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A closer to it all, and a warning to others.
As a lot of you know, many years ago a trainer posted a public video of himself hitting a dog on numerous occasions to his public wall. Many people were rightly upset by the clip and said that they were, some even created petitions, the RSPCA gave him a warning and then a written warning telling him that if they took him to court they had the evidence to prove he was mentally and physically harming the dogs in his care, and advising him to get help, to find someone who could teach him how to correctly train dogs. One of the petitions had over 270'000 signatures.
Mr Upton video Clip was to remain public there for three years, a decision by him (he says) to get attention for he believed even bad press is good press. When I saw the video, which had been shared many times by that point, I commented in a very polite manner on my own wall that I disagreed with the video, and as Mr Upton always says one is allowed to say that one disagrees with his method as long as one isn't rude, one would think that would have been the end.
Mr Upton was obviously told about my comment, for I never commented on his wall, whereupon he came onto my wall and said he was going to bully me until i agreed with his training methods, something I could never do as I find his training methods abusive towards the dogs and unsuccessful in producing a well trained dog. He started paying people money to get in contact with me on FB, and paying someone to investigate me to try and find out as much as possible about me, he called anyone who may have known me, it all become very creepy and intrusive and obsessive, especially when he started calling me to threaten and intimidate me by saying things like he would 'come get you". Little did I know it would even get worse, leading Mr Upton to talk about sexual things he wanted to do too me and wearing outfits to "get her going", his words.
Many of you know how he, and his family would call me early hours of the morning calling me a spastic and a cripple, how he was coming to get me, to it leading to him sitting in a police station being charged with harassment. As he sat there he told the police officer that "everything that has happened in my life is because of her" (me). The police told me how he had become convinced of what he was saying, and how they knew it wasn't true, he knew it wasn't true but at some point he had convinced himself it was. The worst was still to come, those horrid videos, the video clips where he would talk directly down the screen to me telling me he was giving me a Safe word' to use, and how he wanted to dress up in gimp outfits for me to get me going', his words.
Mr Upton did seem to be very lucky, and/or protected by a couple of people in the police force during this time. He himself shares a phone call that he makes to a police officer where he mentions he has a friend very high up in the London firearms department, that, and the fact there was over 400 miles between us made it difficult for the police who were trying to protect me from this man, they and the stalking team and others felt he had become obsessed with me to a very unhealthy point but jurisdiction kept getting in the way of pushing charges through.
Mr Upton had received many warnings from the police before the first time he was called to the station. The police had told me that on that occasion they were going to charge him with a hate crime for one of his many calls to me where he was called me a spastic and a cripple, because of my Epilepsy, and the threats to come and get me, him even saying about spastic payments. He was Literally about to be charged with that hate crime when an Inspector in that area stepped into the interview room and just gave him a restorative justice order. It went on like that for a few years, police would go too charge him and the inspector would step in and stop it. Throughout he would leave me alone for a set period of time and then start back up again, for the laws were not at that time as good as they are now (even now the laws aren't good enough) therefore because he would harass/ stalk me for a set time and then leave me alone for a set period of time meant they couldn't charge him with stalking, ridiculous. They finally charged him with two counts of Harassment, but sadly the young newbie lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service (Upton even mentions her and how she was so lacking in knowledge, and he goes on to talk about her in a sexual way too) did a deal with his lawyer for him to have a restraining order placed on him in exchange for an acquittal. Apparently this is often done in England to save court time and money as no trial takes place. They also do those deals to save the victim going through the ordeal of court, although I was happy to go through the trial if it had stopped him continuing with his behavior towards me, and it was planned for me to go but the deal was done. However so worried was the judge for me, as she had asked for the paperwork and therefore had seen the evidence, that when the CPS and his lawyer put the deal to her as a fate a comply (before the trial) instead of the standard 6 month Restraining order the Judge gave him a 2 year Restraining Order.
He had placed a you tube clip up stating how his lawyer had spotted a technicality that they could use if they wanted not to face a trial but that he wouldn't use it as he wanted to go through a trial and then another trial to show that he had done nothing wrong, and I presume that's why he agreed to the Restraint Order for he knew he could use the technicality when needed.
But he never went through a trial at any point!
No actual trial took place, not the first time as Mr Upton excepted a plea bargain/deal or the second time as the second time was to appeal the Restraining Order, so no actual trial took place. So much evidence was there it was not surprising he took the deal, especially as he knew he would lose the court case but knowing if he took the plea he could use the technicality to get it dropped. The technicality being that we lived in different jurisdictions and therefore it had to be dealt with by having a trial, therefore the Restraining order had to be dropped. The CPS had plenty of evidence, they had even booked my hotel room for me, for a two day trial but when they got the paperwork through and saw the error that had been made, they knew nothing could be done and no amount of evidence could change that and therefore a guilty man would get off because someone didn't cross their T's and dot their I's, so to speak. So, so far, he has never had an actual trial for his behavior towards me, and the other people he has treated in similar manner. He wanted to be a judge in the gundog field trials for the club he was a member of, when they turned him down as he didn't meet their standards (he certainly lacks in wins as he has never came first in an open field trial) he suddenly decided they were corrupt, this club he was begging to allow him to be a judge for not one minute ago suddenly turned corrupt in his eyes, and he hounded them for months with many threatening calls.
Even shoots have thrown him off for his manner towards other people, and dogs I shouldn't doubt. Though I am always surprised, as are many others, that he managed to get a fire Arms license seeing as he has served time for Grevious bodily Harm
He tells people that his appeal against the restraining order was a case that set a precedent in allowing people to train dogs in whatever manner they want
1) the case was just about the Restraining order that was placed on him, and because of the technicality, as I have said, it wasn't heard for there was nothing that could be done
2) even if it had been heard it had absolutely nothing to do with dog training.
Sometimes I wish I had a few thousand for a lawyer, then I could show all the evidence in a civil court, leading too him finally being dealt with, but I don't. I would also show how unprofessional Fields sport Britain was, but then as their editor said to me, they are only on the internet and therefore do not have to abide by the rules actual reporters have to abide by.
