Gemma Smith, Head Coach
Before joining Dog School, Gemma worked in the behaviour and training team at another rescue and rehoming centre, where she worked closely with the dogs who needed extra support and training before finding their forever homes. She was also involved in training and coaching staff and volunteers. Whilst working at the rescue centre, Gemma fostered 14 dogs & puppies (and helped to hand-rear 5 kittens), so has experienced most of the common challenges that come with owning dogs and puppies first-hand! Surprisingly (although it was close), Gemma did not become a failed foster carer, but is hoping to adopt a rescue dog one day.
Gemma has a BSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and enjoys using her knowledge and experience to help owners train their dogs in a fun and positive way.
Amy Lewis, Coach
Amy has always loved animals. She studied BSc in Animal Science at Writtle University College and although her studies mostly focused on farm and zoo animals, she particularly enjoys adapting and applying training techniques to different species to better understand how they learn. Amy spends her spare time training her house rabbit, and building new enrichment toys to keep him busy and learning during the day!
Amy aspires to help dog owners better understand their pets, and use that understanding in training and play to improve their bond.
April Sarson, Coach
April has previously worked with animals in petting zoos and the entertainment industry for film and TV, and enjoyed an 8 year career in Theatre Arts. It was her beloved Spaniel Bertie who inspired her to train as a Canine Hydrotherapist, rehabilitating dogs recovering from injury or illness after a hereditary back injury left him partially paralysed. He made a full recovery and enjoyed many more years of cuddles and walkies!
Once the new pup arrived April's love of reward based training was re-realised, and she began working as an Assistant Trainer for a dog training school in Norfolk. Whilst at her previous centre, April developed a keen interest in Scent Work and Parkour. Having fallen in love with the job, she is very proud to have joined the team at Dogs Trust London.
Most of April’s spare time is dedicated to training her cheeky working x show type Cocker Spaniel, Gypsy, who is loving life onboard their narrowboat and holidays away in the caravan.