The Grade One Gundog Award

by admin on April 18, 2013

Since the graded training scheme was launched in 2006, thousands of gundogs have taken the Grade One Gundog Field Test.

So, what is Grade One all about?

Making a start

Grade One is about taking those first few steps on your gundog training journey and getting the foundations right.

There are no competitors at the Field Test.  Just you,  your Assessor, and your dog.

It is all about making sure you have the basics of obedience in place,  and the beginnings of a ‘retrieve’ established

Basic obedience

Grade One obedience includes teaching your dog to heel, sit, stay, and come when he is called.  Duration and distances are kept short, and attainable.

Early retrieves

At Grade One, we establish an enthusiastic retrieving habit in your dog.  We are not fussy about delivery styles or technique.  We just want to see a dog that is keen to fetch a dummy and bring it back to his handler.

Keeping it simple

Everything at Grade One is as straightforward and uncomplicated as we can make it.  The Grade One test requirements are a simple but important basis for all future training.   It’s not a competition, and if you meet the required standards, you will pass.

Which test?

Grade One Retriever is for dogs whose main role will be as a retriever. It is also suitable for pet gundogs whose owners would like to enjoy a more active involvement with their dog and develop their pet’s retrieving skills.

Grade One Hunting Retriever is for dogs whose primary role will be as a hunter. It is suitable for spaniels and any gundog intended to hunt and flush game in close proximity of the handler. All HR tests include retrieving

Grade One HPR is suitable for all HPR breeds of gundog and for gundog crossbreeds intended to hunt, point and retrieve

Think you can do it?

If you think your dog is ready for the Grade One Test,  why not make a booking today!

Just phone 01428 717529

The Gundog Club  makes training fun for dogs and their owners


Denise May 26, 2013 at 5:21 pm

couple of things
1. I train pet dogs for gundog activities and want to know where/how I can get them assessed in the grading scheme and also what the cost is involved for them.
2. How would I become an approved instructor within your scheme. I am an IMDT trainer, PPG member and currently a student of the ‘Dog Academy’ under Jean Donaldson leading to behavioural qualification. Along the training journey I have done oodles of seminars/courses etc.

I have evolved my gundog training classes to suit a niche in my area (got fed up of people asking me where my setters were trained – answer by me). My setters pick up and retrieve as well as beat and sweep.


admin May 28, 2013 at 11:03 am

Hi Denise,
Thanks for your enquiry.
To get your dogs assessed in the grading scheme you will need to arrange for each dog to take the relevant field test when it is ready to do so. Tests can be booked through our office. We are closed for a few days but are open again on 6th June. 01428 717529 I believe that fees start at £38 for a private individual test but you will need to confirm that with the office. Discounts are available for group bookings.

With regard to becoming an instructor, you will need to make an application via our office. Various references are required. We do welcome pet dog trainers. You will need to provide evidence of your ability to handle your own gundogs to a good standard, in addition to your ability to teach others. Why not give Jacky in the office a call once we are open again, and she will explain what is required.
Best wishes

Ali June 16, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Do you have any recommended trainers in Buckinghamshire? I’d like to have a bash at this with my Pointer bitch but I can’t find anything nearer than Hertfordshire which is too far to travel on a weekly basis!

admin June 17, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Hi Ali, we don’t have anyone in Buckinghamshire at the moment, but if you contact the Hertfordshire Instructor he may be able to recommend someone.

Ally June 24, 2013 at 1:09 pm


I have a 3year old golden retriever and would like to do some training, do you have anyone in Farnham, Surrey area?

kind regards


admin July 10, 2013 at 9:11 am

Hi Ally, our nearest to you would probably be Petersfield. See the Hampshire link on the Instructors menu at the top of the page.

nicole June 26, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Is it just gundog breeds that can do the test.we have a Dalmatian x that enjoys retrieving

Allen Simms October 9, 2013 at 11:13 am

Do you know of trainers in North Dorset.
Thank you.

admin October 11, 2013 at 8:21 am

Hi Allen, links to instructors can be found via the instructors menu at the top of this page.

Christine More November 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm

I have a 17 month old Standard poodle who I feel might benefit from and enjoy this type of training. We live in Fife. Would this be possible? many thanks.

admin November 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Hi Christine, standard poodles do enjoy retriever training and can make very good retrievers. Poodles are welcome to enter our retriever tests and it would be up to your local instructor as to whether or not he is able to include your dog in his training group.

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