Mr Upton apparently has fans that will pay for any civil case he wants to bring against me but Apparently he will not, understandable when he knows the evidence I have against him and his family.
While Mr Upton, his wife and daughter we're putting out you tube clips begging me to leave them alone, they were continuously calling me, stalking me. His daughter phoned me pretending to be from the Disability team, I realized it was a hoax call, and we have the evidence it was her as she was too stupid to withhold their phone number. His wife sits there listening while Mr Upton talks about what he wants to do too me, often related to sex, most women would be ashamed of their husband saying such things as he does abut other women, ashamed and humiliated, but not her for some unknown reason. The stalking team did once think she may be controlled by him but we believe not.
He once kept saying that I hold a blue disability badge, I have Never held a blue disability badge, but then he has made up many lies about me, once he even said I was a terrorist.
His friend John Beachell contacted me many times pretending that Mr Upton and he had fallen out, he would say how Mr Upton was a laughing stock of the gundog world as he had achieved nothing but believed he was owed much from the Gundog world. John said many nasty things about Upton and how if Mr Upton wanted to take him to court he would love it as his wife was a barrister, or some legal person for I forget exactly what position she held at court, although I do have all the private messages he sent me but so many it puts one off to scroll through them just to find a title. John Beachell obviously was just trying to gain information from me, but he got bored when I did not give him anything. He was mentioned to the police in my statement, not to report him but as part of the background, and the strange thing was he went onto the internet and said that I hadn't mentioned him to the police as the judge had the statements and therefore the judge would have told his wife (John Beachell wife) if I had mentioned him. Now I am no lawyer but I know for a judge to give information to any lawyer/barrister who has nothing to do with the case would be illegal and unethical, so what would that be saying about the Judge and Mr Beachells wife if that was the case, it would be saying they had broke their ethical vows and were extremely poor examples of human beings.
Sadly other people got pulled into this whole nasty thing by association to people who knew Mr Upton and or supported his methods. One Facebook friend I had known only via FB, was the one person I would speak too if I received a friend request from someone I didn't know, she knew a lot of people and would let me know if they were safe to let onto my page or not, helping me keep my wall safe from Mr Uptons followers. Then she and her daughter started training with training and socializing with people who had previously trained with Mr Upton, people that knew him, and while I believe/hope she still believes his hitting of dogs is wrong, she has now pulled away from me to please them and her daughter. Her daughter kept commenting about me on threads i was already on, telling whoppers sometimes, and so I had to ask her daughter to stop commenting about me, her mother (which mother wouldn't) turned against me backing her daughter.
The sadness for me was the lady in her anger/protection for her daughter lied about me, or should I say, she suddenly believed all the lies that had been put around about me by Mr Upton and his friends, lies that she knew were untrue and had said so on many occasions.
I think in many hobbies that lead to groups there is a tendency through easiness and desire to please the group, in this modern day especially, to back people even when you know the person is telling lies, and/or to not say anything when they do something you do not yourself agree with. I think that is what happened in this instance, she wanted to please the group, that and a mother's love, and while I have lost respect for her because of her choice to back the lies she knew to be lies against me, I understand a mothers need to back a child even if the child is in the wrong.
Why do I write this? I suppose in part it is cathartic, I have had to go through the loss of two brothers, and two Cherished dogs whilst dealing with this stalker. My mother has lost two sons, and had the worry of losing my sister to cancer (she thankfully pulled through) and yet had the while she dealt with that had the added worry of knowing that even when Mr Upton had the Restraining order placed on him he still parked up just outside the restraining order, 400 miles away from his home and many many miles from where he was meant to be at that time. My mother also had the worry of the stalker (Mr Upton) would do next to me!
He would make appeals saying how he was being hounded by me, whilst he was the actual person doing the hounding. He would beg for money from his followers telling them how he was fighting for the right to chastise a dog as one felt fit, therefore he felt he was fighting for them and their freedom to do the same. It had absolutely nothing to do with that, and his followers just believed him like sheep. Those sheep encouraged him when he placed sick sexual videos up about me, they encouraged him when he called me a cripple and a spastic because of my epilepsy, and they continue to encourage him when he hits dogs and uses water jets to spray them. Even now they encourage him by paying for his Patreon site where he shows them his methods of training, enabling and encouraging him to continue his way. Thankfully he only has the same number of followers as from the start, though sadly that may be a rolling on, new ones coming in and using his methods, until they realize the methods aren't reaching the desired training level where upon they leave. One would have hoped their human nature would have prevented them from joining the site in the first place, sadly not.
Mr Upton continues to talk and stir trouble against me, but I hope and believe the court case (ie all the evidence Mr Upton would have seen that we have on him) has scared Mr Upton enough not to come near me, and I believe the Scottish police would stop him if he did, and I also believe that the day will come when his friend will no longer be in charge of the fire arms department in that area and that then his firearms license will be taken away from a mentally unstable man, in my opinion and in professional mental health people opinion. I write this also as a warning to people being stalked by others, save all the evidence, even when you think it is fruitless, never lose your temper no matter how many buttons are pushed (thankfully I have achieved both) but don't hide, bullies get away with bullying as stalkers get away with stalking if it isn't reported, and while the stalker may get away with doing It too you, your evidence (if reported) will build a case that could save the next person from that man or woman.
And from people watching someone being bullied, Shame on you, you should politely show your displeasure of the bullies behavior and remove yourself from that channel.
Take care, sadly there are twisted people out there, but thankfully there are good people too!
Monty Don, a wonderful writer and man
I have just finished listening to an audible book that was so enchanting I want to now read it, again, and again. The book is called Nigel and was written by the gardener and wonderfully spoken Monty Don.
Monty tells us of Nigel and of his other dogs he has had over the years, revealing his life and weaving through his garden as the story unfurls.
I laughed out loud at points of the story, and I cried when he told us about the loss of each dog, sharing a love that many of us have for our dogs, and also sharing with us that dreaded day we all fear.
He comes across as an open and honest man.
In one of the chapter Monty tells of meeting with a gamekeeper, he tells us that @I remembered every word when it came to training Nigel'. The Game keeper was at the least a second generation Gamekeeper, and over a couple of pints of beer he passed onto Monty some wise words concerning dog training. The gamekeeper said 'Everything should be geared to making the dog want to please you rather than subjugating it to your will.'
