A dog is a man’s best friend. These family-friendly four-legged pets are incredible creatures that can reduce stress, play, encourage exercise, and ease feelings of loneliness. But there can be a disconnect with our beloved pets when we, as owners, don’t understand their behaviour and what they’re trying to communicate with us. This month, our Alison publisher spotlight interview is shining on Sharon Bolt. Sharon is a dog behaviour expert and she spoke to us about publishing on Alison, her courses, dog training and more.

Sharon Bolt Background

Please share with our learners a bit about your background.

I ran a complementary therapy practice for over 10 years where I worked with individuals who had mental, physical, spiritual and emotional problems. I am also an author and co-authored two wonderful books called, ‘Successful Women in Business’ and ‘Every Entrepreneurs Guide: Running Your Own Business.’ 

How did you get into dog training?

My husband and I decided to get two eight-week-old Parson Terriers in 2004, brothers from the same litter. We tried to enrol them into a puppy class, but the trainers all said the same thing to me: “You have taken on real trouble, it’s the worst-case scenario”. 

They explained that because the puppies were blood related, they would look at each other for direction rather than us and would fight for the ‘top dog’ position. This meant that aggression and nasty fights would result and we would very likely need to rehome one of them. 

My mission began to find a natural way of communicating with my two dogs in a way they would really understand and stop the worrisome predictions from coming true.  I studied, went on courses, researched, and most importantly watched the way my two dogs communicated with each other.   

Around that time BBC Radio 2 was looking for a dog trainer to come on their show to talk about unwanted dog behaviours.  Three days later I was on the show speaking to millions of listeners. That interview changed my life overnight. It launched my new dog training career and was the beginning of my journey.

Being An Alison Publisher

You’ve been a self-publisher with Alison for several years. What do you enjoy most about publishing on this platform?

I love that Alison really cares about both their instructors and students. Alison has researched thoroughly into the best ways in which students learn and are committed to publishing only the highest quality courses on their site. As an instructor you know that you are being represented at the highest level. Alison has marketing experts and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialists who are dedicated to getting your course/s in front of the people who will benefit from your content. It is a great partnership that they offer for course creators.

What lessons or takeaways have you learned as a self-publisher on Alison?

I’ve learned that it’s important to include all learning modalities when creating a top-class course (written, audio and video). It’s important to create quizzes (with different Q&A formats) to ensure that the student has fully understood what has been taught during the lessons.

How has being a self-publisher on Alison changed or impacted your life?

I feel that being a self-publisher on Alison has made me a better course creator for my courses. Alison is a professional company and I feel that their ethics and high standards rub off on their self-publishers.

What words of advice would you give someone who would like to become an Alison publisher?

Becoming a publisher on Alison is a very thorough process, which is a good thing! There are online courses on Alison that help you with the required format and support articles that explain things step-by-step, plus the support from your account manager is brilliant. It can feel a bit overwhelming initially but is worth it, so go for it!

Published Dog Training Courses on Alison by Sharon Bolt

Please tell our learners about your courses on Alison.

There are so many goodies to choose from!

Who should take your courses?

I have 9 courses on Alison in total which means that the people who would benefit from taking my courses are somewhat varied. My courses are for dog owners, people who have a desire to become a professional dog trainer and for people who already work in the dog industry. My business and marketing course is for people who have (or would like to have) their own dog training business.

For individuals interested in taking one of your courses, what can they expect to get from it?

My dog training courses focus on empowering you, the dog owner. I give you the tools, knowledge and dog training methods that get your dog to listen to you and respond favourably to what you say. I also teach you exactly how to do the dog training methods through step-by-step video demonstrations. This uses the pack leader theory combined with positive reinforcement techniques. The methods I teach are simple, easy, and gentle. They will change a stressed-out dog (and owner) to a happy and well-behaved pooch fast.

What feedback have you received from learners about your course?

It’s so rewarding reading student’s feedback about my courses. Here is some of what people say:  

“Wow! This is a fantastic course – it’s obvious that Sharon knows her stuff and has a great way of explaining what to do in a way that makes sense and is ‘doable’. I love the idea of treating my dog naturally and this course has given me the knowledge to feel confident to do that. A ‘must have’ course for every dog owner – highly recommended!” – Amy Bentley.

“So much wonderful information packed into these courses! Sharon breaks down the information and backs it up with videos in every scenario. I have a beautiful career in front of me working with dogs -Thank you, Sharon!” – Arin Davis

“I loved this course and learned so much, not just in techniques, but in new ways of thinking about dog behaviour. Can’t wait to watch more courses! Highly recommended.” – Chase Night

Why Dog Training Is Important

Why should people be invested in training their dogs?

So many dog owners that we speak to are at their wits end, they don’t know what to do. Often, their dog’s behaviour is going from bad to worse and they don’t know how to stop it.

Dogs are not complicated animals – they just want simple, clear, and concise communication. By the end of my courses, you’ll have the dog training knowledge and confidence you need to make a positive difference to both yours and your dog’s lives. You’ll also know how you can become your dog’s pack leader without shouting, hitting, or using force.

What misconceptions, if any, do people have about dog training and how would taking your courses help with this?

The biggest problem I see is dog owners trying to ‘humanise’ their dogs. Dogs are animals and speak a different language, which is through non-verbal communication and body language. They also have different needs and expectations than humans and when misunderstood they display a host of stressed, hyperactive, and undesirable behaviours. That’s why I empower and educate dog owners on how to give the right communication to dogs and how to ‘speak dog’, when you get this right stressed out dogs become happy and well-balanced pooches.

Becoming A Dog Trainer

What set of skills should one acquire if they want to go into dog training?

Building knowledge and confidence through online courses that have video demonstrations and written documents is a great way of gaining dog training skills. For people who’d like to become professional dog trainers they will need to know how to resolve many unwanted dog behaviours.

  • Know how to run a professional business
  • Marketing skills
  • Learn how to create transformational packages for clients
  • Hands-on experience is also vital for building confidence. I recommend volunteering at rescue centers and dog pounds and ‘practicing’ the skills learned online on your own dog/s plus friends and family dogs.

What career paths are available for individuals interested in dog training?

Becoming a professional dog trainer is a popular career path for people who are interested in dog training. We also find that people who already have a dog related business, such as dog walkers, dog groomers, pet
sitters often want to add ‘professional dog trainer’ to their services and regularly enrol in my courses.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love hearing about (or watching) stressed out dogs become calm, happy, and well-balanced pooches once their owners apply the methods that I teach. Seeing how the dog owner’s confidence grows, how their self-belief soars and how empowered they feel makes me happy.

I enjoy helping people to become professional dog trainers so that they can make a difference in the world and pay their bills at the same time. I take pleasure in teaching people how to use natural remedies to heal their dog’s ailments. They can use this knowledge to feed their dog a raw, natural diet that gives them optimum health, body weight and longevity. In a nutshell, I love EVERYTHING about my job!

What The Future Holds For Sharon Bolt

What else can Alison and its learners look forward to from you in the coming year to two?

There are no plans at this time for additional courses, but you’ll be the first to know as and when that changes.

Any last words, advice, or wisdom you’d like to share with our learners?

Dog training takes time, consistency, and dedication. There’s nothing better and more rewarding in life than the strong bond and unconditional love shared between an owner and their dog. I highly recommend that you invest in either online dog training courses or local professional dog trainers (or both). With these, you will get the knowledge and methods that will give you a happy, well balanced, and well-behaved dog – both you and your dog will be pleased that you did!

Keep up to date with our blogs for another Alison publisher spotlight interview coming soon.


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