At the Field Trial Sub Committee meeting in September 2003 it was agreed that a national training programme for puppies, new and inexperienced handlers should be set up; it has been very rewarding to see some of these handlers achieving awards in working tests for the first time and ‘being bitten by the bug’.
Professional trainers/experienced field triallers sympathetic to our breed have been approached to run puppy and beginner training classes, for flatcoats only, to teach the correct foundation of gundog work and good handling techniques. The classes are kept numerically small (4 – 6) so that handlers can gain maximum benefit from them. There is also the opportunity in most areas to progress to the same trainer’s AV classes if handlers want to continue after successfully completing the puppy/beginners course. However, the scheme does rely on participants being prepared to act as local Co-ordinators because I don’t think it would work very well if the FT Sub had to dovetail over 100 diaries!!
There are now groups in Berks, Bucks, Cheshire, Dorset, Kent, Middlesex, South West, South Wales, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire The areas do vary from year to year but if there isn’t a group in your county, the FT Sub Committee will do their best to help with details of other local training groups; alternatively if you can get a few like minded people together, we will try to source a suitable trainer for you. If any members know of a suitable trainer/s in their area, please let us know as we get enquires from all over the country.
If you would like to read more about the programme, there are articles written by Roz Townsend (one of the participants) and Annie Wales (the trainer for Gloucestershire) on Page 29 of the FCRS Newsletter Autumn 2004.
We hope more people will take advantage of the scheme and if you are interested please phone 01398 371537.
We also have a list of trainers for the more experienced handlers and dogs including field trial training and live game training days so again, if this is of interest, please get in touch.