Our Instructors

Together our training team has countless years of experience, innumerable hours of study and many hours of dog-related conference attendance under their collective belt. Our instructors are expected to continue to upgrade their knowledge of dog training and behaviour through attendance at workshops, seminars and conferences and also by attending in-house training sessions provided by CBS Inc. Each member of the team has a genuine interest in helping dogs and their guardians. Our goal is to achieve good citizens on both ends of the lead.

Debra Millikan

Debra, Joe and Bruno

Deb’s dog training experience spans more than 35 years. She has successfully competed with her dogs in obedience trials and conformation shows gaining Australian Championships and various obedience and endurance titles with them. In the late 1970s she established Kelver Kanine Dog Obedience School and became an obedience judge in the early 1990s. However, there was something missing in what she was doing.

Whilst living overseas in the late 1990s, Deb discovered positive training. She read widely and watched positive training working in the UK and Europe. The thought of training without coercion was what re-ignited her interest in dog training.

On returning to Australia, Deb undertook the Delta Canine Good Citizen™ Instructor’s Course (Certificate IV in Dog Behavioural Training) in 2003 and has since completed a Diploma in Animal Behavior Science and Technology and a Diploma in Dog Training and Behavior Consulting (both with distinction). These diplomas were gained through the Companion Animal Sciences Institute (CASI), Canada. Deb has recently gained (with distinction) the internationally recognised, UK based, Competency Assessment Programme, CAP 2 qualification. For more information about this program please go to www.learningaboutdogs.com/html/certification.html .  In late 2011 she became a Canine Life and Social Skills Evaluator through the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (USA), which allows her to carry out evaluations for the BA, MA and PhD qualifications dogs can gain through their work at Canine Behavioural School.

Debra is a Professional Animal Behaviour Consultant with the Association of Animal Behaviour Professionals (AABP) and a member of both the Australian and US Associations of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). She has been appointed to the Advisory Board of CASI, Chairs the Ethics Committee of the AABP and is also part of that Association’s Membership Examination Committee.

Deb has written articles for various journals and magazines including the peer reviewed Journal of Applied Companion Animal Behavior, the New Zealand Kennel Gazette, Dog World, the Canine News, Dog Blog n Cat Chat and Pet Lifestyle Magazine. Deb has been a speaker at workshops and seminars both nationally and internationally. Deb’s current studies include a Cert IV in Training and Assessment and she is shortly to undertake a Diploma in Feline Behaviour Science and Technology.

Deb shares her life with a very tolerant husband, Arnold and Bruno the 9 year old Brussels Griffon who has gained his Delta Canine Good Citizen™ Award and Mace, the 9 month old Bouvier des Flandres puppy who is growing larger by the day.

Sharon Crichton
Sharon and Jasper

Sharon and Jasper

Sharon first become interested in positive reinforcement when she wanted to ensure her Dalmatian puppy Jasper would be well behaved. It was important to her that she could train Jasper without doing any harm. The use of positive reinforcement training was so successful Jasper was doing tricks and agility from a young age.

If ever Sharon needed confirmation about that positive rewards training brings results her second Dalmatian Pippa proved how powerful this method can be. Pippa is a ‘special needs’ dog who suffers from anxiety related aggression. By the age of 7mths one vet recommended Pippa be euthanased. Sharon refused to give up of this beautiful intelligent Dalmation and with the help of a Behavioural Vet she has made amazing progress. So significant has her progress been that in January 2012 Pippa was the first dog in Australian to receive her BA title through C.L.A.S.S. (Canine Life and Social Skills program www.mydoghasclass.com/ ).

Sharon has a range of qualifications including her CAP2 (Distinction) which is an internationally recognized UK based competency program (additional information can be found at www.learningaboutdogs.com/html/certification.html ). Sharon is currently completely her Cert IV in Companion Animal Services with Delta Society Australia. Sharon is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and has left the corporate world to run a dog training and behaviour business called Positive Dog Training.

Susanne Eckert
Susanne and Piper

Susanne and Piper

Susanne had the fortune to be “blessed’ with a very difficult and somewhat complex female Rottweiler. Mila forced Susanne to research alternative methods of training as traditional, punishment-based techniques were escalating Mila’s fear based “aggressive” responses both to people and other dogs. This resulted in a pilgrimage which began with the Rottweiler Club of SA where she instructed and, out of necessity developed a special interest in training and rehabilitating difficult/reactive dogs.

