A bit about us

Buddies Dog Training Club Bolton was established by Karen & Gail in 2003. As a team we have a wealth of practical experience and theoretical knowledge to offer you.


Karen has been running dog training classes in Bolton for 25+ years. Having grown up in a very doggy household Karen began a career with Guide Dogs 30+ years ago working in the kennels, she qualified as a Guide Dog Trainer in 1988 and became a Senior Guide Dog Trainer in 2000. She also has a Professional Diploma in Education.  

Karen is a member of the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers and has qualified with The Kennel Club as an examiner for the Good Citizen Dog Scheme up to gold level.

Karen lives with a German Shepherd called Billy and rescue dog Brian, a patterdale terrier.


Gail has been involved in dog training for 30+ years. Having taken part in competitive obedience and being a qualified KC judge she specialised in advanced training.

Gail is a qualified instructor with the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers and with The Kennel Club as an examiner for the Good Citizen Dog Scheme up to gold level.

She qualified as a Guide Dog Trainer here in the UK then spent several years working as Senior Dog Trainer for Seeing Eye Dogs Australia. Whilst in Oz she and her black Labrador Eadie trained and competed in Rally Obedience, HTM and agility.

Now back in the UK, with a retired Eadie, Gail has returned to Guide Dogs UK as a Training & Behaviour Advisor.


Derek W has a lifetimes experience living with, training and working dogs. He has achieved bronze, silver and gold Good Citizen Dog Scheme awards.

The family has owned, shown and bred several dog breeds over the years and have puppy walked numerous dogs for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Derek attended obedience training classes with the family GSDs, followed by years training and working his Labrador Retrievers as gundogs. (ps he’s also Karen’s dad!).


Katie has a love for terriers and is currently owned by 2 Cairn terriers Bronnie and Barley. They have both had their own unique and quirky issues which was the reason why Katie became interested in dog training and understanding dog behaviour.

As you probably know Dorothy & Toto followed the yellow brick road and found Oz but Katie and her Cairns followed Chorley Old Road and found Buddies!

Bronnie & Barley have both achieved their Bronze, Silver and Gold Good Citizen awards. Katie has also trained and competed in Agility with Barley.  

Katie has completed an Introduction to Tellington TTouch course and is currently studying for a Diploma in Higher Canine Behaviour & Psychology