Smart Paws

Where dogs love to learn

Carmel Hodgins and Karen Donnelly are dedicated to the training and psychological welfare of the dogs they encounter through their training skills.

Located on the Fraser Coast Queensland, Smart Paws offers Pet Manners and Reactive Dog classes and also Behaviour Modification sessions.  One on one sessions in the privacy of your own home is also available.

















Karen Donnelly and Carmel Hodgins are Certificate IV Dog Behavioural Trainers  

Left to Right:  Karen Donnelly, helper Sharon Burton and Carmel Hodgins


























Ingrid Groeger-Stone and her Dalmation aptly named 'Trigger'.  Ingrid is instrumental in getting the Reactive Dog training under way at Smart Paws.

“Using pain and aversion under the guise of training is not an excuse for abuse.” BC SPCA Chief Enforcement Officer Marcie Moriarty.

Why contact Smart Paws with your training needs?

Are you looking for a non-confrontational method of training your dog. Scientifically proven methods of animal training are the preferred training methods used by professional trainers and Veterinary Behaviourists. Scruffing your dog and dominant rolls are very outdated and do not achieve anything except to destroy a previously good relationship with your dog and destroy any trust he or she originally had in you. Animals today should be trained in an environment that is enjoyable for both the handler and the dog.

Many unwanted dog behaviours are attributed to the dog being 'dominant' by questionable 'trainers', so the dog's problems are not addressed by those trainers, and in fact, attribute to the behaviours being excassibated. Dominant dogs are in fact, very rarely encounted.

Carmel Hodgins and Karen Donnelly have had extensive training in the non confrontational methods of dog training and behaviour modification. Both trainers are Certificate IV Dog Behavioural Trainers.  They have attended numerous seminars with leading animal trainers such as Bob Bailey, Dr. Ian Dunbar, Nicole Wilde and Terry Ryan and with Behaviourists such as Dr. Gaille Perry, Dr. Kersti Seksel, Dr. Susan Friedman and Professor Ray Coppenger. Dr. Gabrielle Carter and Dr. Debbie Canlon provide up to date information to Delta Professional Dog Trainers as part of the continual upgrade process.

Added to this, the trainers have years of experience in the rescue of dogs and cats, their re-training and rehabilitation and subsequent re-homing. Some of these animals provided great challenges in their rehabilitation process and provided a wealth of experience. Carmel and Karen have been studying the behaviour of dogs for many years through course study, text books, lectures, seminars and contact with the many dogs who have passed through refuges, pounds, private consults and their training classes.  They have assisted many people and their dogs on the Fraser Coast over the years who have been referred by local veterinarians who are aware of the gentle and effective methods used by Smart Paws Trainers.

In 2002, Carmel commenced an 18month course with Delta Society Australia.  This course included two intensive training sessions, one at the beginning of the course, and the other about 12 months later which saw Carmel and her beloved Doberman Holly live in at the Dookie university complex for one week with around 70 other students  from around Australia and  their dogs, and also some students from overseas.                   

In 2004, Carmel was asked by Delta if she would consider tutoring 20 students of a new course, assisting them with their assignments, diaries and general queries.  These students were from all over Australia and overseas.  Carmel met these students at the first intensive at Gatton University and then assisted them for the duration of their course, meeting up with them again at their next intensive twelve months later at Dookie College.  

Karen Donnelly successfully attained her accreditation at the completion of that course. She completed the intensive at Gatton University complex with her gorgeous girl Roxy.  


Below: Photo of Karen with Roxy at the Gatton Intensive

Left to Right:  Carmel Hodgins, Wendy and Barb from Bundaberg, and Karen Donnelly with Roxy.

Pictured is Carmel and Holly in one of the coaches which transported students and their dogs from Tullermarine Airport to Dookie College.                                            

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