Meet The Team

Who we are and what we do

At Pets In Partnership, we care about pets as much as you do! Find out all about our team members below. We are here to help you and your pets.

Rebecca Lawrence-Baker KCAI(CD)

Director of Pets In Partnership & Independent Instructor

Senior Behaviour Consultant

B.A.(Hons) V.N. Dip.CVM, CSDTDip.DTBC

Learn More About Rebecca

My extensive working history has involved farm life, horse yards, boarding kennels & catteries and rescue homes including within RSPCA headquarters in Melbourne. As a Veterinary Nurse I worked for a few years in general practice and moved into a Cancer & Trauma referral hospital, becoming their first night nurse whilst studying for 5 years as a student in canine & feline behaviour & training. Overlapping with this I completed a 2 year Diploma in Vibrational Medicine. 

Not long after becoming an Independent trainer & consultant in 2003, I went on to study and learn with the late John Rogerson.  This learning continued as I trained my own dogs with other great National & International Trainers over the years including Kamal Fernandez. I continue to passionately learn from amazing people in the field, some of whom are unsung hidden treasures in the UK. 

My qualifications include human psychology as well as canine psychology.  I eventually completed the original Kennel Club Accreditation for Instructors programme which is a City & Guilds teaching qualification in 2017.  

I am a published author contributing to Emma Fretwell's book Dogs In Detail.  I have run workshops for the British Veterinary Nursing Association Congress and in 2003 designed one of the first original public canine first aid courses in its time, running it across a decade, taking it to Northumberland Police Headquarters to train their kennel staff.

One of the big issues I noticed, particularly as a Veterinary Nurse, was the fact that as pet owners we have numerous services that we need to tap into, but that from all these service providers we can find ourselves having to sort through more and more information which can at times become conflicting and, most of all, confusing. My intention, when I founded Pets In Partnership in 2009 was for one of the central roles to be about helping bring clarity for owners, as well as to network & liaise closely with different professionals when needed. 

I am passionate about working with owners and pets together to help overcome the hurdles that arise.  On a personal basis, I always have a combination of cats and dogs within my home life and have spent time, across many years, training and competing my dogs in Obedience and Working Trials, with my newest venture being in Agility, all of which is juggled with motherhood too.  

We are here as a starting point to help you find what you need.  Whilst I love running the Pet Dog Classes, Agility services and workshops that I provide, my passion and core work is in my private Behaviour consultancy practice.

Karen Foster

Co-ordination Manager & Senior Training Advisor

Learn More About Karen

My parents had a couple of dogs whilst I was growing up, but it wasn’t until the youngest of our four children reached her mid-teens that my husband and I decided to get a puppy. So at the end of 2010 along came Max, an ever so slightly insane Chocolate Labrador, to join our family of four kids and two cats. I took Max to Pets In Partnership for training when he was 7 months old and it wasn’t long before I was well and truly hooked on all things dog.

At Pets In Partnership Max and I worked our way through the Kennel Club Good Citizen awards achieving the gold in 2012. In early 2012 we joined the Competition Obedience class, loved it, and began competing, by the end of the year we had qualified for Discover Dogs at Earls Court. The following season bought more success in the obedience ring and we won out of beginners. I started helping out in the pet dog classes at the end of 2012 and I love the interaction with so many different people and their dogs and each ‘eureka’ moment is so special.

I continue to love the challenges, the learning, the experiences that come with this work. I am a student member of the KCAI and am currently studying for a diploma in canine psychology and behaviour.Rebecca had me marked for the role of office manager, a position which took time and patience to bring into existence and was a huge step forward for our team back in 2014.I have since taken in a rehome Border Collie, Kasper, who I've also successfully competed with in both Competition Obedience & Rally Obedience.  I have continued to train both my boys in numerous other activities including Scent Detection Programs.

Cathy Chambers

Independant Instructor

Learn More About Cathy

Despite having worked with and owned animals for most of my life, family and work commitments meant that I waited until far later than I would have wanted to own my own dog. From a young child, my Christmas wish list was always headed by 2 things…. a dog and a pony!

My parents didn’t want either unfortunately, but they were kind enough to compromise and gave me weekly riding lessons instead. My early love of animals was therefore given a firm push in the direction of horses, and I spent many years riding, eventually owning and competing with a horse of my own. This led to over a decade working in the equine industry training and caring for horses professionally.

Juggling a family with my own horse and the job of caring for many others left little time to add a dog, but the desire to have one never left me. Luckily, time constraints finally relaxed enough to allow me to do justice to dog ownership.

I currently live with my 2 Golden Retrievers, Amber and Tango, much loved members of our household and both are amazing dogs to work with.  Being a very sport orientated person, when Amber arrived, I quickly set out to find a training centre where I could try out a wide variety of the various dog sports available.

