2023 Handler's Course

For gundog handlers looking to improve their skills and understanding of learning theory. This course also qualifies you for the Teacher's course,

An exciting opportunity to take your ethical, science-backed,
non-coercive gundog training to the next level...

This course has been designed for you, if you...

  • Are looking to learn more about gundog training.
  • Want to improve your overall dog training skills.
  • Want to dive into understanding more about learning theory.
  • Are wondering if positive reinforcement only methods can really work with gundogs.
  • Would like to experience a shoot day and gain an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of working gundogs.
  • Are working towards your Gundog Club Graded Field Tests (G1-G5) and/or Kennel Club Working Gundog Certificate.
  • Want to explore the clicker trainers competency assessment programme (CAP).
  • Are committed to taking your training further in the future.

Suitable for all gundog handlers and enthusiasts ...

This course is open to all gundog handlers. Even if you are not planning to become an accredited professional gundog trainer, this course will give you the structure and skills you need to progress your gundog training to the next level.

We will teach you proven, science-based methods and strategies to implement. Along with a year's support and guidance to ensure you're implementing what you're learning and progressing on your gundog training journey.
Suitable for professional dog trainers...

If you are already a dog trainer, or would like to become a qualified gundog training instructor and plan to take our Teacher's Course in the future, this course will go into greater depth of gundog handling skills. We will give you the why, when, what and how to train a gundog the Gundog Trainers Academy way.  

After you have completed this course, you will then be invited to enrol on the Accreditation on Dummies course which will then teach you how to teach everything you have learnt in the Handler's Course to students.


Course one
Module 1 - 6-8 March
Module 2 - 15-17 May
Module 3 - 10-12 July
Module 4 - 30 Oct - 1 Nov

Course two 
Module 1 - 10-12 March
Module 2 - 19-21 May
Module 3 - 14-16 July
Module 4 - 3-5 Nov

 Total cost of the course (modules 1-4) is £2,400.  
To secure your place, please use the booking link below to pay your £500 course one OR course two deposit. The remaining balance of £1,900 will be due before the start of Module 1. Payment plans can be arranged after we have received your deposit.
Location: Charlton, Worcestershire, WR10 3LH.

Why train with us?

Well, we don't usually like to blow our own trumpets, but you probably should know that we have...

  • Over 50 years' dog training experience between us.
  • Worked and competed with our gundogs, and know how to train to the highest standards.
  • Own Vizslas, Spaniels and Labradors, and have a first-hand understand of the different types of gundog work and how to train it.
  • Been teaching established professional pet and gundog trainers, as well as behaviourists, for many years. Not many of the successful R+ trainers in the UK haven’t been taught by us at some point in their career.
  • Co-founded the Gundog Trainers Academy to support, nurture and encourage high standards of ethical, science based, non-coercive and effective methods of training for gundogs in the UK and overseas.
  • Been (and still are) teaching the next generation of ethical gundog trainers through the GTA Teachers Course since 2018.
  • Our own gundog training businesses, Clicker Gundog in Worcestershire and Teach Your Gundog in Surrey, through which we have educated thousands of gundog owners, showing them how to teach their dogs using only the best, ethical, science-backed methods. 

What's included on the GTA Handler's Course?

Instructor led practical training
The GTA Handler's Course comprises four blocks of three day instructor led practical training for you and your dog. Alongside classroom-based theory discussions, you and your dog will be working in a variety of terrain including woodland, cover, farmland, pasture, and water.
Assessment opportunities
During the course you will be able to explore the clicker trainers competency assessment programme (CAP), with the opportunity to take one of the CAP level assessment at the end of the course. At the end of the course, there will also be the opportunity for practical assessments (Gundog Club Graded Field Tests (G1-G5) and/or Kennel Club Working Gundog Certificate) available to all students.
Shoot day experience
The final module will also include exposure to live game and cold game, and everyone on the course will be invited to a training shoot day. This will allow you to experience a day in the shooting field either as a participant without your dog if they are not ready, or as a full handler and dog team beating or picking up.
Whether you are a pet dog trainer who has never trained a gundog before, or a gundog owner who has never learnt about learning theory there's no need to worry. We'll walk and talk you through everything you need to know.

On the Handler's Course you will learn about:    
  • Clicker training
  • Application of R+ strategies
  • Drive and motivation  
  • Transitions  
  • The power of cue driven behaviour   
  • Isolating the cue  
  • Troubleshooting  
  • How to break down exercises   
  • Arousal and management   
  • Flexibility  
  • Targets  
  • Chains and sequences 
  • Ethical gundog training the GTA way 
  • How a shoot day is run and what is expected of working dogs 
  • ...and so much more


The Handler's Course is suitable for all gundog handlers - whether it is your hobby or job. It is also suitable for all breeds of gundog, puppies and those looking to embrace ethical, non-coercive training methods.

Unless you live locally, it is highly recommended that you plan to stay nearby for the duration of each module. There are plenty of dog-friendly pubs, campsites, Airbnbs and other accommodation options to suit all budgets within a reasonable travelling distance of the training site.

Together Helen and Jules have over 50 years' dog training experience. Both are talented handlers and work and compete with their dogs. With two Vizslas, three Spaniels and a Labrador between them, they understand gundog work from all aspects.

Most of all, Jules and Helen are deeply passionate about the way they train. They co-founded the Gundog Trainers Academy to support, nurture and encourage high standards of ethical, science based, non-coercive and effective methods of training for gundogs in the UK and overseas. Both are currently teaching the next generation of R+ gundog trainers through the GTA Teachers Course and have successfully educated and instructed many other professional gundog and pet dog trainers on how to teach their proven methods in classes and to students. 

While the Handler's Course does not included 121 coaching from Helen and Jules, it is possible to book 121 sessions with them through their own gundog training businesses, Clicker Gundog and Teach Your Gundog. 

While there are opportunities to take assessments such as CAP Levels, Gundog Club Grades 1 to 5 and the KC WGC, the Handler's Course itself is not an accredited programme. Those who have attended the Handler's Course will be invited to enrol on the Accreditation on Dummies Teacher's Course, which is accredited with the ABTC.