About Helen Phillips
Helen Phillips is the owner of the ‘Clicker Gundog’ Training Centre, author of the popular ‘Clicker Gundog’ Training Book, co-founder of the Gundog Trainers Academy Ltd, a qualified teacher and Animal Training Instructor with the ABTC, and owner of Cotswold Dawn Hungarian Vizslas.
Helen Phillips has been shooting and working dogs in the field for over thirty years and has been breeding Hungarian Vizslas since 1998.
Having owned a variety of breeds from crosses, to Spaniels and HPRs, Helen has an extensive understanding of living with and working with hunting dogs.
Currently, Helen owns Vizslas, Jack and Dibble, and English Springer Spaniels, Teal and Wren. All the dogs work in a variety of roles on the shoot from beating, picking up to partner on the peg.
Together with her husband, Helen manages a small shoot at the Clicker Gundog centre, which is solely for training purposes.
Previously, Helen was involved in the organisation and running of a small syndicate shoot in Worcestershire, she has also been responsible for running varied types of beating lines and has worked her own dogs on different types of shoots from large commercial shoots to rough shooting days.
Helen has also achieved the Kennel Club Working Gundog Certificate on Dummies and on Game with both Vizlas and Springer Spaniels. Helen has competed in working tests and participates in grouse counting.
Over the last decade through Clicker Gundog Helen has developed a range of workshops and seminars to help teach the essential skills to both the handler and the dog.
Her focus is on promoting the use of positive reinforcement training techniques and strategies within gundog training and field sports in general.
Today, Helen teaches a variety of clicker training and gundog courses at her own purpose-built training facility that incorporates a working shoot in the UK. This gives both dogs and handlers who are new to the sport the chance to experience what a shoot is all about. It also enables those with experience to practice their skills in a working environment.
Helen is the author of the popular ‘Clicker Gundog’ training book. Clicker Gundog is split into a series of detailed, easy to follow recipes which teach handlers to develop a partnership with positive training. From the basics to hunt and retrieve training, the key to success in all these areas is high level control that exceeds the stimuli of a shoot. This is achieved by careful planning and avoids any negative experience.
Helen has a strong ethical stance in respect of this and endeavours to promote this within the shooting field. She is currently an Instructor and Assessor for The Gundog Club and runs courses each year for all levels.
In 2018 Helen launched The Gundog Trainers Academy Ltd, in partnership with Jules Morgan. This is an organisation with a mission to support, nurture and encourage high standards of ethical, science based, non-coercive and effective methods of training for gundogs in the UK. It offers a comprehensive educational programme for gundog enthusiasts and trainers from all disciplines to learn how to become professional gundog trainers. The Gundog Trainers Academy has just completed the rigorous assessment process for accreditation to the ABTC and is now a Member Organisation as well as Ambassador Partner of the PPG. As a GTA member, Helen adheres to the Gundog Trainers Academy Code of Practice which can be viewed here.
One of the UK's most qualified gundog trainers, Helen has a Distinction in Canine Training and Behaviour from Warwickshire College and, as a City and Guilds level 5 qualified teacher, taught the same Canine Training and Behaviour course at two levels for nearly a decade. She also obtained the Clicker Trainers Competency Assessment Programme levels 1, 2 and 3 with Distinction.
Helen is a member of the Special Council for the Pet Professional Guild(PPG), is a registered ABTC Animal Training Instructor, and is an Instructor and Assessor for The Gundog Club, an organisation that declared its force free policy in 2018 and runs courses each year for all levels.
Helen was a business partner with Learning about Dogs in Gloustershire for 10 years and trained alongside Kay Laurence for many years at Wagmore Barn.
Along with Jules Morgan, Helen co-founded and now chairs The Vale and West Gundog Club whose mission is to provide support and encouragement to those wishing to use, or already using force free training. The club organise events that provide a safe environment for members to participate in.