This led me to Pets In Partnership. We trained through all the Pet Dog Levels and Amber proved a very capable and enthusiastic learner, earning her KC Good Citizen Gold award by the time she was 18 months old.

We then started trying our hand at some sports; Agility, Tracking, Heelwork to Music and Competition Obedience... we loved them all! Although we still do all of them in one way or another for fun, Competition Obedience and Heelwork to Music became our focus, Amber & I competed at the Crufts National Finals Freestyle Heelwork To Music twice.

Now retired from top level competition, Amber is enjoying learning and competing in nosework, and I have been training Tango in Agility.  I have been a member of the PIP team since 2014 and continue to enjoy teaching, helping owners and their dogs travel through those all-important key stages of training.

Sarah Ward

Independent Instructor

Learn More About Sarah

I have owned animals my entire life and growing up through childhood these ranged from chickens and reptiles to many small furries, but I was never allowed to have a dog.  At the age of 16 I began work in a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeding & rescue center.  The rescue section covered the entirety of East Anglia and involved coordinating with the RSPCA amongst other organisations, taking in whole units of dogs when puppy farms were successfully shut down.  Licensed to board 80 dogs, we also had over 30 breeding dogs. 

It was here that I was introduced to the world of breeding and showing.  I have personally shown many Cavaliers at all different levels from all breed open shows, to breed championships to Crufts including travelling to Ireland in the mix.  After 7 years at the kennels I went to work as a Receptionist in a large veterinary practice, where I remained for 19 years, working my way up to Assisting Practice Manager. 

The medical experience and knowledge I gained during this time was immense and my constant ongoing training included CPDs with insurance companies, food companies, pharmacy groups, parasite talks, HR care and most significantly, client care-based training.

My very first dog was a Miniature Schnauzer and I showed him for many years. I then went on to own the breed I love immensely, German Shepherds, the first of which I showed at Crufts.  My showing experiences also took me to Germany & Belgium which lead to my interest in Shutzund and Working Trials.   Since my Schnauzer I have never lived without dogs of my own, and over the years I have taken on a mix of both puppies and rescues. 

Whilst I have predominantly owned German Shepherds, my current menagerie includes not only my 8yr GSD, Leela, but also my Beagle X, Bella and a Chihuahua X, Pops as well as my young shepherd, Xena.   I met Rebecca through the Veterinary Practice (we set up and ran puppy groups on site for a while) and began training one of my GSD puppies with her. 

One thing lead to another and I became her assistant at her village hall satellite classes from 2006.  In 2009 I moved across to the main centre on Lubards Farm where I worked as a Sub Instructor for 10 years, alongside my main job, supporting new staff members settling into their roles and liaising with clients across services.  

In October 2019 I made the decision to leave the veterinary world tobecome a full-time training instructor. I run pet dog classes, provide private training tuition, and provide a tracking service which is a sport I am passionate about.   I’m looking forward to lots more fun and exciting times ahead.

Liz Phillips

Independent Instructor

Learn More About Liz

As an only child, animals of all types and sizes were my great company in life.  My early adulthood was all about family and raising my children so it wasn’t until later that I was able to return to my absolute original passion and in 2014 when I started my own successful Dog Walking business. 

Throughout, I continued to have small animals and cats; but it wasn’t until my children became older and my working hours allowed, that we finally got our first dog; Ruby a 1-year-old rescue German Shepard X Samoyed who spent her early life as a stray and taught me how clever and mischievous dogs can be.  One dog rapidly became four dogs encompassing a range of breeds as you can see in my photo lol. 

As my dogs trained to a higher standard I went to Pets in Partnership, where I was then offered the opportunity to join the team, initially as a volunteer, and then as a student.  It’s been exciting stepping into the space of now being an Instructor. Dog training brings me so much joy - I feel such a great connection with my dogs and love the sense of achievement in all that we have learnt together. 

Being involved with Pets In Partnership is a real pleasure and has encouraged me to do more. I love to see people progress and develop their relationship with their dogs.  I run Pet Dog Classes, provide some private tuition slots, am a Kennel Club Good Citizens Examiner.  My ultimate sport passion is Scent Detection and I am thrilled to have classes for this activity now up and running.

Nick Wright

Member of the Consultancy Team

Learn More About Nick

Although I grew up with a German Shepherd and have previously owned a pet line Golden Retriever, my experience with serious dog training only started in 2010 when I got Maxwell, a working line Golden Retriever. As a working dog he required a lot to keep him both mentally and physically occupied, and being a bright, energetic and headstrong boy, he presented a real challenge in his formative years.

