The Kennel Club gundog training days

Group of people with Labradors walking
Cleo Bolt Photography ©
Please note: The Kennel Club will not be holding any gundog training days in 2020. We will advise on future dates when possible.

Gundog handlers' development programme - training days

We initiated this programme some years ago to encourage Retriever and Spaniel owners of any age, and with little or no knowledge of gundog training, to seek guidance on how to train their dogs for the shooting field. You might wish to have your dog as a shooting companion or to take it picking up, perhaps you wish to progress on to working tests and eventually field trials.

Regardless of the capacity in which any dog is to be trained (gundog, police dog, search and rescue, assistance dog etc.), basic obedience is essential before training for any of these disciplines can begin. The ability to sit, stay, come and heel must be firmly instilled. Without basic obedience, it is impossible to progress to any further kind of training and this certainly applies to dogs taking part in our gundog handlers' development programme training days. Obedience training will not be covered during these days.

Clearly, it is impossible to train your dog in one training session. However, our experienced trainers are all Kennel Club approved field trial judges who have all achieved many awards with their own dogs. They will aim to show you how to teach your dog to be a well behaved and efficient gundog. While you won't go home with a fully trained gundog, you will go home with some knowledge of how to achieve this goal. Some of our previous pupils have gone on to enjoy success in working tests and field trials with one handler gaining 2nd place in the British Spaniel Championship!

Preference will be given to beginners and novice handlers. 

Please note that dogs must be a minimum of 9 months old on the date of the training day. We do welcome spectators without dogs, as perhaps your dog is too young or maybe you are thinking of getting a Spaniel or Retriever puppy and would like to see what is involved before your commit to one or the other. Our trainers will be happy to talk to you and give advice.

The Kennel Club training day for Retrievers, Spaniels and HPRs

The Kennel Club holds a training day for Retrievers, Spaniels and HPRs (hunt, point, retrieve) at Chatsworth Estate as part of the Kennel Club gundog working test weekend. The day is intended to help those who intend to compete in field trials or gundog working tests and for those who may have already taken the plunge but wish to improve. While the trainers can accommodate a wide range of abilities, it is expected that the dog will already have some basic level of training; sit and stay, walk to heel, recall and the ability to retrieve.

Field training days for pointing breeds

The aim of the field training days for pointing Breeds is to help those who wish to advance their gundog training to a competitive level. Training will concentrate entirely on hunting and pointing for Pointers and Setters and Hunt Point Retrieve breeds.

Although the days are aimed at advancing those with experience in gundog training, all levels are welcome including beginners and training will be tailored accordingly. Those under the age of 16 will need to be accompanied by an adult.

Please note due to the restricted availability of the moorland the number of places available for each course will be limited. Application is NOT a guarantee of a place. Should applications exceed the number of spaces, places will be decided by a draw.

A confirmation email will be sent following the draw so please ensure you have entered your details correctly.

Alongside the training, participants are also given the opportunity to attempt the Show Gundog Working Certificate (Pointers and Setters only) and/or the Working Gundog Certificate. Please note that there will be an extra cost (payable on the day) to take part in these certificates.

Dates for training days 2022 

Week 1- Swinton Estate – 5 and 6 MARCH - £130

  • Close – 24 Thursday February
  • Draw – 25 Friday February

Week 2 - Reeth Estate – 19 and 20 March - £130

  • Close – 24 Thursday February
  • Draw – 25 Friday February
Applying for training days


To apply for the training weekends please visit the Fossedata website and select field trials. 

Via paper

To request a paper application form please email us