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Sarah is passionate about supporting dogs of all ages but adolescence is her favourite age group. It isn’t just people that benefit from a support bubble in times of need, dogs need them too.


Adolescent dogs are more likely to be surrendered or abandoned, but with greater understanding, and building quiet connections at a pace to suit each individual dog, we can support the maturing dog at a time when he is probably at his most vulnerable.


Many adolescent dogs become body sensitive around the five month mark. Body sensitivity, coupled with the natural biological process of the adolescent period, can lead to misunderstanding and confusion which in turn creates conflict and can break down the relationship between the adolescent dog and the guardian(s).


Should we really be intensifying/accelerating socialisation and training as many suggest, or should we be focusing on refining a more flexible strategy to support dogs, and their guardians through this wonderful (but sometimes challenging) phase?


Instead of thinking about what we should teach adolescent dogs, let’s consider what we can learn from them.


This presentation will explore the magnificent adolescent phase and will also include:

  • Identifying the right decompressors for the individual dog
  • Creating a support bubble for adolescent dogs
  • Minimising frustration by paying attention to our own behaviour
  • Modifying games
  • Giving adolescent dogs choice, and a voice
  • Establishing a body contact contract
  • Building calm foundations within a frame work of ACE Free Work

Sarah Fisher | ACE for Adolescents

  • Sarah Fisher is a canine and equine behaviour advisor and educator. She has worked with animals for almost thirty years and is the founder of Animal Centred Education.

    Sarah teaches Animal Centred Education (ACE) courses for trainers, groomers, vets, veterinary nurses, physiotherapists and animal behaviour counsellors who wish to broaden their expertise by learning detailed ACE Observations combined with ACE Free Work, gentle bodywork, techniques inspired by animals and some modified methods shared by professionals working in the fields of animal welfare, education and behaviour.

    ACE Free Work has evolved over many years; it offers canine caregivers and guardians a unique opportunity to stand back, watch more, and ‘do’ less. It enables dogs to become the pilot of their own learning experiences, with support from their caregiver or guardian. Free Work is proving to be life changing for dogs of all ages and backgrounds; it has helped countless dogs worldwide learn how to reorganise their bodies more efficiently which has had a profound effect on the way the dogs respond to their external environment.

    Sarah is experienced with a wide range of breed types and teaches staff workshops for many of the UK’s animal welfare organisations, including Battersea. She has also worked in Europe teaching staff workshops for shelters and has taught workshops and clinics for dog trainers and behaviourists in Holland, Greece, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, South Africa, Ireland, Cyprus, Romania and Poland. She also teaches online courses and webinars for behaviour and training advisors.

    Sarah gives presentations on a variety of topics at dog training and behaviour seminars in the UK and abroad. She is a regular speaker at the annual Dog Behaviour Conference organised by Victoria Stilwell Positively and teaches in-person workshops in the UK for the Victoria Stilwell Academy. Sarah also conducts behaviour assessments for private clients, animal welfare organisations, and court cases and delivers seminars for a wide range of organisations including those involved in scent detection dogs, assistance dogs, and Police dogs. Sarah is a published author and has participated in numerous television and radio programmes over the years including Nightmare Pets SOS for BBC1.

  • 10th December 2023

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