A UK dog trainer has won a High Court battle with a disgruntled customer after a judge ruled she was "not dealing with a machine, but a puppy".

London-based Tracey Egan was hired by Jenny King, 71, after her fox terrier pup Izzy began wreaking havoc in her St John's Wood flat.

The "out of control" puppy was running riot in the one-bed flat, biting and leaping up at her owner, who turned to Egan in desperation.

Egan agreed to put Izzy through a two-week intensive 'boot camp' in an attempt to embed some positive new habits in the terrier.


But, soon after Izzy's return home, King said she was "out of control and back to her old ways", including leaping up at people, yanking at hair, and knocking over her water bowl.

In June 2015, a disgruntled King wrote to Egan complaining that she had breached their contract by failing to tame the rowdy terrier.

Izzy was sent to a fox terrier rescue centre while her owner launched legal proceedings. She sued Egan for breach of contract, demanding a refund of the £2800 ($5400) she spent on schooling Izzy, plus interest.

The case reached court in 2016, but District Judge John Hugman dismissed the damages claim, vindicating Egan.

King appealed, claiming she had not had a fair hearing but Judge Nigel Gerald ruled in the High Court that she had "insufficient evidence to prove breach of contract".

"To suggest that, after 14 days, any previous behavioural issues would be, as it were, permanently gone forever is unreal," he commented.

"That would ignore the fact that we are not dealing with a machine here, but a puppy.

"Puppies behave in particular ways and training is always intended to achieve certain results, but those results are not guaranteed."