Training Programme 2024

Each year the club runs a full programme of training for gundogs and their handlers during the summer.  This is a popular activity in the club and usually about 50 members undergo eight or ten training session, with our club trainers and professional outside trainers.  We assess dogs by similar breed, age and ability and split our trainees down into groups of similar abilities so that everybody has the chance to progress together and so that nobody feels left behind.  At the end of each season we have a Fun Day for all who have taken part in training so they can learn from the judges in a fun competition where the judges give lots of useful tips and coaching.   This is a very friendly and social activity that helps you and your dog to work together as a team.  To enquire about training email


The club will be running a full summer training programme again this year for both Spaniels and Retrievers, tailored to meet their individual needs in the shooting field.

There will be a course of lessons with both club and guest trainers to help train you to train your dog.

Please remember these are NOT dog obedience classes, we do expect a reasonable level of basic obedience before coming to the classes.

This year however we will be holding assessment days on Saturday 23rd March and Saturday 6th April, anyone that wishes to attend the training classes MUST attend one of the assessment days. This will allow us to put everyone in groups that are at the same level in their training.

Our Introductory Meeting on Sunday 14th April at Filleigh Village Hall, (NO DOGS PLEASE) starting at 2.00pm.


After a short introduction the trainers will be on hand to answer any questions, you may have.

Complimentary refreshments will be available after the introduction in the village hall where you can then enrol on the training course.

The cost of 10 sessions will be £70.00 payable in full at the meeting.

The club shop will also be present offering a wide range of gundog training equipment at very competitive prices.

Anyone taking part in the training classes will need as a minimum,

  • A selection of training dummies,
  • A lead,
  • A whistle and lanyard
  • A game bag / dummy bag to carry their training kit.

To book a place at assessment days and sign-up meeting please email your name and contact details and breed of dog to,

Filleigh Village Hall, Filleigh, Barnstaple, Devon, EX32 0RS. For direction,

Graham Dibble (Club Training Co-ordinator)



This year we hope to arrange for some Guest Trainers for both Spaniels and Retrievers to come and give us their expert advice.

We will also be running an ‘Introduction to Working Tests’ day for both Spaniels and Retrievers for members who would like to do Working Tests run under KC regulations.

We are also hoping to put on a Water Training day, run another Any Breed ‘Fun Day’ and if we get the numbers, a Puppy/Special Puppy and Novice Dog/Novice Handler working test.

During the winter months we will hopefully be putting on a Working Gundog Certificate for both Spaniels and Retrievers.  

Further information regarding these events will be published on the website under Up and Coming Events from the Home Page once details have been finalised.

 Graham Dibble (Club Training Co-ordinator)

Training programme 2022

V Spaniel Working Test (Cold Game) on 11th September 2022

A Working Test using Cold Game will be run on 11th, at Hall Farm. Entries please to Nigel Franklin. Contact

Mock Field Trial AV Spaniel on 9th November 2022

To be held at Upton Pyne by kind permission of Mr Paul Bowyer.  This event is aimed at people who have not run in a Field Trial before or have limited experience of trials. Dogs should be steady to game and of a reasonable standard.  There will be no awards given, but the Judges will score you and give their advice.  Cost £100 per handler.



2021 Programme

Simulated Shoot Day Sunday 26th September

The club held a simulated shoot day again this year at Abbotsham.  The aim of the day is to create a shooting field experience to get our handlers and young dogs a first day experience it a simulated day, without the distraction of live birds.

The Start of the Drive
Beaters Line Getting Ready
A Picking Up Team
Sending My Dog

We would like to thank our hosts, David and Emma Lomas for once again inviting us down for the day, and of course all the helpers that came along to make the day such a success.

We were all greeted with a lovely dry sunny late September day and a lot of enthusiastic dogs and handlers all ready for the off.

We held 2 drives in the morning with another in the afternoon after a relaxed lunch, where much of the talk was about how well the dogs and handlers had all preformed on the early drives.

Get Ready!

We had a good mix of dogs with Cocker, Springers, Golden Retrievers, Labradors and a Visla. All of which performed well in both the beating line and picking up.

All the dogs were tested with picking up cold game, wing dummies and plain dummies, we also had the odd rabbit skin dummy around just to make it a bit more testing.

We finished off the day with a cup of coffee and a very nice selection of cakes kindly proved by Jean Dibble.

Lunch Time!
Lets Have a Rest in the Sun.
I Need a Sleep!

Spaniel End of Training Fun Day  4th September 2021

On Saturday last the Spaniel end of term test went well in bright sunshine with signs that all those attending had worked hard with their dogs to show them to their best advantage.

The test was held by kind permission of Nigel and Lisa Franklin at Hall Farm, Molland. Nigel who for the first time in several years had not been directly involved in the training acted as head Judge and set the tests.

Nigel was ably assisted in Judging by an old friend of the Club Alec Stentiford with his vast experience and appreciation of a hunting Spaniel. The other Judge was a first timer Becky Franklin more used to being judged than judging.

All the Judges gave excellent and helpful advice and were sympathetic to any difficulty. Alec particularly spent time explaining the finer points of hunting. Thanks to you all.

The test ended with a runoff to separate those competing for awards in the Novice Class. As you can see from the photograph of the Award winners a real sense of achievement.

Chris Pope was awarded 1st in the Woods Puppy group and Ellie Scott in the Novice. The special award for most progress went to Nicola Chapman who had started the sessions in the puppy group and went on to take 4th in the Club Novice Working Test under Kennel Club Rules.

Our end of term test is part of the training and not under rules but points are awarded for following the rules but no zeroes were to be seen!

Congratulations to everyone who took part and everyone who helped with the training particularly Caroline, Maurice, and Tim for the Novices. Lisa was a particularly sympathetic and patient trainer of the puppies throughout. We were also lucky enough to have the past head of Spaniel Training Neil take an interest in the puppies when he had signed up for training himself and he took one memorable session by the water at Snapper. We achieved a great deal in a shortened period!

Inevitably there were people who dropped out of training and while this may be inevitable in these busy times we are anxious to put together a programme for next year which meets the needs of our members whatever the ultimate ambition may be.

Feedback is appreciated and will be helpful.



Everybody A Winner!

End of Training Retriever Fun day. 28th August 2021

The Retriever training group End of Year Fun Test was held at Spa Wood, courtesy of Gordon Hewitt.

This was a lovely end to the summer training.  Competitors enjoyed perfect weather in a wonderful location, with praise and positive input from the three judges namely Laurie Pittaway, Rosemary Price and James Short.  The day ran smoothly – with help from so many people, ending with a BBQ, plenty of laughs and thoughts for 2022.

The club is grateful to Skinners and Beth Payne for sponsoring the club and training group.

The winners of the three sections were:

Puppy              Richard Sanders

Basic                Heather Warne

Novice             Jacquie Wright

Huge thanks must be given to all the landowners who allowed training on their ground, and trainers for giving time and expertise throughout the season.

Everyone A Winner!

Memories of a fun day.