I have been immensely lucky to have worked with the other trainers at Pets In Partnership who have always been there to help steer the right course with him, through all levels of Pet Dog classes, Working Trials, Gun Dog and extensive Competition Obedience training. Maxwell and I have also worked with some other very experienced trainers such as Lorraine Bennett, Jenny Lunn and Gary & Caroline Martin.Maxwell achieved all his Kennel Club Good Citizen Awards as well as Bronze and Silver Gun Dog Awards.

We competed through to B classes on the Competition Obedience circuit and were privileged to be selected for the Southern Britain inter-regional team competing at Crufts 2015 where Maxwell and I managed to be placed second. It was a nerve wracking but exciting day and one I would love to repeat.I am loving being able to impart some of the knowledge I have gained to help other dog owners who train with us here at PIP.

I am now ensconced on a very new and interesting journey with my most recent arrival Nedwin, a Working Cocker Spaniel X Kelpie.  Fun times ahead.

Karen Howells

Back up Support Trainer & Kennel Club Good Citizens Examiner

Learn More About Karen

Many years ago I researched lots of different breeds when I was planning to get my first dog and finally discovered that the dog who would most suit our life style was a Labradoodle, a breed I had never previously heard of. 

After months of tracking down a reputable breeder and travelling to County Durham, Sam arrived home.  As a first time owner I wasn't sure what to do when Sam started to throw some interesting things my way so I sought the help and advice of professionals.  It turned out that I too had issues that needed to be addressed and that not all the problems we had were Sam's fault - I now call this 'handler error'.With a lot of hard work and perseverance from myself, Sam and my family of 5, he became a well behaved well mannered companion.

Sam bought new meaning to the word chase, trains being a favourite.  I learnt a great deal in the process of fixing this problem.  To my surprise I found that I liked working with Sam, going to classes became a fun and enjoyable way of spending our time together. We encountered Agility, Heelwork to Music, Working Trials and Formal Obedience amongst our activities and Sam gained his Gold Good Citizens Award.  Through Sam my two daughters became smitten with dogs and dog training which led to the arrival of Sooty, a miniature Labradoodle and Sweep, a Cockerpoo. 

I decided to learn more so studied a home learning course on Canine Psychology. A whole world of information was out there just waiting to be learnt.  I discovered more and more about how problems can be avoided and how certain breed instincts need to be channelled.I became involved with a couple of dog training clubs and was then invited into the Pets In Partnership team in 2009.

What I love is helping people meet the natural needs and instincts of their dog and while being a dog owner is not always entirely peaceful and harmonious, like life, it's a work in progress.  A whole generation on, I am now rearing my new youngster Dobby.

Marisa Slack

Back Up Support Trainer

Learn More About Marisa

Marisa is a highly experienced trainer, who has formerly run advanced level classes and been an amazing sub Instructor over many years for and with Pets In Partnership.

Marisa shares her life with her two Weimaraner boys, Dillon & Roman with whom she competes in competition obedience.Marisa is a very caring member of the team, she will do everything she can to support you on your training journey.

Ulrike Straw

Back Up Support Trainer

Learn More About Ulrike

Dogs have been a passion all my life but my dream of having a dog only came true in adulthood. Isla, my first ever dog, a Golden Retriever was an absolute dream to have growing up alongside my children and together we became a Cynophobia Assistance Team spending many amazing years helping children and adults over come debilitating fears of dogs.

I then started my adventure with Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, first with Milo who was a real shock to the system after Isla and then Bodie. Milo was the one who steered me towards a whole new path from years spent as an Assisting Teacher in schools, to stepping out onto the path of Dog Training Instructor. He challenged me, taught me, enthused me, and brought me to PIP which lead me becoming a part of this team.

Both of them have been excelling in various competitive sports as well. We have been having so much fun after a lot of hard work. I love all the different personalities and traits between our dogs and helping support these differences in the best way possible.

Tracy Ridley


Learn More About Tracy

I was first introduced to PIP in 2011 after getting our first ever family dog, a parti-coloured Cockerpoo called Ella. For the majority of the time Ella was a loving family pet, although she brought with her some challenging behaviours. This was where PIP came in, to support with 1-2-1 sessions, Pet Dog and Gun Dog classes. Most of my working life has been in Infant and Primary Schools as a Learning Support/Special Needs Assistant.

In 2020, once again, I ignored the saying ‘never work with children or animals’ when I accepted Rebecca’s offer of becoming an Assistant at PIP. I enjoy being part of an amazing team that helps owners achieve the best relationships with their dogs. I am always learning from the more senior members of the team and their vast array of knowledge and experience.

In late 2020, we adopted a 6-month-old rescue dog called Luca who was lacking in confidence, having no experience of home life and lead walking. He is a quirky little character who now loves nothing more than being part of the family and best pal to our little Grandson.

