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Puppy Training

Puppy training and socialisation course. A 6 week course designed to assist and advise owners.
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New Course Dates

For a list of the latest dates when our Foundation, Bronze, Silver, and Gold Gundog training courses will commence.
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Mullenscote Dogs on Tour 2019

Mullenscote Dogs on Tour dates are shortly to be published on the site, so watch this space.
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Great Deals

Great Deals on Hunters Wellingtons and Chudleys Dog Food .... with link to products page
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Hi Everyone! 
Welcome to all those who have recently signed up to receive our monthly newsletter – we hope you'll enjoy our round up! It was lovely to see so many people at the recent New Forest Show and at Bowood House. Our tent was packed with all sorts of people asking questions, buying goodies and, most of all, coming to admire our three 12 week old Working Cocker pups - all of whom found new homes during the show. We're right in the middle of the show season at the moment and life is just a blur of show grounds, packing & unpacking the lorry, demonstrations, training clinics etc. Phew! But we're not complaining, as it's what we love doing, especially the opportunity to meet loads of new people, all of whom share our passion for dogs and want to make life easier for dogs and humans alike!  Anyway, here's what's been happening recently at Mullenscote Dog Training Centre together with a few thoughts on understanding dog psychology.  Enjoy!

Fantastic Opportunity to Own a Gundog!  

We've come up with the great idea of offering partly-trained dogs for sale - and providing a package of training & support to help you on your way! The package would include:

- Introduction to your new gundog!
- Regular one-to-one sessions with one of our professional trainers
- Guidance and training tips available to you whenever you need them
- Full support right through and into your first shooting season.

This is a unique opportunity to take a dog that has already been partly trained here and has none of the problems that can arise from being with a novice owner in those important first few months of life. Mullenscote trainers will teach you how to build on a solid foundation of professional training and provide expert tuition for you and your dog so that you can enjoy one of the best things in life – a well-trained, biddable and well-mannered dog in which you can take pride and from which you will derive great pleasure. The first two such dogs offered under this scheme proved so popular that they sold immediately, but we do plan to have more. Give me or Howard a call to find out when you too will be able to take advantage of this brilliant new initiative.

Or, if you don't have the time to train yourself, why not consider buying a trained Gundog!

Jed.  Working Cocker Spaniel. 17months old. Black, Really nice fast powerful spaniel. Heel, sit, stay, retrieves, takes direction. From excellent field trial working lines. Will need further work to finish him, but is well and truly on the way to success. Will make a fantastic shooting dog. Comes with Mullenscote Handler Training Package.

Bob. Liver and white English Springer Spaniel.  2 years old. Powerful, hard hunting and well-trained dog. Has been shot over and picks and retrieves beautifully. Will make an excellent shooting companion

Roll of Honour for Mullenscote's Students & Dogs!

Our congratulations go to Wendy Neville and her Labrador Retriever, Spud. Wendy had found Spud in the free ads and he was bought initially as a companion dog. But it soon became obvious that he was a keen retriever so she brought Spud to Mullenscote. Our first training sessions were focused just on obedience and very basic gundog work. Things progressed well, and I now have had the pleasure of working with Wendy for the past 18 months. The handler and dog team has really flourished!  Through lots of hard work, dedication and passion, Spud and Wendy have become a very successful team. He now goes picking up in the season, completed his first field trial and most recently at the Southern Inter Club Match won Top Novice Dog/ Novice Handler and the Judges' Choice. So be inspired to follow in Wendy's footsteps - anything and everything is possible!

Congratulations also go to Iain Brothers with Ollie and James Thatcher with Boots (Junior Handler) who have qualified for the Countryman Fairs Scurry final at the Midland Game Fair. Top prize is a new truck for the adult winner!

Gundog Training Courses at Mullenscote

Here's a quick overview of the courses we have planned in the near future together with some guidelines for entry requirements. If in doubt, give the office a call on 01264 889467 and we'll be happy to advise:

Mullenscote Gundogs on the Road...

The Mullenscote Team is on the road again putting on demonstrations, running gundog clinics, assessments and offering plain good advice to anyone visiting the forthcoming shows all around the country. Here's just a snapshot of where you'll be able to find the team in the next 2 months or so. Look out for the Mullenscote lorry and tent, drop in to buy a training DVD, ask advice on any training issue or just pop in to have a natter! We'd love to see you and your dogs!

Mullenscote reaches new heights with latest Training DVD

Here's what Howard had to say about the day:

"We launched the second in our series of dog training DVDs entitled "Get On" to an industry guest list at the Hawk Conservancy Trust and to be quite honest the run up to the launch day was all consuming. Life continues to throw new experiences at me and the prospect of the launch was a little unnerving. Besides ensuring that everything ran like clockwork, I had to deliver a short speech and then prepare to deliver a gundog demonstration while the guests watched a promo of the new DVD. Organising the day and giving a gundog demo was a walk in the park. The speech and waiting for the critics' opinions of the DVD can only be described as terrifying! " And here's an extract from the local Andover press:

"The great and the good of the dog training world 'went walkies' up the red carpet a few weeks ago for the launch of Mullenscote Dog Training Centre's latest training DVD. The event was held at the Hawk Conservancy Trust, where guests enjoyed a gundog display from the Mullenscote demonstration team before watching the second in the series of DVDs, called 'Get On'. Click here to see the promotional extract from the DVD. There was also a flying demo from the Hawk Conservancy and, for those brave enough to give it a go, an opportunity to fly a hawk to their fist. Mullenscote principal Howard Kirby said: "The team here at Mullenscote have worked incredibly hard to earn a reputation as one of the country's top dog training establishments. Our clients have continually asked us for an instructional DVD to support the training programmes that we offer, so naturally we obliged. This event was the perfect platform to show off both the fantastic achievements of the team here at Mullenscote alongside the launch of the DVD."

