My name is Emma and I’m from Leyland in Lancashire. Although that seems a long way to come for a short break and dog training, Bowerland’s location just off the A30 actually makes it a relatively easy trip down the M6 and M5.
Currently I have two working Cocker Spaniels, the eldest of 5 years and the younger (DevonGem) nearly 16 months. They have very different personalities, strengths and weaknesses, which can make combining training sessions difficult. We have been competing at agility with my older dog for a few years and have enjoyed some success. But he also struggles with confidence and is easily distracted, which makes running at busy competitions challenging.
This is my second visit to Devon Dogs. The first time my husband and I stayed at the Fox and Hounds Hotel, which is only about 5 minutes away. It is really dog friendly and has great meals. On that occasion, as well as collecting a puppy, we booked a 10 hour 121 training and were so impressed we planned a return visit. On this occasion we also decided to stay in the Annexe for 3 nights, as well as booking the five hour 121 Boost Training Package.
Upon our arrival at Bowerland, we were met by Teresa who showed us to the Annexe and started our training. Knowing our older dog would be apprehensive until he had chance to settle into the new environment, we decided to start with our younger more confident dog. We did some weave and running contact training. This was the first time she had attempted 12 weaves, and I’ve been able to take away some really good pointers to continue her training at home.
DMT, Boundaries and Basic Scent Work
The remaining 1-2-1 sessions on Saturday and Sunday were with Michelle who was able to involve both dogs practicing DMT and boundaries. Although this wasn’t necessarily a conscious training aim before arriving, having explained our issues struggling to settle one dog whilst training the other, this has turned out to be really constructive. We really appreciated Michelle adapting training ‘on-the-fly’ to ensure we got the most out of our sessions. There was also enough time to cover some basic scent work, which we plan to use to keep the dogs entertained when big walks or agility is not practical.
I can’t recommend the training enough
Both Teresa and Michelle were extremely knowledgeable, friendly and obviously motivated to ensure we got the most out of our time together. No matter what your training aims, personality of your dog, or experience in or out of agility arena, I am absolutely confident that Devon Dogs would be able to help you in some way!
The Annexe itself is ideal for a short break and has ample space for two people. Although we chose to eat out, it would be possible to make a simple meal using the combination cooker provided. The deep bath and complimentary bath soak was also a welcome addition after walking and training the dogs! One of the biggest positives is the enclosed private garden area, and the means to secure the gate from the inside meant we had no concerns letting the dogs explore off lead.
When we weren’t training we walked the dogs in the local area. You don’t have to go far before you’re into some lovely countryside. I strongly recommend walking up to Prewley Moor on the Granite Way and also Meldon Reservoir and Viaduct, which is only a short drive away and gives impressive views of the valley.
Thank you for a great weekend. It didn’t take long for us to decide to visit again – we’ll be back in July for Agility Rock Stars!