Eric Burchell professional Gundog Trainer
Eric Burchell has been a professional gundog trainer for 38 years and has produced shooting and competition dogs world-wide, selling dogs to many countries both in Europe and 10 states in the USA
Growing up in a small English country village with vast woodlands rivers and streams it was a paradise as a child to be able to learn the skills of fishing and shooting, the village is called Littlebourne near to the Cathedral city of Canterbury in East Kent. Always longing from a very young age to own and shoot a gun became a reality at 15 years of age, early trips to try to shoot wood pigeons and crows became the norm and then rabbit shooting took over
In the early years having owned several dogs of no great talent he met his would be long time mentors, Keith and Audrey Erlandson from North Wales, he then realised that picking up on local shoots was fun and very enjoyable but being able to observe spaniels that were Field Trial Champions put a much clearer perspective on things and Field Trials came a calling
Eric was influenced working with the Erlandson’s and being invited on shoot and training days over spaniels in woodland and on bracken banks for rabbits became a real focal point, stalking woodcock and pheasants and much harder and longer days of shooting over pointers and setters on the Berywn mountain range over vast tracts of moorland for grouse were invaluable and all added to the experience of training and shooting with a proven professional with years of experience and success
Early in his trial career Eric joined many Kennel Club registered societies countrywide holding trials for spaniels only and was invited to shoot at some field trials which also allowed him to see top class dogs working at close quarters which gave him the insight into what was required from both dog and handler as a team to become a winning combination
After first competing in 1984 and winning novice trials the first season with English Springer’s he also qualified for the English Springer Spaniel Championships in 1991, in total winning field trials with nine different dogs producing Field Trial Champions and winners in the USA and Italy
Eric moved on to Cocker Spaniels and qualified for the 1986 – 1991 Championships also being top breeder for four consecutive seasons and winning the Tower Bird trophy in 1987 with FTCH Wernffrwd Pawn and also placing second in the Cocker championship in 1989, Eric also bred the 1992 British Cocker Championship winner FTCH Jasper of Parkbreck
Eric became a Kennel Club “B” panel judge for Spaniels in 1988 ( Kennel Club Judge ID 2027) and has judged and been referee at both Open qualifying, All aged and Novice spaniel trials in the United Kingdom and also many working tests
Labrador’s,Golden Retrievers, HPR’s,Flat coats, Curly Coated Retrievers and all minor breed spaniels have all been trained over many years at Bournepark training kennels and over the years he also trained an open stake winning English Pointer and a novice stake winning Labrador and a Labrador winning in the USA.
Over the years Eric has learned many new skills and has learned to adapt in different training scenario’s, having the tools to do the job is vital when it comes to training hunting dogs and many people think that all dogs from all well bred hunting lines are all trained the same way and with the same method, Not true!!
In 2013 whilst working in Scandinavia I attended an Operant conditioning “Chicken Camp” given by world famous animal traininer Bob Bailey from the USA. If you can learn to train chickens with a clicker and food training dogs is much easier but what I learned was how to use mechnical skills much more efficiently and effectively and to fully appreciate rewarding behaviour properly.