WELCOME TO CRAIGELACHIE GUNDOGS
'The Home of a New Way to Train Your Dog'
**** We Have Moved ****
Love, calmness, consistency, praise and positive training are what makes the difference between a happy, trained dog who keeps his personality and works with you because he wants to and a dog who works for you out of fear. Don't get frustrated and start shouting and tearing your hair out.
It isn't unknown for people to spend a whole 1 hour lesson with us and not being allowed to talk to or whistle the dog in order to learn how to communicate with him without loudness, constant chatter or shouting. Get the help you need. The more you put into it, the more both you and your dog will get out of it.
WE HOPE YOU ENJOY OUR WEBSITE!
OUR TRAINING GOAL IS EXCELLENCE, WHAT'S YOURS?
One of the best and most rewarding comments we hear is 'I have learnt so much about my dog from you. All the reading of books, watching of dvds, obedience training and other gundog training has never come close to what we have learned about our dog when training with you'.
For us, this is what it is all about. Once you learn to read and understand your dog, it makes training so much easier and you start to see everything he does in a completely different light.
A dog at a shoot that is not well trained is not only a danger to itself, but also to others around it. They can also spoil an excellent day for the Guns, Beaters, Pickers Up and Keeper. A poorly trained dog is a nuisance to the Roughshooter or Wildfowler and not an asset. Well trained working gundogs have a very high standard of training. They do all the things they want to do naturally like hunt for scent and retrieve but their standard of training is high so that they do this in partnership WITH you, not in an unruly manner on their own, AWAY from you.
(NEW TO GUNDOG TRAINING - YOU SHOULD READ THE NEXT 3 PAGES)
Training begins at 8 weeks old with love, touch, play, fun and creating a strong bond and trust.
This is Craigelachie Gundogs training.
'Every little thing matters' - remember that and it will help enormously with your training. If you don't know what that means, you need to learn. It is the difference between an 'ok' dog and an 'excellent' dog
From the day you get your pup home you begin to play with your dog and touch your dog. It amazes me in this day and age so many people come with their dogs for training and really don't know how to actually touch their dog with love, warmth and kindness. I have to show people how to do this. This touch needs to come from the heart, as it would from you for a child. We're not talking about praise here, but physical touch and closeness.
We don't start the training process as traditional obedience trainers do. We don't use treats. We don't stand like sargeant majors when working with / training a dog. Gundog training starts with you creating a strong bond with your pup but also about your pup learning good manners. Good manners are those things like waiting to go through gateways, doorways, or not letting your pup snatch from your hands, not encouraging your pup to behave in any sort of manic way, teaching your pup basic commands properly and well like sit and come. All of these things are the foundations of gundog training. If you begin gundog training and don't have these foundations already in place, this is where you will start.
We work with all dogs and all the problems they come with. We have never turned a dog away. Some dogs need much more time and attention than others. They way they live at home and what they are taught at home plays a huge part in how your dog behaves and contributes greatly to any problems your dog has. We train dogs from scratch and we take on older dogs with problems and everything in between.
We train with touch, movement, eye contact, warmth, body language. We interact with dogs when training and throughout the day in the home. We want the dog to interact with us, but more importantly, we want the dog to WANT to interact, play and train with us. We unconditionally love our dogs and we hope you feel the same about your dog too. We train with love. BUT love isn't always sweet smelling roses, most roses have thorns too. This is the love we train our dogs with. Just as a child grows through life being taught right from wrong, so too should a dog. You need a healthy balance of sweet smelling roses love and thorns love to teach your dog the things you want him to learn.
If your dog was a child, would he have all the latest games and named label clothes? Would he have little respect for you? For many people, they can love their child and teach them right from wrong but when it comes to their dog, a mist seems to descend upon them. Common sense goes out the window and suddenly they feel dog training is like achieving a masters degree.
If you love your dog with just the sweet smelling roses he is likely to pull on the lead, run off to play on his own or with other dogs, chase birds, about turn when he sees you get the lead out to go home. Your dog, as a child, needs both the sweet smelling roses and the thorns to be able to build a trusting and unconditional relationship and bond with you.
