29 Dec New Tricks: Dog Training Initiative Sees Aberfeldy Win Big
Aberfeldy & District JAC won the Development Education & Training Award (supported by SRUC) for their new gun dog training initiative. This new club event offers members and their dogs an opportunity to gain skills and confidence that could help them at home and to gain employment in the local area.
Most of the club’s area is covered in shooting estates, from small farm syndicates to large commercial shoots, with many members involved in one way or another. Noticing the syllabus for the club was mainly agriculturally based, and having looked at their membership, they realised they needed to accommodate new activities to ensure they were meeting the needs and interests of those members. On recent times more and more members were being encouraged to get involved in gamekeeping activities, through a number of outlets, including the local high school. But the club still felt there was a training gap with the younger generation not as confident with working their dogs as they could be. So, they contacted an obedience and gun dog trainer to educate members on everything from looking after a dogs’ health and wellbeing, to the skills required to work one or multiple dogs in a shooting environment. The trainer also brought her own dogs to demonstrate her handling abilities and enable those who didn’t have their own working or pet dog(s) to participate in the training. This fantastic initiative is now a regular fixture, allowing all members to get involved if they wish and demonstrate increasing skills. Tracking their progress and even completing tests. The club are excited to see what members can achieve through this initiative.
Club Secretary Katrina Kennedy was delighted with the win:
“It was a great achievement for the club to win the development award for our Gundog event at the five-star awards on Saturday night. The club have worked hard the last two years to hold this new event, trying something new to cover all aspects of rural life that the area is surrounded by. We hope that this event will grow annually and become bigger and more successful every time. We are glad we took the leap to try something different and hope this also encourages other clubs in the region to run with new ideas to help widen their events throughout the year.”