'Get On' is available to buy, priced £9.99 + P&P, from the Mullenscote website:

The Shooting Season is fast approaching. Are you ready...

Before you take your dog shooting, ask yourself "Are we both really ready for this? Is my dog as steady as he needs to be to shot, game, other dogs and people? Have I done all the right training and do I have the right equipment?" Here's a quick check list for you to ensure that both you and your dog have a great day out!

  • Don't assume he will like the experience of going out into the shooting field! Some dogs just don't take to the shooting environment.
  • Make sure he is physically fit to do the job.
  • Training can be very different from the shoot day, so better to be restrained at first.  Keep everything simple to begin with
  • Don't take your bitch shooting or trialing if you think she is in season or is about to come into season.
  • Make sure you do what is best for your dog - not what every other person tells you. It is you who understands his limitations.
  • Before the first day's shooting, ensure he can pick game. If need be, practice on cold game first.
  • Exercise and try and toilet your dog before you arrive at a shoot or trial. Clean up afterwards.
  • Don't be late!
  • Listen to the instructions from your keeper, head picker-up, judge or steward. Ask if you are not sure what they want you to do: it can prevent huge mistakes and embarrassment all round!
  • Don't over face him with too much game or shot if little training has taken place before the shoot day. Too much too soon can ruin a dog for life.
  • Show respect to others, if they have brought their dog to use then let them do so.
  • Be prepared: take plenty of water plus a few treats for the dog, especially if he has worked extremely hard. A hard hunting spaniel will need plenty of water during the day and I find that a high protein snack at lunch time helps keep the energy levels up.
  • Always take with you a good dog first aid kit.
  • Take a towel or dog coat to help keep the dog warm at the end of the shooting day.
  • If trialing, your dog must be totally up to date with all boosters.
  • Carry your vaccination card: you could be asked to produce the card. If trialing, you could be disqualified for not having the card with you!

It sounds a big list of don'ts, but if you keep them in mind you will have a fantastic day and season with your dog.

Dust off those Purdeys!

Don't forget that in addition to ensuring your dog training is at the top of its game, the guns amongst you will need to get some practice in if you're going to stay on target.  Lains Shooting School continues to offer first class facilities including a wide variety of user-operated state of the art clay traps to suit all skill levels.  And if you need a helping hand, one of our qualified coaches can help you, whether you're a first time shot or an experienced hand. Come along and see how we aim to please!

And finally… do we really understand our dogs?

This is a question that could take pages for me to answer, and possibly still not come up with an answer! What I can say is that many handlers come to us with their dogs' behaviour having reached an extreme, often to a point where the dog is controlling the household or the walk / exercise. This tells us that, in many cases, we haven't really grasped our dog's needs, mindset or appreciated its natural instincts.

A dog is purchased for many personal reasons: a shooting companion, family pet or as a companion for an existing pet. Whatever the reason, we should never forget that they are animals and do not possess the same powers of reasoning that we humans have. There's no denying that dogs are extremely bright creatures, but they do have an instinctive, natural and inbred prey drive that we ignore at our peril!

I know how distressing it can be for an owner to see their beloved companion have a "red mist " moment which can manifest itself in a variety of ways, most common amongst which are chasing other dogs, livestock, horses or any other form of wildlife. We should never think that our pet won't do it; they most certainly will do - unless we have trained them properly.

As professional trainers, we are often asked why our own dogs don't run off.  Well, the truth is that, through structured and careful training, we have moulded a behaviour so that the dogs associate being with us (or very close by) with success, reward and, most importantly, having fun.  In other words, being with Mum or Dad is far more rewarding for the dogs than chasing. As Mum and Dad, you must become and remain the centre of your dog's world – the source of fun, reward, protection, love, warmth, food, exercise and, importantly, discipline – something that all pack animals need and expect.   We should never expose our dogs to the huge temptations to chase without first setting boundaries; the "normal" dog walk for a lot of people is to just let the dog off the lead and run around without any boundaries. For many dogs that's fine: they will just hang around the owner. But for some dogs, it is an invitation from the human to lead the pack, to go free hunting and the opportunity for them to make their own FUN! The young pup that learns to have fun without its owner can, in just a few months, become that speck on the horizon or, even worse, a killer.

Once a dog has caught and killed, its prey drive is fully tuned in. It then becomes very difficult to alter and redirect such instincts and drive into positive behaviour. So try not to look at your beloved companion through rose-tinted spectacles, no matter what breed type or size. The tales of a neighbour's decimated chicken pens and children's pet rabbits/ guinea pigs are common, but when the chase of game and livestock endanger both, the dog is not always at fault. It is invariably our fault, and proper training is the key to preventing such behaviour or turning it round if it has already occurred.  Never think dogs won't chase: they will - unless we work hard at redirecting their natural instincts to positive behaviour. Get help and advice from a professional before you reach the point of despair! We can help!

Keep an eye out for more news on the website. Hope to see you soon at Mullenscote. Until then, Enjoy the lovely weather and remember – "Keep Training"!  

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