Photo of dogAbout our dog trainers

Dog behaviour expert on the Katie Martin show, BBC radio Solent and David The Dogman's show Pets, Vets and Guests on Talk Radio Europe which reaches more than a million listeners! Gulp!

I am Denise Nuttall M.Res (Master in Research Science - with distinction - Dog Cognition and Forensic Psychology), B.Sc (Hons); Dip CABT (Coape) and the founder of Paws In Hand Dog Training and Behaviour. I started life living on a farm. When I moved on from an investment banking career, people thought it was a dramatic change. In fact, the weirdest thing was that I was a banker in the first place. I always wanted to be a vet!

So, why the move from banking to become a dog behaviourist? Well it all started with my own dog! We took on a beautiful puppy Dalmatian at 6 weeks of age. Six months later we wondered what was going on! All our time seemed to be taken up running around after a very naughty dog. Our clothes were in tatters from her enthusiastic play biting and our nerves were in shreds. She then started to become very aggressive. In an effort to get her on the straight and narrow I read anything and everything about dog behaviour. I read Jan Fennel with interest and I must admit the biggest changes at that time came from what I read there. However, later on I realised that there is more to dog behaviour than the five principles of Amichien! In fact, I realised it didn't actually make that much sense. I made many mistakes on the way as I used techniques from the internet and from "experts" at our local dog walking field and actually did create more problems for myself through being inconsistent and bouncing from one technique to another. Sadly on 21/06/11 we lost Amy to a degenerative disease that had plagued the last months of her life. I will always remember her as she changed my life and she will be a hard act to follow. She was my teacher!

Early on I started out helping friends with their problem pooches. Increasingly it became obvious to me that life was going to be about helping people to live happy lives with their dogs and I became a dog behaviourist! I completed the Advanced Diploma of Companion Animal Behaviour and Training run by the Centre of Applied Pet Ethology in 2004 ( ) and it was like removing a blindfold!

Then I applied to become a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. The APDT promotes rewards based training and prohibits the use of punishment. In order to become a member trainers are physically assessed to ensure that they meet the prescribed standards. I was pleased to be accepted in 2005 and my membership number is 00963.

I have since completed the B. Sc (Hons) in Applied Animal Behaviour and Training accredited by Portsmouth University graduating in 2010. Now most training and behaviour problems are very clear to me and in most cases I can help people to very quickly restore the equilibrium in their household. Some more complex problems will take longer. Whilst I was working in investment banking I learned how to communicate very effectively with people and also how people learn best. As a result I can help people quickly because I understand how people and dogs learn. Also, I KNOW what it's like having a dog which is out of control and behaving very badly... including biting! So, if you want to talk to someone who really knows how difficult it can be living with a very naughty dog, come and have a chat with me, we can compare stories! I really am very approachable!

I am currently a provisional member of the TCBTS (The Canine Training and Behaviour Society). and after an assessment by a mentor hope to become a full member shortly.  

Over 8 years ago I started to work with the Waggy Tails dog rescue charity. They are a fantastic group of volunteers dedicated to helping dogs find new homes. Some dogs that arrive in the centre have just had hard luck and ended up there through no fault of their own. Some dogs are a bit naughty and their owners can't cope any more so they end up in rescue. For the dogs in the latter category I support Waggy Tails in rehabilitating them either in the clinic or in their foster homes.

Recent activities include being on the BBC Radio Solent Katie Martin show where I now appear regularly on an ask the expert slot on the Katie Martin show about dog training and behaviour problems. I am also a regular guest on a radio show called Pets Vets and Guests on Talk Radio Europe which can be heard via the internet on Talk Radio Europe . I appeared on BBC Inside Out in a feature about aggressive dogs in October, 2012. I have run several lectures for the experts at Learning About Animals in Guilford: "Interpreting Canine Body Language; Aggression", "Inter dog Aggression in Practice" and "Running the Behaviourally Aware Puppy Party". I have also delivered in house training to Priory Vets in Christchurch and also delivered Running the Behaviourally Aware Puppy Party lecture to Dorchester Veterinary Nursing School.

Our latest dog is Lily who is another Dalmatian just overfour years old. She has passed her bronze, silver and gold Kennel Club Good Citizens awards. I show Lily from time to time and have been learning the art of ring craft which is harder than it looks and we are learning competition obedience under the direction of the lovely Brian Reed who is a successful competitor and a judge who trains using a clicker, my favoured way of training my own dog. We also attend Dog Dancing classes with Carol Bentley at Purbeck Dog Dancing school in Sanford. Lily loves every minute of her training and I would go so far as to say training is her favourite pastime even above going for walks and runs. 

