Barking Mad

Suffolk Dog Training & Behaviour Co.

"Dogs do speak, but only to those

who know how to listen." Orhan Pamuk

The Barking Mad Dog Training & Behaviour Company is one of the most trusted Professional Training Organisations in the country.

Since 1994 we’ve been helping both pets and their owners to better understand each other and live together in perfect harmony. All in a warm, friendly and welcoming environment!


Why Choose The BARKING MAD Dog Training & Behaviour Company?

When looking for a dog training school it’s often out of necessity; either because we have a puppy and it’s considered the right thing to do, or perhaps you have an adult dog which is a bit of a Loony Goon or a Grumpy Git.

Over the past 25 years our team of expert Instructors and Behaviourists have successfully trained thousands of pet and behaviour clients and we can help you too!

We’ll put you at ease right from the beginning. Providing all the support you need we’ll help you to achieve your goals and aspirations.

We see ourselves predominantly as teachers; teaching you to develop the relationship and tools you need to be the ultimate trainer of your dog.

Our classes, 1-2-1s and intensive courses are all done in a relaxed, friendly and most importantly, realistic outdoor environment. 

For us, the customer’s experience and journey is at the heart of what we do. We firmly believe that if you enjoy it so will your dog, and our great reputation will continue!

Richard Clarke GoDT(MT) set up Barking Mad 25 years ago. He has a wealth of experience in training dogs both as pets and in working roles. His working experience includes training dogs to detect drugs and explosives as well as bed bugs for the 2012 London Olympics. Richard has trained dogs to perform in film and television and has travelled the world detecting Sumatran Tigers in Indonesia and Box Keeled Turtles in Vietnam.

Whatever your problems, goals or aspirations, you can feel confident that the team at The Barking Mad Dog Training & Behaviour Company will be able to help!



Do you have a Grumpy Git and Unruly Teenager or an Anxious Annie.....if so 121 training is for you.  All our 121s are based at our training school and take place throughout the week and weekend.


"The more we train, the luckier we get"

Richard Clarke GoDT(MT)

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Richard Clarke GoDT(MT)

Director of Training

Originally in the Royal Navy, Richard went on to become a Civilian Environmental Trainer for the Ministry of Defence, qualifying over 28 years ago in both Canine Psychology and nutrition.

Today, he and his team work with International Organisations and vets all over the world helping hundreds of dogs each year.

Richard is a qualified trainer and has worked on a variety of film and TV work including as a Judge on BBC's Dog Borstal and most recently featured on BBC Countryfile programmes


Natalie Clarke

Head Trainer

Natalie originally came to Barking Mad in 2003 with her naughty Westie Barney who had severe behavioural issues. She went on to successfully compete in Working Trials and in the process was bitten by the dog training bug.  Natalie specialises in 121 behavioural and sports training as well as puppy and adult classes.  Natalie has 2 labradors and a Westie, Betty, Nellie and Poppy.  Natalie loves gundog training and agility with all her dogs.


Julie Cant

Deputy Head Trainer

Since completing the Instructors courses at Barking Mad Julie has been a full time Accredited Instructor for the last 10 years.  Having worked as a specialist detection instructor in Vietnam with Richard in 2010 Julie's ability as an instructor quickly went from strength to strength.  Julie successfully rehabilitated her 'Ex Grumpy' Cruz who ended up being a real ambassador for her and Barking Mad.  She currently is working towards competing at Working Trials with her 2 labradors and Staff Cross...... Yoshi, Frank and Mitch.


Kate Smith

Senior Instructor & Behaviourist

Kate started at Barking Mad with her Rottweiler Cross Mason, she quickly decided she would like to do our Instructor Courses to pursue a career helping others train their dog.  Kate specialises in behaviour 121s, group classes and scent work.

Kate has got 4 dogs, a Rottweiler Cross, 2 Labradors and a Border Terrier....Mason, Mavis, Walter and Annie-Mac. When Kate isn't training her customers she is out with Mavis who is fully qualified as part of the search and rescue team for East Anglia.


Lyndsay Spooner MSc

Senior Instructor & Behaviourist

Lyndsay has a real passion for rescue dogs, and is a real asset to our team.  Having successfully gained her Masters Degree in Clinical Animal Behaviour she decided to spread her wings and managed a dog cafe in Australia.  After returning she completed our Instructors Courses, she specialises in behavioural 121s, puppy and adult classes. Lyndsay has a Whippet x Bedlington Terrier called Albie.