The gamekeeper also said never hit a dog. 'Reward is the key', he said, 'not punishment. the dog wants to please you more than anything else. Tell him he has done well. He will respond to the tone of your voice. But also carry some biscuits and cheese and give him a scrap when he does exactly what you command. By the same token never reward him if e he only does half a job.'
Monty in a later chapter tells of his belief that "Dogs can truly. in any sense of the word, love their owners. This means that the relationship between a dog and a human can be deeply rich and rewarding for both parties. They are not 'just an animal'. They are the dearest of friends and part of the family. So when a criticism is levelled that someone treats their dogs 'like children' implying that this is a step too far. it may well be that this is appropriate and reasonable. Every dog has a role that can only be determined by each individual family.
He goes onto say how that 'the notion that an owner has to assume the role of leader of the pack, to be the Alpha dog, with their dogs submissive and therefore obedient, is a nonsense that is a complete misunderstanding of the canine mentality. Dogs are not domesticated wolves but have evolved over tens of thousands of years to be a species in complete synchronicity with humans and dependent upon them.' He goes on to say how 'bullying your dog is a relationship based upon fear pandering to the macho ego of humans.'
Monty also talks about his son who is a farmer with a very skilled sheepdog called Meg, how she responds to the slightest look or intonation, but how you have to be really firm and shout at her at times to hold her back.
Wise words from Monty for that is all one should need at most to use with a dog, just ones voice. People say that the old way to train a dog was 'Break a dog', and yes that did use to happen and sadly still does. but there has always been throughout the years owners who have trained without ever raising a hand to the wonderful animal that is striving to understand what the owner wants. So many of us train our dogs with kindness, working through the training with our dog, together as a growing team that will share many wonderful cherished moments. Never needing to or wanting to raise our hand to them, never needing to give ourselves an excuse that 'it's only five percent of the time', for we know you don't have to harm your Partner to know to do so is wrong on so may levels.
The Stop and it's Golden Rules
one of the two most Important things all dog owners should teach their dog
A lovely Lady asked me how I got such a good stop with my girls, it is quite easy really, I just stuck by some Golden rules that I found worked for me and with some added Golden rules taught to me by some excellent trainers, two of which being the best trainers (as far as I am concerned) in the UK if not the world, and one isn't a Gundog trainer :)
The stop can and should be taught with positive training methods, to do otherwise would just lead to more complications later, and you want the dog to think and not to shut down. If done positively the dog will stop fast and think "Wow, she is stopping me, something good is about to happen" leading to a dog, alert and looking,. you do not want your dog on hearing the whistle to think "Oh no, I've done something wrong, what have I done wrong", as this will lead to a dog shutting down and therefore not open or ready for the next command or event.
The Golden Rules of the stop
Never recall from a sit
One must remember that the SIT is the STOP.
As soon as one starts training a pup or adult dog that hasn't been trained, or when recapping with an adult dog that has been trained, one should never recall from a sit but to always go back to the dog before releasing, this will mean that the dog will expect that, that will become the habit, creating a solid Sit. If one trains a dog to recall from a sit, then one has a dog that is always waiting for the recall and therefore the habit you have created in the dog will be to expect at some point to run in to you, therefore creating an unsteady dog through anticipation of the recall, and one never wants to create a bad habit that one will later have to change for habits are by nature hard to break and we never want to break a dog.
Some Gundog people worry that teaching the sit
from an early age in any form will supress a dog, this is not the case if taught with kindness/treats/vocal praise. I teach my girls the obedience side of Gundog training with all three of the above for one wants the dog to have a reward for the correct actions, it encourages the dog to do what otherwise would/could seem boring work. The dog gets a reward for the retrieving work and that is the retrieve, so why should it not get a reward for other work.
Sit while balls are thrown
When teaching a dog to retrieve I will hold the pup and throw the ball out and then release the pup, and as time goes on the pup/dog will be on lead while the ball is thrown out and then off the lead while the ball is thrown so that the dog never expects to run in after the ball until released by command or action, which sets the ground work up for the next step in the Stop. I would have also incorporated the whistle during this time.
Once the sit is good and steady and the training is coming along, I will start to ask the dog to sit and then put myself in a place in-between the dog and the ball I am about to gently throw and once that ball is thrown I will go and pick the ball up and go back to the dog and praise, and that praise can be voice action or even treats as you are praising for the sit as the retrieve has not yet happened, and whatever reward one uses you must make it clear in whatever way suits you and your dog that the dog has done exactly what you asked.
Do not bore the dog with this in anyway, do it two or three times and then do something else, I stand
by the dog and throw the ball in and then allow the dog to go and get the ball.
If the dog goes wrong, just use your voice to let the dog know it has gone wrong, but not to aggressively for you do not want to put the dog of retrieving and because you don't want to use your really annoyed voice until the dog is older and possibly on live game.
I did use to run after the dog as well, the action of the running lets the dog know it has obviously done wrong (as you know I do not physically correct my dog as some would do once they had caught up with the dog) but even the action of myself just gently running in I have stopped. I stopped that under instruction of one of the wise ones, for even the running in can put a dog off and/or confuse the dog, and the voice has let the dog know it has done wrong. If the dog goes wrong it is your job to make sure the dog doesn't go wrong again by setting the exercise up better and making it more clear to the dog what you want, so that this time the dog may get the praise and therefore can see the difference from when the dog got it wrong and when the dog got it right. Make sure that reward, whatever it may be, is a clear reward, no mumbling 'well done' or even saying 'Good boy' in a boring flat tone, that dog wants and has earned your praise and therefore you should reward it with a happy and pleased verbal praise/treat/cuddle or all three.
