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The Sad News
My Beautiful boy Alfie has left us, he went ahead of us at the start of the 2015,
and we still miss him.
Thankfully, we know he had as good an ending as one could have given him,
and that eases our pain slightly.
He was taken by cancer, but he did not suffer to much (before we had to let him go) and that was becaus of the Turmeric, Metacam, plus other drugs, and 'very importantly' the wonderful vets who guided and supported us throughout.
The Vets were Nithdale vets in Thornhill and the Edinburgh veterinary College.
Nithdale vets not only guided us in his living but they also made sure he had the best ending, and they did that by coming out to us on the day and by being such warm and caring people that Alfie boy just felt Love in the room in his own home, recieving lots of cuddles. He feel to sleep in my arms in front of the wood burner, 'literally' as the vet gave the injection in two parts, so cradled in my arms he fell asleep and then when sleep had been achieved my sweet boy was given the last of the injection!
Alfie came to us because the owners, who had bought him at 8 weeks old from a gundog kennel, were convinced he was an untrainable male dog who was getting snappy with them and chewing anything and everything in their house. These people had even got to the stage were they had a behaviourist come to their house to help them, who advised them that the dog needed to be dominated and that it was taking no notice of them because the dog had no respect for them, telling them to spray this young dog with water etc etc. When that didn't work they decide they would go to the vets and ask for their dog to be put to sleep as it had bitten there daughter, they said. Thankfully my niece worked with them and stepped in and asked me to take him on, and the owners jumped at the chance of ending their experience with dog.
From the moment Alfie came to us he never bite anyone or anything, he never chewed anything, he was a gem of a dog and was a cracking soft and caring (yet all man) male to his Ladies and their puppies.
I have seen/read trainers say that you need to show these types of dogs 'who the boss is'. Sadly, What these trainers mean is that on the first day of taking these dogs in the trainers will break them (beat the dog) so that the dogs world falls apart, it is scared beyond believe and often to the point that if one saw the dog one would see a dog hugging the wall in hope that it would not be seen by the person who beat her/him. The trainers cause so much fear in the dog that the dog will do anything to appease the trainer, to prevent yet another beating, and sadly that fear is what the trainers use as their weapon/tool. It is so sad to see a dog so fearful were once it was a forward and happy dog with an open mind, and so wrong of any human to make an animal feel that way.
When you beat a dog the dogs mind is less likely to retain what you are teaching it, and the dog will take longer to learn it, as in a sense the dogs mind shuts down. This is common sense, think about it, if you are reading a book in a storm and you are frightened of storms do you not keep thinking about the storm and therefore take longer to read the book, retain far less of what you have read, and gain far less enjoyment from the book? One would have retained so much more information and enjoyed it greatly had one been in a relaxed state of mind..... of course that is the case, and it is the same for the dog!
I am not a professional trainer in anyway, especially back then when Alfie came to us, and yet he turned out wonderful/ he was wonderful, why was he wonderful .... Well firstly because that was his true nature, a good hearted boy. Secondly, they kept him indoors an awful lot and often on his own, but they thought he was well looked after, were as he more than likely felt left alone, confused and misunderstood. He would have then felt scared when they and the behaviourist started to try and 'Dominate him'. Also, one never really knows what the owners/previous owners have really been up to when they hand you the dog, and I believed Alfie far more than I did that couple.
With us he was feed, loved and his mind was kept active, all of which is just common sense. Therefore he had no reason to be anything other than a gem of a dog, and he was most certainly that!
A finer Male i could not have wanted for Bella, myself, my girls, and their pups. The day that couple gave him up was the day we were all Blessed, for he came into our lives to enrich every single one of them greatly!
Our Girl has Grown Up
Our sweet Jay jay has finally come into season, at the age of 3.
We are so pleased as we were starting to think that she was never going to have a season and if that had been the case she would be the only girl out of all the ones we had breed, that was not fertile, BUT she is and therefore we are really happy.
