Home » Podcast » Podcast Guest » HH – 009 – Sam – Rovers Return Dog Training
sam - rovers return dog training


In the world of dog training, there are those who rely on outdated, punitive methods, and then there are individuals like Sam Hughes, an advocate for force-free, compassionate training techniques. With a passion for understanding canine behaviour and fostering strong, positive relationships between dogs and their owners, Sam is the driving force behind Rovers Return Dog Training.

Growing up in Ullesthorpe, Sam has always had dogs as a part of her life. Her love for dogs led her down the path of becoming a qualified dog trainer and behaviourist. While she also enjoys socialising with friends and staying active, her dedication to working with dogs has become her life’s mission.

At Rovers Return, Sam offers a range of services, including group classes for puppies and follow-on training, as well as specialised scent work classes. However, what sets her apart is her focus on behaviour work for fear, anxiety, and reactive behaviours in dogs. Her insightful approach involves understanding the underlying physiological reasons behind a dog’s behaviour, focusing on building optimism, promoting calmness, and utilising positive reinforcement techniques with food and toys.

Sam’s journey into dog training took a significant turn when she transitioned from working in the prison service to pursuing her passion for understanding and working with dogs. She embarked on a journey of continuous learning, completing extensive training in dog behaviour and training, including a Level 6 Canine Behaviour qualification, equivalent to a master’s degree at a university.

One of the key learnings in Sam’s career has been the importance of confidence. She encourages her younger self and others to trust in their knowledge and skills, highlighting the value of continued learning and self-assurance in pursuing one’s passions.

Drawing from her experience and expertise, Sam has also become an advocate for responsible dog ownership and the need to understand a dog’s needs and behaviour patterns. She debunks myths and stereotypes associated with dog breeds, emphasising the significance of pain management, diet, and the environment in shaping a dog’s behaviour.

In addition to her professional achievements, Sam draws inspiration from her two dogs, Bert and Ernie, who have been instrumental in shaping her approach to dog training. Their unique personalities and experiences have provided her with valuable insights, especially in dealing with reactivity and anxiety in dogs – a testament to her empathy and dedication to understanding dog behaviour.

With an ever-growing passion for learning, Sam’s future plans involve delving into reiki for animals, where she envisions expanding her services to provide holistic well-being for dogs through energy healing.

For those seeking guidance, Sam’s dedication extends beyond her in-person classes. She offers a wealth of knowledge through her blog, YouTube channel, and social media platforms. Whether it’s learning about force-free training, understanding dog behaviour, or simply looking for professional advice, Sam’s online resources provide a gateway for pet owners to enhance their bond with their canine companions.

As the force-free dog training extraordinaire, Sam Hughes continues to inspire and educate dog owners, shaping a community of compassionate and well-informed caregivers. Her journey is a testament to the transformative power of understanding, empathy, and positive reinforcement in shaping the behaviour and well-being of our beloved canine companions.

If you would like to learn more about Sam be sure to check out the show notes in this episode of Harborough Hustle.
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