My Nostell:
Louise Jessop of Connected Steps

Dog trainer at Connected Steps, Louise Jessop, opens up about her methods and why Nostell provides the perfect base from which to implement them.

Tell us more about your business…

For me, the connection between an owner and their dog is the driver behind the training I provide, through positive reinforcement and the latest science backed methods to promote that harmonious relationship. Working on a 1:1, group and online basis, I help people understand their dog and how to bring out the best in them. That understanding leads to a relationship that most dog owners don’t even know exists and is a world away from ‘having to be the boss’.

How did you get into dog training?

Wanting to become a business owner, I initially thought about dog walking, but I quickly realised that I wanted to know more about dog behaviour. Understanding the dog’s needs and complexities of their behaviour cemented the desire to start my own business. Old-school ways of working that are still out there don’t bring the best out of dogs and their owners. People come to me because they’re looking for a trainer whose approach aligns with who they are.

My Nostell: Louise Jessop of Connected Steps at The Nostell Estate

Why is The Nostell Estate the perfect base for you?

I work out of Yorkshire House Office 7, a natural home-from-home environment. A former conservatory (now with a solid roof), the office has large doors opening out onto a small enclosed yard and a gate that leads straight onto Nostell parkland. The parkland outside the entrance is covered by a well-established tree canopy and is walled on either side, making it the perfect shady, distraction-free spot for dogs. Slightly beyond this area is an open space, ideal for later sessions as dogs and owners progress through their training. Nostell is safe for dogs to be off the lead, and in the estate’s Walled Garden area, there is a dog shower, which is an absolute godsend for hosing down muddy paws before making the journey home. I share the office with career coach, Ruth Lewis. We immediately knew it was for us as soon as we walked in!

What is your top tip for dog owners considering dog training?

Be aware that there’s a different way to train your dog. Speak to various trainers and avoid disciplinarian ‘alpha’ types, selecting a training partner that puts your relationship first. Don’t be afraid to grill potential training providers before signing up for any training. Owners generally come to me with a ‘problem’ to fix – their dog’s running off and not coming back or pulling like a train on the lead. Resolving these challenges is more straightforward when you understand what’s going on for the dog and follow a step-by-step approach. Responsible trainers will welcome your questions. 

I run regular Natter @ Nostell sessions, which are free of charge to prospective clients, giving them the opportunity to ask as many questions as they want. Dog owners can come and have a cup of tea and a chat in my workplace, or a walk around the Nostell Estate, while picking up a few tips and deciding if I’m the right trainer for them.

What’s next for Connected Steps dog training?

Bringing scentwork to pet owners because it’s the activity that all dogs would choose to do and it’s the piece that a lot of owners are missing. Relaxed, calm, happy dog = happy, stress-free owner.

Puppy classes are starting mid-August and are open to vaccinated pups from 12–26 weeks of age. The Nostell Estate offers a completely different setting to the typical village hall classes, giving both puppy and owner a different experience.  

My newest workshop ‘The Human Side of Dog Training’ will be open for booking very shortly – keep an eye on my page for details being released. Hosted in the Meridian Café, dogs stay at home so their humans can come and learn – expect to leave with a whole new outlook and appreciation for your dog! 

You can find out more about my training on my Facebook page, or by coming to one of my Natter @ Nostell sessions.

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