Tag Archives: dog training

Bronze award examining – 22nd November 2016

I was invited to Walford near Ross-on-Wye yesterday to examine a super group of dogs for their Good Citizen Dog Scheme Bronze award.  I’m pleased to say that everyone passed – well done!

Sandy, Dolly and Jaz

Sandy, Dolly and Jaz


Spaniel Gundog Training Day

On Sunday 1st March I was invited to take part in a Spaniel gundog training day with the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club.  The guest trainer was Martin Kilminster who is also a trainer with the Mid-Western Gundog Society.

I took one of my Cockers, Phoebe, who although a show strain is displaying an aptitude for gundog work.  It was an excellent day and Martin’s ‘quiet’ style of positive training went down well – especially with a group of raring to go Spaniels!

We were also introduced to using place boards which can help with building in steadiness in your dog’s training.  Place boards are an innovation from the US and Phoebe certainly picked up what to do very quickly.  Martin also demonstrated how they can be used to teach your dog to quarter – again Phoebe took to this straightaway.  Place boards are now at the top of my ‘wish list’!

A big thank you to the WSSC for inviting me – a really enjoyable day with great company and lovely to see lots of ‘Welshies’.

Achieved Kennel Club GCDS Gold Examiner

Yesterday, I travelled to Runcorn in Cheshire so I could get a good night’s sleep before being assessed today by the Kennel Club as a Good Citizen Dog Scheme Gold Award Examiner.  It’s the ultimate test as an examiner for the Good Citizen Dog Scheme but I’m pleased to say that I passed.  I’m now an  ‘A1’ listed GCDS Examiner and can examine Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.

Who won the Gold?

Who won the Gold?

GCDS Silver Award Success!

Well done to members of my GVDTC Thursday Obedience class who took their GCDS Silver award today.  The weather was very wet but I’m delighted to say that nine dogs passed!  Congratulations to Natasha Harrison & Rufus, Kathy Williams & Barney Rubble, Bill Harman & Maddie, Tina Smith with Judy & Hermione, Jenny Shore & Jumble, Gail Clark & Gem, Carol Lloyd & Sox and Heather Suff & Ben.  Special thanks to the examiner, Anne Weston.  Here’s a photo of the group.

20141009-KCGCDS Silver-group shot

KCGCDS Silver Award – October 2014

Training schedule updated

I’ve updated my training schedule to show the new classes, additional training and the GVDTC in-house instructor course I am running with Anne Weston.

GCDS Bronze Award Success!

Well done to members of my GVDTC Thursday Obedience class who took their GCDS Bronze award today. Everyone passed and it was lovely to see such a mixed group of Spaniels; a Clumber, Welsh Springer, Working Cocker and two English Springers! Congratulations to Sarah Cundy & Blossom, Tina Smith & Judy, Gail Clark & Gem, Kathy Williams & Barney Rubble and Natasha Harrison and Lulu. I’m very proud of you all. Special thanks to the examiner, Anne Weston and to club members for allowing us exclusive use of the club grounds for the award. Tim is working on the photos but for now here is one of the group.

KC GCDS Bronze Award – October 2014

Achieved Kennel Club GCDS Silver Examiner

On Friday I travelled to Hockley, near Southend, Essex as the following day I was assessed by the Kennel Club as a Good Citizen Dog Scheme Silver Award Examiner.  It was a long way to go but thankfully worth the effort as I’m really chuffed to say that I passed.  I’m now an  ‘A’ listed GCDS Silver Examiner.  Next I’ll be going for Gold!


Passed assessment for APDT

I’ve been a little bit distracted the last couple of weeks as I’ve been waiting on tenterhooks for the results of my assessment for membership of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT).  After submitting written papers, being assessed at training a group of unknown dogs and handlers all at various levels of ability in an indoor location that I’d never been to, followed by an in-depth 45 minute oral exam, I’m delighted to say that I passed with 91% and have been invited to join the APDT.  Massive grins and something bubbly to celebrate this evening!

Scan_20140831 (3)3

Judging the local dog show

I’ve been asked to judge the Kingstone Fun Dog Show on 31st August.  It should be a great day out for you and your dog with a class to suit everyone.  You’ll also be helping raise funds for Longtown Mountain Rescue, a charity close to my heart as I do a lot of hill walking in all weathers!  Do come along and have some fun while supporting this worthwhile charity.

Fun Dog Show Poster 2014

Scent work training

For some time I’ve been training my dogs to carry out scent work searches around the house and garden. It’s a great way to allow them to use their natural sniffing instinct and also tires them out which is especially useful if the weather is wet and horrible. I’ve been wanting to take this to the next level so, on 27th July, Phoebe (one of my cocker spaniels) and I completed ‘Scent Work Level 1 Foundation’ with Pam McKinnon an ex-Customs & Excise drug detector dog handler who now runs Talking Dogs. It was a fun and interesting day and by the end of the course we carried out a ‘blind’ room search with Phoebe easily managing to lead me to the item on each occasion. Well done Pheebster! I’m now going to practice what I’ve learnt with both Phoebe and Toby (my other dog) and then I’ll move forward to Level 2.

