Tula, Luna Star and Father Ted. They’re just some of Wesley Thomas’ spaniels. I went to visit Wesley’s kennels in Rhymney which is just outside Merthyr Tydfil. It was a cold afternoon, the snow was coming down but the dogs were keen to come out and show us what they could do.
Wesley’s enthusiasm for dog training is infectious. He leads us over to the waiting dogs who are shivering with excitement. Wesley repeats that he is “just an amateur” but there is nothing amateur about the performance his dogs give.
Tula shows her stuff first. She’s still only a puppy but it’s remarkable to see just how much they can do. Tula fetches and sits and chases scented tennis balls. Even though it’s a cold day she can still trace and smell the ball and retrieves it. Already I was impressed and that was only the start.
Luna Star and Father Ted who are fully grown spaniels demonstrated the obedience that gundogs have. They both waited patiently until Wesley gave the command to go and retrieve game dummies. As of course gundogs are used as shooting partners to pick up dead birds and rally the pheasants into the air.
Wesley has a gun which emulates the sound of a shotgun so the dogs get used to the sounds of a real shooting day. Luna and Ted are not disturbed by the shrill noise of the gun, they both just sit until a command is given.
Wesley uses voice commands and a whistle to guide the dogs. It’s amazing to watch. Wesley has shown his dogs in championships in England, Ireland and of course Wales. He described his best moment with Luna Star of Beggarbush at the 2005 Bolton Castle Championship where he was awarded Best Newcomer. Wesley was offered around £20, 000 for Luna Star but he didn’t want to give her up.
Gundog Training by bribriwilliams