Not sure where to start when discussing Craney Hill and the program Todd and Christina have put together. I sent my ESS, Gabby, to them in January of 2019 for basic obedience and evaluation. My main concern was her initial training when I brought Gabby home at 9 months old. She was only collar conditioned and when it wasn’t on, she did not listen and would disappear for long periods of time. Luckily, I found Craney Hill while looking for a trainer close to Florida. Needless to say, they did an outstanding job and Gabby is the best house dog and hunting dog we could ever ask for. When I ask my nieces and nephews what they want for Christmas, they simply say Gabby. Without Craney Hill this would not be the case, and I am so happy to have ever met them.
When we decided to get another dog, I immediately reached out to Todd and Christina to find out if they had any available puppies. A few months later, we were able to get Dessa, a Craney Hill pup, and we are over the moon with her. She is currently in training at Craney Hill is doing extremely well. I am new to the trial experience and with their teaching, and I was able to place first and second at different trials in the puppy division. If only Craney Hill had a class for handlers I may have been able to place her in the amateurs 😊 Because I respect and understand the time they spend with their dogs, and how this is reflected in the dog’s attitude, we decided to get our third ESS, Frasier, from Craney Hill. When you see Todd during the training events and the seminars, you will understand how special both he and Christina are and what they do for their Spaniels and clients.
Originally, when I simply asked Craney Hill to train Gabby, I didn’t realize how much I would be absorbed into the Springer world. It doesn’t matter the type of Spaniel, Craney Hill trains them and to the highest standard. Don’t let me forget the people I have met through Craney Hill as well. Everyone is accepted and I have met some of the nicest people in the world, simply by going to a seminar, training day, or trial. Recently I went to Maine with about a dozen other clients to run our dogs in puppy and amateur trials. We worked the trial, ran our spaniels, and helped each other out. At night we went to dinner as if we were old friends, laughed, and watched Todd eat every sweet he could get his hands on. Without Craney Hill I would not have met some of the best people I may ever meet in my life.
Craney Hill isn’t just a place to take your Spaniel for training. If you spend the time to get to know Todd and Christina and the other clients of Craney Hill, you will benefit from it. I’m so glad I found Craney Hill on an Internet search of how to train a Spaniel. Without clicking that simple link, I may have missed out on some of the best experiences, friendships, and knowledge of Spaniels . If you have the opportunity, even if you do not have a Spaniel, please come to a seminar or training event. I am so glad I did and became a part of the Craney Hill family. I constantly look forward to going to GA for the training, information, and friendship. January is right around the corner so sign up for the seminar, but don’t forget to bring donuts, cookies, or macaroni and cheese. Todd will appreciate it!
I want to emphasize this fantastic experience can be far better described as a grouse “training” camp than solely a grouse camp. While still delivering on all the fine attributes of the latter, such as beautiful grouse habitat and often mischievous camaraderie, there was a focus on training. The value of a solid day of hunting wild birds with Indie while Todd observed was extraordinary. Todd gave me great insight on how to work her as a gun dog versus a hunt test participant. Often the changes he suggested were more about my actions than hers – not unexpected given she was trained by Todd and I was not!
In the end Indie and I had a great time and came away with training goals for next year. We also made a few new friends that we hope to hunt with soon. If you’re lucky enough to get a spot next year – take it.
Richard Lindsay - Boston
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