Howard Kirby has been training dogs for more than 20 years, and divides his time between Mullenscote Dog Training Centre and Lains Shooting School.
The team at Mullenscote specialises in training and assisting handlers to get the best from their dogs. Howard and his Mullenscote Dog Training Team can be seen right across the country giving demonstrations and running clinics and seminars.
“Training a dog can be a fantastic experience, our job at Mullenscote is to ensure dog owners get professional advice that is personalised and relevant to their individual dog and circumstances,” says Howard.
Howard started training dogs after being given a black Labrador – he named her Margot as she seemed rather aloof like the character in The Good Life comedy series – at Christmas, 1987.
Adapting the popular saying: “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas”, Howard soon found that his Christmas dog became a way of life. He trained her using his own instincts and friends and family were impressed with what he achieved. He found himself training their dogs and in 1989 opened Lains Shooting School and Mullenscote Gun Dogs at Quarley.
Lains and Mullenscote are very much family businesses. Working alongside Howard are his father, mother, stepfather, brother, and sister-in-law, not to mention son Charlie.
Senior dog trainer is Annie Buckley, now in her seventh year at Mullenscote, and she and Howard are assisted by James Bawden, with four years under his belt, and Aston Wilson, who joined last year.