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'Every little thing matters' - remember this and it will help you 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

Train your dog well and you will be amazed at the things they will find and bring in to you (in other words, no more chasing after them to say 'give me that' and them running around thinking 'this is a great game of chase')

Love, calmness, consistency, praise and positive training are what makes the difference between a happy, trained dog who keeps his personality and who 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 1hour 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.

TRAINING YOUR DOG?  (pet dogs also below)

  • What do you want from your dog?
  • What sort of work do you want your dog to do?
  • How experienced are you with dogs?
  • How experienced are you with this particular breed you have now?
  • Are you able to work and control a fiery and driven Springer who lives to hunt and chase?
  • Are you looking for your dog to be a quiet, calm, steady, easily managed, reliable dog in the field?
  • Are you looking for the flashy, fast, field trialing dog or is that a 'nice to watch but not what I want' dog?
  • How old is your dog?
  • What training has your dog undertaken to date?
  • Does your dog have brakes, in other words, can you 'stop' your dog, regardless of the situation?  If you can't, do not take him to a shoot!
  • Can you reliably recall your dog, regardless of the situation?
  • What areas are the real problem at the minute?
  • What breed is your dog?
  • Did you get the dog as an 8 week old pup or was it an older dog or an 'already trained' dog?

All of these questions will impact on and determine how you train your dog (or how we train your dog).

When some people buy their new dog, they buy what they think is the best that they can.  In other words, they buy a Ferrari but then realise that this Ferrari has too much power for what they need, want or can handle and decide that a Fiesta would have done.  But now they have their Ferrari and they need to learn how to drive it or else they may crash it.  I don't want to be too literal or descriptive about how you can 'crash' your Ferrari (new dog) but suffice to say, anything bad that you don't want to happen to your dog, could happen if you can't stop him or recall him and keep him from harmful situations.

All dog training takes time, patience, commitment. an understanding of what your dog is thinking and for a consitent approach.

Working Dogs

Most people are looking to work their dog on friendly syndicate shoots and have a relaxed day where they enjoy working with their dog well all day and don’t want to have to be ‘on edge’ trying to keep a cool head on the dog throughout the day.  So many people work with their dog and find it so stressful, just waiting for their dog to take off on them.

Most people can’t control a dog with a lot of fire unless they gain control early on in the training.  They, quite rightly so, want to keep the spirit and nature of their dog but they don’t want it to keep too much of its fire and drive throughout its training or they will never be able to work with it and enjoy actually going out with it.

Some dogs are born natural rockets. Some dogs are born steady.  Some dogs you allow a few chases when they are younger to help them develop that fire, edge and drive.  Some dogs, that is the last thing you would do as they have plenty already.

We see so many people who really struggle with their dogs training, especially those early basics.  If you struggle with those then you can be fairly sure you need help to train your dog and that you need to find a way early on to communicate with your dog that a) gives your dog a reason to want to work with you and b) gives you the ability to guide your dog to the way you want him to behave.

There is no reason to feel bad that you are struggling.  People struggling with training is much more the norm than people excelling.  Everyone has to start somewhere.  It is surprising how much your dog can teach you about 1) your dog, and 2) dog training.

Unbelievably, some people just take their dog to shoots without doing any training at all.  They are assuming that the dog will already know what to do as it was bought from working stock.  Of course the dog knows what to do, but what it knows to do and what you want it to do are two very different things.  Once you take your dog to shoots and then decide to start trying to train it because you find you can't control it at the shoot, you have already built a very big training wall for yourself.

So for anyone else thinking the same thing, don't plan on doing it.  Dogs need gundog training before they can become an effective working gundog.

Pet Dogs

While all of the above applies to working dogs, the same applies to pet dogs.

Not everyone is a 'natural' dog owner.  Most people have to learn how to teach their dog right from wrong.  Some people have a natural instinct on how to do this, but like becoming parent, most people learn as they go along.  While many dogs are very relaxed about 'waiting for their owners to learn how to train them', some are not.  Many dogs are naturally either very driven, or very exciteable, etc., and that is when people really start to realise they need help from someone.

We get a lot of 'pet dogs' that are from working stock so they have all that breeding telling them to work but their owners don't understand how to work with that rather than against it.  This is where gundog training not only helps or works, but it is specifically for dogs from working stock.  Having said that, we have had many 'show bred' pet dogs through our tuition who have benefited greatly from gundog training.