A weekend break with your gundog

Margaret Ward (left) and Margot Porter with dogs.

A Mid Wales tourism business is offering a weekend break with gundog training, good food, great company and wonderful scenery.

Margot Porter at Ty Gwyn Farm, Llandrindod Wells runs ‘working weekends with your gundog’ for anyone who has a working bred gundog.


“If you want to work your dog either in the shooting field or in tests and trials then both our basic and improver courses are ideal for you depending on where you are in your training,” said Margot.


“On our basic courses, we also take people who do not wish to work their dogs but still want an obedient, biddable and happy dog.  The same training applies, even if you are not going to work them; they still need to be able to use their natural instincts of hunting and retrieving but under control.”


Margot has been running the courses for the past couple of years with Margaret Ward, an experienced trainer who works her two spaniels in the winter and trials her pointers in the spring and autumn. She has this year retired her double field trial champion Lace, which she bred, trained and handled.


Margot has trained her five-year-old cocker spaniel, Ash and regularly beats at a local shoot.  Margaret and Margot are keen demystify some of the shooting terms and to encourage others to have a go either picking up, beating or entering tests


“I love working Ash, it is so rewarding to see a dog doing what they were bred for and thoroughly enjoying themselves,” said Margot.


“Our aim with the courses is to provide an enjoyable, informative weekend away with your dog where you can meet other gundog owners.  We only take six dogs on each course, so everyone gets plenty of time and it is a very relaxed non-judgemental atmosphere.

“We also take wives, husbands and partners, as some people like to bring their other half, while others prefer just to bring the dog!”


If two people are going to look after the dog then Margot and Margaret feel it is beneficial for both to come on the course so they give the same commands.


Margaret quotes an instance with one of her spaniels; she could not work out why it would not ‘hup’, the term used by Margaret and many gundog owners for sit.  All became clear one day, when she found her husband saying “up” when he wanted the spaniel to get in the car.


“No wonder the dog was confused, the words were so similar,” says Margaret.


Anyone living locally is welcome to join the courses, without staying overnight. “However we do hope they will join us for Saturday night supper in our lovely Cruck Barn. It’s a good social evening, where we talk about the day, our dogs and a whole load of other subjects and it usually involves quite a lot of laughter,” said Margot.


This year’s spring courses start with an improvers course on April 11 and 12 and the basic courses are on May 16 and 17 and May 30 and 31.  The autumn course dates are: September 12 and 13, September 26 and 27, October 10 and 11, October 24 and 25. One of these dates will be an improvers, the others are basic.


Visit www.tygwynfarm.co.uk. margot@tygwynfarm.co.uk or telephone Margot on Tel: 01597 822665.