Whilst we cannot mate her this season with the move coming up and also a great desire to have one full summer of training with her and then a full shooting season and (possible) a full trialling season before doing so, we will mate her when the time is right.
2012 Training with David Lisett at the Buccleuch Kennels
We were so spoilt as it was Just Gary, myself and a lovely Lady and friend of ours called Sarah.
Therefore we had an awful lot of very valuable time with Davie.
We started of with coffee and talks, David asking what we wanted to do over the two days and getting all the details from us about the dogs. After we gave Davie all the information, Sarah, Gary and myself all agreed we would go with what Davie thought was the best plan of action, and as always Davie gave us all we wanted and more.
We started of with David getting one of his pups out, showing us some ball work with his beautiful springer and how he would go about teaching our two (Ellie & Tinks) sit, heelwork and retrieving. It was something we have seen David do many times now but it helps to see it once again, always a refinement we missed the first time around and of course for Sarah being her first time there something she would gain an awful lot from seeing.
Ellie & Tinks then got to do some retrieving work at the back of the kennels with David throwing tennis balls which rolled into the wood, Tinks and Ellie, especially Ellie following the scent line running down the hill into the woods without any thought in her head except to find what was at the end of the scent line. Then seen balls thrown over the little hill, this was Tinks turn to excel, hunting away until she found the ball. David was very pleased with them both, and so were we.
It was then the turn for the next age group, which was our Jay Jay who is two and Sarah's Fizz who is just under two.
We worked them in the rabbit pen and done direction work over the walls. Jay Jay didn't fly over the walls on the first day as she did the year before, though thankfully she performed really well on direction work and wall jumping the following day, doing all we asked of her very cleanly and with pace.
It was bliss and an extra bonus to hear David in the background saying 'Really good, really really really good' every time I worked Jay Jay on direction be that over the gully or over the fences, that girl (as her mother) has an immediate stop to whistle and takes direction well.
We then went off rabbitting with David and where he took us was absolutely stunning, especially with snow still on the mountains and the sky alight with the winter sun.
That man comes up trumps every single time and Scotland is certainly a place that holds many hidden beauties, this beautiful landscape was in the Durisdeer Hills.
We got to work the girls there, though ironically we didn't find rabbits until we swapped to our older girls. It pleased Mia so to work the heather and boy did she work it well. Warmed my heart to see her hunt the ground as she always does, not missing anything, tail wagging non stop and the glee on her face when she flushed the bunnies and the glee on my face when she stopped to flush, even after so little, if any, training since summer.
We are honoured to have that girl and she gave us a great gift with her children. David said of our Mia, as he does every time he sees her that 'he could shoot happily all day with Mia', and you canThe following day we were able to work the pen again but my Jay Jay has clicked what a rabbit pen is all about so did not flow as she does when outside a pen. As David said if you put a gun next to Jay Jay she lightens up/goes up many gears/ is a different dog. I hated seeing her work in there even though she flushed some rabbits only taking a few paces on one and gently bobbing one out of a bush. When I look back at the video though you can see it was handler error as well.
We also got more time with the pups, David showing us more techniques and clever ways to train the them and basically giving us more insight to the way they think. We then moved on to the adult girls doing more directional work with all of them. Mia had us all in stitches, again her age/cleverness meant she spotted that Davies fence only went so far up where it then disappeared into the slope of the hill, and she didn't even need to come to the fence to spot that one, she weighed that fact up long before then. So, she did a perfect stop, took the direction perfectly, picked the retrieve up perfectly and then shot of at an angle to take the easy route back to me, PERFECTLY, he he he. We all roared with laughter, Davie said he knew what his summer job would be....digging that ditch to continue the fence up, bless him!
We all gladly went back indoors after another busy and successful day, as it was bitterly cold on the second day and it gave David plenty of time to clarify everything in our minds, and to give us our plan of action for each dog. Not including Mia of course as she is already singing and dancing and exactly as we would want her.
