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Who is Janet Auton…?
Janet holds the COAPE (Centre of Applied Pet Ethology) Diploma, is an affiliate member of the COAPE Association of Pet Behaviourists and Trainers (CAPBT) and regularly attends workshops and seminars to keep up to date…

“By working to keep myself up to date I can offer the best possible service to my clients, their dogs and their cats.”

She trained initially as a Riding Therapist, but then went on to train as a Stud Assistant. Janet moved to Somerset to work as Riding Therapist at the Sandhill Park Riding for the Disabled Group before founding ‘Animal Basics’ in 2000.



Janet has always had a keen interest in animals…


“…from pestering for my first hamster to nearly being run over by the primary school headmaster because I wanted to be the first to tell him that I was allowed the rabbit which was looking for a home…”

…and currently has two dogs of her own. Her first dog was a “Heinz 57” Lurcher cross Jack Russell Terrier plus whatever breeds were in the dad’s ancestry.

“Brambles taught me a lot, more than I fully realised at the time, and he was a fantastic companion.”




Benjy was her second dog, a Labrador Retriever cross English Springer Spaniel…

“…Benjy taught me the importance of understanding and utilising a dogs natural instincts in daily life and the way you approach their training.”




…and what is her dog-training philosophy

  • “Each dog is different and has its own personality, whether it is a pedigree or of mixed breeding. It is important for owners to understand and appreciate what job or jobs their dog was originally bred to do and to provide suitable stimulating outlets and training for them


  • Rescued or adopted dogs and cats bring their own special needs. They can give, and teach, so much in return for a secure, caring and loving home. Their past history may be limited, so it is important that potential owners realise the amount of time, effort, patience and understanding needed to help them. But when they reach their full potential, the rewards are immeasurable...


  • “An under-stimulated – or even an over-stimulated – bored dog has the potential to ‘do his or her own thing’…


  • “Dogs who are mentally stimulated tend to be more emotionally stable, gain in confidence and are keen to work for and with their owners. Exercise, both physical and mental together with the ability to switch off and settle, is essential…


  • Animals need guidance and boundaries, just as we do, in order to learn and grow as individuals. The way we teach these are important…


  • “The old theories of dominance – that your dog is trying to dominate you or you must dominate your dog – should be relegated to the history books. Barry Eaton’s book, “Dominance in Dogs: Fact or Fiction” is a short book well worth reading which dispels the dominance myth. It is available at www.dominanceindogs.com


  • The positive training methods I use have been scientifically proven to be the most efficient way to train animals.


  • “We need to learn to communicate with our dogs. We owe it to them to take the time and put in the effort to understand how they communicate and see the world from their perspective and not just from ours…


  • If there are behavioural problems, ‘Animal Basics’ offers a service which approaches each case individually. Janet works closely with the whole family, their animal or animals and their veterinary surgeon to get a full understanding of the problem. Health and clinical problems can affect behaviour, which is why it is important to liaise with the vet. It is like a jigsaw puzzle and she needs all the pieces to get a full picture and determine a course of action. But it is essential to keep an open mind right from the beginning.


  • “Training is extremely rewarding and it should be fun too, for you and your dog, and it should be part of everyday life. If it becomes a chore, then you need to ask yourself why.”