The Throw Past
This is next step in the stop, and to begin with you will need your dog on the lead for you will be throwing balls past your dogs nose and asking for the sit by verbal and or whistle command. The aim that you are walking with the dog on lead by your side when without your dog knowing you throw a ball low to the ground past your dog, whereupon you ask for the sit, and you do this until the dog automatically sit without a command. Now again ,as for the rest of the steps, you do not want to bore your dog and you want to make sure your dog gets plenty of praise for doing what you ask it to do. You progress to walking with the dog on a loose lead and throwing the ball as you and the dog are moving, again aiming for the dog to start automatically stopping when the ball goes past. Then one progress to moving around with the dog off lead, trying to get a little distance between you and the dog before throwing the ball low and past the dog on the ground. Your goal is to have the dog hunting in front of you whereupon you throw the ball low and past the dog and the dog stops automatically without any command.
Throughout you have never let the dog retrieve that ball.
You have praised for the sit, and then picking that ball up walked to the side of the dog where you thrown another ball out for the dogs reward and release. This action also becomes clear in the dogs mind that when it hunts and something shoots past it the dog sits, and when the dog is by your side and something falls out of the sky it goes and retrieves it, which is exactly what you want it to do on shoot in both examples.
Praise, Do not Bore, Do not use correction, and make you requests clear.
Electric collar ban is moving forward
Well, fingers crossed, it looks as if England will follow Scotland and wales in banning the Electric collar. Now i do believe that most who have used the electric collar have done so because they feel/felt they were at their wits-end, and because of this they allowed others to convince them that it was ok to use an electic collar. Some comments I have heard to try and convince me and others over the use of the electric collar over the years have been "it doesn't hurt or worry the dog", well if it did neither there would be no point in using it, would there? Other people have said "Dogs like Pain" again if that is the case one would be rewarding a bad or incorrect behaviour and so why would the dog stop doing whatever you used the electric collar or physical correction for, for it would want the pleasure of the pain again. Of course the dog doesn't like those specific pains, and when the ban comes in the choice will be taken out of the hands of those who feel desperate those people will thankfully have to take advice from those of use who can train without the need of electric collars, and fingers crossed the law will be tightened up on physical correction towards dogs. I do hope though that those who have used them will open up to new ways, and I do hope that people will not look down on those who have used them but are moving away from the use of them, for None of us are perfect, and therefore a person should be judged on how they train their dogs now and in the future, not how they did train their dogs when they lacked the knowledge.
Happy New Year everyone
May you all have a year filled with Love, Joy, and peace.
I know already that this year will have one and maybe even three difficult events for myself and my loved ones to go through, but one event will hopefully put a complete Stop to an issue/danger I have had to put up with for these past few years, and the other two possible events will hopefully not happen this year.
All veiled I know but time will tell.
In the meantime the girls and I will continue to have fun and learn, and every moment I am on the hill will be cherished, I am so blessed by the girls and where I live, and loved ones.
May we all be Blessed with Joy.
Every month I shall try to share with you some of the training/fun I have with the girls, and the wildlife.
Though I have had issues with my provider, so this post will also be the test to see if I can update the News page, and if it works I shall start doing updates onto the news page
Hope you enjoy the video clip I have attached
And don't forget
Training should be fun for you and your dog, and totally achievable without physical correction, and such joy can be gained.
Don’t Lose those Pheasants in the Hedgerow
When working the hedgerow on shoot day you must keep in the forefront of your mind where the guns are and how you and your dog can work as a team to put up the birds exactly where and when the guns need them. Of course you have hopefully had that thought in the back of your mind when training your dog during the summer, so that come shoot day you and your dog have made these thoughts such habits that you automatically do so without thinking, if-you-know what I mean?
Most shoots will have Hedgerows with a gap of grass between the hedgerow and the crop or pasture field. So let’s first do a what you don’t want scenario
The guns are forward of you, you have been given the hedge side to work, you cast your dog to the right even though the hedgerow is to the left of you, and you keep allowing the dog to work the right-hand side first before working the hedgerow, even made worse (possibly) by the fact your dog is running up the grass instead of doing a sweeping action side-to-side.
The reason this is wrong is because while your dog is working on the right, in the hedgerow the birds have spotted you and your dog and used the hedgerow cover to run back past you and the line totally in the wrong direction of the guns, and the shoot captain will know that when those birds pop out in the first gap in the hedgerow that they come across and take flight behind you and your dog and away from the guns.
Correct scenario would be............
Exactly the same set up hedgerow to the left you. Now think this time before casting your dog where those guns are, remember that you are walking on the grass so therefore you and your dog will be covering that ground ( in a sense) but only your dog can cover the hedgerow, though some hedgerows can be tapped by the beaters stick as the beater moves down.
So you cast your dog of to the left, and you have trained it well so it enters the hedgerow and begins to work the hedgerow coming out to work the grass that you are walking on and a tiny bit of cover crop if a crop is there and depending on where the next beater is, then back into the hedgerow. By doing this the dog is first pushing anything down in the hedgerow, the birds will more than likely run forward and keep running forward until they can take flight, but if they/it pops out sneakily into the grass then you are there to prevent it sneaking past you, and the dog (because you have trained it to work nice and tight) will be coming to work the grass next meaning the bird has far less chance/desire to go back behind the line (yourself) and far more desire to run forward until it takes flight.
Thus far more birds forward, and therefore, depending on their aim…..happy guns
Even if you are just rabbit shooting you want to work a dog this way for the rabbit will have less chance to run from the grass to their burrow, for the dog is there and therefore the rabbit will want away from the dog.
Tips for the Season
I love this time of year, and not just for the shooting side of things, every little shoot will have their Kick-off day in October, dogs will feel it their bones that the time is coming and us humans will have written the dates down in our calendar around June/July when the shoot captain finally got around to sorting them out, more than likely egged on by phone calls from beaters saying 'Got the dates yet?'
'Oh' how that sentence must drive shoot captains mad!
From then on one spends the time deciding if one has enough wet clothes, or should one shop? Should one reproof ones old clothes and boots for the rain with nixwax, or should one shop? should one scrub up the old hip flask, or should one shop?
You can see where I am going with that ...... shops!
Seriously though, in all of thoughts and plans for the season don't forget the dog. During the winter I use Equafleece jumpers on the dogs, the reason being is simple
Picture your dog working hard on the beating line, the dog has worked hard through the drive and therefore is hot, that specific drive stops and you call your dog to your side and either keep it to heel or pop the lead on, and you do this to save energy for you don't want your dog running around in-between drives wasting energy, you now slowly and quietly make your way to the next drive and then stand and wait for everyone else to get into place before the drive starts.
