Billingshurst Dog Training Club
Billingshurst Dog Training Club







Chair – Eunice Pearson

Secretary – Pat Reynolds

Treasurer – Trudy Nye

Club Website:


‘DOG ENDS’ Editor- Neil Nye 



Graham Reynolds will, I am sure be remembered as being Mr BDTC.

For the many years (over 20) I have known him, he seemed to live, breath and sleep Billingshurst Dog Training Club. Even in the last couple of years when he was struggling with his health, BDTC seemed to always come first.

My earliest memory of him was receiving a phone call (not a text or email in those days) from him when I first started agility with our dog Sammy. He told me I had made it to the top of the waiting list. A few days later, I got another call from somebody else telling me I was at the top of the list. I confusedly spoke to Graham again, and he explained the club had split and Bridge House was trying to poach the members. I decided to stay with Graham and BDTC and I am certainly glad I did. It was the beginning of a long and enjoyable relationship with Graham and Pat.

I will certainly miss him and his dog knowledge, and I will find it hard to fill his shoes while trying to manage/run the agility section (with the help of a wonderful committee I might add).

Good bye Graham, you will be sadly missed, and my thoughts are with you Pat.              

Neil (aka The Ed!)



A celebration of Graham’s life was held on the 9th February at the Hills Farm Cemetery Chapel.

A lovely service was conducted by Melanie Sopp, with a tribute to Graham by his nephew Terry and our very own Eunice.

A lot of BDTC members were in attendance to help celebrate Graham’s life.

He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.



Below is a copy of the very appropriate reading ‘Man’s Best Friend’ that was read out at the service.


When God had made the earth and Sky, the flowers and the trees,

He then made all the animals, the fish, the birds & bees.

And when at last He’d finished, not one was quite the same.

He said “I’ll walk this world of mine and give each one a name”

And so He travelled far and wide and everywhere he went,

A little creature followed Him until its strength was spent.

When all were named upon the earth and in the sky and sea,

The little creature said “Dear Lord, there’s not one left for me.”

The Father kindly said to him, “I’ve left you to the end.

I’ve turned my own name back to front and called you dog, My Friend.”





If you wish to make a donation in memory of Graham you can do so using the usual BDTC bank details with the reference Graham on it.



Over 2023 BDTC has held its Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme. I overlooked an article sent by the organiser Elaine Heath (sorry Elaine) on the paper newsletter (but it has been on the website) so here it is.... The Ed!


Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme (BRONZE)

On 17th May 2023 we held our annual GCDS tests at Bronze Level at our training hall in Rudgwick.

We had five candidates this time.  Often Tracey would judge for us but she was unable to do so this time so Brenda McMichael helped us out instead.  Brenda is a very experienced judge and has judged for us in the past. Like most judges, she is lovely and goes to great lengths to put people – and their dogs - at ease.

The idea of the Scheme is to promote responsible dog ownership by teaching owners to train their dog for all sorts of every day situations, just as we do in our classes. 

As is the norm, we held a mock test the previous week just to give everyone an idea of what to expect and see whether there is anything in particular they need to work on before the test itself.

I’m delighted to say that all passed.  Candidates and judge are below.

  • Marion Clarke with Louis
  • Andree Langhorn with Kiera
  • Brenda McMichael (judge)
  • Val Cottle with Hattie
  • Joanna Clark with Rhubarb
  • Samantha Liversedge with Ripley

Thank you to others including our instructors who came along to support us on the night.


Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme (SILVER)

We held our GCDS test at Silver Level at Rudgwick Playing Fields on 18th November 2023.

We had four candidates – most of whom had passed the test at Bronze Level earlier in the year.  Unfortunately though, Marion was unable to take the Silver test as she was suffering with a bad back – and Louis says it was not his fault!

Tracey judged for us which was great.  Apart from being extremely knowledgable about the scheme she is lovely with the candidates and with the dogs too of course!

At Silver level the criteria is slightly more challenging – which is to be expected, of course – and because we test outdoors in order to deal with distractions, we also had the weather to contend with.  However I’m delighted to say that all passed.

Candidates and judge are below.

  • Samantha Liversedge with Ripley
  • Tracey Masters (judge)
  • Suzy Lion with Rafa
  • Val Cottle with Hattie
  • Andree Langhorn with Kiera



I will as usual organise a test at Bronze Level next year and so if this is something you’d be interested in then please let me know.  Plenty of time to practise!

Elaine Heath, Obedience Instructor









There has been a lot of discussion in the media lately about dogs and muzzles, and BDTC would like to point out that muzzles are not just for aggressive dogs. Muzzles have a lot of positive uses in training your dog. In the future, it may even become a law to Muzzle your dog in public. It already is for certain breeds.

Why Would my dog need to wear a muzzle

There are lots of reasons a dog may benefit from wearing a muzzle including:

For safety reasons when a dog is frightened, illor injured. fear, pain or illness can affect the way a dog feels or behaves. If your dog is already muzzle trained, a vet can provide caere quickly and safely in an emergency.

To prevent dogs eating things that could be harmful. For dogs on strict diets, or those who try to eat everything, a muzzle could be a life saver.