Most people who train with us who have followed the tradional obedience training route or gone down the roads of KC bronze, silver, gold and good citizen or agility can't actually believe how different dog training can actually be to all those things. A lot of people who go down these routes think great, I have an obedient and trained dog but when they go out for walks they get hauled about by a pulling dog, a dog that takes off to play with other dogs, a dog that chases joggers and cyclists, a dog that jumps straight out the back off the car the minute the door is opened, a dog that barks incessantly when the ball comes out. In other words, in that safe, 4 walls environment, they have a fairly well behaved dog but then out in the real world, they have 1 problem after another.
One of the best and most rewarding comments we hear is 'I have learnt so much about my dog from you. All the reading of books, watching of dvds, obedience training and other gundog training has never even come close to what we have learned about our dog when training with you'.
For us, this is what it is all about. Once you learn to read and understand your dog, it makes training so much easier and you start to see everything he does in a completely different light.
Training in a nice warm and dry building might be nice for us but that is not where you're going to take your dog on a daily basis. Your dog is going to go out into the real world with all its real distractions like walkers, sheep, birds, smells, sounds, grasses blowing in the wind, rabbits, cyclists, water and a host of other distractions. If you try to ignore the distractions, like walking your dog before other dog walker arrive, you are never going to teach your dog how to deal with the distraction. If you always make excuses for your dog doing something e.g he pulls because he's dying to get to the water, he always pulls going downhill, or one of the many other excuses, you will never teach him not to do it. And this is the problem with nice warm and dry dog training (well, one of the problems), there is no real world environment to help you learn how to teach your dog how to deal with the real world. I could tell you horror stories of young dogs now wearing ridiculous pronged collars because their owners can't walk their dog to heel because the only place they take their dog training is in that nice, warm, dry, non- muddy building. It is so unneseccary to have to resort to such gadgets for such young dogs, or for any of the other gadgets like headcollars or a 'baby harness'! This doesn't teach your dog how to walk to heel, it just makes it easier for you to walk your dog. They don't teach your dog how you want him to behave, either in walk or in any other area of his training or behaviour.
There is another way to train, a better way to train, a way to teach you how to understand your dog and to help you to teach your dog the things you want him to learn. A way that you can have fun with your dog and build a strong relationship with him but you have to come and be ready to change how you interact with your dog and be ready to move away from standing like a stone cold rock beholding a bag of treats.
One last tip - the younger you start this new training off with your dog the better. The older the dog is, the harder it will be for you to not only change your behaviour, but also that of your dog. As soon as your dog has all his vaccinations, book him in and start training in a way that will set up a great relationship between you and your dog. A relationship that means your dog sees you as fun to be with and someone he can trust to keep him happy and safe.
You're not trying to create a clingy dog who will suffer from stess when you leave him at home or in the car. You are training your dog to have a healthy stable mind that trusts you. You want your dog to be just as happy to be with you or for you to say to him, off you go, you can play with the other dogs (but you want to know that if you call him away from the other dogs, he is happy to do just that and not muck about and not let you catch him or take off in the opposite direction).
A lot of people are now learning there is a different way to train their dog and wish they had realised this much sooner. So many people just do not know there is another way to train, but there is, and it gives much better and more fulfilling lifetime results. And if you put your heart and soul into it, it wont even feel like your training your dog, it will become a way of life.
Play with your dog. Love your dog. Train your dog. He must trust you. He must believe you.
Build a relationship with him where you never have to worry about your dog taking off from you.
If you are planning on training your dog to work, DO NOT TAKE HIM TO OBEDIENCE TRAINING or you will teach him, and yourself, things you don't want him to learn and things that will cause problems for his gundog training later on. If you do, it is likely to be one of the biggest mistakes you make and are very likely to regret. If you do take them, you will then spend the next 6 months trying to un-teach them the things you have just taught them. General obedience training does not start your dog off with the right training, the right foundations for gundog training. Obedience training for dogs is like you or I learning how to count from 1 to 10 or learn the alphabet from A to F. Proper gundog training is like learning the whole alphabet but not just in English but in French and Spanish too!
Gundog training is much much more than just throwing a few canvas dummies and teaching the dog to fetch them. It is also more than walk to heel. Be careful who teaches you gundog training because a lot of people say they teach it but have no real knowledge of what is actually involved in 'proper' gundog training, but, a lot of people are doing just that when teaching 'gundog training'.