He still has a tendency to be stubborn at times (particularly during pet dog classes) but has grown in confidence. In 2022 he achieved his Kennel Club Bronze Good Citizen Award. I have learned a lot from the challenging behaviours Ella brought to us and the different challenges that come with taking on a rescue dog. This has enabled me to provide crucial help to some of our clients when they have needed it most.

Chrissy Baxter


Learn More About Chrissy

I have always loved animals from a young age but having grown up mainly around cats I longed to have my own dog. 

This came to me in the form of a rescue dog named Bailey who was a King Charles Spaniel.  After Bailey I went on to have a cockapoo puppy which set me on my journey with Pets In Partnership 5 years ago when I attended puppy classes.     

I thoroughly enjoyed the classes as did my dog, so when the opportunity arose to join the team I jumped at the opportunity.  I love meeting new people, their dogs and helping them to learn new skills.  In my spare time I enjoy travelling, photography, being with my family & friends, walking and swimming.

Louisa Johnson


Learn More About Louisa

My first contact with Pets in Partnership was over 2 years ago. I was having many problems with my German Shepherd, George.  I went along for my first one to one consultation and haven’t looked back. George and I have gone from strength to strength since having lessons.

It was during my consultations that I realised just how much I loved watching both myself and George grow and learn. Needless to say, I got the “dog” bug! I am a glutton for punishment and have now gone on to get another German Shepherd, Harry. We are also attending classes and having fun going through the learning process again.

I’d forgotten just how exhausting playing with a German Shepherd is! I was asked if I would like to join the team as a volunteer. I jumped at the chance and now assist on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings. I especially love the beginners classes as I love to watch both the owner and dog progress over time. It’s amazing to see just how quickly, with the help of the classes, the dogs change and really start to enjoy the training.

I’m absolutely passionate about giving dogs the correct start in life. It’s something that sets the foundations for later on in life. Sometimes it’s hard, but so rewarding when you start to turn the corner with the training and can see the difference.

Sue Chandler


Learn More About Sue

I have been a Volunteer Assistant with Pets In Partnership since July 2022 after retiring from my role of Finance Officer in the Education Department of Southend Borough Council. 

I have always had a special love of dogs and have to admit that I have a real soft spot for the Labrador Retrievers of which I have had 5 during my lifetime.  Becoming a volunteer has helped me to fill a huge void in my life after losing Rio, In October 2021 and Max in January 2022 – brothers who lived to the ripe old age of 15 years old.  It has also introduced me to some amazing dogs an downers. 

I have learnt so much during my time here and find it so rewarding watching the dogs progress from the puppy class through to advanced and beyond.  I am pleased to say that I am now the proud owner of a 14 month old Labrador called Flynn who I also train at Pets in Partnership.  We are both enjoying our journey and the challenges set before us with the help of the team.

Carly Abbot


Learn More About Carly

Carly supports the Instructing team with the Tuesday evening pet dog classes.

Juliette Pearce


Learn More About Juliette

Juliette is a great support for the Thursday evening pet dog classes and the team. Juliette shares her life with a wonderful toy poodle called Florence.

Billie Smith


Learn More About Billie

Marisa is a highly experienced trainer, who has formerly run advanced level classes and been an amazing sub Instructor over many years for and with Pets In Partnership.

Marisa shares her life with her two Weimaraner boys, Dillon & Roman with whom she competes in competition obedience.Marisa is a very caring member of the team, she will do everything she can to support you on your training journey.

Sophie Pieper


Learn More About Sophie

Sophie has been an absolute asset to our team and much loved by us all.  She has now gone off to university studying to be a Vet, but is still considered a member of our team.  Her support will appear in her holiday periods.

She trained her family dog Freya with us and has absorbed a great deal of knowledge.  She provides very capable support for all our dog handlers in classes.

Our Classes

Pet Dog And Sports Classes

Our pet dog classes sit at the heart of our services, laying a solid core foundation of training with starting options for all, be it puppies, teenage dogs or adults.
The courses evolve up the levels to our fun-loving advanced groups and include opportunities to achieve the Kennel Club Good Citizens Medal Tests along the way. Our Pet Dog classes also provide a great spring board for successfully jumping into sports activities, either with us or anywhere else.

Find out more by downloading our information pack today

Our Workshops And Webinars

Here at Pets In Partnership, we run a range of workshops, seminars & webinars which aim to either help you and your dog(s) together on specific things, or provide some extracurricular fun. These can include Whistle Training, K9 First Aid, Separation Anxiety, K9 communication, Leadwalking, Recall and much more.

Get In Touch

Monday 9am - 1pm

Tuesday 9am - 2pm

Wednesday 9am - 1pm

Thursday 9am - 1pm

Friday 9am - 5pm

*Times can vary on occasion