Joining a gundog training course or class

by admin on March 15, 2012

joining a gundog training courseIt is usually less expensive to ‘share’ your gundog trainer with a few other gundog owners. 

Most gundog trainers,  and many field trial clubs and societies offer group gundog training courses. 

At some point in your dog’s career,  he will definitely benefit from group training.

Beginner gundog training classes come in all shapes and sizes.   But before you take the plunge and join one,  there are a few things to consider.  

Is my dog ready for training?

Basic beginner group training for gundogs is suitable for gundogs of six months and over with an important proviso.   Dogs attending group training need to be capable of coming back when they are called.


The ability to recall your dog in the presence of other dogs is a basic necessity for a dog joining a gundog training class.  

In a beginner class it doesn’t matter whether or not you ever intend to work your dog in the shooting field.  It doesn’t matter that he won’t walk to heel perfectly, or sit and stay for more than three seconds.

It doesn’t matter that your dog’s mother was a show dog and  a couch potato,  it doesn’t even matter whether or not your dog has pedigree papers. 

But it does matter that you can get your dog back when requested, and put him on a lead.

Why do we need a recall for group training?

The reason that we need gundogs joining a class to recall in company is that a dog which cannot be recalled has the immediate power to completely disrupt the class for all the other students.

You can imagine the chaos that would ensue in a class of half a dozen dogs if none can be caught!

Your gundog’s recall does not need to be absolutely perfect.   But you should be capable of getting the dog back next to you and restraining him within a reasonable time-frame.   If you cannot do this,  your dog is not yet ready to join a gundog training class.

If you cannot yet recall your dog reliably,  then you may want to get some one-to-one lessons to get this important skill established.   You can read up on one-to-one training here: One-to-one gundog training

How to find a class

Gundog Club Accredited Instructors  run eight week group training courses.    These are very small groups of around six students as we find that this group size allow for sufficient attention for each group member.    

Gundog Club courses usually focus on preparing the dog for Gundog Club Grades,  and are a great way to build up your dog’s skills and experience gradually.

There are also field trial clubs and societies up and down the country that offer regular group sessions.  These tend to take place in the summer only,  and to be larger groups.  You can find details of FT clubs on the Kennel Club website.

Advanced training

Group classes are also a good way of helping the more advanced dog progress.   Once a gundog is working in the shooting field he will be working alongside other working gundogs.  Practice in this respect is essential.

Advanced classes are often based around a particular skill or type of experience such as ‘water work’.

More information

To find out more  visit our Gundog Training home page and Student Information pages


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