About Us

Who we are. What we do.

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Who and what is the Dog Business School?

Back in the day, we had to learn the hard way how to start and grow our own dog business. We were frustrated trying to make sense of the requirements, the educational landscape and the limited business focussed training courses available to us. Fast forward a few years and the opportunity arose for us to design and provide timely training courses designed for today’s more sophisticated professionals, with rich, relevant content delivered through a mixed and engaging blend of learning media.

The Dog Business School was established to help dog lovers and aspiring and active pet care professionals whether pet sitters, dog walkers, dog groomers, home boarders, day care providers, trainers, behaviourists or commercial care providers research, plan, to start, launch, grow and scale your businesses in a professional and ethical manner. 

With increasing demand, competitive forces and a burgeoning regulatory framework, it is important for pet-care professionals to be best equipped to meet these combined demands and expectations whilst fulfilling the vital role you play in helping pets and their owners receive the best possible care, welfare and enrichment.

The Dog Business School provides a range of courses and resources that will help the aspiring professional go from starting a dog business with the focus on the business knowledge, skills, services and resources, through to various Ofqual regulated qualifications from leading national awarding organisations, together with tailor made and accredited courses.

Our courses aim to set an appropriate standard for canine oriented business skills as well as ensuring a suitable standard and approach towards the best possible care and welfare of animals.

The Dog Business School offers a wide variety of accredited and recognised practical and online courses.

The Ofqual regulated qualifications from national awarding organisation like AIM Qualifications and iPet Network meet the qualification standards set by Defra’s Licensing of ‘Activities Involving Animals’ under the Animal Welfare Regulations 2018.

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A word from our founder, Randle Stonier

I decided to start the Dog Business School because of my frustration with a whole raft of training providers when we initially came to set up our own licensed home boarding, daycare and dog walking business.

I wanted fit for purpose ’knowledge nuggets’ – things I could consume from my mobile whilst out and about, ideally in 2 minutes, as well as videos, live coaching and personal accountability whenever possible. I also think learning should be fun.

But as importantly, I was irritated at the lack of transparency in the training space about what are really accredited courses – and when I say accredited, I want to know when I take a course that it’s OFQUAL regulated, or it’s not. DEFRA set the minimum qualification standards for dog licensing regulations in England, and I want to know if a course is formally recognised at a Governmental level. Don’t hide behind the ‘accredited’ label, when it’s only accredited by you and your mother-in-law. It doesn’t help my business to find out I’ve blown hundreds on a course that the regulations make mandatory only to find out it’s not officially recognised.

Also, it hacks me off when I book a course and subsequently find out I need to fork out another £150 for books as the specific course has no training resources included. Well fine, it’s probably reflected in the price – but tell me about it up front, so I can budget.

You could say I wasn’t overwhelmed by the training offerings or the transparency in the dog business world. So I vowed to set up and offer what I hope will be a series of relevant clear, unambiguous courses and resources that meet both the ‘canine’ side of setting up and running a professional dog-care business as well as the business side of a canine business.

Some courses and content will be OFQUAL accredited, some won’t. But we will be clear and transparent about what we’re offering and whether it’s OFQUAL accredited.

Randle Stonier

Meet the team

Meet the team behind Dog Business School.

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Kate Middleton

Course Leader

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Kate has a degree in Animal Science and a Masters degree in Animal Behaviour. She has worked in finance and as a University Lecturer. She has run her own successful Dog Walking & Pet Sitting business since 2014. Kate brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our ‘students’ and concisely shines a light on some of the murkier waters whilst guiding ‘learners’ into delivering better informed pet care.

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Gill Harvey

Business & Operations Consultant

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With over 30 years’ senior leadership experience and an MBA in Business Administration, Gill’s passion and focus is on the mechanics of organisations, making business excellence accessible to all organisations regardless of their size or resource. Her specialty is diagnosing the root cause of the day to day problems that often hold businesses back. 

With 30 years senior leadership experience, Gill has an IRCA registered ISO9001:2015 Lead Auditor qualification; MBA; Master NLP Practitioner status; and excels as a lecturer; coach and productivity and growth specialist.

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Rob Mynett

Learning & Development Consultant

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Robert has worked in Learning and Development for the past 19 years and in that time has developed and delivered award winning tailored learning and testing interventions via e-learning, classroom training, assessment centres and blended learning on subjects such as customer service, management, sales, software, government, performance management, induction, brand awareness, cultural awareness, language training and many courses specific to work completed by top companies. Robert has a proven track record of working with individuals at all levels within a company structure.

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Joanna Blicharz

Quality Lead

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Joanna is a qualified and experienced assessor and the Internal Quality Assurer (IQA). Joanna is responsible for making sure that the accredited and regulated qualifications run by Dog Business School are compliant with our Awarding Organisations and Ofqual’s regulations. Her role also involves ensuring that assessment activities are conducted in a consistent and fair manner, learners are provided with clear and specific feedback and that assignments sent to external assessors are of a high enough standard to be submitted to the Awarding Organisation so that candidates can achieve their qualification.

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Scott Rhodie

Digital Leader

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Scott is our digital expert. With a wealth of experience in both UX & Web Development, Scott shapes and delivers both the Dog Business School’s digital presence and that of our sister brand, DogBusiness.co.uk, via which he creates and builds websites for other customers who have their own dog business too. Having managed websites for global companies, international charities, and others; he’s ideally-placed to keep our website and course centre running like clockwork!

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Randle Stonier


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Randle has an extensive career in business and marketing having worked with a number of global organisations. He’s a former chair at the Institute of Promotional Marketing and served as an industrial advisor, visiting lecturer and external examiner for Leeds Beckett University.

He is a passionate poocher and together with his sister, set up their own licensed home boarding, daycare and dog walking businesses. He has also written a book, ‘How To Start Your Dog Business From Home’ and founded both the DogBusinessSchool.co.uk and the DogBusiness.co.uk.

In a former life he was a Royal Navy officer, he set up and ran a paddle steamer in London, has produced events in 52 countries and worked for Sir Richard Branson as the licensee of Europe’s largest gay night club.

Our sister brands

DogBusinessSchool is part of Polkadott Consulting. Explore our other dog business related entities.

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DogBusiness.co.uk is the home of Dog Business, and the sister brand of the Dog Business School.

DogBusiness.co.uk helps dog business professionals deliver dream dog experiences.

We provide forms, templates and documentation; design and deliver bespoke websites; and provide lots of useful links for dog businesses everywhere.


MyWaggyTails Partners offer a range of professional dog-care services.

Our commitment to you is that MyWaggyTails is DBS/CRB checked, professionally trained in canine first aid and dog handling, insured, and where required, fully licensed.

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MyWaggyTails Business

MyWaggyTails Business is a highly rated professional dog-care and marketing business. We provide people who might be nervous about going it alone with a helping hand through our ‘co-franchise’ service.

There are very good reasons why we’re rated 5 stars by both our local licensing authority and our customers.

When it comes to starting your own dog business, working with MyWaggyTails Business reduces your risks by benefitting from our expertise, creativity and proven processes.

If you’re thinking of setting up your own dog business we can help you make it happen.

From Wags To Riches

‘From Wags To Riches’, is what we call a ‘dogcast’ as opposed to a podcast, and it’s for dog lovers everywhere but specifically for dog related business owners and those perhaps aspiring to start one.

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