My Story

After waiting many years (really what felt like a lifetime to a crazy-about-dogs-kid, that wasn't allowed a dog) Ruby the black Labrador entered my life. Finally, my first dog, and oh my did I fall in love!


After waiting many years (really what felt like a lifetime to a crazy-about-dogs-kid, that wasn't allowed a dog) Ruby the black Labrador entered my life. Finally, my first dog, and oh my did I fall in love!

I wanted the best for her - I bought the best food (which she happily inhaled), the most comfortable bed (that was quickly chewed until destroyed), toys (yup, more destruction), treats, harnesses, collars and leads (of every colour!), you name it I wanted (and often did) provide it.

But when it came to providing training, I was quickly stuck. I couldn't find a trainer who would treat her like I wanted to - a long-awaited family member who completely and utterly deserved respect, understanding, patience and an effective way for us to communicate with each other. I wanted her to listen to me because she wanted to, found it fun and it was rewarding too, not because she was scared of what would happen if she didn't.

So I set to work - book after book was read, course after course was attended with so much love and enthusiasm for dog training I must have looked a little odd bouncing in my seat with excitement and note-taking that would make any author proud.

One day when working as a Veterinary Nurse, giving training advice to a client while pining for Ruby who family cared for when I was working I decided it was time... time to share my knowledge, help, guide and care about dogs and their owners who needed help with training and behaviour problems. Plus I could spend more time with Ruby. A perfect recipe. 

So Karen's DOGS was born. Then after 11 years of training thousands of dogs, opening and running the first dedicated dog training centre in Edinburgh and the Lothians, heart-breakingly losing Ruby, heart-warmingly marrying my partner, gaining Barr and Emmy (my flower girls obviously) and finally relocating to Perthshire the business has evolved into The Outdoor Dog. Helping owners to have a relaxed and responsive dog so they can enjoy outdoor adventures together.

I train people to train their dogs, and I completely and utterly adore my job.

Yes, I love dogs but there is more to it than that...

I do adore dogs (all animals to be honest) but dog training is more than helping dogs. I love to help people too.

  • I listen to an owner's concerns and goals.

  • I explain everything you need to know from why your dog is displaying a behaviour, how to solve the problem, set your dog up for success and achieve real-life results.

  • I will demonstrate the training with your dog, and then support you when you work through the training stages.

  • I appreciate that your dog is a family member and I always feel privileged that I get to work with your dog - all dogs are treated as individuals who deserve their tailor-made training plan.

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Want to see what my client's and Victoria Stillwell (world-renowned dog trainer) say about me?

Your dog deserves the best...

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Unfortunately, the dog training industry is unregulated meaning anyone can call themselves a trainer or behaviourist.


​I have spent many years gaining what are considered to be the most important qualifications within the industry to ensure my knowledge is up-to-date and of the highest level. After all, our dogs deserve the best!


​I have joined numerous top-level organisations, all of which have thorough application processes which have taken months and sometimes years to complete. Although hard work this dog geek loved every bit of the challenge!


​I have spent over 15 years working with a huge variety of breeds (and species!) as a Zoo Keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, as a Veterinary Nurse, and as a trainer and behaviourist. 

Education, Qualifications & Experience

  • BSc Honours in Veterinary Nursing

  • PGCert in Clinical Animal Behaviour from the University of Edinbrugh (2021)

  • Distinction in Dog Training at Centre of Applied Pet Ethology

  • Karen Pryor Academy - Certified Training Partner

  • Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer

  • Victoria Stilwell Academy Facility Advisor

  • Member of The Animal Behaviour & Training Council

  • Member of Association of Pet Dog Trainers

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Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer
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Karen Bachell

MAPDT 01150