About Us

Are you looking for manners/obedience training for your puppy or adult dog? Or perhaps you are seeking expert advice for behavioural issues such as reactivity, aggression, fear issues, chasing behaviour or food/toy possessiveness?

At Houndability, we are a group of professional dog trainers who are trained and accredited by the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers.  IMDT-approved trainers adhere to a strict code of conduct and use only the most up-to-date science based techniques that are proven to be effective for the long term and have the each dogs' welfare at heart and in mind at all times.

We believe that training should be enjoyable, lighthearted and kind to both dogs and humans. It stands to reason that if something is fun, we'll want to do more of it!

Houndability was set up by Ryan Gibson in 2014. Formerly a michelin trained chef, with a long career working in prestigious kitchens in and around the UK, Ryan is Houndability's Head Coach and now couples his slick coaching skills and affinity for working with people, with his rock solid knowledge and love for dogs and how they learn.  

Ryan Gibson – Houndability Head Coach

 

My name is Ryan and here I am with my St Bernard Clive. 

I have always had a great affinity for dogs since I was knee high to grass hopper. When I was at school, I actually saved until I had enough money to buy my first dog who was a West Highland White terrier called Benji. 
I could quite often be found spending my time with the dogs of friends and family and any dogs I came accross whilst abroad on holidays as a child. 
I spent many years without a dog in my life as I worked as a chef and couldn't give them the time and attention they deserve. 
After reaching great heights in my cheffing career, I decided to pursue my dream of focusing all my energies into working with dogs.
 

We ask all our Houndability Crew to answer 4 questions so you can get to know us a bit more:

Q. What do you most enjoy about working with dogs?

I guess I adore dogs as I see a little bit of myself in them with their playful and goofballs attitudes! 
I love the way that their eyes just light up and they are so excited when you come through the door with their endless amounts of love. 

Q. Tell us a bit about your dog/s and what you particularly like AND what you find difficult about sharing your life with them:

So I share my life with my two best friends, Clive who is a St. Bernard and Hugo, who is a 3 year old Rottweiler.
I had Clive from a puppy and he is just a wonderful laid back guy who has a cheeky side to him as well; he spent the first years of his life stealing the mail! 
Hugo came to me about 18months ago as a rescue and had a few issues - mainly chasing things - to work with. I just love his enthusiasm for all we do together. He is such a loving dog and likes nothing more that being next to you as much as he can, although he can be a little challenging at time as he has boundless amounts of energy and is always ready to train. 

Q. What would you say your 'thing' is when it comes to working with dogs?

I love working with all dogs from big to small but I have a definite affinity for the larger herding breeds such as Rottweilers and German Shephers. Working with and seeing progress in any dog gives me great pleasure. For me there is nothing better than seeing a dog and their human progress and gain confidence when training. It gives me a real glow that lasts for ages.  

Kerry Sands – Houndability Coach

 
I’m Kerry and here I am with one of my rescue greyhounds, Moose.
 
Working with animals was all I ever really wanted to do (I was the kid who brought home birds with broken wings and stray dogs!) and I’ve spent many years studying so that I could do just that. I’ve had various roles in teaching and learning settings, and have worked as a dog trainer in animal rescue for the past 4 years, whilst also studying to be an Anthrozoologist (someone who examines human and animal interactions and relationships). I’m currently doing a PhD which will explore the hidden lives of racing greyhounds.

We ask all our Houndability Crew to answer 4 questions so you can get to know us a bit more:

Q. What do you most enjoy about working with dogs?

Dogs are such great creatures! They bring us so much joy and fun and are fantastic companions to both humans and other species. I love how ‘in the moment’ they are and how much they live life to the full. I’m also amazed at how adaptable they are and how well they cope with our (often unintentional) transgressions. I’m often asking myself how I can be more dog :) 

Q. Tell us a bit about your dog/s and what you particularly like AND what you find difficult about sharing your life with them:

So, I share my life and home with 3 ex racing greyhounds – all unwanted rejects from the racing industry. Lyric was my first and is a very sweet and quite shy little lady. Her ears do the most amazing acrobatics and she is quite noise sensitive. Moose came next and it was taking him on that got me properly interested in positive dog training. To say living with him was a baptism of fire (especially in the first year) would be an understatement, and he is still the most drivey dog that I am yet to meet.  But positive dog training has opened up his life so much and given us both some focus. Then Little B is my little box of mischief. When she came to me, she’d already been returned from two homes. She was incredibly shutdown and terrified of movement, noise, basically anything. It was hard to find the dog that she is inside all of that terror, but 18 months on and she has come out of her shell in ways that I could never have dreamed – again positive dog training methodology has been the key. Yes, her life will always be small (as will Moose’s), but I’m happy to be able to give choice, peace and contentment to dogs who would have otherwise have struggled to be rehomed.