Susanne is employed in the scientific area of medical pathology. She is a Delta Society Australia-accredited Canine Good Citizen Instructor, holds a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services, and is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia and is a Professional Member of the Delta Professional Dog Trainers Association.

Together with Bodil Schou-Hansen, Susanne runs weekly Puppy Pre-School at Stephen Terrace Veterinary Clinic, and teaches at CBS on Monday nights. Her passion is helping owners understand and manage reactive dogs. Susanne assist Vicki Burton with her reactive dog classes on Saturday mornings at Unity Park Pooraka, and helps owners through private consultations. Susanne has 2 Rotten-weilers, Piper and Gunter.

Dogs have always shared Susanne’s life but one difficult dog has changed her whole approach to how she now relates to dogs and most importantly understanding their mental needs and concerns, and to help and guide pet parents to better and more humane methods of interacting with their very best friends.

Mila has now passed away and Susanne’s legacy to Mila is to continue to help dogs to the best of her ability and thereby hold onto her precious memory. To quote “Dogs are not our whole life but they make our life whole”.

Petra Edwards
Petra Edwards and Riven

Petra Edwards and Riven

Petra first became involved in the dog training industry at the age of 12 as an assistant instructor, when her mum, Mim Edwards, began Adelaide Pet Dog Training (now owned by Bodil Schou-Hansen, another CBS Instructor). At 15 Petra began volunteering at the Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute Club which is now CBS Inc. She is heavily involved in both playing and coaching various levels at the East Torrens Payneham Lacrosse Club and more recently Sturt Lacrosse Club. Petra has just begun a Bachelor of Science (Animal Behaviour) at Flinders University and is absolutely loving learning about the evolution of behaviour of all animals, not just our canine counterparts. She has also commenced work on attaining her CAP 1 and 2 qualifications under the guidance of Deb Millikan, and has just recently passed her Canine Good Citizen Award test with her 11 year old Labrador X English Pointer – Riven.

Monday nights at CBS Inc always provide a learning curve for Petra due to the diverse range of dogs and guardians in classes and the individual backgrounds and experience that each of the assistants and instructors at CBS Inc has to offer. Particularly, she enjoys working with more difficult and independent dogs, dogs that have trouble focusing in class due to reactivity, anxiety or excitement and dogs with a drive for agility and tricks training.

Petra’s goal is to be able to work with exotic animals in a behavioural training and consulting capacity. She is always looking to further her knowledge and experience in the field by attending conferences particularly those provided by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, reading the huge range of books available, practicing training skills on her dogs at home, and continuing to work with the other instructors and assistants at CBS Inc and Adelaide Pet Dog Training. There is always something to learn!

Regretfully, Petra has taken some time off from CBS in 2012 due to her ever increasing commitments to lacrosse, which now involve training for the Australian team touring in 2013 (which she is super excited about!) Petra will be back as soon as her lacrosse workload quietens down – watch this space.

Bodil Schou-Hansen

Bodil, Ming, Chiang & Coco

In addition to volunteering at CBS, Bodil is the owner of Adelaide Pet Dog Training which offers reward based training courses at a range of venues in South Australia. She is a qualified Delta Society Australia-accredited Canine Good Citizen™ Instructor, is a Professional Member of the Delta Professional Dog Trainers Association, holds a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services and is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia and the Association of Animal Behaviour Professionals. She has gained (with distinction) the internationally recognised, UK based, Competency Assessment Programme, CAP 1& 2 qualification.

She has had a great passion for dogs all her life which led her to obtain her dog training qualifications and has and continues to attend many local and interstate seminars, workshops and lectures to ensure continued learning and adherence to current best practice methods.

Bodil runs Puppy Pre-School at Stephen Terrace Veterinary Clinic and Adelaide Hills Animal Hospital with fellow CBS volunteers, Susanne Eckert and Debra Millikan. In addition to instructing at CBS Inc and at Adelaide Pet Dog Training, Bodil also provides volunteer services to the Animal Welfare League and the RSPCA.

Bodil lives with her two furry family members, Ming, a 12 year old Chow Chow and Coco, a nine year old Dogue de Bordeaux (French mastiff). Sadly her other Chow Chow, Chiang (pictured in the photo) has since passed away. She is totally committed to providing relevant positive training for guardians of companion dogs to ensure good and happy citizens at both ends of the lead.

