Pete and I have always wanted dogs when he retired but since I work from home anyway we decided that now was the right time for our first puppy. Having coped with the red legged partridge making a mess everywhere and enjoying a little company throughout the day (albeit a bit of a one sided friendship) Pete thought it would give me a good excuse to get out and about during the day and help to rebuild my self confidence.
Pete's one fear all his life has been dogs though he has improved over the last years so a puppy was the only choice for us so he could build his confidence slowly.
We settled on a staffy, not too big, a face with expression so maybe a little easier to read for Pete, sturdy enough to put up with muddy shoots and very friendly when socialised properly.
After some research and a host of online scammers and likely puppy farm traders, we eventually found our little Jess. A blue and white KC registered pup with a family tree as long as your arm.
Our first hurdle was to get her used to the sounds and smells of a shoot and we decided to take her before she was allowed on the ground as she hadn't had her second set of vaccinations.
We took her to Headley in a 'dog carrier shoulder bag'. We also enlisted the help of our good friend João who has had a lot of experience training dogs.
I started with her on my lap in the car with all the doors and windows closed, when she settled, we gradually opened the windows so the noise became louder. Eventually we put her in her bag and walked slowly closer to where the shooting was going on, João took the bag, let her have a good sniff at cartridges and guns keeping her calm and distracted, and eventually she was ignoring the noise altogether.
We continued with our shoot with no drama and have since taken her to Mill Farm too, where she behaved perfectly despite being eager to get on the ground and run around.
East Grinstead Sussex
Tunbridge Wells Kent
Northall Clay Pigeon Club
Fletching, East Sussex
Clay Pigeon Shooting Association
Findon, West Sussex
Mill Farm, Hankham Hall Road
Fletching, East Sussex
off Pearsons Green Road
Paddock Wood, Brenchley
Kent, TN12 7DG
Markyate St Albans
Offering private 1:1 or group shooting lessons in Sussex
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