Holly Raven

Office Manager & Instructor

Holly originally came to Barking Mad as her Cocker Spaniel, Jasper, had become over protective of both her and her new baby, especially against men. Following successful behavioural 121s, happy go lucky Jasper is once again ecstatic to meet new people and, having caught the Barking Mad bug, Holly completed our Initial Instructors Course. Along with training all of us to be more organised Holly takes group classes, fun sports classes and 121s.


Kathy Young


Kathy has owned dogs for 50 years and competed at Championship Level in Obedience with her Old English Sheepdog. Alongside training dogs Kathy also has a history with training horses and she's incredibly passionate about helping people to build relationships with their animals. Now she has her black Labrador, Berry, who keep her busy when she's not at Barking Mad.


Kirsty Harvey


Kirsty started training at Barking Mad with her Labrador, Frankie, and quickly caught the bug to train others to do the same. With a background in People Management she passed the Initial Instructors Course with flying colours and hasn't looked back since. Kirsty is currently on Maternity Leave so you might not see her when you're at the training field.


Sarah Wicks


Sarah has been part of the Barking Mad family since we moved to Suffolk. She's had sighthounds all of her adult life and currently has Salukis, Henna & Habib and Whippet x Bedlington Terrier, Lucca, all of which she trains in agility and working trials. Sarah's no stranger to the Show ring and has shown her dogs at Crufts! Having been a dance teacher all of her life she took Barking Mad's Initial Instructors Course and combined her two passions!


Meg Summers

Instructor & Dog School

Meg has always had a passion for animals, especially dogs and maintaining their welfare needs. She previously worked in boarding kennels and loved learning about the different breeds and characteristics that come with them! Meg trains with her German Short haired Pointer, Otto, whom she hopes to progress with in many sports. Together they have achieved their Advanced Tricks Dog title in association with Trick Dogs UK.

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Jennie Collins Bsc

Instructor & Dog School

After completing her BSc in Animal Science at Writtle College Jennie joined the Barking Mad team to combine her passion for dogs with her other passion i life - horses. Having completed our Initial Instructors course Jennie continues to further her knowledge about animal genetics and behaviour. Jennie owns Diego, a rescue dog whom is blind. She loves to teach him new skills and is always amazed at how much he gives in return!


Jess Smith

Instructor & Dog School

Jess's background is in teaching dance, she has a degree in contemporary dance and her other love is dogs. She has two dogs, Harley a German Shepherd rescue and a lurcher cross called Loki. She has found the best combination of teaching and dogs working at Barking Mad. Jess enjoys the competitive sports along with an interest in scent work.


Larry Cant

Instructor & Dog School Taxi Driver

Larry has been part of Barking Mad for the last 10 years and has recently decided to take the plunge and work for us full time.

Larry completed our instructors course a few years ago and has been a big part of all our recent improvements at BM. Larry has just got a new labrador puppy called Skipper... watch this space to see what he specialises in.


Amelia Willard

Dog School Team Leader

Having lived with dogs her whole life Amelia's passion for dog training really started 12 years ago when she was introduced to Country Sports. She likes to thank Louie, her previous Springer Spaniel, who she believes trained her! She went on to complete our Initial Instructors Course and now has Cocker Spaniel, Oscar and Labrador, Ralph whom she regularly takes on shoots. Amelia runs our Dog School daycare.


Hollie James

Dog School

After having her children Hollie decided to follow her love of dogs by getting involved in the grooming industry with inspiration from her Minature Schnauzer, Maggie. A few years later Hollie met Richard and Natalie and along with completing the Initial Instructors Course joined to Dog School team and is enjoying expanding her existing wealth of knowledge of different breeds and their different characteristics.


Phoebe Griffiths

Dog School

Phoebe is currently studying BSc Animal Science at the University of Reading and has always known she'd like a career with animals and, more specifically, dogs. Phoebe has trained her Labrador, Bonnie, at Barking Mad for over 3 years and is completing our Initial Instructors Course with the hope to expand her knowledge of behaviour and training. After doing some work experience at Dog School, Phoebe loved it (and impressed us!) so much she's now a fully fledged member of the team!


