Robert Alleyne was bitten by the dog training bug as soon as he joined his first pet class in 1981. By 1984 he was competing successfully at obedience shows and attending training classes four-five nights a week, and by 1986 he was running his own dog training classes.
He worked as an Animal Welfare Officer for Lewisham Council from 1990-2007, where he became the senior officer and acquired even more experience dealing with a variety of animals and their owners. However, it’s his uncanny understanding of dogs that makes him exceptional in his field.
Robert ran his own dog training classes from 1986-2021, training thousands of dogs and their owners. He now runs The Canine Instructor Academy, which provides five-day residential instructors courses, teaching others how to teach companion dog training in a fun and practical way, and also how to address training and behavioural issues. These courses are attended by people from a variety of backgrounds, from pet owners with no interest in training owners and dogs professionally but want a better understanding of their dogs, to vet nurses, groomers, dog walkers, and budding trainers and behaviourists.
He gives talks at a variety of functions, from private parties, to other dog training establishments, to colleges and universities, and lectures both nationally and internationally.
He has made numerous appearances on radio and television programmes and was the behavioural trainer on the hugely popular BBC series Dog Borstal.
In 2000 Robert’s ground-breaking book on training and behaviour – The Trouble-Free Dog was first published. It was then updated and reprinted in paperback in 2008.
“The vast majority of the dogs I work with have already been trained by their owners. Training isn’t really their biggest problem. The real problem they have is that the dog isn’t listening. He knows exactly what the owner wants him to do, he just isn’t doing it. And there will normally be many situations where this occurs.
This usually means that there is some sort of communication breakdown between the owner and the dog, resulting in the dog believing that listening is optional, and is dependent on whether or not he considers the reward the owner is offering is worthwhile. As soon as it’s not, he stops listening, but this can easily lead to disaster. So my first job is to find out why he isn’t listening. And once we have accomplished reliable listening, the ‘training’ is far more successful.”