Tania Stapley from East Sussex

Tania Stapley

When and how did you get into dog training?

In 1991 my homebred liver Labrador showed good working talent. I decided to go for training. I found someone well thought of and had a course of group lessons. "Choccy" Labs were not well liked in the gundog world, so I was looked upon kindly as someone who had an uphill struggle. However "Annie" proved them all wrong and went on to many Gundog Working Test awards, the highest being a 3rd in a URC Intermediate Cold Game Test. She was the only competing Liver at the time.

I was a British Horse Society Instructor. Annie started me off with dog training. 

What do you like the most about dog training?

The satisfaction and reward of seeing an owner and their dog grow as a partnership of understanding and friendship, through simply teaching them what the dog was bred to do and therefore exercising the dog both physically and mentally, ending with an unbreakable bond instead of a possibly problematical pet or an unwanted nuisance.

How long have you been part of the KCAI scheme?

I joined the KCAI on April 20th 2001. I am very proud to have been a founder member.

Why are you a member of the KCAI Scheme?

I became accredited in 2010 and have remained a member ever since, this keeps me in touch and up to date with changes and innovations and I have encouraged others to join.

What would you say your biggest achievements in your career have been so far?

At Crufts:

  • 1998 Winner of Hungarian Vizsla Bitch CC (homebred)
  • 1998 Winner Best Pickers Up Team with 3 homebred Liver Labradors
  • 2003 Winner Best Pickers Up Team
  • 2006 Winner Best Labrador Bitch, Pickers Up Individual Class (homebred)
  • 2006 Bred BOB HV Bitch through to Gundog Group


  • 2003 Winning an Open GWT
  • 2003 Gaining the Working Gundog Certificate
  • 2008 The honour of Judging "Yogi" (BIS CRUFTS) at Bournemouth Champ Show
  • and MOST OF ALL
  • 2010 Becoming the 5th KCAI WG(ad)

Is there any work that you do with or for dogs, in addition to dog training instructing?

I am a Kennel Club Assured Breeder and have been breeding Labradors for 34 years, and Hungarian Vizslas 20 years. I spend a lot of time with prospective owners, guiding and educating. Since 1993 I have raised money for charity including CP, Hearing Dogs, Cinnamon Trust, Dog Trust, Medical Detection, Hounds for Heroes and this year Raystede, for whom I have raised nearly £1000. I did a display at the 1066 Game Fayre for St Michaels Hospice. I recently retired from KC show and KC GWT judging. I enjoy spending hours on the phone helping people with various problems.

Do you own a dog yourself and if so what is its name/breed? 

I own 12 dogs, all girls! Two HV's, Halley 6 and Beshlie 10. Two yellow Labradors, Killarney 13 and her daughter BB, 5. Eight liver Labradors, Esme 12, Carrick 9, Martha 8, Lizzie 6, Annie 5, Mylie 2.5, Cass 2.25 and Kindle 2.25!

Comments made by individuals that nominated Tania Stapley

  • 'Tania has made a positive to so many Gundogs and helped raise the profile of the wonderful dogs in and around the community.'
  • 'Tania's knowledge and capabilities for bringing this discipline up to modern day needs are enormous.  She always goes the extra mile with energy and professionalism.'
  • 'Tania has a wealth of knowledge and lots of patience, she has helped me get the best from my dogs. Tania is always only a phone call away if there is a problem and I feel I need advice outside of regular training sessions. Tania was particularly supportive when our last dog was run over.'
  • 'Tania is a fantastic trainer.  She is so passionate about what she does, I trust her knowledge and judgement implicitly. She's professional about how she trains, explains every step of the way and animal welfare is her priority. She encourages gun dog training to be fun but serious and sensible where necessary, and helps make you develop a stronger bond with your pet dog.  I'm so glad that I was introduced to her, I never knew owning a Labrador could be such fun.'
  • 'Never tires of helping owners really understand their dogs. Teaches the owners to treat their animals with respect and dignity, whilst teaching how to ensure that the dog becomes a loyal, safe and loving member of the family.'
Version suitable for printing

Copyright © The Kennel Club Limited 2016. The unauthorised reproduction of text and images is strictly prohibited.