Profile : Jules Morgan

Jules Morgan

During her early training career, Jules taught puppy, adolescent, and behaviour training classes for pet dogs alongside gundog training classes for those looking to work their dogs on shoots.  

Within a few years of starting out, Jules began to feel uncomfortable with some of the methods she had originally learnt, particularly as she was unable to explain them on a theoretical level and some seemed unfair on the dogs.

Jules with Buckle and Otter

So Jules began her journey to learn about more science backed, positive reinforcement training methods.

As dog training education was not the same as it is today, much of her learning was independent and very much based on trial and error. As such, Jules’ journey to find new gundog training methods took some time and was not always supported by the people she was training with.

Nevertheless, in 2006, Jules became accredited with the APDT.  Jules today still feels very strongly that dogs and owners should be supported and encouraged by their trainer with empathy and understanding as well as being properly qualified.

Understanding that there is always more to learn about dogs, Jules considers every dog she has ever owned and trained to be her greatest teachers. Currently she has three dogs, two working cockers Buckle and Raffle, and Labrador Otter.

She continues to keep up her studies and remains up to date with research into behaviour, psychology, neuroscience and physiology which further expands her understanding of dogs and what motivates them. More recently, Jules has lectured to dog trainers, behaviourists and veterinary professionals on remedial training protocols for specific behaviour problems.  

She believes that her training history and experience as a ‘crossover’ trainer enables her to be extremely sympathetic to, and understanding of, the hurdles involved in that process, as well as having first-hand experience of what an incredibly rewarding experience it is to train this way.   

Jules’ main passion is for working and training gundogs. Over the years she has gained a wealth of experience in all aspects of lowland shooting from large estates, through to small farm shoots, and rough shooting including beating, picking up, shooting, and shoot management.

Today, Jules specialises in gundog training for pet dogs, working dogs and those looking to participate in competition from her base in Surrey.

Courses available through Teach Your Gundog include The Gundog Club Graded Training Scheme, as well as bespoke workshops and courses covering specific topics at all levels.  

Jules also hosts more advanced gundog training camps twice a year in Cumbria, as well as her ever-popular series of Gundog Games workshops around the country which enable people to find out about the world of gundog training using only ethical, choice based methods and to start to build their foundation skills.

Along with Helen Phillips, Jules co-founded and is now the secretary of The Vale and West Gundog Club, which offers a safe stepping-stone into competition through its annual working tests and working gundog certificate (KCWGC) assessment days.  

Jules has also organised, judged and competed at many working tests, assisted at field trials, and helped at numerous Kennel Club Working Gundog Certificate assessments both on dummies and game.  

Jules’ other qualifications and accreditations include:
Member of The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT)  
Accredited Animal Training Instructor with the Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC)  
Accredited Trainer and Assessor for The Gundog Club (all grades)
BASC Safe Shot Certificate  
LANTRA Shooting Assistant/Loaders Certificate  
Qualified First Aider (Emergency First Aid at Work/Rural Skills Certificate)

In 2018 Jules launched The Gundog Trainers Academy Ltd, in partnership with Helen Phillips.  This is an organisation with a mission to support, nurture and encourage high standards of ethical, science based, non-coercive and effective methods of training for gundogs in the UK.    It offers a comprehensive educational programme for gundog enthusiasts and trainers from all disciplines to learn how to become professional gundog trainers.  In 2020, The Gundog Trainers Academy completed the rigorous assessment process for accreditation to the ABTC and is now a Member Organisation as well as Ambassador Partner of the PPG.  As a GTA member, Jules adheres to the Gundog Trainers Academy Code of Practice.

Workshop – Steadiness is between the ears, it is not a behaviour

Teaching Dogs how to cope/manage themselves in the context of Retrieving.
For most retrieving breeds, opportunities to retrieve whether they be training sessions, shoot days, working tests, scurries or just your daily walk, can be very exciting, raising enthusiasm, anticipation and overall arousal.  We want our gundogs to be keen, motivated, resilient, and prepared to work long hours but we also need them to work in partnership with us, stay focused on one task at a time, perform with accuracy, pace and consistency.  The balance between motivation and self management is something many of us are working on all the time.
When Leanne asked me to be a part of this year’s PGC and explained the theme and what she wanted to achieve, I knew she was talking to my heart.  Otter, my Labrador, is now five years old but from a very young age he struggled to cope with his excitement around many things but retrieving in particular.  The sight of a dummy or even a dummy thrower would send him into a frenzy of noise and lunging and by the time he was six months old I had a real struggle on my hands and the knock on effect on his retrieve overall meant that all areas had fallout from his excitement:- running in, noisy, inaccurate marking, poor carry, swapping dummies, running around with the dummy, dropping on delivery.
This might have been borne from Nature or Nurture – in this case I believe it was a bit of both – but either way, I needed to work through this if I was going to be able to help Otter to cope.  It was at this point that I took a step back from trying to teach Otter to retrieve and I took him away from group sessions.  I had to look at his emotional state and try to work out how to help him manage himself better without losing motivation.
In this workshop, I will share with you the games I taught Otter, the strategies I implemented, and how I worked with his emotional state rather than trying to control it.  Over time, Otter has now learned that ’steadiness’ (or self management) is his domain, he owns it, I don’t enforce it upon him and what it taught me was how to be more empathetic to his needs.