Katie Rourke Dowding entered the dog world in 1988 with a lurcher called Bryndle. By 1990 she was bitten by the “training bug” and became an assistant instructor at Cranbourne Dog Training School.
In ‘91, ‘93, ‘95 and ‘96 she attended The Top Dog Training School Instructor Camps in the USA under the expert tutelage of Jack and Wendy Volhard (world renown dog trainers) and she was briskly escalated to Senior Instructor status at Cranbourne. She successfully competed in the Obedience Rings for five years.
At the 1996 camp Katie watched Clicker Training being demonstrated for the first time and started to offer it to her clients as an alternative method of training in the summer of 1997.
1998 saw Katie open “The Canine Film Academy”, a dog training school dedicated to training pet dogs (like yours) how to perform the sort of behaviours seen on TV and in films. This was the first Dog Training School to offer a dedicated Clicker Training course in the UK.
CFA dogs went on to appear in magazines, TV commercials, films and even on radio over the next ten years. This legacy continues at Scout Dog Training in the USA.
Katie bred a beautiful litter of Standard Poodle puppies from Flossy before moving into Labradoodles in 2006. One puppy from that litter was gifted to Canine Partners For Independence. Dogs for the Disabled benefited from a gift puppy from the 2007 litter.
However, the new pressures of family life and the loss of Susan (her right hand woman) forced the closure of the training school and the opening of Centre Stage Dog Grooming in January 2010.
Ever competitive, Katie entered her first grooming competition in June 2011, gaining a Special Award at that very first show.
Katie is married to Steve Dowding and has two children, Daisy and Jenson.
Katie's pets currently consist of five dogs, 3 cats and 20 chickens. Delicious fresh free range eggs are available most of the summer.
In 2013 Katie joined NAPCG and did a two day workshop where she learned how to dye dogs safely and she also attended a workshop with Colin Taylor (an international dog grooming star).