About Us

The Company

Paws For Applause is based in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., and offers in-home behavior consultations and basic obedience training for guardians and their dogs, using only Force Free training methods.

Founded in January 2019, Paws For Applause is an active member of the Pet Professional Guild- The Association of Force Free Pet Professionals, and prides itself on using scientific, reward and choice based training methods to help guardians better understand the welfare of their dogs.


What is Force Free Training?

Force free or positive reinforcement training involves rewarding your dog every time they offer you good behaviors willingly. Rewards can be in the form of yummy treats, praise, petting/attention, and/or a favorite toy.

Simply put, force free training helps your dog make healthy choices and helps you teach them without the use of pain, force, coercion, intimidation, and other forms of verbal or physical punishment.

Why is Force free training good for your dog?

Force free training allows your dog to make a choice and to “think” for themselves. Each time you give your dog a reward for sitting when you ask him to, they will offer you that behavior on their own, more often! This is the science of dog training.

Compared to traditional dog training methods, this is a more effective way to train your dog, as it makes training fun for everyone involved, builds and strengthens the bond between guardian and dog, and sets a strong foundation of trust.

About Us

The Owner &
The Trainer

Lesley Ann D’Souza is the owner and trainer of Paws For Applause, based in Abu Dhabi. She along with her husband have 2 dogs – Sandy an 11-year-old Labrador, and Bluebell a 1 -year- old Saluki mix who was a happy foster fail- and 6 cats. All of whom were either adopted from shelters or picked up off the streets.

Having worked in the banking industry for over 16 years, Lesley decided to follow her passion and establish her own force free dog training business. Her goal as a passionate dog lover and animal welfare advocate is to help reduce the number of abandoned and unwanted dogs by educating dog guardians through her obedience training programs.

Coupled with intensive training and certification at the reputed Starmark Academy for Dog Trainers in Texas, USA, Lesley has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the science of force free dog training. She is also a Professional Member of The Pet Professional Guild, an organization founded on and committed to the principles of force free training of animals. Built on this strong foundation is a passionate drive for the love of animals, making you look no further for expert and friendly training for your furry best friend.