The first step to having an obedient dog is to take it to training, and there is no better place to start than at a Kennel Club registered dog training club or listed status club. 

You can obtain the address of your nearest registered dog training club from the Canine Activities Team within the Kennel Club.  Listed Status clubs follow the Good Citizen Dog Scheme syllabus and a list of organisations can be obtained from the Good Citizen Dog Scheme Department on 020 7518 1011.

After working a basic dog obedience course, such as the Good Citizen Dog Scheme, you may want to try your hand at more advanced obedience training, and in due course test your progress by entering your dog in an Obedience competition at one of the hundreds of Obedience Shows held across the UK throughout the year. 

Dog training clubs are usually very sociable, where groups of like-minded people meet on a regular basis, and get great enjoyment in training their pets. Most clubs will have a cross-section of breeds (including crossbreeds) and will welcome all standards of handlers and dogs to be trained.


Kennel Club Good Citizen Award

A Dog Scheme which can be invaluable training for Irish Setters as well as being fun and promoting  responsible dog ownership.  The Kennel Club supplies a list of Good Citizen Dog Scheme classes throughout the UK.

There is the Puppy Foundation Assessment which aims to help puppies socialise and begin education and training.  There are also 3 awards: bronze, silver and gold which require higher levels of training at each stage.

The link below takes you to the Good Citizen Dog Scheme site and gives further details.

In spite of what you might have heard about Irish Setters not being trainable, there are Irish Setters who have successfully completed the tests.



Pets as Therapy


Approximately 4,500 P.A.T. dogs and 108 cats provide comfort, companionship and therapy throughout the U.K. Over 130,000 people benefit every single week from the services provided by Pets As Therapy. They visit hospitals, hospices, residential homes, day care centres, special needs schools and many other establishments often working with phobic children, people suffering from clinical depression or on stroke units.

Pets As Therapy are always looking for new volunteerswith friendly, well behaved dogs or cats tovisit patients in residential homes, hospitals etc.

Please note the animals will have to be temperament assessed by Pets As Therapy.

Further details: www.petsastherapy.orgortelephone 01844-345445

Ixia Tabitha owned by Mrs L Martin



Field Trials

Field Trials have developed to test the working ability of Gundogs in competitive conditions. Trials resemble, as closely as possible, a day's shooting in the field and dogs are expected to work with all manner of game, from rabbits and hares, to partridges and pheasants.

Many of our best loved breeds were traditionally developed to help man in hunting. Labrador Retrievers gathered game in the field; Cocker Spaniels flushed and retrieved game; Pointers and Setters ranged over the fields helping us seek out birds and rabbits for the table. A great many still help us in shooting and hunting today. Field Trials are very popular, attract hundreds of competitors and are still very much part of our countryside sports. If you have a love and understanding of the countryside and like to see dogs working as they were intended to, this friendly and relaxed sport may be just what you are looking for.





Agility was first introduced to the UK at Crufts 1978 and the structure of the competition has not changed very much over the years. It's a comparatively new form of dog competition, where the animal's fitness and the handler's ability to train and direct the dog over and through certain obstacles are tested.

It is fast, furious and a great favourite with competitors and spectators alike. Your dog does not have to be a pedigree dog to take part, but it must be registered with the Kennel Club on either the Breed Register or the Activity Register.

If you decide that Agility is a suitable activity for you and your dog, your next step is to receive some expert training.  Whatever competition you choose, your dog will be a happier pet for being trained.