South Tyneside dog trainer business ranked best in the country by trade magazine
A South Shields dog trainer business has been named the best in the country by a trade magazine competition in its annual awards list.
Nathan Leighton, co-owner of the Go For Walkies services based in South Shields, said he was “delighted” to clinch the Dog Friendly Magazine prize after finishing runner-up twice in previous years.
The business offers regular dog training classes at the Waggy Warehouse in Tyne Dock and recently expanded into Blaydon Youth and Community Centre in Gateshead. It also offers one-to-one training and behaviour training “for anything from pulling on the lead to dog aggression,” according to Mr Leighton.
"And we work with over 300 dogs each year. We specialise in dogs barking at other dogs and dogs with separation anxiety.”
The Dog Friendly Magazine awards were decided by the dog trainer service that won the highest number of votes. Marsden resident Mr Leighton told The Gazette his business received “several hundred”.
Nearly 200 reviews and messages were submitted by satisfied customers as part of the shop’s successful bid, as they made the case for why Go For Walkies should emerge top dog.
More than 19,000 businesses were entered for the magazine’s annual competition and 13 different businesses were announced as winners in their respective categories.
Go For Walkies was declared winner in the ‘Dog Trainer of the Year’ category by the BBC’s Katie Thistleton.
Mr Leighton set up the business with his partner, Jayni, seven years ago, following a career switch after having spent almost a decade working in the Courts and Tribunal Service.
He says he currently owns five dogs as pets, including three rescue dogs - two German Shepherds cross border collies called Chloe and Bella, a Rottweiler cross Staffy called Demo, a patterdale cross border terrier cross lakeland called Milo and a Jack Russell called Millie.
Commenting on this month’s award success, he said: “I am chuffed to have finally won the top stop and been named The Dog Friendly Magazine Dog Trainer of 2020.
“We wouldn’t have won if all my clients hadn’t voted for me to get there. It’s an absolute delight to know that we have changed our clients so much that they are willing to vote for us.