Davies plan for Jay Jay was exactly what we had already said we were going to do but it is so good to hear from the likes of Davie that 'yes that is what is needed'.... more play, more praise, and just more fun, taking the pressure of her.
The pups, well plan of action there is to get on with it as they have it all there :) Gary will not just be training Ellie up as a peg dog as he had planned, that wee girl will be trained up as the rest of them as she has bag loads of talent and the eye issue just isn't an issue!
I came to realise on the journey back that David was right, I am far to hard a critic on Jay Jay and myself and that when i get low she really gets low.
We have a cracking girl in Jay Jay but because I knew we had done so little training with her last year because of the knee damage, it lead me to do to much hunting with her taking the joy of it all away from her.
Jay Jay and I will go back to our old ways of having fun and enjoying our training sessions. Mia can start going out for a training session nearly every day and the pups, well I think my knee can take it now, so we will get on training them, especially as they showed so much promise at Davids.
In Conclusion, we came away from Davids knowing that once again he had pulled all the stops out for us and that the three of us were very lucky people.
Davids training method of constant praise and making the dog think that being by you is the most magical place in the world is one Gary and I greatly believe in, and with the stunning views and facilities of The Buccleuch Estate and a trainer of Davids standing, one cannot fail to learn and throughly enjoy the time spent there. I must add a thanks to Victoria, Davids Kennel maid and a Diamond, many thanks Victoria.
Gary and I had a long time on the journey home to discuss all that had taken place and we both felt very proud of our girls, and we look forward to the summer of training and the start of the shoot/trialling season.
Thank you all for coming
Oh, we were so lucky with the weather, not freezing as the year before, but still cold enough to make us happy we had booked the village hall especially seeing as the postcode created problems
We had ten Alfinmarsh puppies there, thirteen with our own three and three black dogs, that were honourary Alfinmarsh's for the day.
We only took Bella, Tinks and Ellie with us leaving our Mia, Alfie and Jay Jay at home as we knew we would not have time to concentrate on all 6 of them whilst catching up with everyone. We chose Ellie and Tinks to come as we really wanted to take the opportunity to introduce them to new people and dogs, both not having socialized enough because of my knee and I dare not leave Bella behind as everyone loves our Bella, bless her, I never see her when we are at the gatherings, he he he!
All the dogs played together or run around thoroughly enjoying themselves, it was wonderful to see and a joy to catch up with their owners.
This year’s pups had grown so much in a short time and you could already see that they had been homed with the right people.
Thanks go to lesley for coming all the way from Dorset, especially as she doesn't have an Alfinmarsh pup yet :) And to lynn for being such a wonderful Auntie to Ellie and Tinks.
To Tracy and Jas for the camera work, which I'm looking foward too
and well a THANK YOU to you all.
Alfinmarsh Jays Justice
First field trial
Our Sweet Jay-Jay did her first field trial Yesterday and even though she has had so much time off, she still managed to come away with a merit. The guns who get to choose a dog they feel is the best on the day, where kind enough to tell me that they the guns had placed her second.
She will now be put in the Kennel Club stud books with her own number.
Many thanks to everyone there on the day and to Dorset Club for running the whole thing. Cracking day wonderful people.
Now to get more runs, fingers crossed there as it is determined by a draw who will run, Leading to more experience and more fun for the two of us.
Meet the Two New
but well known
Editions to the Alfinmarsh Gang
Alfinmarsh Sweet Charity Alfinmarsh Mornings Glory
We will train both of them up to go on shoots with us, which we really look forward too :)
They will be trained up in time to help their mum in her old age (well she won't be 'that' old but older) along with their elder sister Jay Jay.
I will slightly worry for a while, and hope and pray that I can do right by all the dogs, but we can now start to look forward to Ellie and Tinks being part of our 'keep pack' and getting their training underway!
