About Animal Basics

Training your dog should be fun for both you and your dog.  If we make it fun and rewarding, the training will be enjoyable and it will encourage us to continue too.

It will produce a strong working partnership with trust and confidence at both ends of the lead. There should be give and take as in any relationship, being aware of how your dog is feeling and importantly, how you are feeling too.

We owe it to our dogs to learn and to understand how they communicate using their body language.  Dog behaviour and training go hand-in-hand, and if the training is right, you cut down considerably the chance of the dog developing habits and behaviour that can cause a problem later.

Training Courses at Animal Basics 

Training takes place in Minehead in a secure privately owned field

PLEASE NOTE: I am unable to take on any behaviour consultations until further notice. Please check out the CAPBT website and click on the Map to find a local behaviourist.

Canine Connections


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How to Enrol

To enrol on any of my course please click the button below and this will take you through to my online enrolment form. If you wish to download and print a copy of the form to send back to me simply click the button in the left column on enrolment page.

Enrolment Forms


We all need to know how to communicate with our dogs. We owe it to them to understand, as much as possible, how they see the world and in turn, teach them how to behave and how to achieve it. What I try to do is to help you understand what makes your dog ‘tick’; to bridge the communications gap and build a working partnership based on trust and cooperation.

‘Animal Basics’ uses up to date positive training methods with rewards such as food, toys, games, and even sniffing!  Clicker training is also taught for dogs and owners wishing to use this method. The dogs are allowed to work out what earns a reward and what does not. Training is set at the individual dog’s level, which means dogs of different levels can work in the same class, if appropriate.  Dogs wishing to join are invited along for an individual session to be assessed to see which class would be most suitable for them.

Animal Basics Testimonials

All our family look forward to Saturday afternoons with Janet. Rubble really enjoys his agility sessions and his listening skills have improved tenfold! Thanks Janet

The Hirons family
Animal Basics Testimonials

Agility for dogs? Yes but it’s only for Collies and the like isn’t it?

Oh no it isn’t! My two little terriers love it – through tunnels, over jumps and climbing up dog walks, there’s so much for them to enjoy. You should see them go! Of course all the dogs doing agility need a bit of training but the emphasis in Janet’s classes is enjoyment and fun. 

David G
Animal Basics Testimonials

We have been going to Janet’s classes since Miss Chief was 5 months old, they have given me more confidence and has stretched a very demanding Miss Chief.  We both thoroughly enjoy the group and look forward to each week’s session. Janet is calm, friendly and imparts her knowledge in a very gentle and kind manner.  I highly recommend her.

Fiona & Miss Chief

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2 days ago

Yesterday all four came and took it in turns with either Hoopers or Rally. When it wasn't their turn they watched. ... See MoreSee Less
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4 days ago

