AN experienced dog trainer is back in business after a battle with ill-health.
Sandy Gordon, of Hartburn, has more than 35 years’ experience of gun dog training after working with her own pets.
So when she was made redundant from her job as a sales advisor in 2010 she decided to act on her family’s calls for her to turn her animal magic into a business.
However, disaster struck just months into her Delgarno Gun Dogs venture when she suffered problems with medication, resulting in ill health and culminating with a major operation.
But now Mrs Gordon has recovered from her ordeal and is looking to re-launch her puppy training classes.
“My family said I should have done this years ago because I have always done it with my own dogs for personal use. They badgered me for years, saying I should be training dogs because I have a natural affinity with them, but I kept putting it on the back burner,” she said.
“When I was made redundant I had been out of work for a while so I decided to do something. I don’t know why I didn’t do it years ago.
“I spent a couple of months trying to get the business up and running, working on the website and putting out flyers, but a year past November I wasn’t very well and I just seemed to really fall back. I just didn’t have the energy to do anything.
“Things got better so when it got round to Christmas I thought I would get started again this year and get the business back up and running.”
Mrs Gordon is planning to hold her classes in the Pegasus Centre in Tranwell, beginning on Wednesday, May 16.
She mainly specialises in gun dog training for cocker and springer spaniels, labrador retrievers and German shorthaired pointers, but her obedience classes will cater for other dogs that may need higher level training.
“It is mainly focused on gun dogs, but it is for others as well and there are people who have gun dog puppies, but aren’t necessarily serious on working their dog. I do give a better level of obedience, even for domestic dogs,” she said.
“It is like everything, if you start your puppies off on the right foot it is a lot easier as they get older. In the early years it is important to get it right.
“I won’t have big numbers in the classes because you have to be able to focus on the clients and guide them in the instruction.”
Mrs Gordon also offer one to one training sessions, residential training for gun dogs and breeds puppies, as well as providing Happy Holidays for dogs as an alternative to traditional kennels.
The Pegasus Centre is also a base for Raven River Agility dog classes, which were set up last year by student Rebecca Ashworth, who has recently competed at Crufts.
She said: “We have been made very welcome at the Pegasus Centre. We have access to a large indoor arena, with a dust-free surface and floodlights, and the spectator gallery is popular with owners and their families and friends.
“We currently run classes on a Tuesday and Sunday evening and these have proved very popular.”
Centre Manager Martin Peagam said: “It has been great to see the growth of Raven River Agility and we look forward to seeing similar success for Delgarno Gun Dogs.”
To find out more about Mrs Gordon’s classes visit www.delgarnogundogs.co.uk or call 01670 772590.
For information about Miss Ashworth’s agility classes visit www.ravenriveragility.co.uk