Stue the dog

Spirit of the Dog- A brief History

Claudine Tisbury and Jane Nettleton founded Spirit of the Dog in May 2007 when they became increasingly concerned about a pattern emerging with clients at their dog training school.
Dogs are being labeled as ‘aggressive’ due to a breakdown of communication between both dog and owner and they realised that increasing lack of facilities has meant that some of these dogs are unnecessarily destroyed.
The organization was started with 2 main aims:


The long term goal is to obtain our own premises for a purpose built rehabilitation centre, and in the meantime we ensure the highest standards of care and all of the help they could ever need whilst in kennels where we board them; providing psychological treatment and care for dogs; actively seeking new homes and providing medical attention where appropriate.
We are a group of dog lovers who want to stop the needless destruction of dogs with, what many describe as ‘behavioral problems’. We believe with the right home, the right owner, and the right training ANY dog can be a balanced, happy and valuable part of a family.
In April 2008 we achieved our registered Charity Status (no. 1123664) and have continued to work towards these aims.

Where are we based?

We are now operating throughout Essex. Until 2018 Spirit of the Dog has been mainly foster based and working in the local communities around Tendering and Little Clacton where our head office is.
We have since branched out and now use an amazing boarding kennels near Maldon who have offered us the opportunity to board up to 5 dogs at a time there, they are available to view by APPOINTMENT ONLY. At this premises our Canine Care Coordinator Jen and other volunteers are able to work with them every day alongside weekly behaviorist visits from Jane.

Life in kennels

Our kenneled dogs are ones who haven’t had any suitable foster home offers, we give them intensive training, rehabilitation, day trips out, a daily 3 mile countryside walk and all of the love and care they need to be ready for family life. Our Facebook page documents their activities and gives updates on their progress and the costs involved in the work we do. We take the welfare of our dogs very seriously: quality of life over quantity of dogs is key, especially as many of them need lots of extra help and support.
Carriage House is a family run Boarding Kennels and Cattery in Purleigh, set in the calm and tranquil countryside. Every animal has their own heated bedroom and private outdoor run in addition to off lead exercise and play time in the larger outdoor pens, and we are very lucky to be able to rent 5 spaces from them at a time.
You can find details to to contact  us with rescue related enquiries and details for kennels bookings  here.
Please contact us directly via our facebook page or email

Please note that appointments are based on Kennel opening hours and volunteer availability, they are usually made on weekdays between 12-5 around the dogs’ training sessions and walks.

Click here.  to see the dogs’ updates on Facebook

Who runs the Spirit of the Dog?
Our organisation is small at present and made up entirely of volunteers. We have:
Click here to go to learn more about our team members

Objectives of the Charity
To prevent cruelty and suffering inflicted upon dogs through appropriate direct action and public education surrounding humane behavior towards animals, including, but not limited to: appropriate care, kind and effective training methods, and ensure treatment is provided for those in need of care and attention by reason of sickness, maltreatment, poor circumstances or ill usage.’
To provide knowledge of matters pertaining to safety around dogs with children and legal responsibilities surrounding dog ownership.
To uphold a duty of care to, and the best possible quality of life for every dog registered to us and rehomed by us, ensuring rescue back up for life for each one.’

Our Aspirations

As with people, more and more dogs find our lifestyle too stressful. The aim of our charity is to help these dogs and their owners achieve a harmonious life together, and to rehabilitate those who are signed over to us. Some of the cases we deal with are classed as ‘last chance’ rescue dogs, this means that these dogs could be on a death sentence if their behaviour does not improve. Facilities to rehabilitate these dogs are virtually non-existent, therefore our long-term aim is to buy land and build a rehabilitation centre where these dogs and potential new owners can be retrained together.


Our aim is to raise enough funds to cover the amount needed to continue our daily work, and one day bigger plans. For details on upcoming fundraisers and what you can do to help click here
We are constantly fundraising to be able to give the dogs the best quality of life whilst they are with us being rehabilitated and getting ready for a new life in a new home. For more information please read here. Please help us to help them, they deserve better from us. We would be very pleased with any donations however small.

Social Media

You can join our free mailing list to receive our newsletter online, and receive details of our next fundraising events. Please e-mail us at or use the link at the top of the page.
For more help with training your own dog and information on ways to help us, our fundraising events, and dogs that need homes please keep an eye on our Website, Facebook and Instagram pages.

Facebook page is the most up to date source of updates.

Latest News & Events

Dog behaviour consultations and training.


Dog behaviour consultations now taking place every 

Wednesday from 2pm - 5pm,

click  here or the image below for more information, courtesy of  Karma Dog Training.




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Our latest video on




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For more news

click here!



Dog of the Month!


Our gorgeous 4 year old Border Collie Benji has now been in rescue for nearly a year, he is looking for a working home with lots of collie experience and without children.