A DOG trainer from Wrexham, known as the Puppy Queen of Wales, is celebrating that even with the coronavirus crisis she was able to train a record number of puppies last year.

Karen Boyce, originally from Shrewsbury but now living in Froncysyllte, has been helping families and their pets for 20 years, and her Beastly Thoughts Professional Dog Service (BTPDS) business worked with two hundred puppies in 2020.

The 57-year-old explained: “In 2019 we had 170 puppies sign up to our Puppy School programme. For 2020 we reached the amazing total of 220!”

“I am absolutely stunned that we have managed to continue training so many puppies during this global pandemic; and actually increased on our 2019 numbers.

“It has been extremely uplifting that owners in the area have still set about helping their puppies get the best start they can in these really challenging times.”

The Beastly Thoughts Professional Dog Services puppy classes are normally available in Coedpoeth, Chirk, Weston Rhyn and Knockin.

“But, of course, we have had to adapt massively,” says Karen.

She adds: “In the first lockdown in March Puppy School converted to online classes and in addition here at BTPDS we created online hubs for each of our training services. These hubs are where owners can access all of the information on how to train their puppy, plus each hub has a huge range of handouts, articles, links and videos for additional help.”

Karen explained further that as lockdown eased classes were converted to outdoors and then back into the classroom, but with fewer pups per class to reduce attendee numbers; all adhering to guidelines and ensuring the business was COVID secure.

But then came the fire-break and Karen had to do it all over again.

Karen said: “There was the regional lockdown in Wrexham, and then the Welsh Firebreak and then an easing and then the current lockdown.”

“I have to admit it’s been really stressful. But those first couple of months of a puppy’s life are really important and it has been hard for owners to not only get the teaching their puppies require but also the exposure and socialisation experiences.

“BTPDS has tried to ensure we have continued our support whenever and however we can. We just look forward to the time we can get back into our venues unmasked and without social distancing.”

Karen has been a Puppy School tutor for over a decade and is also Regional Manager for other Puppy School tutors across North Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire and Lancashire.

Puppy School is the UK’s leading puppy training organisation with over 160 tutors across the UK.

Mum-of-two Karen has a team of eight instructors and runs her weekly classes for puppies plus has clubs, walks, workshops and online courses and webinars. All for puppies as part of the Advanced Puppy Path system.

Karen was also winner of the Animal Star Awards Behaviourist of the Year 2019. BTPDS has a range of services also for older dogs and special dogs with specific problems. She also owns the Awesome and Rawsome Pets shop in Froncysyllte, selling premium food and products selected for health benefits and eco friendliness.

If you’d like to find out more about Karen, visit www.beastlythoughts.co.uk or check out www.facebook.com/beastlythoughts or call direct on 07970 488395.