The temperature outside is cold, your dog was hot when the last drive finished and did have warm muscles (so-to-speak) but it is now rapidly cooling down and then becoming cold, as our the muscles, as the dog stands by you waiting for the next drive to start, the drive starts your dog pulls off and those cold muscles go snap. If the dog had been in an equafleece jumper, or similar, the jumper would enable the dog to cool down at a more controlled rate as he walked alongside you to the next drive, and then the jumper would have kept him warm while he stood by you, and of course as soon as the drive starts you whip the jumper off and the dog starts working with warm muscles that won't snap, and because it is working the coat coming off will not make the dog cold.
That is just one of the reason in cold weather you should have a coat on your dog, though there at many more, and of course it makes for a much happier time for the dog in between drives.
Put the jumper on at the end of the day when you put your dog into the car to head off to the pub or home, at the other end you have a dry clean-ish dog at the other end
The Sad News
My Beautiful boy Alfie has left us, he went ahead of us at the start of the 2015,
and we still miss him.
Thankfully, we know he had as good an ending as one could have given him,
and that eases our pain slightly.
He was taken by cancer, but he did not suffer to much (before we had to let him go) and that was becaus of the Turmeric, Metacam, plus other drugs, and 'very importantly' the wonderful vets who guided and supported us throughout.
The Vets were Nithdale vets in Thornhill and the Edinburgh veterinary College.
Nithdale vets not only guided us in his living but they also made sure he had the best ending, and they did that by coming out to us on the day and by being such warm and caring people that Alfie boy just felt Love in the room in his own home, recieving lots of cuddles. He feel to sleep in my arms in front of the wood burner, 'literally' as the vet gave the injection in two parts, so cradled in my arms he fell asleep and then when sleep had been achieved my sweet boy was given the last of the injection!
Alfie came to us because the owners, who had bought him at 8 weeks old from a gundog kennel, were convinced he was an untrainable male dog who was getting snappy with them and chewing anything and everything in their house. These people had even got to the stage were they had a behaviourist come to their house to help them, who advised them that the dog needed to be dominated and that it was taking no notice of them because the dog had no respect for them, telling them to spray this young dog with water etc etc. When that didn't work they decide they would go to the vets and ask for their dog to be put to sleep as it had bitten there daughter, they said. Thankfully my niece worked with them and stepped in and asked me to take him on, and the owners jumped at the chance of ending their experience with dog.
From the moment Alfie came to us he never bite anyone or anything, he never chewed anything, he was a gem of a dog and was a cracking soft and caring (yet all man) male to his Ladies and their puppies.
I have seen/read trainers say that you need to show these types of dogs 'who the boss is'. Sadly, What these trainers mean is that on the first day of taking these dogs in the trainers will break them (beat the dog) so that the dogs world falls apart, it is scared beyond believe and often to the point that if one saw the dog one would see a dog hugging the wall in hope that it would not be seen by the person who beat her/him. The trainers cause so much fear in the dog that the dog will do anything to appease the trainer, to prevent yet another beating, and sadly that fear is what the trainers use as their weapon/tool. It is so sad to see a dog so fearful were once it was a forward and happy dog with an open mind, and so wrong of any human to make an animal feel that way.
When you beat a dog the dogs mind is less likely to retain what you are teaching it, and the dog will take longer to learn it, as in a sense the dogs mind shuts down. This is common sense, think about it, if you are reading a book in a storm and you are frightened of storms do you not keep thinking about the storm and therefore take longer to read the book, retain far less of what you have read, and gain far less enjoyment from the book? One would have retained so much more information and enjoyed it greatly had one been in a relaxed state of mind..... of course that is the case, and it is the same for the dog!
I am not a professional trainer in anyway, especially back then when Alfie came to us, and yet he turned out wonderful/ he was wonderful, why was he wonderful .... Well firstly because that was his true nature, a good hearted boy. Secondly, they kept him indoors an awful lot and often on his own, but they thought he was well looked after, were as he more than likely felt left alone, confused and misunderstood. He would have then felt scared when they and the behaviourist started to try and 'Dominate him'. Also, one never really knows what the owners/previous owners have really been up to when they hand you the dog, and I believed Alfie far more than I did that couple.
With us he was feed, loved and his mind was kept active, all of which is just common sense. Therefore he had no reason to be anything other than a gem of a dog, and he was most certainly that!
A finer Male i could not have wanted for Bella, myself, my girls, and their pups. The day that couple gave him up was the day we were all Blessed, for he came into our lives to enrich every single one of them greatly!
Our Girl has Grown Up
Our sweet Jay jay has finally come into season, at the age of 3.
This lovely Pic was Taken by Ali Packham of http://www.4muddypawsphotography.co.uk/
We are so pleased as we were starting to think that she was never going to have a season and if that had been the case she would be the only girl out of all the ones we had breed, that was not fertile, BUT she is and therefore we are really happy.
Whilst we cannot mate her this season with the move coming up and also a great desire to have one full summer of training with her and then a full shooting season and (possible) a full trialling season before doing so, we will mate her when the time is right.
2012 Training with David Lisett at the Buccleuch Kennels
We were so spoilt as it was Just Gary, myself and a lovely Lady and friend of ours called Sarah.
Therefore we had an awful lot of very valuable time with Davie.
We started of with coffee and talks, David asking what we wanted to do over the two days and getting all the details from us about the dogs. After we gave Davie all the information, Sarah, Gary and myself all agreed we would go with what Davie thought was the best plan of action, and as always Davie gave us all we wanted and more.
We started of with David getting one of his pups out, showing us some ball work with his beautiful springer and how he would go about teaching our two (Ellie & Tinks) sit, heelwork and retrieving. It was something we have seen David do many times now but it helps to see it once again, always a refinement we missed the first time around and of course for Sarah being her first time there something she would gain an awful lot from seeing.