They buy a few canvas dummies, throw them out for your dog, and if you don't know any different, you are going to think that is exactly what is meant to happen. Believe me, it is not! This is nowhere near what actually happens in real gundog training. A lot of people go to gundog training, including here, at Craigelachie Gundogs for example, but in actual fact, they are doing 'dog training' because their dog is nowhere near ready for gundog training. Your dog has to have a certain level of training before you can really get them into gundog training, and ideally, starting the basic training tailored to prepare your dog for 'proper' gundog training.
Craigelachie Drummer (Tarka) (if he's half the dog his brother is I'll be over the moon)
Craigelachie Drummer (Tarka) at 4 months old
His brother - Craigelachie Sporren
One of my pet hates in gundogs is dogs who not only don't deliver to hand, but dogs who don't sit and give you the perfect delivery. Why have bronze standard when your dog is capable of gold!
My wee fella from our last litter - Craigelachie Drummer aka Tarka
Why not visit our 'Videos - Dog Training' page! It is under construction so videos will be going on over time.
*****Want to join the North East England Spaniel Club (for ALL Spaniels)? Go to www.nespanielclub.co.uk*****
Kay Mclain from Craigelachie Gundogs is passionate about helping owners train their dog. Through a series of private One to One lessons, you will be given all the instruction needed to ensure his gundog training is the best it possibly can be and tailored solely for him and his needs. For those who don't have the time to train their dog, or prefer the training to be done for them or need their dogs training 'started off', we offer Residential Training. You will be taught not only how to train your dog but just as importantly, how to keep it interesting, stimulating and motivating for him. Please visit our Testimonials page to see what others say about our training.
Our clients come from all over the UK from Inverness to Eastbourne to Wales, Ireland and Europe. Everyone has their own reasons for deciding to work with and choose Craigelachie Gundogs, and for most of them, they go away with considerably more information about training their dog than they ever thought possible. We get results where other trainers have failed. We teach people so much about their own dog and how to change their interaction with them to get the best from them. We are lucky in that through dogs, we meet so many different people, from all walks of life with all with their own life stories and over the years, many of them have become very good friends.
Craigelachie Gundogs are based in beautiful rural Northumberland, North East England about 10 miles west of Morpeth. We are a small family kennel made up of 3 generations who, between us, have worked with dogs spanning over 50 years. We are members of over 25 Working Gundog Clubs, Societies and Field Trial Associations.
Our commitment to, and understanding of dog training is such that Craigelachie Sporren is not only an outstanding working gundog, reliable stud dog and a great friend, but he is also part 'Assistance Dog' trained. This not only shows our passion for dog training and understanding of the dogs mind, but it also reinforces this dogs training aptitude, and his trainability will come through in his pups.
Who says Springers CAN'T walk to heel?!?
We breed, train and work our own dogs starting right from a very careful breeding selection process to make sure we have the best possible match between dog and bitch. The Craigelachie Springers came about from generations of very thought through breeding. We do not breed to sell, we only breed when we need to bring on youngstock. This does mean that now and again, there will be some pups for sale. This also means we breed for quality. The up and coming youngsters are a complete joy to train. We have worked with many different breeds over the years, gaining more and more experience with every dog as every single one is different.
Whether your dog comes to us through veterinary referral for behaviour/training issues, whether you're looking to compete with your dog, want to have the best dog at the shoot or just a very well behaved pet, we give you our undivided attention, commitment and passion to train your dog.
When you get your new pup home immediately begin the bonding process. Play with your dog, become his best friend, his leader, protector and become the person he always wants to be with. And when you begin training, keep that in mind, that you always want to be the person he wants to be with. You need to become and stay the most important and interesting thing in his whole life.
My oldest dog is long since retired and I still play with her and if I took her out with the gun, she would still hunt hard and retrieve anything I sent her for. And I am not ashamed to admit that the next 2 younger ones (7 yrs old) still absolutely love to play roly poly games with me and pretend dancing to whatever takes my fancy at the time and both have worked their socks off on days you could barely move in the cold and the wind. So you can see that training is not the only important thing, a good bond is also important. My current youngest one, with all his skills, reminds me every day why I think he is amazing. I truly love all my dogs and bonding comes very easily, but as you will gather from this website, training is just as important to us, and the best way to keep that bond with your dog is through continual training. Dogs don't see training as 'training', they see it as fun time with their favourite person, and the better you do it, the more they enjoy it!
