Bentley Holistic Dogs is situated approx. 25 mins drive South West of Bath, Somerset. We are located between the lovely villages of Chilcompton and Emborough and are set back from the road, in converted stables. We offer canine behaviour counselling, holistic puppy classes, applied canine pharmacognosy (Zoopharmacognosy for dogs) and a wide range of grooming services to suit every dog and budget. It is our wish that each dog (and owner!) has a pleasant, stress-free experience.
Michele Bentley (Dip. IAZ) has owned and worked with dogs for over 30 years and founded her grooming business in 2009, having trained intensively at “Perros Si” in Andalucia, Spain. She has since combined these skills with her understanding of canine handling and body language, to create a more holistic approach to grooming; resulting in calmer, happier dogs.
Bentley Holistic Dogs began in London, but relocated to Somerset in 2013. The state-of-the-art converted stable salon and sensory garden enables Michele to offer a bespoke grooming experience, to cater to each dog’s individual needs. The relaxed and peaceful environment is particularly suited to puppies and shy or nervous dogs. The hydro bath is great for all dogs but especially beneficial for older dogs and those suffering from arthritis and hip problems. We use natural and organic shampoos and conditioners (so no nasty chemicals on your dog or in the environment) and we are delighted to be using the locally made “Wild Wash” products, from the clever folks that gave us humans the “Cowshed” range.
Michele has participated in workshops in Reiki for Animals and Tellington Touch methods and has previously completed 15 months studying with Sheila Harper at the IDBTS (International Dog Behaviour and Training School), now known as IPACS (International Programme for Applied Canine Studies). This included in-depth work in canine behaviour and body language, stress reduction, lead-handling skills and behaviour counselling. Michele has also now completed the two year advanced course, IPACS2, and is working towards a level 4 OCN qualification in canine communication and stress, behavioural training practice and canine handling teaching techniques.
In 2016, Michele studied with Chirag Patel on his Practical Puppy Instructor Course (www.domesticatedmanners.co.uk) and now offers small, specialised holistic puppy classes and 1-2-1 sessions. These focus on building confidence and useable real life skills for both puppies and owners. Please look at the “Positive Puppy Programme” for further details. Early in 2018, Michele again studied with Chirag, in a small group of professional behaviour practioners and trainers. The course used science-based methods of behaviour analysis and modification to work with a variety of hands-on canine case studies throughout the week. Problems worked on included: dog-dog aggression, dog-human aggression, separation anxiety and resource guarding.
In conjunction with her holistic grooming and behaviour work, Michele is fully qualified in Applied Canine Pharmacognosy, having trained with Caroline and Thomas Ingraham. Applied Zoopharmacognosy enables domestic or captive animals to self-medicate with natural plants and essential oils, as they do in the wild. Applied Canine Pharmacognosy works specifically with dogs. If you would like to book a session or for further information, have a look at the Applied Canine Pharmacognosy page. For more in depth information on this fascinating , complementary way of enabling your animals to heal, please look at www.ingraham.co.uk
Michele has worked at several animal rescue centres around the world, including www.carefordogs.org in Chiang Mai, Thailand and C.A.R.E baboon sanctuary in Phalaborwa, South Africa (www.primatecare.org). Also in South Africa, she worked at a white tiger protection /breeding programme at the Cango Wildlife Ranch. Michele volunteered for almost a year at Harnas Wildlife Foundation (www.harnas.org) in Namibia, where she was a volunteer coordinator/trainer. At Harnas, Michele worked with a wide selection of animals including cheetahs, bat-eared foxes, meercats, leopards, baboons, giraffes, crocodiles and African painted dogs. She also helped raise four lion cubs and and taught volunteers appropriate behaviour around baboons and lions… hence the photo!
Michele currently lives with five dogs, three cats, nine chickens, three pygmy goats and one very patient husband!