Ellie & Tinks then got to do some retrieving work at the back of the kennels with David throwing tennis balls which rolled into the wood, Tinks and Ellie, especially Ellie following the scent line running down the hill into the woods without any thought in her head except to find what was at the end of the scent line. Then seen balls thrown over the little hill, this was Tinks turn to excel, hunting away until she found the ball. David was very pleased with them both, and so were we.
It was then the turn for the next age group, which was our Jay Jay who is two and Sarah's Fizz who is just under two.
We worked them in the rabbit pen and done direction work over the walls. Jay Jay didn't fly over the walls on the first day as she did the year before, though thankfully she performed really well on direction work and wall jumping the following day, doing all we asked of her very cleanly and with pace.
It was bliss and an extra bonus to hear David in the background saying 'Really good, really really really good' every time I worked Jay Jay on direction be that over the gully or over the fences, that girl (as her mother) has an immediate stop to whistle and takes direction well.
We then went off rabbitting with David and where he took us was absolutely stunning, especially with snow still on the mountains and the sky alight with the winter sun.
That man comes up trumps every single time and Scotland is certainly a place that holds many hidden beauties, this beautiful landscape was in the Durisdeer Hills.
We got to work the girls there, though ironically we didn't find rabbits until we swapped to our older girls. It pleased Mia so to work the heather and boy did she work it well. Warmed my heart to see her hunt the ground as she always does, not missing anything, tail wagging non stop and the glee on her face when she flushed the bunnies and the glee on my face when she stopped to flush, even after so little, if any, training since summer.
We are honoured to have that girl and she gave us a great gift with her children. David said of our Mia, as he does every time he sees her that 'he could shoot happily all day with Mia', and you can
The following day we were able to work the pen again but my Jay Jay has clicked what a rabbit pen is all about so did not flow as she does when outside a pen. As David said if you put a gun next to Jay Jay she lightens up/goes up many gears/ is a different dog. I hated seeing her work in there even though she flushed some rabbits only taking a few paces on one and gently bobbing one out of a bush.
When I look back at the video though you can see it was handler error as well.
We also got more time with the pups, David showing us more techniques and clever ways to train the them and basically giving us more insight to the way they think. We then moved on to the adult girls doing more directional work with all of them. Mia had us all in stitches, again her age/cleverness meant she spotted that Davies fence only went so far up where it then disappeared into the slope of the hill, and she didn't even need to come to the fence to spot that one, she weighed that fact up long before then. So, she did a perfect stop, took the direction perfectly, picked the retrieve up perfectly and then shot of at an angle to take the easy route back to me, PERFECTLY, he he he. We all roared with laughter, Davie said he knew what his summer job would be....digging that ditch to continue the fence up, bless him!
We all gladly went back indoors after another busy and successful day, as it was bitterly cold on the second day and it gave David plenty of time to clarify everything in our minds, and to give us our plan of action for each dog. Not including Mia of course as she is already singing and dancing and exactly as we would want her.
Davies plan for Jay Jay was exactly what we had already said we were going to do but it is so good to hear from the likes of Davie that 'yes that is what is needed'.... more play, more praise, and just more fun, taking the pressure of her.
The pups, well plan of action there is to get on with it as they have it all there :) Gary will not just be training Ellie up as a peg dog as he had planned, that wee girl will be trained up as the rest of them as she has bag loads of talent and the eye issue just isn't an issue!
I came to realise on the journey back that David was right, I am far to hard a critic on Jay Jay and myself and that when i get low she really gets low.
We have a cracking girl in Jay Jay but because I knew we had done so little training with her last year because of the knee damage, it lead me to do to much hunting with her taking the joy of it all away from her.
Jay Jay and I will go back to our old ways of having fun and enjoying our training sessions. Mia can start going out for a training session nearly every day and the pups, well I think my knee can take it now, so we will get on training them, especially as they showed so much promise at Davids.
In Conclusion, we came away from Davids knowing that once again he had pulled all the stops out for us and that the three of us were very lucky people.
Davids training method of constant praise and making the dog think that being by you is the most magical place in the world is one Gary and I greatly believe in, and with the stunning views and facilities of The Buccleuch Estate and a trainer of Davids standing, one cannot fail to learn and throughly enjoy the time spent there. I must add a thanks to Victoria, Davids Kennel maid and a Diamond, many thanks Victoria.
Gary and I had a long time on the journey home to discuss all that had taken place and we both felt very proud of our girls, and we look forward to the summer of training and the start of the shoot/trialling season.
Thank you all for coming
Oh, we were so lucky with the weather, not freezing as the year before, but still cold enough to make us happy we had booked the village hall especially seeing as the postcode created problems
We had ten Alfinmarsh puppies there, thirteen with our own three and three black dogs, that were honourary Alfinmarsh's for the day.
We only took Bella, Tinks and Ellie with us leaving our Mia, Alfie and Jay Jay at home as we knew we would not have time to concentrate on all 6 of them whilst catching up with everyone. We chose Ellie and Tinks to come as we really wanted to take the opportunity to introduce them to new people and dogs, both not having socialized enough because of my knee and I dare not leave Bella behind as everyone loves our Bella, bless her, I never see her when we are at the gatherings, he he he!
All the dogs played together or run around thoroughly enjoying themselves, it was wonderful to see and a joy to catch up with their owners.
This year’s pups had grown so much in a short time and you could already see that they had been homed with the right people.
Thanks go to lesley for coming all the way from Dorset, especially as she doesn't have an Alfinmarsh pup yet :) And to lynn for being such a wonderful Auntie to Ellie and Tinks.
To Tracy and Jas for the camera work, which I'm looking foward too
and well a THANK YOU to you all.
Alfinmarsh Jays Justice
First field trial
Our Sweet Jay-Jay did her first field trial Yesterday and even though she has had so much time off, she still managed to come away with a merit. The guns who get to choose a dog they feel is the best on the day, where kind enough to tell me that they the guns had placed her second.
She will now be put in the Kennel Club stud books with her own number.
Many thanks to everyone there on the day and to Dorset Club for running the whole thing. Cracking day wonderful people.
Now to get more runs, fingers crossed there as it is determined by a draw who will run, Leading to more experience and more fun for the two of us.
