Get to know us!

Providing positive dog and puppy training in Central and West Auckland

Meet Sarah James!

Sarah is an Absolute Dogs Pro Dog Trainer, an IAABC Foundation Professional Dog Trainer graduate and holds a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary). Sarah has also completed Dr. Kristina Spaulding’s Unlocking Resilience course through Science Matters Academy of Animal Behaviour.

Her journey into dog training began in 2020, when she adopted a puppy who developed behavioural challenges including noise sensitivity and resource guarding. It was then she discovered the modern world of dog training and positive reinforcement training methods. She was blown away by the way in which these methods preserved the dog’s joy and enthusiasm, allowed them choice, and helped owners communicate so well with their dogs! Applying her educational background and innate problem-solving skills as well as all that she has learned from her education as a dog trainer, Sarah utilises a games-based training approach that focuses on enriching both the dog’s and the guardian’s lives. Her goal is to help owners teach their dogs what they DO want from them rather than what they DON’T want them to do, aiding their dogs in learning to calmly and confidently interact with the world around them.

As a former competitive gymnastics coach and a proponent of holistic wellness, Sarah has a keen interest in canine health, fitness, and wellbeing. Passionate and empathetic, she is driven by the joy of making a real difference in the lives of both animals and people.

Why Sarah uses positive reinforcement ?

“My personal reason is to help each dog live their best life and to facilitate owners to really understand the unique animal that they live with. Through R+ training we bring out the best in our dogs. I am constantly amazed at the intelligence and potential in my dog and his amazing ability to communicate with me (because we have created communication through training, and he has shown me his own ways of communicating with me). I love R+ training because it creates understanding, and gives my dog the confidence, skills, and desire to make good choices. I don’t have to tell my dog “no,” if there’s ever an issue I realise that my dog was in a situation that he didn’t yet have the skills for. I can acknowledge that my dog is doing the best he can, with the skills he has, and any issues are simply information that we still have skills to work on.”

Our Mission

Our goal is to cultivate extraordinary relationships between dogs and their humans by employing positive, science-based training methods. Beyond teaching basic cues, we aim to empower dogs with the skills and understanding they need to make excellent choices. By aligning your dog’s natural instincts with positive behaviours, we work to create a happy and balanced home life for both you and your pup. At the core of our approach is the belief that training should be an enjoyable, enriching experience that deepens the bond between you and your furry friend.

Our statement on inclusivity

We believe in the power of inclusion and diversity. Just as every dog is unique, so are our human clients. We welcome and embrace people from all walks of life, regardless of age, gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, or background.

We strive to provide a safe and supportive environment where all pet owners can access our training services without fear of discrimination or bias. We are committed to fostering an inclusive community that values and celebrates the differences that make each person and dog special.

At Bark Dog Training, we believe that every pup and their human companion deserves the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of positive reinforcement training and find joy in dog ownership. We’re here to make that journey accessible, enjoyable, and enriching for all. And while we don’t always get it right, we are always striving to learn and grow.

We’d love to get to know you!