FOREST VALE DOGS
Summer visited and enjoyed taking all 7 dogs for a walk on the Ashdown Forest - Breeze, Dart, Flame, Inca, Neo, Shadow, and Truffle. The dogs say "come back soon"!!
I became interested in working dogs and picking up after I started shooting more years ago than I care to remember. Having done some clay shooting I took up rough shooting and wildfowling and realised it would be pretty useful to have a dog to pick up the results. For pheasant and partridge shooting there is no doubt that having your own dog also compliments and completes the activity.
I have run working Labradors for 20 years and participate on small, non commercial syndicate shoots, some of which I have been a member of. Being happy at the end of the day comes from knowing that you and your dog(s) have enjoyed the day out in the countryside and fresh air, with good conversation and food shared with the rest of the team and feeling satisfied at a job well done.
Well, although I have been picking up with dogs for 20 years, I had always bought my dogs, never bred. That changed in 2013 when I decided my black bitch, Shadow, was such a lovely dog that I wanted my next dog from her, so I decided to breed.
At the time I also felt I wanted to teach myself to create a web page so what better idea than to create a page about my dogs and let all my friends see the puppies easily.
I registered the name ForestVale with the Kennel Club as my kennel name and bought the web name ForestValeDogs which was the closest name available at the time.
I train my dogs myself with help from some training sessions with a friend who breeds, trains dogs and owners, trials and picks up. Joining in with other owners and their dogs helps you learn training procedures and helps your dog learn how to mix with others.
It is thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding to work your dogs, both for you and the dog. Although I do not enter working dog trials or tests, many people do and find it very satisfying when they win or are acknowledged.
Deciding if you should breed from your bitch is something you should explore and consider very carefully.
Breeding certainly should not be entered into purely for monetary gain as it can be a risky business and you could end up significantly out of pocket.
Why do you want to breed? Make sure you can answer this positively and it it not just because you "would like to" or "it would be nice for the dog"!
Consider the following once you have identified positive reasons to breed:
When all is said and done, there is nothing that compares to the fun, enjoyment, frustration and achievement of owning and training your dog to a standard of obedience that is acceptable to you and the public you encounter.
Undertaking training sessions and meeting up with others to do some training or working your dogs together is a sociable pastime.
If you decide to enter working dog test and trials you will need to have the time to dedicate to both the training of your dog to specific standards as well as travelling to the test locations. You will meet people from all walks of life and make new friends.
What you decide to feed your dog on comes down to your lifestyle and viewpoint. Many use a complete, dry food which is easy for the owner and ensures the dog receives all the nutrients it requires without worry. Some prefer to use raw food and these are all available from numerous sources.
I have used Masters complete dog food for years and found my dogs thrive on it, (http://mastersdogfoods.co.uk/), additionally they receive raw vegetable peelings (not potato) and occasionally fresh meat on the bone!