I first became interested in dog training with my first dog a Labrador x called Rusty in 1974 at the Reading and District dog training club where one of the Instructors was John Simpson (who won Crufts with his GSD). My first Shepherd was Jason a rescue dog with lots of problems
a friend suggested Camberley B.A.G.S.D so I joined the club in about 1984. I was asked if I would like to become a trainer, so I attended the training course and passed the B.A.G.S.D Exam in November 1986. I have won 3 beginners at Open Show with two different dogs Zeus and Kiwi.
I have been a committee member of the Camberley branch since 1984 and at the moment I am treasurer. During the summer months I run the agility section of the club, this is held on our field at the back of our house. It has been running since 1988. I also tow the trailer for the display team which attends events during the year. The main reason for the team is to raise money for our charities and show the public what a wonderful breed the GSD is.
I am now a Director of Training for BAGSD which means I train new BAGSD Instructors this is done in two section Part 1 covering classes Prebeginner, Beginners and Novice which involves four all day sessions and includes Theory and practical work with an Exam at the end. The following year they complete Part 2 this covers classes A.B.C three all day sessions with an Exam, if the Instructors are successful, they will become BAGSD Instructors.
At the moment I have two Gsd’s Piper and Thor.
I have been
around German Shepherd dogs all of my life as my mother became an BAGSD
instructor just after I was born. At a young age, I was often seen ‘training’
the dogs telling them to go down as I mingled amongst them. Most of my life
evolved around the dogs and I was often seen at shows and displays with the
dogs and my parents.
At about the age of 17, I was offered the opportunity to train my own dog when my mum allowed me to begin to train her dog, Willow. For the next, 10 or so years, Willow and I worked hard on our training, especially our retrieve and we even won a few rosettes.
At the age of 18, I was given the chance to train to become a BAGSD instructor and at the age of 18 I was, at the time, the youngest instructor to qualify.
Sadly, Willow passed away on 2015 and I have not had a chance to get my own dog to join my growing family. I am still an active member of Camberley BAGSD instructing people and their dogs on a Thursday night, attending agility in the summer months on a Sunday and occasionally training my mum’s dogs. My two young children are also growing into mini trainers and can frequently be seen telling the dogs what to do.
Having grown up with German Shepherds my whole life, it went without saying that they would be my dog of choice when I flew the proverbial family nest, to set up my own home!...It was 1987 when my husband and I bought our first two German Shepherd puppies...they were litter sisters and we named them Heidi and Elsa. It was with Heidi and Elsa that we first became members of Camberley BAGSD back in May 1987!! We had a lot of fun at the club, even when our Agility Demos were sponsored by Tex chunks and meant us wearing bright RED tracksuits at the displays.....aaahh memories! After losing Heidi at 10yrs and Elsa at 14yrs we had a 6 year lull in our lives without dogs...But in June 2007 we rescued a GSD named Buddy, followed in Feb 2008 by another called Tasha.....These were both older dogs who had unfortunately found themselves waiting in a rescue centre for almost a year to be rehomed. It was with Tasha that I re-joined Camberley BAGSD in May 2008. In April and July 2009, we sadly lost both Buddy and Tasha. Soon after in 2009 we rescued Max and Eva, with whom I successfully trained regularly with at club. Very sadly, we lost our beloved Max in April 2018 and we lost Eva in Jan 2021. We currently now have 2 Gsds, Opie who is now 6 and our loveable young hooligan 3yr old Lincoln. Both Opie and Lincoln have been with us from pups at 8 weeks old and successfully train at club. Since re-joining the club in 2008 I became one of the clubs current Committee members, and also successfully completed the BAGSD instructors’ exams in 2011 and regularly instruct classes at club, which is something I really enjoy doing.