Marie Louise Holt RVN MBVNA Ncert (AnBeh) KCAI (CD)
I have worked as head veterinary nurse in a small animal practice since 1992. I have worked at an obedience training club since 2002 progressing from helper to trainer, when I left to open my own training club with Bev in 2010. I run my own gundog training group where we train HPR gundogs to all levels.
I have grown up around many animals and owned six dogs over the years. My first was a Rottweiler bitch, she taught me a lot about dogs, she was lovely, calm and very gentle natured but we lost her at the young age of 8 years. I then owned Kira, a Hungarian Vizsla who was born in 2001. She had a few problems throughout her life but we did compete in obedience and agility with her. She sadly died in September 2014 aged 13 years. Bronte was born in 2002. I used to work her in competitive obedience until she introduced me to the world of gundog work. She was regularly seen on a shoot picking up through the season or around the training as a demo dog. Sadly, we lost her in July 2016. I now own three Weimaraners. Moss was born in 2007. She was my working and gundog working test competitive bitch, achieving some good awards. She is now retired. Moss is the foundation bitch for my own breed line Meinweg, having her only litter in Jan 2011. We kept a bitch out of the litter and named her Fen. Fen has been shown and worked achieving good award’s, she retired from all areas of work and bowed out of the show scene at Crufts 2015 where she walked away with 2nd place. Fen had her one and only litter in Dec 2014 and again we have kept a bitch and named her Tarn. Tarn has gone on to hold her own in the breed ring achieving high awards and going from strength to strength as she matures. She has also held her own in the working field being placed at gundog working tests. She is also showing great potential in our new-found sport of KC Rally and we hope both of us will be seen around the rings more and more.
In Feb 2017, I was invited to China to give a lecture to veterinary surgeons and nurses to help improve the handling, care and standards of veterinary practice. We managed to make some great changes and from the feedback I have had since returning to the UK there are groups of people setting up governing bodies equivalent to our British veterinary nursing association to help recognise the role and improve the standards of care including the behaviour and handling of animals in China.
I own my own affix and have held the name Meinweg since 2008 and I’m registered with the kennel club as an accredited breeder and have had my home inspection on multiple times by them to which I passed with very high standards.
I do many canine behaviour and training courses through my veterinary nursing continued professional development and I’m a registered animal bereavement counsellor with the Animal Care College. I am involved in all areas of canine training and have been for many years. I have passed an advanced veterinary nursing certificate in animal behaviour (not just dogs!). I hold behaviour consultations, for non-aggressive cases, at the veterinary practice where I work.
I am a Kennel Club Accredited Instructor in companion dog training, a Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme Bronze, Silver and Gold A list examiner and have passed my judging certificates in KC Rally
Bev Smith RGN KCAI (CD)
My family have owned dogs all my life so I spent my childhood playing with my best friend ‘Shandy’, who was a rescue dog. On numerous occasions he managed to slip out of the house and find me at school! At this time I also used to walk an Afghan Hound belonging to a couple up the road. After Shandy we had two more wonderful rescue dogs ‘Barney’ and ‘Ben’. It was Ben that introduced me to dog training classes way back in 1988. We worked our way through the various classes available and I attended several obedience competitions and obedience demonstrations with both Ben and Barney. My next dog was an adorable Weimaraner called ‘Lani’ who was born in Feb 2001. Lani was a great dog even though she was very head strong and wilful and certainly provided me with a challenge. I trained her to Kennel Club Good Citizen Gold Award standard. After a short illness we sadly lost her in January 2014.
My current dogs are Weimaraners called ‘Lexi’ born in Jan 2011 and Skye born in Dec 2014. They are both proving to have a lot of character too and certainly keep us entertained. I am training them for gundog work and have so far competed in many HPR Working Tests and in 2013 Lexi achieved first place in a novice test which means a move up into open competitions, we have also entered one Field Trial and achieved an award in that too. Skye is has so far achieved a 2nd place in the puppy group at the North Yorkshire GSP retrieving challenge and also many placings in the show ring. I also train them for scent work and have a go at other disciplines such as KC Rally and treibball.
I have over 20 years experience in teaching dog training. In 1989 I was asked to start helping in the beginners obedience class at the club I attended, from this I progressed to Assistant Trainer and then to Trainer in 1998. Over the years I have attended many dog training instructor courses and seminars held by people such as John Rogerson, Rob Alleyne, Roy Hunter, John Uncle, Sheila Bailey, Liz Kershaw, Gail Fisher, David Ryan and Ian Dunbar. This has given me a broad experience of the various training methods and views available.
I am Kennel Club Accredited Instructor in companion dog training and a Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme Bronze A list examiner. I am also a Talking Dogs Scentwork accredited handler.
I’ve grown up with dogs around me, but they were all my parents’ dogs. When I first met Marie she owned a Rottweiler called Shantie, it wasn’t till she passed away that we owned our first dog together called Kira. I thought this would be it, but how far from the truth that was. I now share my life with four dogs and one rabbit and I’m sure there is more in store if I let Marie get her own way.
Marie has always worked with animals and I too have the same enjoyment for them but I always seem to get the rough end, general dogs body at the training club, or dummy thrower at the gundog training group, as well as make the tea, take photo’s fetch and carry whatever they want, whenever they want it! But I do enjoy watching the dogs improve.
I am a keen photographer; I enjoy taking animal shots especially action shots so going with Marie whilst she is instructing or working our dogs gives me the opportunity to catch that perfect shot!
I live and work in Bedfordshire and I work as an office administrator for a lighting company doing whatever needs to be done.
When I was young, I grew up always wanting a dog, but it was not till I was about 15 my parents actually got our lovely family pet, Jack a Chinese Crested Powder Puff. He was a great little dog, such a happy boy who just wanted to be a part of whatever we were doing.
When I left home in 2005 I became a personal assistant to my wonderful Hungarian Vizsla, Chester. When I got him as a puppy I knew very little about dogs, but started my journey to learn and am still learning today. Over the years I have attended a range of dog related courses and seminars, to try and broaden my learning and understanding so I can always try to be a better owner for Chester. I have participated in a number of dog sports and activates over the years such as agility, tracking, gundog work, scent work, rally etc. all of which have been for fun, as I don’t have the skill or discipline to reach competitive standards and for me it’s about us having a fun time together. When Chester was younger we loved to walk and get ourselves lost in the countryside for the day, maybe stopping for a pub lunch on our route, now he has aged we don’t do such of the long walks, but still like to get out in the countryside even if it’s just sit and soak in the world together. We love our holidays together and try and see the sea and beach a couple of times a year.
I am very proud to be a helper to what I have to say is the best dog training club I have come across. If you see me around the club and require anything that is not dog training related, I will be happy to assist, I enjoy being a friendly helper and I’m also able to get to watch dogs and owner grow together which I could never get bored of seeing.