Training schedule updated for Bronze/Silver awards

I’ve updated my training schedule to reflect the extra lessons we’ll be doing in the run-up to the next Bronze and Silver Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme awards in September. There will also be mock tests which I have provisionally arranged for 4th September.

GCDS Bronze Award Success!

Massive congratulations to all my GVDTC Thursday class who took their Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Bronze Award today! Six dogs tested and all six passed – well done guys you did me proud! The examiner was really impressed with your standard; in fact, she said you were all, at least in some areas, above Bronze level. See you all on 10th July when we’ll start working towards the Silver.

Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Bronze Award June 2014

Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Bronze Award June 2014

Achieved Kennel Club GCDS Bronze examiner

Today I travelled to Frampton Cotterell near Bristol to be assessed by the Kennel Club as a Good Citizen Dog Scheme Bronze Award Examiner.  It was a long and tiring day but I’m pleased to say that I passed the written, oral and practical exams and I’m now an  ‘A’ listed  Kennel Club Good Citizen Bronze Award Examiner.  Next stop Silver!

GCDS Bronze examiner certificate

GCDS Bronze examiner certificate

Mock GCDS Bronze award

On Thursday, the majority of my regular GVDTC took their mock test in advance of the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Bronze Award due on 26th June.  Understandably, everyone was a little bit nervous but they soon settled in and we had some good results.  There’s a week left before the actual examination so this gives dogs and handlers time to work on any areas they need to.  Good luck to all!

Rally at Poston Mill

This week’s session at Poston Mill was an introduction to Rally.  After outlining the concept of Rally and explaining what is required for some of the signs.  We set up a novice course with Level 1 exercises for the group and, after some initial hesitation, everyone managed to manoeuvre their way around the course while having lots of fun.  All agreed that they’d like to see Rally included as one of the regular group activities.  You can find more information on Rally on the Kennel Club Rally web site.

Second training session at Poston Mill

Well done today everyone.  I imagine all the dogs were tired when you got home as they had to concentrate and learn a range of new things today. There were some great results with each dog doing well on at least one activity. I was pleased to see that by the end of the session everyone had:

  • Got their dog to Wait while they walked on and called the dog to heel
  • Managed to get their dog doing a Figure-of-Eight through their legs
  • Managed to get their dog to Weave Walk through their legs
  • Got their dog to do some basic agility jumps both in a straight line and to the left
  • Got their dog to start Weaving through the poles

Remember to carry on and train the freestyle movements at home where there are no distractions. Keep your training to short but regular sessions so that your dog doesn’t get bored and always finish on a positive. If your dog finds a particular move difficult, then break it down into smaller pieces and gradually build it up to the full move. Keep doing this and you’ll soon see progress.

The next session is at 11.30am at Poston Mill on Tuesday 3rd June. Do bring along the Contact Marker I mentioned which is usually a small plastic lid.

Training schedule update

Due to the Kennel Club Good Citizens Dog Scheme Bronze award assessment being held in June, I’ve decided to delay my holiday until July.  I’ve updated my training schedule to reflect these changes.

Brilliant first training session at Poston Mill

After using Poston Mill as a winter venue, I was asked by the owners if I’d be willing to carry on with my own training sessions.  I decided to h0ld an obedience & freestyle class once a month to see what the take-up would be.  I’m pleased to say that my first class was a great success.

We concentrated on building some obedience work and incorporated some freestyle moves.  Jenny and Jumble were naturals at the freestyle and picked up the movements really quickly – a future candidate for Britain’s Got Talent, maybe?  Natasha did some fabulous loose-lead walking with Rufus.  He was totally focussed on her which is no mean feat for a spaniel in an open field!  Heather and Ben did a really steady wait and their recall was the best I’ve ever seen them do.

The immediate feedback was that everyone had fun and I was asked to increase to fortnightly classes so my training schedule now reflects the new timetable.  I had a fantastic time and really enjoyed the session in a beautiful location.  Well done everyone!

A reminder: The next session will now take place at Poston Mill on Tuesday 20th May 2014 at 11:30am.


New training schedule for 2014

I’ve just posted my official training schedule for the remainder of this year.  It includes my Thursday afternoon classes at Golden Valley Dog Training Club and my own training sessions at Poston Mill on the first Tuesday of each month at 11.30am.

My sessions at Poston Mill will cover general obedience with some heelwork to music moves and depending on demand, I will introduce some basic agility equipment for dogs to try. I also plan to target specific areas such as loose lead walking, building up a stay, recall etc.

Festive fun and games

Christmas fun & games at GVDTC

20131219_Christmas games_0308_LR6

Yesterday was my last training class of 2013 so instead of the normal training routine, I decided we should all get into the Christmas spirit.  Seasonal music, games, prizes (presents) and fun for all.  Tim took some photos which can be seen/downloaded from his website.  Thanks to everyone who came – I really enjoyed myself.  It was great to see the progress that you’ve all made since we started and I’m looking forward to working with you all again in 2014.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all.