Puppy Seminar at Tollerton on 29th June 2003

NEFRA held a puppy seminar titled: “Introduction to Puppy Ownership” on Sunday 29th June with 30 people attending at The Canine Academy, Tollerton, Notts and what a wonderful venue it was! So dog friendly yet very clean and tidy, an ideal venue for an open show maybe?

I went along to this seminar not really knowing what to expect (seminar sounds so formal and serious) I thought it may be a little too involved or maybe just state the basics and I’d possibly go away knowing no more than I already knew, but neither were the case. The day was very relaxed and informative and offered something for the novice to the old hand.

The day started with Rosalie Brady giving a talk on the breed standard and explaining point by point what it really meant. She had a handsome Flatcoat boy to model for her too!

“Too much stop”, “Correct Tail Set”, “Good Turn of Stifle” all was clear at the end of this session then we had the opportunity to put questions of which there were many forthcoming.

Next, Jenny Bird gave a talk on all aspects of breeding, starting with the question “Why do you want to have puppies?”, advising that this decision should not be taken lightly and that there should ALWAYS be a valid reason for having a litter ii.e. both parents have done well in the show ring or in the field, etc. and not just because the £ signs may appeal. Everybody was in agreement on this.

Then she spoke on the importance of choosing the correct stud dog and how the pedigrees should be studied to see if both dogs will match up nicely, etc., a very interesting subject indeed and one that a non-breeder would know little about.

Jenny went onto talk about the bitch in whelp and her care, the rearing of the puppies all of which was very interesting and most importantly placing the puppies in responsible homes.

After lunch we had a talk on “Preparation for the show ring”. I think this was most people’s favourite bit as everyone scrambled as near as possible to get the best view of how to trim.

Both Rosalie and Jenny had a model each to demonstrate on. However, it did look like Jenny had drawn the short straw being handed a beautiful liver bitch with extremely raggedy ears and feet, it looked like a mammoth task!

Both demonstrated their techniques on trimming the feet, thinning of the ears and cutting the tail. Both having different methods but each being effective.

As this looked like it would take some time Peter Forster began his talk on Gundog training of puppies. He gave advice on how to start them off on puppy dummies, etc.,and how to progress with them at a steady pace. Peter had brought with him lots of specialised equipment to show us, it was all new to me!

There were lots of questions for Peter, some of the group had been very unfortunate in finding heavy-handed trainers which Peter agreed is not acceptable in any type of puppy training and put them on the right tracks.

The day ended with coffee, cakes and a super raffle. I thoroughly enjoyed the day but wished it hadn’t gone so quick!

I do hope there are more seminars of this kind and would encourage you all to attend as not only would you enjoy the day you are bound to learn something new about this wonderful breed.

Kim Heath