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RIP Dougie Dec 2007 –September 2020

On the 19th March 2008 Dougie came into our lives. Adopted from the RSPCA at 12 weeks of age. He was a robust pup built like a breeze block!! Described as  a Springer Spaniel we always maintained he had Sussex in him.

It was clear from the start this chap was going to be a very big character and have a marked effect on our lives  and on my business . He came into the home with 7 established dogs including a big GSD who didn’t take kindly to the new addition. Dougie soon sussed him out. He kept his head down and his nose clean and stayed out of trouble.

At home he was a challenge initially. His recall was not good. The first time off lead he disappeared over the horizon only to reappear again 5 minutes later with a big grin on his face. We lost him on Exmoor once. So time was spent on a long line until he began to stick around. From that point on he as our shadow. Loving nothing better than hunting in the rough ground oh and digging.

It was Dougie who sent me down the path of more complex and in depth Gundog training and was the start of our highly successful format for Fun Gundog training. He did work on a shoot for a season but sadly he became gunshy so he would wait at home and tell Basil or Winnie off when they returned instead.

He learnt to work alongside members of my human team using his skills to help us in our work with reactive dogs. . He went on to be the most amazing stooge dog I have ever had the pleasure of working with. At the time I was advisory behaviourist for Exeter and Cornwall RSPCA. Dougie helped endless streams of stressed traumatised and worried dogs over that time. He taught me so much.

Every one fell in love with Dougie. All our children fell for his woeful face asking for a cuddle. He had a habit of sitting on your feet just to make sure he was not forgotten. He had accepted grandchildren into the fold .He allowed visiting dogs to stay without any nonsense but they all knew not to mess with Dougie. In his latter years he became more belligerent at home but we all forgave him.

Most importantly he was a very loyal companion dog for myself and for Mark. He accompanied us on numerous holidays and always wanted to be with us. He came to work with me daily, sharing his space with whichever waif and stray had joined the team. He was Ronnies duvet and Winnies best friend.

All our animals are special but Dougie was one who will leave a gaping hole in our lives despite having 4 eager companions still following us round.

He had been slowing down . I retired him from stooge work about a year ago. He didn’t suffer I hope too much as the end came suddenly upon us and a need to make that awful decision. It was the last thing we could do for this wonderful dog.

Sleep tight darling boy.

dog.help Dog training  located between Taunton and Yeovil, Somerset

Established since 2006 dog.help provides clients with dog training and canine behavioural support on an individual basis or in a group situation. Courses cater for Fun Gundog Training,  Adult Obedience Training, Social Training,   Rally Obedience.

Owner Penny Hoare is a skilled and experienced behaviourist, particularly in the field of inter canine aggression and the rehabilitation of rescued dogs.

All dogs are trained using non aversive reward based methods of learning. there is no place for punishment when working with our animals. Penny strongly believes that the relationship between dog and owner must be one of trust and understanding.

Training takes place in quiet private paddocks near Taunton Somerset

Gun Dog Training

Fun Gundog training courses are designed largely with the pet owner in mind, however many of our clients do progress to work dogs in the field.

See our Gun Dog Courses

Dog Behaviour

Penny  runs behavioural consultations at her premises which are private and ideal for working with a dog which is fearful of people or other dogs.

See Behavioural Consultation

Dog Obedience

121 sessions to build that relationship with your dog, mentally challenging your dog and will keep them happy, interested and working with you.

Contact me direct to find out more

Dog Workshops

Through out the year we run a variety of workshops from water workshops for Gun Dogs to clicker training for Obedience.

See our Workshops

Client Success Stories

Indiana is a 3 year old spaniel and my first ever dog. He’s recently been staying in 3.5 acres grounds in Yorkshire of mixed open space and woodland with plenty of freedom to roam wherever his nose takes him,
which included the trips down the badger holes.

Good training is paying off here. He can be free to disappear off into the brush on a scent and be gone out of sight, but when I want him back then simply using the recall whistle zooming out of nowhere suddenly appears my panting spaniel. Equally sit and stay – stay put until I say otherwise is certainly appreciated around people doing the chainsaw and digger works.

Direction work, left, right and back from my seat on the mini tractor to indicate to my dog I want you over THERE out the way, and off he goes. At the end of the day, down the pub for a pint or evening meal it’s useful to be able to ‘park’ Indiana at my feet for the evening.

Indiana can for sure be goofy, mad as brush in fact like all spaniels are, but his training adds a really useful skill.

Stuart & Indiana.

Indiana Story, Good training is paying off here.

I wanted to try a different discipline so thought I would give fun gun-dog a go, Dudley has come on in leaps and bounds and although still crazy he has learnt to be a little more patient when waiting his turn, a year ago there is no way Penny would have been able to throw a dummy and for Dudley to stay put, although you can see him quivering from nose to tail most times he doesn’t move until told. We both have a lot of fun and Penny is a great trainer and her classes are always fun

Belinda & Dudley.

Dudley Story, Dudley is a crazy springer x Labrador!

When her career came to an abrupt halt Becca’s experienced adopted Mum decided she needed to be allowed to relax a bit but Becca had no recall and no understanding how to be a pet dog. She now smiles the whole time she is running and makes everyone else smile.

Dog Help - Becca StoryBecca's Story, - A Golden Retriever, adopted as a failed Guide dog

After attending various groups and with careful handling and apt socialisation from his owner Dusty is becoming the little pet dog the family always wanted. He attend Social group and Rally Obedience gaining confidence all the way.

Dog Help logoDusty's Story, - He was very very vocal and frightened of people and dogs.

Following one to one they attended gundog classes as they could see that Wiggins needed a job to do. It soon became clear that he was a very talented dog. Quick to learn and eager to get on with it. His owners were taught the art of Clicker training which helped Wiggins quick brain to ascertain what exactly was needed. Wiggins has just worked his first season picking up on a local shoot. He has found his niche in life .

Dog Help logoWiggins's Story, - His owners were just blown away as to how energetic and naughty he was.

Following one to one they attended gundog classes as they could see that Wiggins needed a job to do. It soon became clear that he was a very talented dog. Quick to learn and eager to get on with it. His owners were taught the art of Clicker training which helped Wiggins quick brain to ascertain what exactly was needed. Wiggins has just worked his first season picking up on a local shoot. He has found his niche in life .

Dog help - Gunners StoryGunner's Story, He came into my field dragging his owner on three leads! He could not be near any dogs..