Anna Baggott

Shop and Accounts Manager

Anna has been a huge part of Barking Mad for the past 4 years. After wanting to have a greater depth of knowledge with her own dogs she completed the Instructors Course and now works behind the scenes with Holly and Richard.


Leah Clarke

K9 Kidz Instructor

As Richard and Natalie's daughter, Leah might as well have been born at the school, having spent her entire life helping with and training both the family dogs as well as customers' when they have been unable. In 2018 Leah successfully completed the Barking Mad Initial Instructors Course, passing with flying colours. As well as organising the Barking Mad shop and refreshments she organises and runs regular K9 Kidz fundays and sessions.


Upcoming Events

  • Free Taster Session Saturday 13th November
    Sat, 13 Nov
    Barking Mad The Dog Training and Behavio
    13 Nov, 15:00 – 14 Nov, 15:00
    Barking Mad The Dog Training and Behavio, Ilketshall Saint Lawrence, Beccles NR34 8LB, UK
    If you fancy coming and having a go for FREE come along to our taster session. You just need some yummy treats and a collar and lead (not extendable).
  • Free Taster Session Saturday 6th November
    Sat, 06 Nov
    Barking Mad The Dog Training and Behavio
    06 Nov, 15:00 – 07 Nov, 16:00
    Barking Mad The Dog Training and Behavio, Ilketshall Saint Lawrence, Beccles NR34 8LB, UK
    If you fancy coming and having a go for FREE come along to our taster session. You just need some yummy treats and a collar and lead (not extendable).
  • FULLY BOOKED - Free Taster Session Saturday 23rd October
    Sat, 23 Oct
    Barking Mad The Dog Training and Behavio
    23 Oct, 15:00 – 16:00
    Barking Mad The Dog Training and Behavio, Ilketshall Saint Lawrence, Beccles NR34 8LB, UK
    If you fancy coming and having a go for FREE come along to our taster session. You just need some yummy treats and a collar and lead (not extendable).
  • FULLY BOOKED - Free Taster Session Saturday 9th October
    Sat, 09 Oct
    Barking Mad The Dog Training and Behavio
    09 Oct, 15:00 – 16:00
    Barking Mad The Dog Training and Behavio, Ilketshall Saint Lawrence, Beccles NR34 8LB, UK
    If you fancy coming and having a go for FREE come along to our taster session. You just need some yummy treats and a collar and lead (not extendable).


Here’s What Our Customers Are Saying...

Roxie was about as dog-reactive as you can get... The transformation in the first three weeks of 1-2-1s had to be seen to be believed. I can now take Rox pretty much anywhere without worrying, and I’m much better equipped to read her and situations that might upset her and deal with those things properly.

It feels like a big family atmosphere at Barking Mad; it feels like everyone there is interested in how you and your dog are progressing. Turning up to that first session was the best thing I have done since I adopted Roxie from the Dog’s Trust. It’s turned our lives around. Thank you Julie and everyone at Barking Mad!

Ross & Roxie, Malinois

I had never had a dog before so I wanted as much help as possible to raise a well behaved one and Barking Mad have definitely helped me achieve that.
We love going to dog classes every Sunday morning. Hunter gets to see his friends who he has know since we first started back in June. It’s great socialisation for both Hunter & I and we are still learning so much every week.
It’s a great company and would highly recommend them.

Becky & Hunter, Cocker Spaniel

Absolutely fabulous group of trainers. Really friendly and never make you feel stupid when you get things wrong. Always happy to give you advice and really do know their stuff. My dog loves training here. He got bored training in a village hall but here every week is new, fun, different and exciting and we have both tried things I wouldn't know where else to go to have a go at it. Try the free sessions and find out for yourself.

Lindsey & Buddy, Cockapoo

Barking Mad is amazing, we have a rescue dog and started with a few 1-2-1s before moving into a group. Natalie really understands dogs and our dog loves her. With Nat's help, Bella has gone from a reactive dog to a well-behaved and friendly dog. We love all the classes and really look forward to going. This is the place to train your dog whilst having fun. (Although sometimes I think it's us being trained)! I highly recommend Nat and the rest of the team.

Katina & Bella, Border Collie


Get in Touch Today

School Farm, Halesworth Road, Ilketshall St Lawrence Beccles United Kingdom NR34 8LB