Hello! I'm Rachel
I specialise in training small dogs in the New Forest and Southampton areas and helping them develop the calmness and confidence they need so they can live happy and contented lives
I've always loved animals and grew up around dogs of all sizes, from Rottweiler to Papillon. This is me at the age of about 12 with our border terrier, Tilly, who I loved creating fun challenges for, like completing an obstacle course while holding an egg in her mouth!
I would have loved to work with animals from leaving school but at the time, I thought that involved becoming a vet or vet nurse which I didn't want to do.
I ended up working in insurance for 13 years in London, but found myself in the New Forest after relocating with my husband's job and that's where I found my path back to working with animals and becoming a dog trainer.
The Little Rascals Dog Coaching Story
After leaving my insurance job and relocating I needed a job that I could fit around 2 young children and a travelling husband.
The business started as Pear Tree Pets, a dog walking and daycare company in 2014. It evolved into training as I encountered training and behaviour problems and I wanted to know how to help with these.
I started studying with the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers in 2015 with their practical courses and in 2019, I passed their 2 day assessment process with Distinction to become a qualified IMDT trainer. In the same year I also completed a Level 4, Open College Network qualification in Canine Behaviour. It was a busy year!
I continually update my knowledge through practical and academic courses so that I can give you access to the most up-to-date approaches available. I've attended or completed courses with School of Canine Science, Dr Isla Fishburn, Kamal Fernandez, Craig Ogilvie and others. I'm currently studying towards a Level 5 qualification.
And then there was Hope....
My decision to specialise in training small dogs and rebrand to Little Rascals was inspired by my rescue terrier Hope, entrusted to me by the amazing rescue, Glendee Rescue and Rehoming.
When I fostered and then adopted her, she was only 20 weeks but already overwhelmed by the world, having been undersocialised and overhandled.
She barked at everything, lunged at traffic and was a little piranha with very little tolerance for handling. It was hard to know where to start!
Over time, we've built up her confidence, taught her she doesn't need to use her teeth to communicate and how to relax. She's now the canine epitome of "this girl can" who has done tracking, scent detection, agility as well as making friends with other dogs, big and small.
I want to share my experience with you, to show you there is hope for your dog too and help you be able to enjoy your time together.
Val & Robin (Romanian Rescue)
Our dog Robin was a very nervous dog from Romania. With help from Rachel he is now a happy and relaxed dog. Thank you Rachel
Source: Find a Dog Trainer
I'm a fully Qualified IMDT Dog Trainer, an Approved Dog Trainer with the Dog Training College and have a Level 4 OCN in Canine Behaviour. I continually update my knowledge through courses and study to bring you the most up-to-date and effective methods of training your dog. I am currently studying towards Level 5.
I'm committed to promoting kind, ethical, evidence based, modern methods of working with dogs and with people. I am a proud supporter of the UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter and the Pet Professional Guild.