I am Leanne Smith and have spent a lot of time around dogs, borrowing them from friends as a teenager when I didn’t have a dog of my own and later working in a kennel part-time to supplement my student grant. I began my dog training career in earnest in 1999 with my German Shepherd Dog called Jaffa. I trained Jaffa in several disciplines including pet obedience, agility, tracking, scent and basic gundog work. In May 2005 I got Indy, a German Wire-haired Pointer and she was trained in obedience, agility and gundog work. Branston, a Working Cocker Spaniel joined us in October 2008. He was kept busy in the winter going beating and picking up on local shoots and in the summer he did Agility and took part in scurries at Game and Country Fairs.
Erik, another Working Cocker Spaniel arrived in August 2013 and he has passed his Grade 4 Hunting Retriever test with the Gundog Club. Erik, along with Branston and I, demonstrated Positive Gundog training at Game and Country Fairs which gave me the opportunity to let people know that you can train a working gundog using positive training techniques.
Ragnar, yes another Working Cocker Spaniel, (I am well and truly hooked now!), joined the Dogs R Dogs team in May 2018. His training is coming on well and is being documented in his blog, Raising Ragnar, this can be found by going to the ‘Blogs and Book’ button above. His first Novice Dog Novice Handler working test will be in August 2019.
In March 2005 I moved from Lancashire to Devon to work with Sally at Dogs R Dogs. I started out working with pet dogs, puppies and agility dogs but have since moved more of my focus onto Positive Gundog Training as this is where my passion lies. The offshoot of working more with gundog breeds has given me a real insight into teaching dogs to focus on their handlers in very challenging outdoor environments, which helps me work with dogs with recall and outdoor focus and control issues.
I have always been fascinated watching dogs carrying out the tasks that they were bred to do, and this has fuelled my interest in Gundog Training. Whether it is training them to work on a shoot or to have fun with their owners it is great to watch the dog’s instincts becoming fully developed and focused on working with their owner.
In April 2016 Dog R Dogs hosted the first Positive Gundog Training Conference in the UK. This was such a success that more Conferences are being organised. For more information about this see the Positive Gundog Training Conference page.
I hold the COAPE Advanced Diploma in Practical Aspects of Companion Animal Behaviour and Training, and am an affiliate member of the COAPE Association and a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (Membership No 906). I am also a registered Instructor for The Gundog Club running courses for the graded test scheme and assessment days.
In Dec 2018, Dogs R Dogs moved from its original training venue in Blackborough, to a new purpose built training venue in Silverton. There is now 4.5 acres of mixed terrain training ground which can cater for all levels of gundog work and pet dog training. The facility includes a fully fenced area, of just over half an acre, to work with dogs who struggle with outdoor focus and recall. Also there is a warm, indoor training cabin for inclement days and to start dogs off who struggle when in a distracting environment.
Contact me on 01884 33737
Mobile: 07811 048555