About Us

Positive Dog Training is about providing a positive experience for you and your dog.

Sharon Crichton is the owner and behavioural trainer for Positive Dog Training and along with her experienced team provides a wide range of services.

Sharon Crichton

Grad Dip Bus, B.Ed, MDI(CPDT), Cap2

Sharon has a range of qualifications including a Graduate Diploma in Business, a Bachelor of Education and Cert IV in Companion Animal Training through the Delta Institute. Sharon has experience in human resources, operations and training with large corporate organisations and now combines her love of animals and with running a small business.

Sharon is an accredited trainer with the Dog and Cat Management Board and assists a number of councils with dog behaviour issues.

Sharon attends ongoing conference and seminars both here and overseas to ensure her knowledge is up to date so we can bring you the lastest knowledge in training and behaviour.

The Dalmatians

Sharon first become interested in positive reinforcement training (having previously been a traditional trainer) when she wanted to ensure her Dalmatian pup Jasper would be well behaved without having to use harsh methods. The use of positive reinforcement meant Jasper was always willing to have a go and try new things. It was a joy to watch how much he loved training.

Currently Sharon and her husband share their home with two Dalmatians but Sharon has had a variety of dogs over the years. Her previous dogs included a Terrier/Llasho Apso cross  (who used to smile like a Dalmatian) , German Shepherd Dogs, a Labrador, a Kelpie cross and several rescue mixed breeds.

If ever Sharon needed confirmation that positive reinforcement training brings results her second Dalmatian Pippa proved how powerful this method of training can be. Pippa is a ‘special needs’ dog who suffers from anxiety related aggression. This aggression manifests itself in the form of resource guarding (the dog protects things it sees as valuable such as food, toys, space and people). By the age of 7mths one specialist recommendation was to have Pippa euthanised. Sharon refused to give up on this feisty beautiful Dalmatian and with the help of the Veterinary Behaviourist at Sydney Animal Behaviour Service (SABS) Pippa ha made amazing progress. The journey has not always been easy but the joy of seeing Pippa’s improvements have been truly inspiring. In one instance she has gone from not being able to be touched when resting to rolling over for a tummy scratch. Sharon feels very lucky to have a special needs dog that has provided the most wonderful learning experiences.

The Team

Sam Catford

Sam qualified as a Behavioural Trainer (Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services, Delta Society Australia) in 2004. Sam has been committed to helping Guardians understand their companion animals for over a decade. Having worked at the Animal Welfare League, with experience in rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing many dogs, Sam has gained a wide range of experience in animal behaviour and training. However, her most valuable and life changing experiences were with her own ‘special needs’ dog Rupert (adopted from an Adelaide hills shelter), which lead to the discovery of force free training. Sam’s current beloved canine companion is ‘Benson’, a Standard Dachshund adopted from AWL in 2005.

Tam Salmon

Tam has a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Hons) degree and has been working at Positive Dog training for almost 5 years. She is passionate about helping dogs and their people enjoy their life together. Tam has a 5 year old Australian Shepherd, Ned, and a 2 year old cat, Zap. Ned loves mountain biking, hiking, agility, and coming out to show off his skills at our dog free lessons.

Tracey Taylor

Tracey is a Delta Institute Certified Professional Dog Trainer. She is also Fear Free™ Certified and holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

Tracey joined the Positive Dog Training team in 2013. She instructs and assists classes, provides one on one training sessions, and works with dogs with behavioural issues.

Having previously worked for the RSPCA and Animal Welfare League in South Australia, Tracey has a strong commitment to animal welfare and loves the opportunity to educate owners on how to best meet the physical, mental and emotional needs of their pets.

Ashwin Nathan

Having studied a BSc in Animal Science at university Ashwin soon found an interest in animal behaviour and learning. He pursued this interest and went on to complete an Honours study in canine behaviour and its effect on owner-dog relationships. Ashwin began assisting classes at Positive Dog Training in 2013 while working towards completing his Certificate IV in Companion Animal Studies through the Delta Society. In 2016 he completed his certificate and is now a qualified Delta dog trainer and member of the Delta Institute.

Ana Costa

Ana is currently studying for her Delta Cert IV in Companion Animal Behaviour through the Delta Institute. Ana immediately became passionate about training and behaviour when she adopted a special needs JR x Foxie called Nina. Ana also runs a not for profit organisiation called Soulmates Animal Society which aims to match rescue animals up the the right families. Ana believes that force free training works to increase the bond between animal and guardian and is proud member of the Pet Professional Guild.

Areas we Service

Positive dog training is based in Adelaide and offers dog training classes in the Unley Council area.

We undertake private dog training lessons and behavioural dog training throughout the metropolitan areas including the Adelaide Hills, City of Burnside, City of Mitcham, City of Port Adelaide Enfield, City of Marion and the City of Onkaparinga.

We cover the northern suburbs as far as Gawler and down south as far as Port Norlunga.


Sharon is a member of a number of professional bodies including:

  • Delta Institute – an arm of the Delta Society
  • PPG Australia – Pet Professional Guild – an organisation committed to force free training
  • APDT – Association of Professional Dog Trainers (Australia & USA)
  • Organisational bodies such as Delta Institute require continuing educational points to be accrued each year to stay as a professional member.


Sharon has recently completed the following:

  • Centre for Veterinary Education – Small Animal Behavioural Medicine Conference 2017
  • NAVC Applied Clinical Behaviour Medicine  Course (USA) 2016 run by Dr Karen Overall
  • LLA – Living and Learning with Animals  Certificate of Excellence 2014 & 2015– run by Dr Susan Friedman Professor of Psychology at Utah State University
  • TAGteach Certificate
  • Terry Ryan Chicken Camp 2013 & 2015