Q. What would you say your 'thing' is when it comes to working with dogs?

Unsurprisingly, I have a real affinity for sighthounds and ex racers in particular. I love working with the dogs that are typically branded as ‘untrainable’ and have worked hard to bring positive dog training methodology to greyhound rescue and rehoming activities. I’m also the first to make a beeline for any rescue dogs in classes as I love supporting people to start to develop trust with dogs with unknown background and history.


Daisy Moore – Houndability Assistant Trainer

Hi I’m Daisy and this is me with my working cocker spaniel, Otto. Like most "doggy" people, I've loved dogs my entire life but, unlike many, I haven't had dogs for years and years.
 
I had a dog for a year when I was a teenager. Milo, a black cocker. Looking back, I suspect he came from a puppy farm (the belly full of worms wasn't a great start), and we were one of the many families who didn't know there were two strains of cocker spaniel. Milo was a working x show. We went to one training class together, but I refused to go back when they put a muzzle on him, attached a lead to the muzzle, and insisted I drag him across the floor while he pawed at his face. He was super smart, but was a resource guarder (and I didn't know that was what it was called then!). My family hadn't had a dog before and didn't really appreciate what we were getting ourselves into, in terms of being able to fulfill his needs. He was rehomed to a home with someone at home all day, and another dog to play with. Seeing him trot off with the Dogs Trust lady is something I've never got over, but I know it was the best decision for him.
 
After that, I knew one day I'd have another dog but it would have to wait until I could be sure I wouldn't ever have to give him up. If I knew then what I know now, there might have been a different outcome for Milo, but now I can try to help other people keep the dogs they love.
 
We ask all our Houndability Crew to answer 4 questions so you can get to know us a bit more:

Q. What do you most enjoy about working with dogs?

A. I love seeing people's faces light up when they see their dog's progress; the resulting improvement in the bond between human and dog; and seeing the dogs enjoying themselves and growing in confidence.

Q. Tell us a bit about your dog/s and what you particularly like AND what you find difficult about sharing your life with them:

A. Otto is a working cocker, so he is pretty intense. This is both a good thing and a bad thing! He gives his all at everything, he is VERY affectionate, he LOVES to learn, and he is pretty much the definition of "high on life". He brings joy wherever he goes. On the other hand, outside of the house, he's on the go the whole time. Doing "nothing" is impossible for him, so if you don't provide something, he'll use his initiative - and the end result won't always be desirable! Oh and I'm always covered in paw-sized bruises where he tramples on me!

Q. What would you say your 'thing' is when it comes to working with dogs?

A.I have a particular soft spot for gundogs, obviously!
I love trick training and scentwork. Tricks are fun, and spending time with your dog should be fun! Scentwork is a great mental workout for your dog, and it's obvious how much they enjoy using their fabulous noses.
 

 Kirsty Vaughan – Houndability Assistant Trainer and Walker/Home Visitor

 
So this is me, Kirsty, and one of my dogs, Harley, a Siberian Husky.

We ask all our Houndability Crew to answer 4 questions so you can get to know us a bit more:


Q. What do you most enjoy about working with dogs?

I have loved dogs since the young age of 6 but never had my own until I moved out at 19. Shaila was my first dog – a Siberian Husky. When I was young I'd knock on people's doors who had dogs and ask if I could take them out. I was known as the dog lover! I’m the longest stading member of the Houndability Crew and have been assisting at classes and walking the Houdability dogs since the beginning.

Q. Tell us a bit about your dog/s and what you particularly like AND what you find difficult about sharing your life with them:

I still have Shaila and she is coming up to 13 years old. I’ve had her from 14 months. She is an ex show dog who won many trophies as a pup. Harley is Shaila’s son. He's just turned 10 years and the story goes that when he was born (the runt) Shaila did not respond to him. He was not breathing so I helped him to come around and still Shaila didn't seem to accept him. I brought Harley up myself and we had such a huge bond that I couldn't part with him so I kept him. The bit I love about having the dogs is that they keep me company through the nights and keep me fit through the day. They have their mad 5 mins which makes us all laugh. The difficult bit is trying to keep the house clean and tidy – so much husky hair! 

Q. What would you say your 'thing' is when it comes to working with dogs?

I love working with the pups in basic training but I do love working with the more challenging dogs too. I think every dog has a chance to become better and that is my goal.