Shooting Gazette piece on the
Alfinmarsh Water Picnic on behalf of the
Lowland Search Dogs-Sussex
When the Shooting Gazette heard we were having a water picnic on behalf of the Lowland Search Dogs, they were kind enough to ask if I would do a piece on the event.
Of course I was happy to oblige and in this months issue you will find said piece in the Gundog section
Thank you Shooting Gazette
The Alfinmarsh Gang at Five Weeks Old
We received the Pedigrees through today, I'm always happy when I have the paperwork in hand :)
Alfinmarsh Anamaria Alfinmarsh Sweet Phoebe
Alfinmarsh Sweet Charity Alfinmarsh Antoinette
Alfinmarsh Rosies choice
Alfinmarsh son of Jay
Our wonderful Mia has given birth to
7 Beautiful puppies today
Out of Ftch Deepfleet Jay
Our wonderful Mia gave birth to 7 beautiful puppies today,
6 girls and 1 boy.
All went very well and all our settled, being taken care of by our wonderful Mama Mia, she is such a cracking mum.
today the 21st of May 2011
Dorset Working Test
Nerves were certainly present but Dorset turned out to be a lovely friendly club, so as the day went on the nerves got better, thankfully.
Novice started and once again Jay Jay flew out for the blind but came back without it, handler's error :( Both she and I are jaded from the Mid sussex working test, where my nerves were so bad I pulled her up.
My lip even quivered when I was keeping Jay Jay in a sit whilst other dog went for their blind.
BUT we did well enough in all other parts of the working test to get a certificate of Merit :))
Open started, and all the big boys came out. One of the people was the gamekeeper from Conholt Estate where they held the championships and he was running a dog breed and trained by David Lisett, beautiful bitch that went on to win :))
Jay Jay and I pulled ourselves together, we took our place and I tried to remember all kindly advice given me to me. Jay Jay flew out for the blind, caught the scent, picked it up and came back yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
Even though the big boys and Ladies where there we still got another Merit :)))
Most of all we came away with a boost that was needed knowing that the girl is still not performing how she does when working on game and at home, through my nerves and error in handling at working tests.
So plenty to work on :))
Alfinmarsh Water Picnic
in aid of
The Lowland Search Dogs Sussex
Well what a wonderful Afternoon we all had at Peter Dawes place, of Summersbrook Labrador, a beautiful location where Peter kindly allowed us to hold the Gathering after the planned venue fell through. We cannot thank him enough for his kindness to the Alfinmarsh gang and his generosity to the
Lowland Search Rescue team.
Thanks goes to Peter Gross for showing us Rhett (Alfinmarsh Winter Warmer) in action looking for a 'lost person'.
After such a good display from him and a very good talk explaining what wonderful work the Lowland search team do, we were not surprised are little band of people dug deep and raised the money they did for the LWDS team.
The dogs had a great time playing in the lake and at the scurry lanes, and we really enjoyed seeing the Alfinmarsh dogs, their owners and our friends once again.
Congratulations to Ricky
photo taken by 'Country Trail Images'
We are so pleased for Ricky & Rosie (Alfinmarsh's Joy) who have done two working test this season and have been placed in both.
3rd in their first one at the Kent working test
and they then came
2nd in the London Cocker club working test.
Ricky also won the open at the London cocker working test with his older girl 'Rickys Fen Lass'
Well done Ricky
Alfinmarsh Jays Justice at her first working test
If you go to the blog page you'll find a write up on the day Jay Jay and we had. Above is a link to a clip from that day.
Hope you enjoy?
The Judge was kind enough to say that her hunting was stunning and 'he could not find fault in her hunting'.
First time out though and our little girl got lost on the unseen retrieves, though thankfully she finally picked them up.
Bless her heart, because of her style, drive and sharpness to the gun and whistle (if needed) she was still able to be placed
3rd in first her time out,
we certainly came away pleased
Ftch Deepfleet Jay & our Mia were mated on the 19th of March 2011.
All looked well, so fingers crossed?
