'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

Some of the Dogs & their Training & Stories

Dogs are intelligent creatures and you need to find a way to interact with each one so you have a happy dog but one that is also well behaved enough to be safe until their training level is where you need/want it to be. Every dog is differe...nt so finding a way to communicate with each dog to gain their trust and not stifle them, is crucial.


Scooby is typical of the dogs that come to Craigelachie Gundogs for training. I would say that 90% of the dogs that arrive have no real acknowledgement of their owners, unless there is absolutely nothing going on around them and the owners has some form of treat in their hand.

The main issues people get in touch about or for dogs that come for residential training are poor or no recall, pulling on lead and running off. Or at least, these are the main things that drive the owners’ nuts. Most people don’t actually realise that their dog doesn’t even look at them, in the eye, or even vaguely acknowledge or look at them, where they are or what they’re doing.

Three weeks ago, when Scooby arrived, he resembled a typical dog that came in for training e.g. calling his name meant nothing. There was no acknowledgement from him of any kind. Like most dogs that come, he behaved as if his name meant nothing, as if he was deaf. Many dogs are actually that though, deaf, of their name, because their name becomes everything from ‘sit’ to ‘leave it’ to ‘come here’, so they begin to ignore you.

If you look at the ‘Scooby Residential Training Album’ (available on our Facebook page), you can see just how far he has come in 3 weeks. Previously, the commands ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘come’, etc. were ignored in favour of going off by himself and doing something more interesting, like going to see what the other dogs were doing. While he has a good way to go before he can become the kind of dog his owners will have a much less difficult time with, he is well on the way to begin to want to work with you, rather than in solo. His photos in his album show just how interested he is in ‘listening and doing’ now, rather than ignoring!

As if more proof were needed, working with Scooby in the photos are David and Leanne 3 weeks after he arrived. This is the first time Scooby has met them and they him. They are in a large open area with lots of scents, etc. around and a huge open expanse of land where Scooby, if he wanted to, could just take off into. There are no long lines or treats to keep him there to work with them. He is working with them, for the first time, two complete strangers to him, because he WANTS to and now enjoys a more positive and different interaction with people.

If the dog enjoys their training, they will learn and grow, if they don't, you'll get nowhere.



Tara has a very sad story. Tara is a lovely soft natured Springer who was bought by a family, Mr & Mrs X to be a rough shooting dog. Very sadly, Mr X was at work one day, fit and well, but later collapsed and lost his life. Mrs X has been torn by his loss and has tried to support their children and deal with daily life and all its challenges.

During this difficult and tragic time, understandably, Tara has not had the attention or time she has needed, as well as feeling her own loss. She has almost been lost within the family.

Tara came to us because Mrs X was unable to recall Tara when out for exercise and she would take off and she just could not her back. She would also escape from the garden to go off around the countryside. Another problem was she would not give her eye contact or follow any commands given.

When this clip was made Tara had been with us for 3 weeks. Every dog is different. Some dogs take longer than others to learn, some dogs need longer to trust you and bond with you.

This clip is a snippet of where she currently is in her training and how she now behaves when out on walks off lead. She has a little bit longer with us and then when she goes home, her owners will need to continue with her training to ensure she doesn't slip back to her old ways. Mrs X does not shoot so Taras training has been based around her going back home as a more responsive pet.

It takes time to build a bond, relationship and trust with a dog, especially one who is themselves emotionally lost. Building a bond and relationship with Tara to work with her, was easy, she is a little dog with a very big heart :-)


Trouble belongs to a client and is going to be a peg dog. This soft natured girl was great at carting her bed about or the kids toys but not so keen on retrieving. Any retrieving you did get was laboured, not determined and lacked enthusiasm and gusto. She also had that frustrating habit of lying upside down for every sit or every delivery of a retrieve with the also typical turning around behaviour.

She is very immature. She also had been able to go off free hunting around the woods etc., without her owner so had learned some very unhelpful things. Heading to be a peg dog it is imperative that she finds the same amount of drive to retrieve as she does to free hunt. As the pictures show, things are looking up for her peg dog career.