To keep dogs, and those around them, safe. A muzzle can be essential for dogs that have been known to behave aggresively in certian situations, or dogs that have learnt to chase and catch.

If they are required by law.


See the link below to the Dogs Trust video on Youtube.

Dogs Trust muzzle training -





Valerie Harrison received this from Dogsnet, and thought she would like to pass on this timely advice.

When I was a child using food in dog training was not popular. The traditional view was that dogs should obey out of respect and love for their owner. Dogs that didn’t obey were punished. And edible rewards were considered cheating.
Nowadays, views have changed. Modern training methods are positive, without aversive. And they almost always involve food.
But there are still trainers, and dog owners, who don’t believe in using food in training. From time to time, they might challenge you on why you’re using treats, or try to change your mind. So today I’d like to look at whether it is actually possible to train without treats. And talk about why I use treats, in my training.
You Don't Have To Use Treats In Dog Training!
Thousands if not millions of dogs have been trained without a morsel of food passing their lips during a training session.
You don't need to use treats in order to train a dog. Most working gundogs in the UK and the USA today are still trained without food. I believe the same goes for working sheepdogs too.
Trainers like me don’t need to use food in training. We are choosing to do so.
So why are we now choosing to use food when we know how to train without it?
Or more specifically: why are ‘traditional’ trainers moving over to modern training methods?
Old fashioned training methods relied on punishment. In learning terms, a punishment is something that makes a behaviour less likely. It can be anything from a stern word, to a smack with the newspaper, from a shock collar, to hissing between your teeth. Of course, some of these are worse than others. But if doing it makes the dog change their behaviour, it was a punishment.
Punishments can be effective in dog training. But that comes at a price.
Dogs that are punished learn more slowly. They’re nervous of offering new behaviours. And they are more likely to show aggression.
Punishing also has a tendency to spiral. What starts out as a mild correction often needs to become increasingly harsh to have the same effect, as time goes by.
Reward based training on the other hand, is fast, fun, and kind!
What About Other Rewards?
You may be wondering why we can’t just train using positive reinforcement (and avoid aversive), without food?
For example, an opportunity to retrieve a ball is a reward for a Labrador, and an opportunity to hunt is a reward for a spaniel. Then of course there is a kind word and some gentle stroking. That’s rewarding, right?
The Dog Decides What’s Rewarding
But when it comes to training, we don’t get to decide what feels rewarding to the dog. If they don’t love it, it won’t change their behaviour. No matter how much we might feel it should.
Studies have shown that praise alone is not effective in changing dogs’ behaviour. And even physical interaction like patting and stroking is not a high value reward for most dogs.
Sadly, the reason that most dogs trained with praise learn to co-operate, is to avoid the consequences of getting it wrong, not to reap the rewards of a kind word.
Food Is Fast
So, what about that ball, and that rewarding retrieve?
The biggest problem with retrieves as rewards is that they’re slow. It takes much longer to complete a retrieve, even over a short distance, than it does to throw a piece of kibble.
The faster you can deliver the reward, the more repetitions of the behaviour you can practice in one ten minute training session. Every repetition is a learning opportunity that helps pup understand that this behaviour is a Good Plan.
And studies have shown that the rate of reinforcement specifically affects learning ability.
Reinforcements that are closer together enable dogs to learn more effectively.
So not only is my session time shorter when I use food, but the dog is more likely to retain what he has learned! It's a win-win situation.
That’s one reason to use aversive-free, food-based methods.

Now let’s take a look at the other reason…
The Importance of Kindness
We now know that training with food based rewards and positive only methods, is faster than training with punishment, and is just as effective. But equally important, is the fact that it’s also less stressful for your dog.
Punishment can make a dog nervous, reluctant to train with you, and can lead to increased aggression.
Dogs trained without aversive, on the other hand, are more likely to offer new behaviours for you, because they aren't worried about ‘getting it wrong’. They’re more relaxed. And they enjoy their training sessions more.
So If You’re Asked…
So if anyone asks you why you’re training with treats, why not share some of the reasons with them.
Food is a powerful reinforcer, that’s easy to carry and quick to deliver to your dog. Training with treats is fast, fun, effective, and kind. It’s low pressure for the dog, keeps training fun, and can be used with the youngest puppies.
Who knows, maybe you’ll persuade them to give it a try!

Best wishes, and happy positive training. Pippa and the Dogsnet Team

More details can be found on


I hope you all enjoyed this copy of ‘DOG ENDS’ and make sure you put those important club dates in your diary.

If you want ‘DOG ENDS’ emailed to you just let me know!

If you need to find anything out about Billingshurst Dog Training Club, the best place is to check out the website, which I try to keep updated regularly.

If you have anything you would like added (or put in ‘DOG ENDS’) please contact me at, and I will be pleased to add it.

Contributions for the next issue and website are always gratefully received.


As ever, a very big thank you to all of you who have contributed to this edition of ‘DOG ENDS’ 

The Ed!


Please note BDTC cannot be held responsible for any information found on any of the links in the ‘DOG ENDS’ Newsletter.






(Please note BDTC cannot be held responsible for any information found on any links on the BDTC website!)

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