Gary and I would like to say
Well Done to Peter & Rhett
for their work with Lowland Search Dog Team
If you click and enlarge the the photo above, you will be able to read about how Peter has become a qualified Search technician for the LSD and how he is now going through the training process with Rhett to make him part of the team by becoming a qualified search dog.
Rhett is an Alfinmarsh pup from Bella & Alfie and we are over the moon that Peter is training Rhett to use his powerful nose and wonderful intelligence, whilst also helping the community by giving up his time and helping to find the lost and sometimes bewildered people who go missing .
2 Days Training with David Lisett
Once again we headed up to Scotland, and once again we came back wiser thanks to the wonderful Gundog trainer that is
Jay Jay was the star of the group when it came to the retrieves, flying over stone walls with no running of the wall or hesitation, going straight to the retrieve no matter what obstacle was in her way, whether they be seen or unseen dummies (none of which she could have seen land) we were very pleased with her. Though the girl did have 2 funny five minutes in the pen, certainly not the star there, but we will let her off that as she is usually a sweetheart in that area.
We had a mix of people with us again, and breeds, one of whom was a very cracking looking and clever lab. Another was a young cocker, who you could see with David's training tips implemented would go far. David also gave the cocker owner one of his Ftch bitches to work in the exercises the ladies cocker would be to young to do, giving the lady hands on experience and a wonderful treat. The bitch was David's Holly and she was a sweetie in nature.
So not only do the Buccleuch team produce fantastic top class gundogs, but gundogs that have a wonderful temperament, in all, the complete package.
That is also what you get when you go to
David at the Buccleuch Estate,
The Complete Package.
Last Day of the Shooting Season
Well we are back from Jay Jay's first picking up day and last shoot of the season.
Bless her she chased this strong cock bird down which buried itself in light brambles just before she got to it, she went in after and got it for me. So not just a cracking beating dog but a lovely picking up dog.
So sad it is the end of the season, but another year spent on a great shoot with wonderful people. Roll on the start of
2011 Shooting Season
Spaniel Championships 2011
The weather had been awful with deep and heavy snow for many weeks just before the championships were due to start, so the organisers must have been really worried.
The snow however cleared and Gary and myself thoroughly enjoyed the championships.
Everyone we came across showed us kindness, Steve gave us some wonderful advise and guidance.
I can honestly say now (so far) if anyone asked me should they worry about entering a field trial, after meeting Liz, Steve and Bob I would say 'do not hesitate'!
Catching up with some of the handlers and making new friends added to the whole event, which was wonderful.
(on a very cold sunday)
Once again the owners of the Alfinmarsh gundogs came together, and we thank them deeply for giving us a wonderful afternoon when we got to see our puppies (many fully grown now) once again. It truly warms our hearts to see the puppies with their owners, knowing we have placed them in the right hands.
It was absolutely freezing and although santa forgot to change into his outfit because Tina was to engrossed with the puppies and santa (in his human form) was busy helping us. I think all had a great time, many enjoying the scurries.
Thank you all once again
Next meeting will be in the warmth of spring, fingers crossed
30th of October
First shoot of the Season
A cracking day was had on 'Hundred acre Shoot', even though it rained leaving Mia and myself looking like drowned Rats.
It is such a friendly shoot, it was great to meet up with them all once again.
Gary and I made a mistake only a new person would make, and got onto the trailer first (how could we forget), putting us right in the firing line of the tractors wheel. It's ammunition, MUCK!
Mia was a sweetheart as always. The wind up her back on the first drive, but then she started to settle in.
She worked hard all day and as always threw herself into the bushes so hard, which is really a great thing for finding the pheasants, but because of this, she came back with a wound to her teat and paw. So after her cuddle up with me on the sofa to recoup from her day, we chatted about her wounds, and she will have to rest until the 13th of November at least.
Two days Training with the Great
Once again David and the Buccleuch Estate come up trumps.
