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 7 and our loveable young hooligan 4yr 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.
I have been training dogs for about 30 years. I rescued my first dog Flymo, a 6 month old Lurcher about 2 weeks after buying my first house. I’d wanted a dog all my life, and having my own place allowed me to get one. A couple of months after that I rescued an 18 week old Lurcher puppy called Wiggy. I soon realised that I needed help with recalls! I joined a dog club at Farnborough, and immediately fell in love with training. Both dogs did really well, and I entered them into exemption shows for fun. Flymo got placed 3rd in beginners once! (Who says you can’t train a Lurcher)! I started to become involved in the teaching side within the club and went on day seminars / courses to learn more.
Flymo and Wiggy taught me so much about dog ownership, and training them gave me confidence. When my boys passed away I felt I was knowledgeable enough to get the dog of my dreams. In 2002 I brought home my first GSD puppy, Dulcie. I found Camberley BAGSD through a friend and joined when Dulcie was about 2 years old. I moved out the area and lost touch with the club, but always kept up Dulcie’s training.
Then 4 years ago along came Wilbur, my current GSD. I had recently moved back to the area, and re joined the club where I have been training at obedience and agility with Wilbur ever since. In 2019 I asked about becoming an Instructor and was accepted. I passed the first part of the BAGSD Instructors’ exam just before Covid 19 hit and will be taking the 2nd part early next year. I have recently joined the BAGSD committee, and I’m currently running the puppy class which I love. For me, it’s a joy seeing the weekly improvement in both handlers and dogs at all levels.
Hi fellow GSD lovers. I'm Doug Lewis and have been a member of Camberley BAGSD for the last 16 odd years.
I started with my long haired sable girl Sophie who was our third shep. She was hard work at training. She would do everything in her own time and whilst we were doing “A progress” decided not to move at all. Knowing that I'd come back to her anyway with a treat. She often dozed off in the down stays and actually managed it during a sit stay. Sophie sadly passed away at twelve years.
Sophie was joined by Tori in 2007. Tori was a different character all together. Lynda, my wife, trained Tori at obedience and I trained her at agility, She was also a diva and quite often stopped on the 'A' frame to see who was looking at her, She caught me out one day when she came flying past me to win the class and beat Deiter who was second with a knocked pole. This put me into grade 3.
Tori sadly passed two weeks short of her ninth birthday from cancer.
Meanwhile. Deiter came into our lives from Valgrays Rescue, We immediately clicked and his achievements have made me very proud. He has had many wins at agility and got from grade one through to grade five accumulating enough points to be awarded Agility Warrant Silver from the Kennel Club. He has run agility at Discover Dogs and also three times at Crufts. At the age of ten he has earned the right to slow down but still has the skill to work at distance.
Reina joined us four years ago and is now coming out of her shell as she gains confidence,
Training all of you with your furries is very rewarding when I see your dogs learning techniques and gelling with you as you also learn and improve your relationship,
I am always happy to try and advise you and try different ways to get both you and your shep in a happy place.