. Dr. Ian Dunbar, April, 2011
  • Class managements for adolescents. Ian Dunbar, April 2011
  • KC Good Citizen Bronze Award, practical assessment @ Muttamorphosis Dog Training, passed with BC Guinness, March 2012
  • KC Good Citizen Silver Award, practical  assessment @ Muttamorphosis Dog Training, passed with Border Collie Guinness, July 2012
  • KC Good Citizen Gold Award, practical assessment@ Muttamorphosis Dog Training,  passed with Border Collie Guinness. Jan. 2013
  • KC Good Citizen Bronze Award, Assessment @ Muttamorphosis Dog Training, passed with Border Collie Sage, March 2013
  • Self Control & Focus Workshop, Pauline Jackson Pawsitively Pets, and Ruff Diamond Dogs, Newcastle Upon Tyne, April 2013
  • KC Good Citizen Silver Award, practical assessment @ Muttamorphosis Dog Training, passed with Border Collie Sage, June 2013
  • KC Good Citizen Gold Award, practical assessment @ Muttamorphosis Dog Training, passed with Border Collie Sage, July 2013
  • Get Your Sparkle Back, Canine Professional’s Masterclass with Sarah Whitehead, Alpha Education, Surrey. March 2013
  • Breed Specific Play, 2 day workshop. John Rogerson Northern Centre for Canine Behaviour. Birmingham, July 2016
  • Puppy Skills Workshop with Kamal Fernandez. Jan. 2017
  • Challenges for Advanced Dogs Workshop with Kamal Fernandez. Jan. 2017
  • Foundation for Competition Workshop with Kamal Fernandez. Jan. 2017
  • Extreme Proofing with Kamal Fernandez Workshop. Jan. 2017

Behaviour, Learning Theory & Canine Psychology

  • Certificate in Canine Psychology with Distinction, Animal Care College
  • UKRCB Annual Symposium, A Look at Pack Interaction, Speakers David Montgomery & Alexandra Semyonova, Sept, 2009
  • Professional Dog Behaviour Counselling -Theory & Practical, John Rogerson, Battersea Dog’s Home, Old Windsor, Dec. 2009
  • 21 Day Behaviour Counselling/Training Theory & Practical,  John Rogerson, India. Jan. 2010
  • Dominant or Misunderstood (theory & practical),  Fiona Whelan, Company of Animals, K9 Academy, Wallsend.  May 2010
  • The Brave New World of Dog Training. Science with a Brain & a Heart Seminar Roger Abrantes, Dec, 2011
  • Dog’s Trust , Darlington, evening lecture on dominance theory, attachment theories, Oct. 2012
  • APBC Annual Conference, Thinking outside the Dog. Lectures included; talks by Dr. John Bradshaw, Five Common Misunderstanding Concerning Dog’s Minds; Erica Peachey, Different Types of people & their expectations & abilities at dog training classNeutering & Behaviour, the Good, the Bad& the Unclear, Caroline Warnes; Wolfing it Down, Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition.  Kettering March 2013
  • Rearing a Guide Dog Litter, Caroline Peacock & Wendy Adamson, March 2013
  • Learn to Talk Dog. Sarah Whitehead,  Dog/Human communication and Body language. Autumn 2013
  • The Scientific Basis of Animal Behaviour Webinar. Simply Behaviour. Aug. 2015
  • Functional Assessment Webinar, Susan Friedman. Nov. 2015
  • Learn to Talk Dog. Sarah Whitehead, Dog/Dog communication and Body language. Dec. 2015
  • The Role of Psycopharmacology & Nutraceutical Intervention in Behaviour Cases. APBC Webinar Sarah Heath,  Jan. 2016
  • Building Resilience in Dogs Webinar. Patricia McC0nnell. ASPCA Pro. Sept. 2016
  • Woof! 2017 3 day Behaviour Conference. Nottingham University. Feb. 2017