Contact me or call me on 01202 861340 or 07764 250554


Hello, I am Martin Nuttall I have been assisting Denise at our Lilliput venue for seven years.  I also assist with our puppy life classes on Saturday’s, recall master classes, and Fun Find and Fetch.I have been working with Denise in Puppy Life Skills for over four years now and have learned a lot. Oh, and I also help answering the phone calls. 

I was lucky enough to have my first Dalmatian at the age of nine.  Sharnie was 18 months old and looking for a good home.  She was a lovely dog and a great friend and lived to the great age of 16 and half.

There has always been a Dalmatian in our household. (I am pictured with our wonderful friend Amy and our son). Lily is our latest and is our fourth dalmatian.

So I have a wealth of experience in keeping dogs.  Also I have picked up a lot of knowledge from Denise whilst she has been studying for her qualifications. Invaluable information without the pain of the exams. I am also now taking private appointments for puppy visits as I am really enjoying helping people to settle their puppies in and start off that all important early training.

Our classes are informative, friendly and fun. I look forward to working with you and your dog. 

I am happy to help you to train your puppy in private training visits too. These are suitable for those who can't attend regular puppy classes or when you need help with your puppy's behaviour at home. Contact me 01202 861340

I also paint pet portraits. In my former career I was an illustrator. I love to paint in oils. Here is an example of a commission I did for a client. If you would like a painting of your dog, please do call me for details.







Hello my name is Jo Caldwell and I have been assisting Denise on a Saturday for 8 years and have run the Thursday evening classes. I have been a Secondary School teacher with 26 years experience, specialising in working with children with Special Educational Needs. I decided to give up teaching and work with dogs full time in August 2013.

I have had dogs since I was 5 years old, originally our family dogs were Great Danes. I also have a strong background in owning and training horses having owned them since I was 8 years old. When I was 16 we got Tilly who had been kept in a kennel for the first 6 months of her life and therefore was terrified of everything. This would show in a variety of ways including refusing to go anywhere and running away blindly from the slightest noises. As you can imagine a 6 month old Great Dane charging around in a blind panic was difficult and upsetting for her and the family. I formed a close bond with Tilly applying a lot of the reward based techniques I was using with the horses. We learnt a lot together and she slowly became a calm and well behaved member of our family. This started my interest in building positive relationships and training dogs.
I now own two Chocolate Labradors who are sisters and you will meet if you attend our classes, as they sit quietly in the room while the classes go on. They are the reason why Denise and I met, as I started attending her classes with them when they were 6 months old. She was in need of someone to assist her on a Saturday, I offered to do it temporarily over the summer holiday and here I am 6 years on and have changed my career pathway as well. I also now have a young German Shepherd as well. 




My name is Penny Druitt and I run the St Leonards venue Saturday classes and assist at the Thursday evening classes.

We always had a dog in the family when I was a child, but I did not have my own dog as an adult until my partner and I bought a chocolate Labrador puppy about eight years ago. We called him Charlie. He was a very challenging puppy and it quickly became clear to us that we didn’t know as much about training as we thought and our knowledge of training techniques was very out of date. As a result all three of us became very stressed. That’s how I met Denise and was introduced to reward based training methods. This helped us to turn a corner and start to build a positive relationship with Charlie. We started to attend her puppy classes and carried on through to the advanced classes, even taking part in some training demonstrations at charity dog shows.

It was through my experiences with Charlie that I became interested in positive reward based training and learning about dog behaviour. Denise asked if I would help out at some of her classes and five years later I am still here, assisting on Thursdays and occasionally at other classes. In 2014 I decided to stop pretending that my enthusiasm for training was just a hobby and now work with dogs full time, running my own business as well as working for Paws in Hand. My goal for the coming year is to work towards achieving professional accreditation.

I enjoy being able to pass on the knowledge I’ve gained and get enormous satisfaction from helping owners and their dogs to succeed. I look forward to meeting you and your dogs at class.


A trained dog is a happy dog!

Paws in Hand can help hold your paws and hands right through from 8 weeks and beyond so that you can start teaching your puppy and learning how to socialise your new puppy and "Read dog" from the earliest stage.

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Dog behaviourist Services

Denise is a qualified and experienced full time dog behaviourist and trainer. She holds a B.Sc (Hons) in Applied Animal Behaviour and also an advanced diploma in companion animal behaviour and training, DipCABT (Coape).

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Useful dog information

Getting a dog or puppy is a huge decision and there is a lot to consider from how to choose your breeder, to how to decide which puppy will be most suitable for you all the way to being able to choose a dog sitter or groomer.

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Photo of aggressive dog

Aggressive dog solutions

Denise deals with any behaviour problem, especially aggression and anxiety. Many behaviour problems can be caused by medical conditions which is why she must work on vet referral.

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Aggressive dog solutions

Denise deals with any behaviour problem, especially aggression and anxiety. Many behaviour problems can be caused by medical conditions which is why she must work on vet referral.

Read more