Dog Training School

Wheelhouse Vets dog training school

  • Introduction
  • Class Information
  • Puppy Pre-School
  • Paddock Hire


Welcome to The Wheelhouse Vets Dog Training School

In June 2013, we started running our very own Wheelhouse Vets Dog Training School, which is held at our Chalfont St Giles surgery, in our paddock behind the practice. The school is run by Laura Ward BSc (hons), A.Dip CBM, MAPDT, MTCBTS - Accredited Animal Behaviourist - and is very ably assisted by trainer Sam with classes. Agility is run by Anna Rayne who is one of our qualified veterinary nurses.

The Trainers

Laura has spent ten years working in veterinary practice as a Registered Veterinary Nurse and has always had a passion for how animals think and feel. Being a strong believer in up to date theoretical knowledge, over the years she has completed accredited qualifications in behaviour and training including an Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour Management and a BSc (Hons) in Applied Animal Behaviour. Laura’s professional experience includes puppy socialisation classes, beginner, intermediate and advanced dog training,  gun dog training, agility training, scent work and behaviour consulting.

Laura believes all training should be fun for both human and animal. We understand how stressful it can be to have a training or behaviour problem, and take a sympathetic and approachable stance to resolving issues. A veterinary nursing background has provided a good grounding in nutrition and medical factors which may affect behaviour, and Laura takes pride in a good working relationship with a number of veterinary practices.

Laura is also a provisional member of The Canine Behaviour and Training Society and the Association of Pet Behaviour Counselors, and an Association of Pet Dog Trainers (01184) approved instructor.

Anna is an Agility Club Approved Instructor and competes regularly with her Border Terrier, Isla. She aims to do the same with her other dog, Sprite, who is a Working Sheepdog.

For regular updates on what’s going on at the training school, please visit The Wheelhouse Dog Training School on Facebook.

Sam has been a reward-based dog trainer for over ten years. She has worked as a tutor on the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Instructors Course as well as running her own dog daycare and training business. Prior to joining the Wheelhouse team Sam worked for Dog Trust, initially as the Training and Behaviour Adviser at their West London Rehoming Centre and then as an Education and Community Officer visiting schools to educate children on dog safety and ownership. 

Sam’s professional experience includes puppy socialisation classes, beginner, intermediate and advanced dog training. Sam runs classes for Minds Alike Animal Training and Behaviour in conjunction with The Wheelhouse Dog Training School, as well as providing 121 training sessions.


  • Full member Association Pet Dog Trainers (01177)
  • Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC) Dog Training Instructor

Membership of these organisations means that Sam has undertaken a written and practical exam illustrating that she possesses the skills and knowledge required to apply training techniques based on up to date, researched, methods, whilst being empathetic and considerate of the animal’s emotional state.

Sam is covered by professional indemnity cover and public liability insurance.

121 Training Sessions

If your dog/puppy has specific behavioural issues or doesn’t cope well in a group environment, you may prefer 121 training sessions. These can be carried out at your own home or another location, depending on the aims of the session.

Laura is used to dealing with issues like jumping up, mouthing, recall and pulling on the lead. Please email or contact her on 07931 566921 to for advice or to arrange a training session.

Dog Agility

Agility has arrived at the Wheelhouse Dog Training School! It has been a very exciting project and we are thrilled to announce that we are now fully equipped and classes are underway.

Dog agility is a fun event in which the dog owner directs their dog around an assault course containing a variety of obstacles and challenges. Whether you are interested in coming along as a newcomer, or you already have agility experience, please email


The Chalfont St Giles surgery is next to the double mini roundabouts on London Road, opposite the Citroen garage. Find directions on our contact page.

Please park in the car park and then head straight to the garden via the first gate on your left (walking towards the surgery).

Please wait on the right hand side of the garden so any dogs that are already in the paddock have room to leave without feeling crowded. We will call you through into the paddock once the previous class has left.

Class Information

If you would like to apply to join one of our dog training classes or would like further information, please contact Laura Ward at or 07931 566921. Bookings can also directly be made here. Please be aware that your place is not confirmed until payment has been received. This is to ensure places do not get wasted. You can make payment directly to Laura Ward and this information will be provided to you within your confirmation of booking email, from Laura.

We run a variety of courses on weekdays and weekends. These courses run in 6 week blocks and cost £120'. 

Courses currently running: 

  • Puppy Life SKills (20 weeks and under)
  • Adolescent Life SKills (20 weeks and over)
  • Intermediate Life Skills - Suitable for if you have already done a puppy course
  • Advanced Life SKills - Suitable if you have already done an intermediate course or similar 
  • Space Cadets - Ideal for those dogs who already have some training, but struggle in a group environment and need space. This is not a reactive course, so your dog must possess some ability to cope with dogs in proximity. 
  • Reactive class - This is for dogs who need to work around other dogs as part of a rehabilitation program. Training must have started on a 121 basis first. 
  • Agility - This is yet to be arrange post covid-19 restriction 

To check availability, and find a course that suits you please visit

Puppy Pre-School

Our ever popular Puppy Pre-School, is held in the Hub at Chalfont St Giles Surgery and is run by Susanne Ash RVN, Helen Butcher and supported by a team member from Minds Alike Animal Training & Behaviour

Once a new puppy has had a health check and started its vaccination course he/she will be invited to attend Puppy Pre-School, which is a two part course. The cost is £28.74 and is payable either at the time of booking or 1 week prior to the first class.

About the classes

Our Puppy Pre-School is run on Wednesdays at 10:30am and is a relaxed opportunity to discuss any problems you may be experiencing with your puppy, such as jumping up, mouthing, chewing, toilet training, diet, socialisation, handling and general pet care.

This is also an opportunity for your puppy to socialise with other puppies in a controlled manner, so no puppy should get cornered or overwhelmed.

We ask that when you attend a class, you please bring with you the following:

  • Dog treats if your puppy has a sensitive stomach, allergies or if you have a set meal plan you are using.
  • A collar/harness and lead, although please do not bring an extendable lead - if this is all you have, when you arrive we will exchange it for a regular lead for the duration of the lesson.
  • If you know that your puppy is more motivated by toys rather than food, please feel free to bring their favourite toy with you.

If you are interested in attending our Puppy Pre-School with your new puppy please do pop us an email at

Paddock Hire

At the back of our surgery in Chalfont St Giles, we are fortunate enough to have a large paddock. When not in use by our Dog Training School and Agility classes, we can hire this space out to the public who may have dogs that need to be exercised off the lead in a restrained environment with no other dogs being walked at the same time.

The paddock is surrounded by a mixture of fencing: Wall, wooden panel and chain link. The surround is approximately 5 foot high except for the gate entrance, which is lower. There is a horse chestnut tree inside the paddock - do not allow your dogs to eat the conkers when these are present.

We do not guarantee the paddock to be escape proof; wildlife does dig under the fence sometimes.


Hire of the paddock for up to one hour is:

  • Hire is £9 per hour for one handler and up to three dogs
  • Hire is £17 for multiple handlers and up to six dogs

No more than six dogs are permitted in the paddock at any time. However, if you have more dogs please feel to rotate them round during this time. Dogs may not be left in the paddock unattended at any time.

Wheelhouse Paddock terms 2021

How to book

Please email or call the Chalfont St Giles surgery on 01494 871329. Our Reception team is happy to help.