A very helpful and interesting read.We often get requests for help when an adult dog is having trouble accepting a new puppy into the home. People reach out usually because the adult dog appears intolerant or openly hostile towards the puppy and people are naturally concerned for the puppy’s safety. However, what I want to talk about here, is the opposite scenario, which most people don’t realise can also be problematic: An adult dog who does not seem willing or able to put any boundaries at all in place for the puppy. Just as a puppy may need protection from an intolerant adult dog, a very soft-mannered adult dog may need protection from a boisterous puppy for the following reasons:1. Puppies usually learn polite/deferential behaviour towards adult dogs from interactions with their mothers. This should transfer to other adult dogs they form bonds with. However, if the adult dog the puppy moves in with doesn’t know how to stand up for him or herself at all, the puppy may start to think that it is okay to be “rude” to other adult dogs. I am not implying conscious thought here, rather just the puppy learning that certain inappropriate behaviours that may not have worked before do suddenly work. If they try this with a strange adult dog, they may get “sorted out” in a scary way. This could all be very confusing for the puppy and lead to anxiety and stress which could affect their confidence when meeting other dogs.2. While we may think that puppies can’t really harm adult dogs, we must remember that physical harm is not the only way a dog can be hurt. Dogs also suffer emotionally, and an adult dog may feel bullied by a puppy that they cannot stand up to. If an adult dog does not know how to tell an annoying puppy to go away and leave them alone, they can end up feeling quite stressed, anxious and helpless in their own home environment – somewhere that should always be a place of safety and security.3. When an adult dog is not able to set any boundaries with a puppy at an early stage, this can lead to conflict between the two dogs as the puppy matures. As soon as the puppy and adult dog are introduced, they will start to form a relationship and every interaction will contribute to the development of that relationship. When a puppy experiences an adult dog calmly and correctly standing up for him or herself, the puppy accepts that there are certain ways to approach the adult dog and certain times to be careful and extra polite e.g., when the adult dog growls to let the puppy know not to come near his food or gives the puppy a pointed look when the puppy starts trying to play while the adult dog is trying to rest. When this does not happen at all and the puppy gets used to doing whatever he or she pleases around the adult dog, one day if the adult dog finally takes a stand and tells the puppy off, the more mature puppy can be very surprised at this late stage and become quite defensive as they are not used to being stood up to and not always getting their way. Instead of backing off, the puppy may then retaliate and a squabble or fight may ensue.None of what I am saying above implies any kind of vying for status or a kind of “dominance” relationship – I am simply talking about normal healthy social behaviours that take place between puppies and adult dogs, where puppies would instinctively know that they are smaller and less capable than the adult and so rehearse polite and deferential pro-social behaviours, to avoid annoying the adult dog. This is a normal survival behaviour, but when a relationship between a puppy an adult develops naturally and healthily in this way, peace is usually maintained into adulthood, because healthy parameters for the relationship are set. As an aside, this is one reason that I am really not in favour of people getting two puppies at the same time or getting two dogs very close together in age. When this happens, there is no clear adult vs puppy role, and it is far more difficult for the dogs to set boundaries and develop a healthy relationship with each other.We have been very lucky with all our puppies and adults in the past, that all our adults have been tolerant, but also knew how to stand up for themselves in a healthy way, so that all the relationships between the dogs have been stable and happy. Rosie and Cruz had less boundaries with each other, but as a mother and son theirs was a rather unique relationship and their level of comfort around each other was exceptional. However, likely because Cruz was a singleton puppy, he has almost no experience with conflict (no squabbling with siblings) and grew up being polite to his mum and sweet with our big boy Judah. He is a soft dog and simply has never engaged in conflict with other dogs, choosing rather to walk away when another dog was a bit aggro towards him. This has made him an absolutely amazing dog to take out in public, but it has not equipped him well for dealing with a very confident and tough puppy who isn’t afraid of much! We could see while Cruz was very interested in his new little sister, he also found her chewing his feet and tail rather unpleasant, but didn’t want to get angry. He would walk away or look to us for assistance. Primrose was dying to play with him, but because he didn’t know how to draw a line and tell her when he had had enough, he was too nervous to allow play to happen. We had to step in and protect him, by distracting Primmy and giving Cruz plenty of reassurance. When he did finally start to growl very tentatively or stand his ground, he would then look a bit anxious afterwards, so we tell him what a good boy he was a make a huge fuss of him when he stood up for himself (bearing in mind that he was being incredibly mild and gently in his manner). Over time he started really “finding his voice” to tell Primrose when he wasn’t happy. Interestingly, it was at this point that he became comfortable enough to play with her and actually started to really enjoy her: I am sure this is because he has gained a sense of control over interactions and has a successful strategy for dealing with her, if she makes him uncomfortable.So, while the focus is so often on adult dogs that are intolerant of puppies, we must not forget the needs of those adults who are softies and gentle to a fault. We must protect them, give them safe spaces, ensure that they are not stressed and anxious and that we let them know it is okay to stand up for themselves in a healthy manner. Don’t let them suffer in silence or allow an unhealthy relationship to develop, because you take their sweetness for granted. ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

Puppy Progress and Rally started this evening. I have attached photos from Rally. If you would like to know more about Rally you can contact me on 07790996791/01823 432334 email info@animalbasics.co.uk ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

I have just updated the cover photo to Woody who came third in the one off March photo competition. ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

Animal Basics's cover photo ... See MoreSee Less
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