Having worked as a Canine Carer within the national charity DogsTrust, previously having worked with other rescue centres, Hayley worked with a large number of dogs with varying, complex and often multiple behavioural issues.
She became a qualified instructor in 2008 having trained intensively with The British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers and has committed herself to continued professional development and invested a great deal into her continued learning and staying at the fore of her field.
With a firm belief that there is no one size fits all approach to training, and that it is intuitive and cannot be taken from text book to real life without adaptation and application, Hayley has proven her methods with many different breeds, from her own competition dogs including her Australian Kelpie, Husky, Flat Coat Retriever and Spaniel mixes, she has also helped an even wider variety of breeds including sighthounds, gundogs, collies, toy breeds and rare breeds including Xoloitzcuintle. Hayley travels the UK teaching both distance handling and Hoopers to other dog training clubs and through individual workshops, either under the Taming Canines banner or as an external consultant for others, such as Canine Hoopers UK, the UK’s leading organisation for Hoopers where she teaches their Accredited Instructors Courses, helping other clubs to bring Hoopers to people in their own area.
Hayley is known for handling agility from a distance. She has always taught her dogs to fully understand any verbal cue, prior to getting involved in agility, so simply applied the same criteria to agility obstacles as well.
Distance handling is necessary for Hayley to be able to continue to enjoy this fabulous sport. She started dabbling with independence with her first agility dog as he was a super fast and herdy collie that she was unable to keep up with but who was also affected by how much she moved and got over-aroused.
Further down the line, injuries meant Hayley was unable to run at all for a while, although she did start jogging around again after a year or so, but it was a very frustrating time. However, as they say everything happens for a reason. Hayley started developing her distance system when she was in a wheelchair and on crutches due to injury.
More recently, Hayley has been diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis, a degenerative spinal condition that causes lots of pain as well as pins and needles in random places (predominantly legs and feet for Hayley), meaning walking without feeling your foot is a sensation she is slowly getting used to! On top of this, a bulging disc in her neck which can cause pain on bad days meaning turning her head can be extremely uncomfortable.
If that wasn’t enough to contend with, in early 2022, Hayley finally got diagnosed with LCME. A condition that affects people in lots of different ways. Predominantly for Hayley, her cognitive function is affected more than anything else. Most days theres a “drunken” type of feeling, like being tipsy and when you turn your head, the room takes ten extra seconds to catch up to where you are now looking, dizziness is pretty regular as well, visual disturbances and other eyesight problems, even speech is affected on a bad day with lack of ability to get out the right words without talking gobbledegook. Brain fog is a big one, memory and even speech problems on a worse day, muscle and joint pain changes all the time and breathing difficulties.
Hayley has taken a while to adjust to managing her health, whilst it will never be cured or go away, planning crash days around a busy schedule is majorly important these days. All Hayley says is “if I start talking or looking funny, just tell me to go have a lie down! I think i’m talking normally and don’t realise the words coming out of my mouth are not the words i’m intending to say”.
“Nothing will stop me and the dogs from enjoying our awesome sports, we will just adapt our training so on a good day i can walk around parts of the ring, and on a not so good day, they have to do pretty much it all alone. We have fun doing what we do, the dogs love to play this game with me so long may it continue.”
Hayley is an Adv.ACHUKI (Advanced Accredited Instructor) and Judge for Canine Hoopers UK. She is amongst the highest level of competitive handler in the UK in both sports, running in Championship Agility classes and remains one of the highest ranked handlers nationally under Canine Hoopers UK. Hayley passed her Kennel Club Agility Judging Course in 2012.
During 2022, Hayley and Pixel represented Team UK at the Paragility World Championships in Italy, returning with a Gold Medal!
Pixel is closely following in his big brothers paws!
Over the years, due to health reasons, Hayley has had to compete using more and more distance handling. She has developed her own training system that is now successfully used around the world. She is extremely grateful that she created this sytem when her health wasn’t so bad, as it has given her the skills and the mindset to continue to compete and achieve internationally whilst being unable to run any more!
Hayley and her tribe have enjoyed many different sports over the years including k9 open water swimming and k9 SUP. They have successfully competed in multiple disciplines including agility, hoopers, freestyle heelwork to music, canicross, bikejor, dryland rig racing and even two k9 triathlons! Most of all, they just enjoy spending time together, whether it’s going for long walks, bike rides or enjoying sports!