top of page


Joy Knowles with Gerry


Founder of Joyful Dogs

Hi, I’m Joy!  

I’m CPDT-KA qualified (Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed) – which means you and your dog are in safe hands!

I grew up in the rolling hills of Lancashire’s ‘Ribble Valley’ – you’ll probably notice a slight Northern twang!  My first dog - “Boozie” - was a Border Collie with a big heart and a wonderful sense of fun.  He was also my rock.  Years later, my husband and I adopted a nervous Collie-cross called Gerry.  Gerry’s sensitivities prompted me to question conventional dog training and seek out kinder, gentler methods, giving the dog more ‘choice’.  We’re so proud of what Gerry has overcome and of the bond we share.  

My passion is helping caring owners like you find harmony with your dog.  I’ll help you unravel your dog’s behaviour and communicate more effectively - dogs are intelligent, willing partners when we let them be. Rest assured that at Joyful we are committed to positive reinforcement training – no nasties!  Kindness & fun are a given so, get ready for a games-based approach to learning … and to shine in your success.

B.C. (Before Canine) - I graduated in ’98 with a BSc in Politics (2:1), then worked in London for 16 years before re-training in dog behaviour.  Since 2015, I’ve helped people work through all sorts of canine challenges from recall to reactivity; separation issues to PAT/Service Dog training and of course all areas of puppy training.  I look forward to helping you and your dog too!

Helen Baker with her dogs


I began working with Joyful Dogs in 2016 when Joy adopted her rescue dog, Gerry who was struggling with separation anxiety.  Together we implemented Joy’s Training Plan and helped Gerry become happy being home alone.  It was enlightening to have been part of the process and to see how a thoughtful training plan can transform a dog’s life.

I started my professional canine career in 2013 when I set up Muddy Buddies, a dog walking and day care business, and have been loving this dog life ever since. I am relentlessly helpful in creating a harmonious relationship between pup and human; saving owners from meltdowns.  I teach you to ‘think dog’ – a counsellor of sorts, if you will.  I have worked with just about every type of dog so can read their body language well. More importantly, I can teach you how to pick up on your dog’s subtle hints and how to be their best guardian, alongside learning the ‘must have’ proud puppy owner tricks.

I look forward to getting to know you and your dog!

Katie Slocombe


I grew up in Somerset with the countryside on my doorstep and a love for animals in my heart. I have always been interested in animal behaviour from a small child where I would watch ants go about their day, collect snails in my nan’s garden and look for wildlife in the local river.

My passion for animal behaviour ignited when my pet Rabbit, Mr Jingles (yes, he was named after the mouse in The Green Mile) became quite ill with teeth issues and developed some interesting behaviours during his recovery. It’s because of him that I went on to study Animal behaviour and Welfare at university.

Post university I have gone on to work with a variety of different species, including cats and rabbits, carrying out behaviour and training work where needed. I have worked with hundreds of dogs over the years, many of those with reactivity issues, and helped transform their lives from stressful/worried dogs into happy, contented dogs that can go on to lead a happy life.

bottom of page