Sheila Harper © Copyright

Welcome to Sheila Harper

Sheila Harper promotes high ethical standards working to build mutually respectful and responsive relationships between people and dogs.

We are the leading education provider for dog trainers and behaviourists to learn about Real Life Skills. We also provide quality support for dog owners.


Our unique courses are open for all to attend and offer a range of theoretical and practical programmes targeting dog owners through to qualified professionals.

We are a learning centre registered by the Open College Network West Midlands, an Ofqual-regulated awarding organisation licensed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). We are the only education provider to offer externally accredited OCN courses through the International Programme for Applied Canine Studies.


In addition we offer:

  • applied practical workshops

  • learning holidays for dogs and owners

  • webinars

  • tailor-made behaviour counselling and ongoing support

  • supported walks


Our Approach

Our approach is based on evidence - observations of the interactions of dogs, including companion dogs, along with those in rescue centres or shelters, and those who live self-sufficiently in towns and cities.

From our observations, we analyse what dogs do and how they do it, and use this to inform our work in helping dogs with behavioural problems to find their comfort zone, to look, assimilate, and assess situations, and ultimately to choose for themselves a course of action that helps them deal with that situation in an appropriate way. 

We find this route of discovery and empowerment for the dog is more effective and empathic than conditioning or traditional training, and whilst we recognise the scientific approach, our emphasis is on understanding the reality of the lives of dogs and their caregivers in their familiar environment.  


Sheila Harper is a founder committee member of ICAN, the International Companion Animal Network, an umbrella body for purely force free organisations and education providers that sets and upholds high standards for its members.

Upcoming courses

Spend quality time with your dog improving his social skills in the beautiful learning environment of Cannock Chase

3 Day Workshop

Lead Handling for Professionals: Developing Real Life Skills

Dates TBC September 2021

Thoughtful lead handling can have an enormous impact on each dog’s skill development and behaviour. Increasing our awareness of how dogs experience our presence, how we use the lead along with the environment, will have a dramatic influence on any dog in our care.

More details will follow soon!

Interested? Register it here and we will sent details when available.

Dog-Centred Holiday/Workshop

Improving Dogs' Social Skills