Laura Brady
Laura, Harvey and Fergus

Laura, Harvey and Fergus

Laura grew up with lots of pets and has always loved animals. After adopting her second dog from a shelter, a miniature poodle named Harvey she discovered he had some behavioural issues that he needed help to work through. This led to her researching the best ways to help him and ultimately to her desire to become a dog trainer to help other dogs and their human friends.

Laura has been a school teacher for twelve years and has postgraduate qualifications in Special Education. She is currently completing the final block of the Delta CGC™ Instructors’ Course (Cert IV in Companion Animal Services) assignments.

Sarah Esau
Sarah, Hef and Portia

Sarah, Hef and Portia

Sarah has always had a love for animals. She grew up with lots of pets including dogs, cats, horses, mice, turtles, guinea pigs and rabbits. Having no experience with any official dog training methods, Sarah was first introduced to reward based training by Bev Clark at the Norwood Veterinary Clinic’s puppy school with her Pug/Cavalier cross, Portia.

Sarah’s animal family now includes Portia the Pug X, a Devon Rex cat, a Burmese cat, three chickens and an Australian Bulldog, Hef, who joined the family in January 2009.

After noticing some aggressive tendencies in Hef, Sarah promptly enrolled him into a puppy course at Adelaide Pet Dog Training and followed on with the Canine Companion Course. Hef’s behaviour completely turned around as a result of this training and the knowledge Sarah gained of how to handle the situation if/when it arose grew.

Whilst Sarah was at university she was also a volunteer at the RSPCA.  She found positive training methods invaluable whilst working with the ’adoption’ and ‘prosecution’ dogs.

Sarah works as a solicitor and is interested in practicing in animal rights law in the future.

Adam Warchol
Adam, Lula and Riga

Adam, Lula and Riga

Adam has been around dogs for most of his life and has found a natural affinity with them and loves the bond that humans and dogs can achieve.

After spending 5 years working and travelling in the UK & Europe and living in a cramped apartment with a strict ‘no pets’ policy, a dog was one of the first things on his list after returning to Adelaide. ‘Riga’ a Hungarian Vizsla joined the family in 2009 followed by ‘Lula’ a German Short Haired Pointer in 2010.

Adam joined CBS in 2009 as a student to ensure his dogs were well trained and joined the training team in late 2010 as an Assistant Instructor. His particular interest is in agility and he enjoys seeing both pet and guardian succeed in new challenges. He is also a member of the Hungarian Vizsla Club of SA.

Adam is an accountant but sheds the brown cardigan image to pursue his other hobby of scuba diving with an aim to cage dive with Great White Sharks in Port Lincoln. He would love to move to the Adelaide Hills to give his dogs more space and hopefully a permanent swimming hole.

He believes that exercise is a key ingredient to a great relationship with your dog.

Dave Marriott
Dave and Maple

Dave and Maple

Dave was introduced to positive dog training soon after Maple Labrador came into his life. Maple was exuberant at first and is still as enthusiastic as ever.

Dave has found training Maple a great way to have fun with a dog and it doesn’t feel like work. He and Maple spend as much time as possible enjoying the outdoors – the beach on the weekend and watching the sun rise over the city from Mt. Osmond most mornings.

When he’s not training Maple, Dave works as an accountant. He lives with his wife Melanie and their three teenage children.

Dave believes that positive training is a great training method as it has been so successful with his own dog.

Liz Horton
Liz and Bella

Liz and Bella

Liz has been surrounded by a variety of pets since childhood but the dogs have always been her best friends. She is currently best friends with a Labrador X Retriever Bellatrix. All Harry Potter fans rest easy she says, ‘my dog is nothing like the book’s character!’

Animal Behaviour and Enrichment is a subject that has developed into more than an interest for Liz, it has lead to a career spent interacting and enriching the lives of a variety of exotic animals in captivity. And, as a part of her university studies she travelled to Queensland to tag turtles and to Victoria to catch bats amongst other things.

While Liz has enjoyed these adventures it became apparent to her that the rewards she received from one-on-one training with her own dogs enriched her! A weekend isn’t complete without taking her dogs to the beach or the park to put into practice the training they have received so far.

