MEET THE TEAM

Nikki Thurston – Head Instructor & Owner

Nikki has always been extremely passionate about animals, graduating from university with a degree in Zoology. It has been her dream to work with dogs and help others.  Qualified in Advanced Canine Behaviour & Psychology as well as being an absoluteDOGS Pro Dog Trainer and Coaching Student Nikki has experience working with dogs in many areas, including; Behavioural Consultations, Obedience and Agility, she is certainly right for the role. Nikki’s approach to any part of her business is passionate, caring and fun. What makes Nikki so special when it comes to dog training is that she is always looking to improve on her existing and current knowledge and wants all of her students to excel and reach their goals.

Nikki says “I know there is always so much more to learn, you are never done in this profession. That is why I love it so much!”


Elaine Thurston – Care & Administration

Elaine supports On The Ball on a daily basis, she has become an invaluable member of the team, increasingly more involved as the business has grown over the years. Elaine has many roles in the business, working in care and customer liaison/support as well as dealing with all things administration!! Having dogs throughout her life, you can be sure of her knowledge and understanding underlining every task.

Elaine says”The team is crucial at On The Ball and you need to be flexible working in a small business, being able to take on different roles each day. What makes every day so enjoyable, is getting to care for our customers four legged friends  one day and then working with Nikki’s infectious training methods the next!”


Sam Milburn – Virtual Media Manager

Sam originally joined On The Ball in 2020 as a student with her Border Collie Buddy.  Sam’s enthusiasm and passion for training as well as helping others led her to creating a blog reaching out to other border collie and dog owners with struggles.  With her marketing and creative background as a Virtual Assistant for small businesses, Sam soon become more involved in the social media and marketing side of things at On The Ball and is now studying the Pro Dog Trainer course as well as being coached by Head Trainer Nikki.

Sam says ‘I knew from the first time that I met Nikki and Elaine that this was the right place for me and Buddy! He has totally transformed from the reactive and worried dog that he once was. It seemed only natural to be able to help with the marketing side of the business with my background. It’s a privilege to be able to see the transformation take place in other people’s dogs, as well as the people themselves, it’s definitely a joint experience for both owner and dog! On The Ball is very different to other dog trainers in that they take you on a journey and are here for you at EVERY step. They are also super fun to work with!’