Working with Dogs (For the Love of Dogs)
Kay & Jess & Bell & Blaze
& Bugsy & Tarka & Barley
& Angel & Daisy & Fern
& Rolo & Springers & Sting
& Spaniels & Fern
& Alfie & Trouble
Learning what makes each dog tick is important to get the best from each and every dog, as is creating a relationship, a bond, firm and fair rules and teaching them how to have fun with you and love your company so they WANT to work with you more than they want to go away from you and work / play / learn without you
If I believe in anything in life it is this:
Owning a dog means more than just feeding them, taking them to the vets when needed and taking them for walks. Dog training is more than just sit, stay, fetch and heel. A dog is not a disposable or replaceable item like a car or tv. You can't turn them on and off as you would your laptop or radio. They are not only expensive to keep well and happy but they have a brain which they can use and they have emotions. Like children, they need more than just a roof over their head and food in their belly. Never underestimate the instinct, intelligence or feelings of a dog, to do so would make you a fool.
If you own a dog and you want it to be not only happy, but well balanced, mentally and emotionally, you need time, energy and commitment and if you have passion too, then your relationship with your dog will also come on leaps and bounds. Dogs need to use their brain. If you don't give them tasks to use their brain, they will find tasks of their own to use it. The more you train your dog, the more your dog will want to train. Training does not need to be a regimented, formal and boring process you feel you have to go through, if that is how it feels, then both you and your dog will fail. Training does need to be consistent, clear, timely, interesting and challenging (too challenging and they will fail, not challenging enough and they will be bored so wont focus). By challenging I mean mentally. Most dogs can cope with any physical challenge we throw at them but mental challenges are a different ball game and give dogs a totally different kind of enjoyment. Dogs need us to interact with them in an interesting way but not in a way that can create manic behaviour e.g. repetitive ball throwing, or boredom.
The feeling you get when your dogs head turns, he stands stock still and looks at you, and what he is actually saying is 'what do you want me to do', is totally amazing.
Gundog training takes time, patience, understanding, calmness, consistency and clear signals - at every level. Rush it at your peril!
We specialise in 'Residential Training' and 'Private One to One Training'. We can help you train your gundog from the very beginning to the very end. Or, we can do all your gundog training for you and show you how to work your dog, the commands to use, and everything else you need to know to have a happy and successful partnership out in the field. For more information please visit our 'Craigelachie Training', 'Dog Training', 'Residential Training', 'Live In Training' or 'Going On Holiday' pages, or feel free to give us a ring or send an email with your queries. If we can't take your call there and then, if you leave a message with your query and a contact number, we'll get back to you as soon as we can. We are fully insured so you can be sure you are in safe hands.
- One-to-One Private Gundog Training- Basic to Advanced
- One-to-One Private Pet Obedience
- One-to-One Private Assessment - Training & Behaviour
- Residential Training (for any breed) - Kennelled or Live In (longer term training - gundog training)
- One Day Stay - one off or regular
- Holiday Stay - short term - weekly/fortnightly (or longer by arrangement)
- Home Visit - Behaviour Issues - Advice/Training
- Stud Dog - Craigelachie Sporren - ESS - proven stud dog
- Microchipping- we provide a full and professional microchipping service with the option of the brand new 8.5mm mini microchip as well as the standard 12mm microchip, both with full Petlog registration
For details on how to book training, please go to our 'Prices & Booking' page
Today, Craigelachie Gundogs work mainly with Springer Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels and the Labrador. We do work with other breeds too including German Pointers, the Hungarian Vizsla, English & Irish Setters, and Labradoodles for both working and general obedience and cross breeds for pet obedience training (and some that work too). Other breeds include German Shepherds, Poodles, Jack Russells, Newfoundland, Dalmations, Collies and many more. Many years ago (in my youth), I trained Border Collies for shepherding and German Shepherds for tracking alongwith Labradors for gundog work. My biggest passion with the gundogs is the Springer. They are such strong and hopeful dogs, full of drive and tenacity with gold in their heart and fire in their belly. The Ferrari with 4 legs.