Liz’s hobby is photography and recently she has begun to combine her interests by photographing canine behaviour when she is out exercising her dogs. People are interested when she explains what she is taking the photos for an Liz encourages all dog owners she meets to invest in quality training for their pets.

Working as an Assistant Trainer at Canine Behavioural School has given Liz a great appreciation for the positive reward system and she hopes to be able to apply these skills to her interactions with all animals.

Sarah Holman
Sarah, Honey and Montee

Sarah, Honey and Montee

Sarah has always been surrounded by animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens and ducks and from a very young age wanted to work with animals. Sarah began by doing work experience and becoming an assistant with Adelaide Pet Dog Training in late 2009 and early 2010. After deciding to develop her knowledge and dog training skills further Sarah started assisting at CBS in late 2011. Sarah hopes to commence the Delta CGC Instructors’ Course (Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services) in April 2012.

Sarah adopted her first dog, Honey, a ridgeback, staffy, mastiff cross in 2010 when she was six months and her second, Montee, a kelpie, in early 2011 when he was 14 months. Montee had anxiety when faced with new objects, environments and dogs, which he has since mostly overcome and Sarah now has the skills to be able to manage this.

Sarah is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Science (Animal Science) at Adelaide Uni. Sarah is looking forward to doing more training with CBS and Adelaide Pet Dog Training in 2012 and starting the Delta Course. Sarah would especially like to be able to help people understand their dogs’ behaviour and help them to be able to form a strong bond with their pet.

Wendy Wajer


Wendy has had dogs all her life since the age of 10 and since then has lived with 16 amazing canine friends; every one of them special.

Over the last 20 years her journey has been to learn as much as she can about the animals in her care. 20 years ago she was rescuing and hand rearing birds and native animals, so she started veterinary nursing at a practice specialising in birds and natives, while studying for her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.
After 8 years at this practice, she then worked in a large Adelaide practice with 4 clinics, where they offered behavioural consultations and puppy pre-school. This is when she began to become interested in animal behaviour and conditioning. After a while, she began teaching puppy pre-school to her clients and loved it. After she lost her old dog Bodger, her new puppy, a German Shorthaired Pointer called Zelda was the impetus she needed to clicker train her first dog. She had participated in ‘obedience training’ years ago but knew there was something better to be had. She went to all the conferences and seminars she could to learn more about what is considered best practice for training and socialising her new friend. This is when she discovered Adelaide Pet dog training, being run by Mim Edwards . . . finally there was manners training for the modern dog! She was hooked.

Her next job was as a lecturer at the Veterinary and Applied Science Centre at the Gilles Plains TAFE campus, teaching from Certificate to Diploma level. Her personal interest was still in animal behaviour and she began teaching veterinary nurses how to develop training plans for their clients as well as how to design a good puppy pre-school using the most current methods. She is passionate about the good we can do to set up our canine companions for a confident and happy life and was overjoyed that she could ensure that new nurses had a sound knowledge of the importance of getting things right from the start. She has also taught the zoo keepers at Monarto and Adelaide zoo on animal ethology and behaviour modification programs for captive animals.

She now runs her own business as a Canine Myofunctional Therapist and Groomer/Stylist as well as other pet care services.

Wendy still considers herself as having so much to learn and the best way to do that is to be out on the oval with people and their dogs and her dog and she feels privileged that the CBS team have welcomed her aboard.

Melissah Dietman
Melissah and Zoe

Melissah and Zoe

Melissah has always had a keen interest in obedience training ever since growing up with the family’s Jack Russell. The back yard was often set up with an agility course and she enjoyed teaching the family pet new tricks. Melissah was also involved in horse riding for about 10 years.

A few years after moving out of the family home she realised how much she missed the companionship of a dog and after much research and moving house to allow for a pet, Zoe the Miniature Schnauzer joined the family.

Melissah was introduced to positive training through Puppy Pre-school held by Susanne Eckert and following this, commenced as a student with Canine Behavioural School in late 2010. In 2012 Melissah commenced as an aspiring instructor at CBS and enjoys helping others to see the benefits of positive training.

Cathy Peek
Cathy and Cedar

Cathy and Cedar

Cathy has always been a huge animal lover and has been interested in canine behaviour for several years. This interest began with her first dog, Asha, with whom she had an amazing bond but who was fearful of children. Cathy has volunteered with the dogs and cats at the RSPCA, as well as with elephants in Thailand. She has a Bachelor of Behavioural Science and is currently studying with the Companion Animal Sciences Institute (CASI). Through this she is learning more every day about her very energetic, and still somewhat puzzling, one and a half year old dog, Cedar.