Meet the Two New
but well known
Editions to the Alfinmarsh Gang
Alfinmarsh Sweet Charity
We will train both of them up to go on shoots with us, which we really look forward too :)
They will be trained up in time to help their mum in her old age (well she won't be 'that' old but older) along with their elder sister Jay Jay.
Alfinmarsh Mornings Glory
I will slightly worry for a while, and hope and pray that I can do right by all the dogs, but we can now start to look forward to Ellie and Tinks being part of our 'keep pack' and getting their training underway!
Shooting Gazette piece on the
Alfinmarsh Water Picnic on behalf of the
Lowland Search Dogs-Sussex
When the Shooting Gazette heard we were having a water picnic on behalf of the Lowland Search Dogs, they were kind enough to ask if I would do a piece on the event.
Of course I was happy to oblige and in this months issue you will find said piece in the Gundog section
The Alfinmarsh Gang at Five Weeks Old
We received the Pedigrees through today, I'm always happy when I have the paperwork in hand :)
Alfinmarsh Sweet Phoebe
Alfinmarsh Sweet Charity
Alfinmarsh Rosies choice
Alfinmarsh son of Jay
Our wonderful Mia has given birth to
7 Beautiful puppies today
Out of Ftch Deepfleet Jay
Our wonderful Mia gave birth to 7 beautiful puppies today,
6 girls and 1 boy.
All went very well and all our settled, being taken care of by our wonderful Mama Mia, she is such a cracking mum.
today the 21st of May 2011
Dorset Working Test
Nerves were certainly present but Dorset turned out to be a lovely friendly club, so as the day went on the nerves got better, thankfully.
Novice started and once again Jay Jay flew out for the blind but came back without it, handler's error :( Both she and I are jaded from the Mid sussex working test, where my nerves were so bad I pulled her up.
My lip even quivered when I was keeping Jay Jay in a sit whilst other dog went for their blind.
BUT we did well enough in all other parts of the working test to get a certificate of Merit :))
Open started, and all the big boys came out. One of the people was the gamekeeper from Conholt Estate where they held the championships and he was running a dog breed and trained by David Lisett, beautiful bitch that went on to win :))
Jay Jay and I pulled ourselves together, we took our place and I tried to remember all kindly advice given me to me. Jay Jay flew out for the blind, caught the scent, picked it up and came back yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
Even though the big boys and Ladies where there we still got another Merit :)))
Most of all we came away with a boost that was needed knowing that the girl is still not performing how she does when working on game and at home, through my nerves and error in handling at working tests.
So plenty to work on :))
Alfinmarsh Water Picnic
in aid of
The Lowland Search Dogs Sussex
Well what a wonderful Afternoon we all had at Peter Dawes place, of Summersbrook Labrador, a beautiful location where Peter kindly allowed us to hold the Gathering after the planned venue fell through. We cannot thank him enough for his kindness to the Alfinmarsh gang and his generosity to the
Lowland Search Rescue team.
Thanks goes to Peter Gross for showing us Rhett (Alfinmarsh Winter Warmer) in action looking for a 'lost person'.
After such a good display from him and a very good talk explaining what wonderful work the Lowland search team do, we were not surprised are little band of people dug deep and raised the money they did for the LWDS team.
The dogs had a great time playing in the lake and at the scurry lanes, and we really enjoyed seeing the Alfinmarsh dogs, their owners and our friends once again.
Congratulations to Ricky
photo taken by 'Country Trail Images'
We are so pleased for Ricky & Rosie (Alfinmarsh's Joy) who have done two working test this season and have been placed in both.
3rd in their first one at the Kent working test
and they then came
2nd in the London Cocker club working test.
Ricky also won the open at the London cocker working test with his older girl 'Rickys Fen Lass'
Well done Ricky
Alfinmarsh Jays Justice at her first working test
If you go to the blog page you'll find a write up on the day Jay Jay and we had. Above is a link to a clip from that day.
Hope you enjoy?
The Judge was kind enough to say that her hunting was stunning and 'he could not find fault in her hunting'.
First time out though and our little girl got lost on the unseen retrieves, though thankfully she finally picked them up.
Bless her heart, because of her style, drive and sharpness to the gun and whistle (if needed) she was still able to be placed
3rd in first her time out,
we certainly came away pleased
Ftch Deepfleet Jay & our Mia were mated on the 19th of March 2011.
All looked well, so fingers crossed?
More details about Ftch Deepfleet Jay can be found at http://www.deepfleet.co.uk
Gary and I would like to say
Well Done to Peter & Rhett
for their work with Lowland Search Dog Team
If you click and enlarge the the photo above, you will be able to read about how Peter has become a qualified Search technician for the LSD and how he is now going through the training process with Rhett to make him part of the team by becoming a qualified search dog.
Rhett is an Alfinmarsh pup from Bella & Alfie and we are over the moon that Peter is training Rhett to use his powerful nose and wonderful intelligence, whilst also helping the community by giving up his time and helping to find the lost and sometimes bewildered people who go missing .
2 Days Training with David Lisett
Once again we headed up to Scotland, and once again we came back wiser thanks to the wonderful Gundog trainer that is
Jay Jay was the star of the group when it came to the retrieves, flying over stone walls with no running of the wall or hesitation, going straight to the retrieve no matter what obstacle was in her way, whether they be seen or unseen dummies (none of which she could have seen land) we were very pleased with her. Though the girl did have 2 funny five minutes in the pen, certainly not the star there, but we will let her off that as she is usually a sweetheart in that area.
We had a mix of people with us again, and breeds, one of whom was a very cracking looking and clever lab. Another was a young cocker, who you could see with David's training tips implemented would go far. David also gave the cocker owner one of his Ftch bitches to work in the exercises the ladies cocker would be to young to do, giving the lady hands on experience and a wonderful treat. The bitch was David's Holly and she was a sweetie in nature.
So not only do the Buccleuch team produce fantastic top class gundogs, but gundogs that have a wonderful temperament, in all, the complete package.
That is also what you get when you go to
David at the Buccleuch Estate,
The Complete Package.
Last Day of the Shooting Season
Well we are back from Jay Jay's first picking up day and last shoot of the season.
