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.
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.