After trying a local dog obedience group with Cedar, Cathy was disheartened with the training experience (big groups and no one-on-one assistance), but was fortunate to be invited to come and watch the CBS group and was very impressed by the professionalism, content and assistance offered in classes. With Cedar she has since completed the Bronze and Bronze Upskill classes and is proud of how far along they have both come already. She looks forward to helping others do the same.

Sam Catford

Sam Catford

Sam’s journey along the yellow brick road of dog training began over a decade ago in 1999, when she adopted ‘Rupert’ a 3-month-old Lab X from an animal shelter. As Rupert matured it became evident he had significant behavioural problems including fear aggression towards people and other dogs. After exploring traditional training methods (as that was all that was available in her area) Sam knew there had to be a more humane way to help Rupert. A colleague gave Sam the name of a positive trainer and after one in-home consultation it was obvious she had found what she had been looking for. Within a couple of weeks the positive change in Rupert’s behaviour was significant and as a result his bond with Sam became stronger. The trainer who changed Rupert and Sam’s lives was Vicki Burton a Delta Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Instructor. From that day Sam’s goal was to eventually complete the Delta CGC course and to help other guardians develop a deeper relationship with their canine companions built on a foundation of mutual trust and respect.

In 2003, Sam started working with the Animal Welfare League (AWL) as Development Officer. Sam completed her Certificate IV in Dog Behavioural Training (Canine Good Citizen) in 2004 and is a Professional Member of the Delta Professional Dog Trainers Association. Since leaving the AWL in 2007, Sam has been an Instructor with Adelaide Pet Dog Training and has been part of the volunteer team at the Canine Behavioural School since Feb 2009. Sam is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), Delta Professional Dog Trainer’s Association (DPDTA) and the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals (AABP). Sam has also volunteered at the Hahndorf Interim Animal Shelter since 1999, as a dog walker and has fostered and re-homed many abandoned dogs. To ensure her knowledge of dog behaviour and training methods remains current Sam attends workshops and seminars by international and national experts in the field.

Sam currently works full time with Greening Australia as Communications Manager and is ‘owned’ by ‘Benson’ a Standard Dachshund adopted from the AWL in 2005.

Sadly Rupert passed away in May 2008. Motivated by his memory Sam is committed to help improve the lives of our canine companions by educating their guardians about their dogs behaviour and how to incorporate humane and enjoyable training methods into their everyday life.

Bev Clark
Bev and Cooper

Bev and Cooper

Bev is a lawyer by day and dog trainer by night. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia and is a Delta Society Australia-accredited Canine Good Citizen Instructor and is a Professional Member of the Delta Professional Dog Trainers Association. She has attended many local and interstate seminars, workshops and lectures. She is devoted to developing her knowledge in dog behaviour and training.

Having commenced training dogs almost 30 years ago and competing in Obedience and Agility trials, she has, more recently developed a passionate interest in training pet dogs. Bev runs Puppy Pre-School at Derek McNair’s Veterinary Surgery each Wednesday evening and in addition to instructing at CBS Inc, where she is also the President, she instructs on a part time basis at Adelaide Pet Dog Training.

Bev’s dog interests currently include trick training, good manners training, tracking, herding and when time permits she would like to resume Agility and Trialling with her own dog. She has dabbled in Freestyle dancing, after attending a weekend workshop with the world famous Carolyn Scott, but sadly lacks the showmanship to pursue that activity herself! Bev is also a volunteer for the Delta Dog Safe program, which entails visiting schools in South Australia and teaching children about dog safety.

Bev lives with her husband Robert and two teenage boys Lucas and Nicholas, her furry kids Cooper the Border Collie and Jesse the aged Sheltie, two Devon Rex cats, as well as tree frogs and fish.

Bev is devoted to providing relevant positive training to pet dogs. She firmly believes that aversive methods have no place in dog training and looks forward to the day when all training clubs and schools abandon the use of choke collars, prong collars and correction-based training. Similarly she hopes that the day will soon arrive when such outdated equipment, as well as electronic collars, citronella spray collars and other such cruel and misguided devices are no longer available for purchase anywhere!

Lisa Morgan

Melinda Watson