Bless her she chased this strong cock bird down which buried itself in light brambles just before she got to it, she went in after and got it for me. So not just a cracking beating dog but a lovely picking up dog.
So sad it is the end of the season, but another year spent on a great shoot with wonderful people. Roll on the start of
2011 Shooting Season
Spaniel Championships 2011
The weather had been awful with deep and heavy snow for many weeks just before the championships were due to start, so the organisers must have been really worried.
The snow however cleared and Gary and myself thoroughly enjoyed the championships.
Everyone we came across showed us kindness, Steve gave us some wonderful advise and guidance.
I can honestly say now (so far) if anyone asked me should they worry about entering a field trial, after meeting Liz, Steve and Bob I would say 'do not hesitate'!
Catching up with some of the handlers and making new friends added to the whole event, which was wonderful.
(on a very cold sunday)
Once again the owners of the Alfinmarsh gundogs came together, and we thank them deeply for giving us a wonderful afternoon when we got to see our puppies (many fully grown now) once again. It truly warms our hearts to see the puppies with their owners, knowing we have placed them in the right hands.
It was absolutely freezing and although santa forgot to change into his outfit because Tina was to engrossed with the puppies and santa (in his human form) was busy helping us. I think all had a great time, many enjoying the scurries.
Thank you all once again
Next meeting will be in the warmth of spring, fingers crossed
30th of October
First shoot of the Season
A cracking day was had on 'Hundred acre Shoot', even though it rained leaving Mia and myself looking like drowned Rats.
It is such a friendly shoot, it was great to meet up with them all once again.
Gary and I made a mistake only a new person would make, and got onto the trailer first (how could we forget), putting us right in the firing line of the tractors wheel. It's ammunition, MUCK!
Mia was a sweetheart as always. The wind up her back on the first drive, but then she started to settle in.
She worked hard all day and as always threw herself into the bushes so hard, which is really a great thing for finding the pheasants, but because of this, she came back with a wound to her teat and paw. So after her cuddle up with me on the sofa to recoup from her day, we chatted about her wounds, and she will have to rest until the 13th of November at least.
Two days Training with the Great
Once again David and the Buccleuch Estate come up trumps.
We began in the morning by going around the table with each of us in turn telling David of our experience so far and what we wanted from the next two days.
By the time we left all of those boxes had been ticked and 'Boy' did David work hard to make sure they were. All of us had brought an older dog ranging between 2-4 year old, with most of us having a younger one of between 11 and 14 months. Most of us had one problem in common which was the present. David informed us of another problem we all had, which was not praising the dogs enough. To watch him with his dogs is just wonderful, and because of the way he is with them it is not surprising that his dogs do all that he asks of them, I would!
With all the problems, David showed us the way to resolve it, though a lot of it boiled down to our not realizing what was needed by the dog from us to achieve the tasks we were asking of it.
By the end of the two days we had covered, marking, hunting, handling, worked in the pens and much more. David had given us the tools to resolve our problems with the dogs and even done a bit of therapy on the humans.
Gary and myself came away even more convinced that in David lies a 'One Off'
A good, humble, caring man with a God Given talent to work with dogs that we had never seen in another person, and that many would never come across the likes of David.
We cannot thank him enough for giving us the time that he did.
To top it off we meet his Jet, David's up and coming Back and white springer who we will be putting to our Jay Jay when she is ready :-)
Purdey came to stay
For two weeks
Mama Mia loved having Purdey back, and so did Jay Jay. Neither liked her puppy teeth!
Alfinmarsh Buttercup (Purdey)
Purdey and Jay Jay
Purdey with her Grandad Alfie
Purdey underneath the Lamppost
by Ali Packham of
4 MuddyPaws Photography
Ali came over on a very hot Saturday and with her wonderful everlasting patience and her great talent, we ended up with some beautiful photo's of the dogs
Many thanks Ali.
Alfinmarsh Jays Justice
All of Mia's Puppies now have owners-to-be Looking
forward to taking them home on saturday.
We shall miss them all but we shall look forward to seeing them when they come back to visit us, or when we hunt the owners down to get a cuddle of the puppies :-)
Happy Birthday Jay jay & all her litter
Brothers & sisters
Alfinmarsh Andromeda & Ftch Deepfleet Jay
have produced 7 new additions
Alfinmarsh Andromeda gave birth during saturday morning, the
24th of April 2010
One of many Alfinmarsh get-together
On the banks of the Cuckmere river on the
9th of April, one of the first true warm days of this spring. With a couple of
Alfinmarsh dog owners and their dogs.
Spot our Bella begging, then dancing for food from Tracy's daughter, a trainer in the making.
20th march 2010
We watched Mia's puppies on the screen of the scanner today. The vet got lost counting, so we certainly would not of had a hope, counting the puppies ourselves.
All going well she will give birth around the 21st.
in the march issue out now
kindly came along to the Alfinmarsh Christmas Gathering
Where she took this photo, and many others. This photo is now in the March issue of the Shooting Gazette 2010. Ali can be found at
Ftch Deepfleet Jay
Ftch Deepfleet Jay and our Mia mated today, the 20th of February 2010.
All looked well, so fingers crossed?
More details about Ftch Deepfleet Jay can be found at http://www.deepfleet.co.uk
posted 8th of February 2010
Mia has come into season,
so we will be going off to Deepfleet Gundogs to put Mia to FTCH Deepfleet Jay. We put Mia to him last year and the pairing gave us some wonderful puppies, including Jay Jay
6th February 2010
With Nick Gregory
We took Jay Jay, our little 8 month old bitch from our Mia and FTCH Deepfleet Jay, for a one to one with Nick.
What a wonderful morning we had. It was a morning full of firsts. Jay Jay's first cold game retrieve, first jump over low wood fences and first time in a rabbit pen. Nick was wonderful and said "she is going to be quite a stylish little dog"!
Fantastic grounds to work on, with wood areas, open fields, and many scents left by animals to get your dog excited and working away happily. I think we have seen deers every time we have been there.
There is also a very good trainer in Nick, winner of last years Cocker Spaniel Championships in 2009.
Nick and Hamptworth Estate can be found at