Here Is Why You Should Use Our Services
With the relative ease of using social media and building a pretty website that creates an image of quality, it is difficult for the general public to separate fact from fiction, value-added from price, communication from banter and expertise from fluff. Regarding your English springer spaniel or English cocker spaniel gun dog, how do you know that the trainer you are researching is qualified, as well as being the correct fit for you and your gun dog? Allow us to introduce you to Craney Hill Kennel by highlighting the five most important questions you should consider and verify.
Is the gun dog trainer competent to develop your English Springer Spaniel or English Cocker Spaniel to the highest standard that you require?
We have over 20 years of experience with gun dogs and specifically English Springer Spaniels and English Cocker Spaniels. If upland hunting is your goal, we have developed a large number of dogs for owners that hunt the woodlands for grouse, the prairies for pheasant, the canyons for chukar and quail and numerous spaniels that act as non-slip retrievers.
If competition is your goal, we check that box as well. We developed and won the 2017 National Open High Point with Dudley and developed and won the 2018 National Open Championship with Riot. Additionally we have developed numerous other English Springer Spaniels and English Cocker Spaniels that have attained their respective Field Championship, won and placed in field trials for both us and their owners, including the 2019 Canadian National Amateur Championship.
I do not want to field trial, why do I need/care about a trainer’s success at field trials?
While you may not want to participate in field trials, you need to fully understand the value of field trials. It is the only testing ground for English Springer Spaniels and English Cocker Spaniels. Hunt tests do not get it done. Participation ribbons are not awarded at field trials. A field trial will test each dog against the others. It is a test of the quality of the spaniel and the ability of the handler/trainer to develop it into a class animal. There is only one winner (open/amateur) at a field trial. There is only one National Champion (open/amateur) each year. The training standard to achieve these awards is higher than in any other arena. The only field trials are the AKC licensed field trials.
At the same time do not get blinded by a field trial specialist. To properly develop an English Springer Spaniel or English Cocker Spaniel, the dogs must hunt and must hunt wild game. You are looking for a gun dog trainer that fundamentally believes that your spaniel must learn to hunt before anything else. It is the most important characteristic for a spaniel. The development process must provide this opportunity if the goal is to maximize the pupils potential. It is the best way to develop problem solving in your spaniel. It does not matter if you only hunt a few days each year. The ancillary benefits to a spaniel that is a companion dog/family pet are innumerable.
Will I be part of the training process?
All trainers will tell you that you will be part of the process. But what does that actually mean? Understand that if you are not an integral part of the process, the training of the spaniel will be wasted. This is less about you training the gun dog as part of the process and more about you being trained in the process. The reason that this is vital is because no dog, particularly English Springer Spaniels and English Cocker Spaniels, can be sent away for training, go home, and maintain the training without work. It is a fact. If you do not realize this and accept it, you are wasting your time and money with any gun dog trainer.
Sending your spaniel off for training should be viewed as teaching the dog to comply with certain tasks and understand how to solve the problems presented to it. These tasks generally are items the owner cannot accomplish due to many reasons, but are generally due to lack of time or experience. However, if the gun dog is taught the task and the owner does not understand the process, the owner cannot get the spaniel to comply without undue pressure on the pupil. Pushing a button to get the dog to comply is not teaching, is not shaping, and is not developing. It is not the way to develop a class gun dog and is barbaric. Electronics are a tool that is valuable but is not a tool used just to get the owner’s way. If you do not get trained in the process, you are wasting your time and money and being inhumane to your English Springer Spaniel or English Cocker Spaniel.
Who will actually be working with my spaniel?
We are a small operation and we like it this way. The only people working with your gun dog is myself and Christina. Most of the obedience and field development is done by myself; although, Christina is very talented and will “play” with the dogs at times with a clicker, treats or retrieving games. All of your happiness and any of your concerns are a direct result of what the two of us do. As they say, the buck stops here. There is no other people at fault! There is no “junior/associate” trainers. We are not “getting a piece of the action” by carrying more dogs and farming out your gun dog training to less experienced trainers.
So why should you consider our services?
We have a proven and verifiable record of developing English Springer Spaniels and English Cocker Spaniels to the highest level in the most challenging and competitive area; AKC Spaniel Field Trials. All of our field trial dogs hunt wild game annually. This is not for a few days or a week. We pack up and head north and/or west for one to two months chasing wild game. These are our training grounds. As a matter of fact, it was the only training we did leading up to winning the 2018 National Open Championship with Riot. The owner’s success in attaining their respective goals is the most important thing to us, whatever those goals are. Your goals do not need to be our goals. We work for you/with you on what your wishes are. Developing your English Springer Spaniel or English Cocker Spaniel is relatively easy. It just takes patience and a lot of time. However, developing the owner is more problematic due to the owner’s limited time and/or expertise. This is our job and our responsibility to figure it out. We can provide significant verification and references of “above and beyond” effort we put forth to ensure your success through education and “on the ground” learning to give you and your spaniel the greatest probability of success. We wish you the best of luck in your search for a trainer of your gun dog. Thank you for considering Craney Hill Kennel.
Todd & Christina Agnew