Clicker Training

  • CAP Level 1 in Clicker Training, Learning About Dogs, (theory & practical),  Sept. Oct. Nov. 2006
  • Clicker training workshop (practical) with Elizabeth Kershaw.  May 2008
  • Working trials/obedience/clicker day (practical),  Suzanna Plum July 2011
  • Richard Curtis Freestyle Training Workshop. Summer 2011
  • Working Trials through Clicker Training.  Day Workshop. July 2011
  • Clicker Training workshop (practical),  Linda Edmonson, Newcastle upon Tyne, June 2012
  • Competition Obedience (practical),  Mary Ray, Day Workshop, Feb. 2013
  • ‘Working Trials Training, the Clicker Way’ Yvonne Carpenter. NECWTS June 2013
  • Building Blocks to Advanced Canine Training & Companionship (practical), Emily Larlham, Coventry, Sept. 2013

Specialist Training & Topics

  • Agility training day with Greg Derrett, Working Trial Club of Ireland 2004.
  • Agility Training Day with Paul Thompson, Dilston Dog Training Club. 2005.
  • Could your dog have been a sheepdog?  Taster sheep work day. Colliewobbles, Barnard Castle. 2005
  • Tracking, Trailing, Searching, workshop with John Rogerson, Darlington, July 2008
  • Joanna Hill competition obedience both as spectator & handler.  Belfast, Peterlee and regular North East Monthly group. 2003- present.
  • Working Trials Training workshop, Edinburgh, John Rogerson, May 2010
  • Predatory Chase Behaviour seminar, David Ryan, Cleveland Clever Canines, May 2011
  • Freestyle workshop, Monkseaton, Richard Curtis 2011
  • Working trials/obedience/clicker (practical), Suzanna Plum, Durham, July 2011
  • Working Trials Training, (practical),  Moira Rogerson & Bill Richardson, Edinburgh, June 2012
  • Working Trial Rally training & assessment-achieved Silver Level, John Rogerson, July 2012
  • Breeder Seminar, Croft Vets, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Using BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Schemes to best effect,  Puppy Development & Behaviour, BVA/KC Hip & Elbow Scheme, Stud Dogs sperm and straws, Feb. 2013
  • Scent Workshop Level 1 (practical) with Pam McKinnon, Cleveland Clever Canines, Feb. 2013
  • Competition Obedienceclicker training (practical)  Mary Ray, Day Workshop Wreckenton,  Feb. 2013
  • Sheepdog Workshop with Bevis Jordan, Alston, Cumbria. July & Aug. 2013
  • Dog Food & Nutrition, What’s in the Bag? Ester Rawlinson, BVMS March 2013
  • Motivational Clicker Training for Working Trials, North East Working Trials Society day workshop, Yvonne Carpenter, June 2013
  • Building Blocks to Advanced Canine Training & Companionship (practical), Emily Larlham, Coventry, Sept. 2013
  • Tracking & Nosework Workshop, Pat Tagg, York, Sept. 2013
  • Scent Detection Workshop, Pauline Jackson, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Oct. 2013
  • Competition Obedience Training Workshop with Jo Hill Nov. 2013
  • Talking Dogs Scentwork, levels 2,4,5. Pam McKinnon with Well Connected Canines, York. 2014
  • Introduction to Gun-dog Work with Jane Arden Mar. 1st 2014
  • Tracking for Working Trials. Dave and Jenny Olley, Selby, Nrth Yorkshire. Dec. 2015
  • Puppy Culture Demand to Win Puppies & Stack and Deliver. Online 4 hour Webinar on free-stacking for show. Sept. 2016

Aggression

  • Canine Aggression Dog/Dog & Dog/Human John Rogerson, Dog’s Trust, Darlington.  Sept. 2005
  • UKRCB Annual Symposium, Constructional Aggression Treatment, Kellie Snider, Sept. 2008
  • Aggression (dog/dog & dog/human), Ian Dunbar  Seminar April 2011
  • Aggression seminar, Julie Bedford, Head of Behaviour Blue Cross, Cleveland Clever Canines, May 2011
  • Canine Aggression Seminar & Workshop, Jane Hanshaw, Blackpool, Jan. 2013
  • Signals of Pre-emptive Aggression, Sarah Whitehead, July 2013
  • Resource Guarding & Possessive Aggression Masterclass, Sarah Whitehead, Alpha Education, Surrey, Aug. 2013
  • Learn to Talk Dog. Sarah Whitehead, Dog/Human communication and Body language. Autumn 2013.
  • Aggression in Dogs Webinar, Brenda Aloff. Nov. 2013
  • Learn to Talk Dog. Sarah Whitehead, Dog/Dog communication and Body language. Dec. 2015

Canine First Aid

  • Canine First Aid Day Course run by Animal Aiders, Consett, Durham. Nov. 2006
  • Canine First Aid Day Course run by Emma Foxall RVN May 2013/14/15.

