At the end of our demonstration yesterday in one of the largest arenas and in front of one of the biggest crowds we have ever seen (17,000), I was stopped by many people including by the lovely Lisa Tonks, a professional dog trainer based in Ringwood who runs “Paws4Reward“. Lisa was kind enough to write to me after the show:
“How refreshing to watch a Gun Dog demonstration using reward-based training, a clicker and treats. This showed how gun dogs can really enjoy not only working, they are also capable of and enjoy performing fun tricks.
It was obvious to all that Stephen loves working with his dogs and his dogs relish working with him.
The demonstration was full of great training tips and advice for all dog owners and not just for Gun Dogs.
I hope many of my clients were watching. I certainly learned new things today.
I was also approached by Mr & Mrs Conlan. Mr Conlan, an ex VC10 pilot in the RAF, said that he had not wanted to come to the show but had been persuaded to do so by his wife. He said he had seen “hundreds” of Gundog demonstrations in the past and had said to his wife “Here we go again!” when it was our turn. But he said he was so pleased he had been persuaded to come along as this was the best and most entertaining show he had ever seen. He promised to write a testimonial and, true to his word, I received this email the next morning:
Dear Mr Harrison,
The high point of the Ellingham Show yesterday for both my wife and me was your demonstration. It was a delight to see the rapport you have with your dogs and their obvious enjoyment of the whole display. I suspect many of the attending dog owners watched with envy.
We look forward very much to seeing you and your team at future events.
Thank you once again.
Whenever I ask myself why we spend hours training and if I really need all the stress that builds as each show draws nearer, it’s this sort of feedback that makes me want to do it all over again. I am so lucky to have such clever & happy dogs!