We began in the morning by going around the table with each of us in turn telling David of our experience so far and what we wanted from the next two days.
By the time we left all of those boxes had been ticked and 'Boy' did David work hard to make sure they were. All of us had brought an older dog ranging between 2-4 year old, with most of us having a younger one of between 11 and 14 months. Most of us had one problem in common which was the present. David informed us of another problem we all had, which was not praising the dogs enough. To watch him with his dogs is just wonderful, and because of the way he is with them it is not surprising that his dogs do all that he asks of them, I would!
With all the problems, David showed us the way to resolve it, though a lot of it boiled down to our not realizing what was needed by the dog from us to achieve the tasks we were asking of it.
By the end of the two days we had covered, marking, hunting, handling, worked in the pens and much more. David had given us the tools to resolve our problems with the dogs and even done a bit of therapy on the humans.
Gary and myself came away even more convinced that in David lies a 'One Off'
A good, humble, caring man with a God Given talent to work with dogs that we had never seen in another person, and that many would never come across the likes of David.
We cannot thank him enough for giving us the time that he did.
To top it off we meet his Jet, David's up and coming Back and white springer who we will be putting to our Jay Jay when she is ready :-)
Purdey came to stay
For two weeks
Mama Mia loved having Purdey back, and so did Jay Jay. Neither liked her puppy teeth!
Alfinmarsh Buttercup (Purdey) Purdey and Jay Jay
Purdey with her Grandad Alfie Purdey underneath the Lamppost
by Ali Packham of
4 MuddyPaws Photography
Ali came over on a very hot Saturday and with her wonderful everlasting patience and her great talent, we ended up with some beautiful photo's of the dogs
Many thanks Ali.
Alfinmarsh Jays Justice
All of Mia's Puppies now have owners-to-be Looking
forward to taking them home on saturday.
We shall miss them all but we shall look forward to seeing them when they come back to visit us, or when we hunt the owners down to get a cuddle of the puppies :-)
Happy Birthday Jay jay & all her litter
Brothers & sisters
Alfinmarsh Andromeda & Ftch Deepfleet Jay
have produced 7 new additions
Alfinmarsh Andromeda gave birth during saturday morning, the
24th of April 2010
One of many Alfinmarsh get-together
On the banks of the Cuckmere river on the
9th of April, one of the first true warm days of this spring. With a couple of
Alfinmarsh dog owners and their dogs.
Spot our Bella begging, then dancing for food from Tracy's daughter, a trainer in the making.
20th march 2010
We watched Mia's puppies on the screen of the scanner today. The vet got lost counting, so we certainly would not of had a hope, counting the puppies ourselves.
All going well she will give birth around the 21st.
in the march issue out now
kindly came along to the Alfinmarsh Christmas Gathering
Where she took this photo, and many others. This photo is now in the March issue of the Shooting Gazette 2010. Ali can be found at
Ftch Deepfleet Jay
Ftch Deepfleet Jay and our Mia mated today, the 20th of February 2010.
All looked well, so fingers crossed?
posted 8th of February 2010
Mia has come into season,
so we will be going off to Deepfleet Gundogs to put Mia to FTCH Deepfleet Jay. We put Mia to him last year and the pairing gave us some wonderful puppies, including Jay Jay
6th February 2010
With Nick Gregory
We took Jay Jay, our little 8 month old bitch from our Mia and FTCH Deepfleet Jay, for a one to one with Nick.
What a wonderful morning we had. It was a morning full of firsts. Jay Jay's first cold game retrieve, first jump over low wood fences and first time in a rabbit pen. Nick was wonderful and said "she is going to be quite a stylish little dog"!
Fantastic grounds to work on, with wood areas, open fields, and many scents left by animals to get your dog excited and working away happily. I think we have seen deers every time we have been there.
There is also a very good trainer in Nick, winner of last years Cocker Spaniel Championships in 2009.
Nick and Hamptworth Estate can be found at