The working dog is a sight to behold when they are doing what they were bred for, and doing it well. If you get the training right from the very start, you will be the owner of one of those gundogs that everyone can't help but watch. Our training grounds offer varied cover for the gundog from water, woodland, heather, bramble, rhododendron, reeds and rushes.
Kay Mclain believes in using kind, positive reward based training. No, this doesn't mean a pocketful of treats all the time. When training is going well, you are the reward (in a manner of speaking).
But yes, sometimes, things don't always go according to plan, you may not have had the dog from a pup or a multitude of other reasons, and in situations where you are not the reward, treats can be used to help build that bond and understanding and make that connection between the two of you.
All of our training is based on positive reinforcement, basically, praise and reward. We have no time for belting, booting or throwing. There is no reason in the world why someone should stand on a dogs back to teach it how to stay or any other such nonsense. This is the wrong way to train a dog, in fact, it isn't training, it's bullying and frightening! We aim for happy trained dogs, not those that cower behind your leg too terrified to even think about putting their nose beside your leg. Our training is very much about bonding, praise and reward, positive dog training.
The harshest form of punishment your dog should ever get (if reprimand or punishment is needed), is a firm voice, a certain body stance, and a look in your eye. It's not about shouting, it's about 'tone'. But reprimand and punishment needs to be balanced with praise and reward, or it is worthless to the dog. You also need to be able to read your dogs body language and your timing for everything is crucial to getting the results you want from your dog.
Many dogs are labelled wild and unruly, and many of them are exactly that. Some of these same dogs are also labelled stupid, most are not. Most of these dogs are wild and unruly and are seen as stupid because in actual fact they are intelligent and lack mental stimulation, from their owner, so they go off and find it for themselves, making them behave wild and unruly. This is why training is so important, not just because you want a dog that conforms to our society, but because you want your dog to get as much pleasure from life as it can so it is happy and content at the end of the day. Physical exercise alone is not enough.
At home, if you don't insist on 'basic manners', e.g waiting to get out of the car until told, not barging out the back door at home as soon as you open it, letting him charge off as soon as the lead is removed, etc., you will never have a trained gundog, (or trained pet) no matter how much residential training you send him for or how many lessons you have. Always aim for the best your dog is capable of (no matter how small the task) and you will have so many more rewards, as will he.
If you are thinking about sending your dog for Residential Training, please read our 'Misconceptions' and 'Training Problems' pages so you can be sure you have a good understanding of what training is all about. It is not possible for anyone to make an informed decision without having all the facts and information available to them.
We love helping owners to train their dogs but you must understand that training is a long term plan and you, the owners, must have input into it for it to be successful.
Gundog training starts with play training and bonding. The young dog then progresses onto puppy dummies. From here, more dummies are introduced with varying weights, shapes and textures. Hunting and seen and blind retrieves are developed and the starting pistol is introduced (at a very safe distance from the dog and coming in closer, never worrying the dog). Next, the launcher can be introduced and then progress onto the use of 2 remote launchers (this really puts the pressure on your dogs obedience in many aspects). Once your dog shows he is happy with fur and feather, cold game is introduced. All the way through these stages, your dog should not be moved onto the next stage until he is at an excellent standard on the current stage. While your dog progresses through his stages, obstacles like stone walls, water and fences are introduced as is training in rougher cover, woodland, open areas. This all takes several months, not a few weeks. Our training grounds offer varied cover for the gundog from water, woodland, heather, bramble, rhododendron, reeds and rushes.
Please go to our 'For Sale' page for more information about our litter born 7th December 2011.
We have the occassional litter of pups for sale as we breed a litter now and again for ourselves. We breed for hunting, gamefinding ability and temperament first and foremost. We like dogs with the stamina to be able to work all day and go home content and many of the modern working gundogs of today have become very light both in build and stamina. Any pups we may have will be available on our 'For Sale' page.
**********For training options, how to book and prices, please visit our 'Prices & Booking' page**********
OUR TRAINING GOAL IS EXCELLENCE, WHAT'S YOURS?