I'm Sally Richardson. I have been involved with dogs since 1995, starting with a German Shepherd, Ellie. Ellie wasn’t an easy dog, and I had little knowledge to give her the training and stimulation that she required. I needed some help, and was lucky enough to find Philippa Williams of Dogs for Life. I started to attend her dog holidays and courses regularly where I discovered clicker training, and Ellie was transformed.
Philippa owned (amongst other breeds) golden retrievers, which she trained as gundogs, which gave me an interest in this discipline. Philippa was planning to have a litter of puppies, so I booked one. I then started practising with Ellie so that I could learn more about gundog training before my new puppy arrived. When my darling Finley arrived, my passion for Golden Retrievers, Gundog Training and how a dog learns really started.
My husband and I currently own 11 dogs (2022), five golden retrievers, consisting of two Field Trial Champions and three Field Trial Winners. Five Labradors, consisting of one Field Trial Champion (Steve’s two other FTCH are no longer with us), an Open Field Trial winner, a Field Trial Winner and two puppies under 12 months old. In charge of them all is Jack Russell Terrier bitch ‘Fifty’, who is the light of my life.
I have trained dogs in obedience, agility, flyball, heelwork to music tricks, alongside my main interest in gundogs.
In 2010 I attended an Alpha Practical course, which involved the practical handling of rescue dogs at the RSPCA Millbrook Animal Centre in Chobham, Surrey. In 2011 I attended Sarah Whitehead's Advanced Clicker Masterclass. I have also successfully passed the accredited Association Of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) Dog Training Instructor Course to learn more about teaching people. I have attended a couple of courses run by Kay Laurence of "Learning About Dogs". I have attended a three day training conference run by The Institute Of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT). I was appointed as a Kennel Club B Panel Field Trial Judge in 2015.
I am an approved Gundog Club Instructor, the method of training I use is positive and kind. I clicker train all of my puppies from the moment I get them at seven weeks old, and continue to use a clicker through all their early Gundog Training, I then use a reward ball on a regular basis. Puppies don’t even realise they are being trained when using a clicker – it’s all about having fun and allowing a dog to problem solve and use their own mind, they love it!