Since the Gleneagles Gundog School opened in 2007 – the first of its kind in the world – thousands of guests have experienced the unique pleasure of working with the school's magnificent and highly trained labradors.
There is a long and venerable tradition of sportsmen and women partnering with gundogs in the field and a lesson at the Gleneagles Gundog School is a great way to experience that heritage. Lessons take place on the lawns leading down to Laich Loch, adjacent to the hotel. There, the school’s professional instructors introduce you to your gundog before teaching you to work these extraordinary animals as if they were in the field, practicing receives, agility and basic obedience.
The popular breeds of gundogs are explored, together with their fascinating history and working abilities. Guests are taught to take control of the dog and learn how to progress from basic obedience to retrieves. While this exclusive combination of techniques and insider knowledge has been developed for use in the field, they are also easily incorporated into the training of pet dogs at home.
Both Fieldcraft Lessons and Trials Sessions are only available to guests who have completed the Introductory Gundog Lesson.
During the lesson, an instructor will introduce the dog and explain the principles of controlling a gundog in the field. The popular breeds of gundogs will be explored, together with their history and abilities. Soon you will take control of a labrador and learn skills from basic obedience to retrieves (minimum age 12 years; younger guests aged 8 – 11 years can enjoy a Junior Gundog Lesson).
More advanced Fieldcraft Lessons are also available, where guests handle a dog over a rustic agility course, with pheasant flushes, rising duck and rabbit retrieves over obstacles and in water. Training dummies simulate wild game. Suitable for teenagers and adults, the lessons provide a memorable and hugely enjoyable opportunity to spend time with a first-class working gundog.
A combination of an Introductory Gundog Lesson and a Fieldcraft Lesson, as above. This is a comprehensive session combining basic handling skills and the pleasure of handling a Labrador for retrieves over rustic obstacles and in water. Minimum age 12 years.
Families can enjoy learning gundog handling together as they are taught how to put the school’s highly trained and enthusiastic labradors through their paces. Your instructor will explain the principles of controlling gundogs in the field. Soon you will take control of the dog and learn to progress from basic obedience to retrieves. Minimum age 8 years.
Junior Gundog Experience
The Gundog School also offers a Junior Gundog Experience. With an emphasis on fun and lots of affection for the dogs, these Junior Gundog sessions are a unique opportunity for children from 8-11 yrs to experience at first hand the world of gundog training and to enjoy time with a beautiful and enthusiastic canine companion.
Trials Sessions afford guests the opportunity to handle a dog for more demanding retrieves, fired from an automatic launcher over heather moorland.
Group Lessons commence with a lively and informative demonstration, followed by hands-on tuition with one of the school's highly trained labradors. Minimum of 8 guests.
The Gundog School Training Techniques
Have you ever wondered how top gundogs are actually trained? Since The Gundog School opened at Gleneagles in 2007, thousands of guests have experienced the particular pleasure of handling and working one of the school's highly trained and magnificent labradors.
The question instructors are constantly asked is how are the dogs trained to such perfection? In response we have introduced The Gundog School Training Techniques. Guest who have completed an Introductory Lesson and a Fieldcraft Lesson can now learn the tricks of the trade with labradors from The Gundog School.
Divided into three parts, the Techniques sessions guide you through the methods for achieving success, from heelwork through to specialist retrieving techniques. Many of the techniques can be applied to dogs of any breed, as the instructors teach you how to achieve certain key behaviours. Later sessions deal with techniques which are more specific to gundogs, such as developing drive and directional control at a distance.
Gundog Scurries are held throughout the summer at country shows and game fairs. They are a test of a gundog’s speed, ability and initiative and also of handling techniques. By introducing scurries to The Gundog School we are aiming to refine guests’ level of competence and their rapport with the dogs – most guests have their favourite!
We have custom-built a "scurry pen" at the school which incorporates two jumps. Dummies are thrown by the instructor, or from an automatic launcher into a custom-built scurry pen. Guests send the dogs for retrieves, timed with a stopwatch.
The scurry is great fun for guests and dogs alike and is an ideal activity with a competitive edge for families. There are different events within the scurry, including "Pick and Mix", "Steeplechase" and "Bulldog", incorporating different types of retrieve designed to help the dog and the handler to develop skills which are useful in the shooting field.
Guests must have completed an Introductory lesson and a Fieldcraft session at The Gundog School before booking a scurry session.