About Shaun Hesmondhalgh – In Depth
Qualifications, experience and training, and continuing professional development
I am a professional and experienced dog training and behaviour modification specialist with 24 years operational experience in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) community and 10 years business experience. I was proud to serve in the Royal Air Force Police (from 1988 to 2012) as a Police Dog Handler, Police Officer, and Specialist Criminal Investigator. I delivered the highest levels of service and developed my own skills as a trainer, leader, and manager.
In 2012, I set up The Way of the Dog Ltd, combining all this experience, backed up with my national qualifications and accreditations, so that I can help my clients and their dogs enjoy a rewarding relationship. In 2014, I completed teacher training through Bolton College and the University of Bolton. In 2022, I returned to university to complete a BSc (Hons) in Canine Clinical Behaviour at the University of Chester. I am continuing my own professional development with further academic study into canine behaviour as well as regularly attending lectures and seminars.
Summary of Shaun’s qualifications and experience
Dog training and behaviour modification
National associations, qualifications, training undertaken, and awards in the field
- Canine and Feline Behaviour Association (MCFBA Dog Behaviourist)
- British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers (Qualified Member)
- British Police and Services Canine Association (Former Honorary Secretary & Legal Secretary (now Trustee)
- Service Police Dog Handlers Course (Defence Animal Centre)
- Kennel Managers Course (Defence Animal Centre)
- Qualified Police Dog handler (RAF Newton Police School)
- Continuous Professional Development undertaken regularly
- Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012)
- Operational Service Medal Iraq (2007)
- Air Officer Commanding Personnel and Training Command Commendation (2007)
- RAF Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (2003)
- Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2002)
- Commander in Chief Strike Command Commendation (2001)
Professional experience in the field:
The Royal Air Force has earned a glowing reputation at home and abroad for the high standard of training exhibited by its dog teams and for its highly professional use of dogs for Force Protection and specialist duties. During my varied service career I developed my dog handling and management skills by working with hundreds of dogs in diverse environments.
It was my privilege to manage 5 different RAF Police Dog Sections and to win awards for the best section in the UK. This means being responsible for all operational training, veterinary management, matters relating to animal welfare legislation, kennel husbandry, feeding, transportation as well as procuring dog training aids and protective equipment. I trained inexperienced handlers to become confident, expert dog trainers and handlers. I also managed dog teams in critical and challenging environments in the UK, the Falklands and Iraq.
Within the operational Police Dog Sections I worked in a variety of roles including:
- Service Police Dog Handler, Senior Dog Trainer, and Kennel Manager – responsible for the management and supervision of dog teams safe guarding high value MoD assets against terrorist activity and foreign forces.
Criminal Investigations, Crime Management, Leadership & Management
National qualifications, training undertaken and awards in the field:
- Level 6 BSc (Hons) Canine Clinical Behaviour (First-Class) (University of Chester)
- Level 5 Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (Distinction) (University of Bolton)
- Level 4 Certificate to Teach for Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (University of Bolton)
- Level 4 Preparation for Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (University of Bolton)
- Graduateship Award in Leadership and Management (Level 6 equivalent) (City & Guilds)
- Initial Management of Serious Crime Course (Lancashire Police)
- Major Crime Review Officers Course (DGT Training)
- CPIA 96 Intermediate Disclosure Officer (Kent Constabulary)
- Death in Custody Course (DGT Training)
- Nationally Accredited PIP Level 2 Specialist Interview Adviser (Greater Manchester Police)
- PIP Level 2 Specialist Interviewer (Witness) (Greater Manchester Police)
- Level 5 Certificate in Management and Leadership (Chartered Management Institute)
- Level 4 Diploma in Management and Leadership (Chartered Management Institute)
- Advanced Management and Leadership Course (Airman’s Command School, RAF Halton)
- Nationally Accredited PIP Level 2 Specialist Interviewer (Suspect) (Greater Manchester Police)
- Nationally Accredited PIP Level 2 Investigator (Suspect & Witness) (Greater Manchester Police)
- Serious Crime Investigators Course (Defence College of Police and Administration)
- Investigative Interviewing (PEACE) Course (Defence College of Police and Administration)
- Defensive Tactics Unit Instructors Course (Defence College of Police and Administration)
- Level 3 Certificate in Management (Institute of Leadership & Management)
- Intermediate Management and Leadership Course (Airman’s Command School, RAF Halton)
- Junior Management and Leadership Course (Airman’s Command School, RAF Halton)
- National School of Government Protecting Information Level 1 – 2
Professional experience in the field:
- Experienced security and criminal investigator conversant with UK civil and military law relating to aspects of investigation with current training in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, European Human Right Act 1998 Policy, Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996, Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 99 – Guidelines for Achieving Best Evidence.
- Nationally accredited Professionalising the Investigation Programme (PIP) Specialist Interview Adviser experienced in providing advice to Senior Investigating Officers during ‘major’ investigations in accordance with PACE and the Guidelines for Achieving Best Evidence.
- Professionalising the Investigation Programme (PIP) Specialist Investigative Interviewer practised in the Management of Conversation, Cognitive Interviewing, and Enhanced Cognitive Interviewing (National Occupational Standards).
- Crime Manager (HM Forces, Royal Air Force Police) – proven track record of managing multi investigation files, whilst supervising, directing, leading, motivating and mentoring teams of investigators.
- Criminal investigator – proficient in the investigation of ‘serious and complex crime’, inquisitive and analytical. Experienced Senior Investigating Officer – including during high profile investigations with media and political interest.
- Computer literate practiced in operating Business Area software, commercial software, and Service Police specific software.
- Adept at briefing expert and lay audiences including high level multinational, military and civilian officials.
Want to know more about TWOTD?
At The Way of the Dog, we believe that all members of the dog training and behaviour industry should be transparent about their qualifications, experience, and knowledge so that they provide current and prospective clients with the information needed to make an informed decision on who they want to handle their dog. Find out more about The Way of the Dog Ltd, Shaun and his approach to dog behaviour and training by visiting the pages below. Visit our articles section to read posts about dog training and how to select a dog behaviourist or dog trainer.