Canine Legislation

  • Dog Law Awareness Seminar with Trevor Cooper, Greenside, Gateshead.  March 2008
  • Current Canine Legislation and Proposed Changes with Trevor Cooper. March 2014
  • Changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act. Wendy Richmond, Trevor Cooper, Clare Wilson. Webinar, July 2014.

Clare Armstrong-Class Assistant

Clare began working as class assistant in Nov. 2010. She offers support to students and is a valued asset to the dog training team during weekly puppy class. Clare also acts as an assistant to temperament assessments for Wag & Company on a regular basis. As well as being a dog lover and a people person, Clare is a talented artist who brings creative thinking to class, helping to ensure that things never get boring when it comes to teaching games and fun exercises.

There have been 7 dogs in Clare’s life: a collie, a bulldog, 3 Scottish Terriers, an Alsatian cross & her current dog, Woody, a miniature Schnauzer. Clare became interested in training when Woody was a puppy as she found it great fun, as well as seeing the benefits of attending a regular training class. Woody loved training sessions & was calmer, more content & easier to live with as a result. Clare began Muttamophosis classes at Puppy Foundation level. She then progressed to achieve her Kennel Club Good Citizen Bronze, Silver & Gold awards, so she is familiar and comfortable with the way Sue trains and the class structure.

Clare continues to learn and train with Woody and has completed a canine self control course with Pauline Jackson, as well as dabbling in agility and heel-work-to-music. Woody loves learning new tricks and starred in the 2013 Muttamorphosis’ film ‘Motley Mutts, The Rescue’. For this role he had to learn to do a number of different tricks & actions. Clare’s latest venture is to begin taking part in TD Rally which she knows Woody will love.

Clare says ‘I love assisting in Sue’s weekly classes; the classes are engaging, stimulating & fun & it’s wonderful to watch the puppies progress throughout the weeks. I remember what it felt like starting out on my training journey & hope I can use this experience to support & encourage owners in their puppy training. I am thinking about getting another dog in the near future & would like to give a home to a rescue puppy….’

Jo Proctor-Class Assistant.

jo

Jo began volunteering as a classroom assistant in early 2016. She offers support and guidance to puppy owners during the monthly Fastrack Puppy Courses. Jo has 18 years of teaching experience and currently works as a secondary school teacher. She brings a wealth of knowledge on learning theory, people skills and of course, dog related queries.

Jo has has rescue dogs for most of her life. She is the current owner of Paws, an adult Irish Setter/Collie, rescued at 6 month from Black Retriever Rescue and Murphy, an adult Labrador X, adopted at 7 months from Dog’s Trust, Darlington. Jo and her family are regular supporters of local animal charities and were privileged to be puppy fosterers for 3 years for Newcastle Cat & Dog Shelter. For the past 4 years, Jo and her 12 year old son have been active members of the Whickham and District Dog Club, where she also volunteers her time.

In order to challenge her dog Paws a little more, Jo signed up for the Muttamorphosis, Kennel Club Good Citizen Award classes and progressed quickly from Puppy Foundation to Silver level. Jo has a background in more traditional dog training and can now add clicker training and positive motivational training to her skill set.

Jo says ‘Even as a volunteer assistant, every time I listen to Sue’s teaching there is always something new to take away and try, as I guess all our dogs are a constant ‘work in progress’. I would love to do the Gold award and I am working hard with Paws at the moment to prepare for the challenge. I am very grateful for the chance to work alongside Sue and keen to support her in any way I can’.