Dogs Trust

Shropshire Dogs Trust dog trainer reaches finals of national competition

A Shropshire dog trainer has made it to the finals of a national competition. Beth McDonald, Senior Coach at Dogs Trust Dog School Shropshire, has been nominated for the Animal Trainer of the Year award in the Animal Star Awards. 

The awards recognise people that do great things for animals as well as animals that do extraordinary things for people. More than 900 nominations were received for the 14 categories nationwide, with 125 nominations in the training category. Beth is one of just ten trainers to be selected as finalists for Animal Trainer of the Year. 

Dogs Trust Dog School Shropshire opened in June 2017 and Beth joined just a few months later, working with three other team members to train hundreds of dogs. She has gone on to see around 800 dogs graduate with their proud owners. 

She says: 

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be nominated and reach the final! It’s nice getting the recognition and also seeing the other people throughout the country within the industry nominated too. I love my job because I don’t see it as just a job. It’s such a lovely feeling waking up each morning and wanting to just go to work. 

“I love meeting different people with their dogs as every owner and dog is different in their own way. My favourite thing is that lightbulb moment when the owner can see how smart their dog is through the training they’ve done with the help of our coaching.” 

Beth was selected as a finalist by a judging panel of industry experts and is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her colleague Rachel Rodgers, Head Coach, who was declared Animal Trainer of the Year at last year’s awards. This year, Beth is competing against other solo trainers and organisations from around the country for the top spot. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in Portsmouth in October. 

Dogs Trust Dog School teaches the basic behaviours that dogs and owners need in their day to day lives, for example, most owners need their dog to sit when asked, walk calmly on a loose lead, come back when called on a walk, and settle down when they stop to natter to their neighbour or have a pint in the pub! 

Beth says: 

“We were so excited when Rachel won last year and I am hoping that through my nomination I am able to spread awareness of responsible dog ownership and how to train dogs using reward based methods. That way we can help more owners create lifelong bonds with their dogs so they can live happily ever after, together forever.” 

More information about Dogs Trust Dog School Shropshire can be found at

To find out more about the awards, please go to