I first got in touch with Stephen a week before collecting my 8 week old Large Munsterlander puppy. As a first time dog owner, it was so important to me that Pippa was obedient and well-mannered, but I didn’t have a clue about how to mould those traits – particularly in such a high energy breed!
Fast forward 4 months and I couldn’t be more delighted with Pippa’s (and my!) progress. From day one, Stephen’s approach was spot on, giving me support and handholding every step of the way and delivering the hard truths when they were needed. With Stephen’s guidance my confidence and ability in training has come on leaps and bounds and, as a result, Pippa is developing into the perfect dog for me and my lifestyle.
Stephen’s approach is straightforward and revolves around your handling, NOT the dog. He takes the time to explain the whys and wherefores of your dog’s behaviours and those breakdowns make all the difference when it comes to implementing his training on your own.
At one stage I did attend group lessons elsewhere with Pippa which I found were useful; but as is the nature of large groups, there was little time for troubleshooting the specific challenges I had. Stephen’s patience, education-focused training style and ongoing support have proved to be a far more valuable investment. I cannot recommend him highly enough!
Miff Palmer, BoytonI really enjoyed our session with you and I really appreciate your time today. Your advice and guidance has been so helpful and the one to one learning for me was really brilliant. All of the corrections and changes I need to make to my behaviour and training methods are things I will definitely work on, and I will certainly aim to talk less and be much more consistent with Milo..!! I appreciate your wonderful email and thank you for your confidence in my potential as a dog handler. The exercises and tips are so so brilliant – thank you!! And I will definitely have place boards or mats for Milo before the end of the weekend. I would love to have another session with you at some point.. but in the meantime, I will put all my energy into mastering the exercises we’ve done today. Thank you so much Stephen..!!
Kate MacLean, Durrington
Wow! On my 2nd G&T to celebrate the best ever training session loved it. Thank you:)
Thank you so much. I really feel today has been a big step forward for me and it’s given me a much greater understanding of what I need to do for Guinness and more importantly HOW. Your assessment of the situation makes total sense and I really do appreciate all the thought and effort you have put in prior to today’s session, as well as your time here today. I’ve been so disillusioned by the advice I’ve been given up until now but all you’ve said makes complete sense. I’ve lost my confidence in the way I deal with him because I didn’t really agree with the training advice given but never having had a pup before I went along with it which I now very much regret. So all in all I’m really pleased, THANK YOU. I have a dog that does actually look at me now and he’s wagging his tail a lot more! 🙂
I can honestly say that, despite having been to other trainers, today was the first time I have ever felt positivity about my abilities as Moose’s owner. Thank you again for spending so much time with us today, and for all your brilliant training tips and patience!Angela Knight, ChilmarkDespite seeing Stephen in various places and shows, we met by chance, and after chatting, he kindly offered to help with our Brittany that, after two years of thinking I knew what I was doing, I had inadvertently ruined!
I always had the ambition and the best intentions of owning a good, all-round HPR, who would work under our hawks, go out beating on the shoot and be steady on the peg. But at 24 months of age, we were now deflated, we had very little bond, our dog was disinterested in anything to do with us, would do his own thing, run off and was generally an embarrassment! We went out for our first session with Stephen, and it immediately hit home how much we had got things wrong. Stephen was aghast at how stubborn and disinterested this dog was, focused purely on scent and nothing else.
We put our full faith in Stephen, his experience, knowledge, and training techniques, and within a couple of weeks we were starting to see differences, albeit small to start with, but these changes were making improvements at home, and during training!
We had a long way to come, we had done an awful lot of damage in the two years, but with determination and Stephen’s superior knowledge and patience, after 12 months of graft our lad was at a mighty turning point, and now another year on, he is approaching 4, we now have the dog we wanted in the first place: he is an absolute pleasure to work and be around.
Stephen isn’t your normal ego-filled Field Trials dog trainer (there are many out there!). He is a passionate individual, who works and puts on demonstrations with his dogs. He also welcomes them into his house where they live as adored pets : they are not just “tools of the trade”. His own dogs and methods are excellent, he is a trainer who talks to you, understands where you are, and where you want to be and will train you to get the most out of your dog.
I would recommend him to anyone with the utmost confidence. If you are willing to embrace his techniques, you will succeed in getting your dog to the standard you require. But here’s a hint: make your life easy and don’t wait till you’ve ruined your dog first!
Stuart Lurc, Codford
We have been impressed beyond words with Steve’s training techniques & enthusiasm to encourage others in their training & bond with their dogs. His humour & patience encourage swift, productive development & make a seemingly complicated learning journey simple to understand & fun. The demonstrations with his own dogs are inspiring & simultaneously hilarious. We travel an hour out of our way to attend Steve’s training sessions & the journey is well worth it!
Niki and Shaun Adkins (who attended the puppy course I taught at Mullenscote Dog Training Centre)
We just wanted to say a big thank you for helping us train our 8 month old working cocker spaniel, Bee. We have noticed a huge improvement! You have been so patient and very clear, explaining things to me, my husband and two teenage sons. After your clear demonstrations and explanations of how to motivate, focus, reward and correct Bee, we now have the tools to give clear commands using both voice and body language. We were all very impressed! You left us with the daunting thought of how to remember everything you showed us and impressing you with our training progress next week!
So thank you again for all your expert advice, support and patience. We are all looking forward to the next lesson.
Kim and Alan Swain, Warminster
It was worth every penny! You would not believe the difference in him already. Actually…you probably would. He has walked to heel beautifully on his slip lead every day since Saturday and we even have him sitting when the dishwasher gets opened. Nothing short of major progress….
Sarah Wyatt-Tilby, Whitchurch
Welly is coming on well and recall has improved dramatically!
Antony Pearce, Codford
We feel as if we have found someone who would be a great asset to help us get the best from our dogs, it was so nice to meet someone who had a structured approach to training and still be a lovely human being.
Brian Chapman, Westbury
Thank you so much for taking the time to come and see me and Acer. Today has made me realise I have been doing a lot wrong with Acer but I will get on top of that now and things will be changing. I want us to be the best team we can be and that means I really would love for you to train me and Acer if you have the time and space to fit us in. Thank you again for today I’ve learnt so much in a short space of time.
Elaine Marks, Frome
Steve , once again many thanks for your wisdom. .I was feeling a little despondent as he just wasn’t getting the message! You have given me some excellent points to work on with him. Thank you so much – I already feel much better!
Thank you so much for delivering this series of gundog training sessions. Despite a 2-hour + round journey for me, despite having 1-to-1 gundog training lessons and despite having worked gundogs for a number of decades, they were really worthwhile. It was greatly appreciated. Whilst 1-to-1 lessons are really good, attending these sessions is a step closer (for the dog) to a Shoot Day and therefore are so beneficial. There’s plenty of action around them – dogs moving about, shots going off, dummies all over the place – culminating in many potential distractions. Once again, thank you for your time and effort. Roll on the next shooting season.
I appreciate your time and I’m over the moon with the fast progress of Mya!
James Palmer, Frome
We enjoyed the session immensely and were both very pleasantly surprised to see how well Lola reacted. We were beginning to wonder if, after 9 years, we had left it too late. We have already started on the 2 exercises and progress is most encouraging.
Richard Fitzgerald-Lombard, Sutton Veny
What a great session yesterday – loved it, repeated it last night and have done it twice today. I was so happy with how it went: thank you- I feel motivated!! Thank you for the brilliant notes, have printed them and out the tips are very useful.
Sarah Terry, Longbridge Deverill