Nichola and Toby’s Stay & Train

The recent arrival of a friend’s rescue dog, and a week off work prompted a spur of the moment decision to head off on the road from North Yorkshire, down to Bowerland & Devon Dogs, and what a fantastic time the four of us (two humans, two dogs) all had!

The Old Dairy Cottage

Whilst it’s a lengthy trip, we really appreciated our pitstop at dog friendly Gloucester Services, before arriving at Bowerland, and our stay in The Old Dairy. We loved this accommodation, which is extremely comfortable and well equipped, yet also practical for anyone staying with their dogs. We especially appreciated the warm cosy heating, log burner and always piping hot water in chilly January, as well as the fully secure garden for our dogs.

121 Training

We were busy as, between us, we’d booked 20 hours of 121 training. Our trainers were experienced yet flexible, and very quickly assessed our dogs and their training needs. Our sessions were completely individual and tailored to us and our dogs, and we packed in lots and lots of valuable practical work and theory discussions into each one. We were so impressed with all three trainers Becky, Jamie, and Sam. Although their styles were completely different, they were all totally consistent with their approach and messages. From personal experience, I know this is not often easy to achieve. Also really evident is the focus on ‘solution’ rather than ‘problem’ which again I think is really powerful. I hope you can let them have this feedback. I’ve already booked an online follow-up lesson in a few weeks’ time to keep me motivated to continue!

Tasty Pub Meals

Despite the short winter days, we still managed a tasty pub meal at nearby Fox and Hounds Inn, Fish and Chips from local takeaway Graylings, and a lovely walk around picturesque Meldon Reservoir less than 10 minutes away. There were many other places we could have visited, as Bowerland is so well placed just off the A30, and right of the edge of Dartmoor. After our training days, however, we thoroughly enjoyed the dark winter evenings just relaxing in front of the fire with a bottle of wine, whilst our dogs made the most of this ‘calm’ time!

Re-energised and Motivated

I left Bowerland feeling completely re-energised, and totally motivated to continue to play training games with Toby, my already fantastic 3-year-old Cairn Terrier. We now focus on his identified concepts of Disengagement, Confidence and Calm to help him to be an even better pal!

The whole Bowerland experience is refreshingly different

Whilst this is dog friendly accommodation, it is overwhelmingly comfortable and only discreetly ‘practical’. The zero-tolerance approach to dog barking is inspired, as is always the proactive management of all dogs at all times on site. The training sessions are not formulaic and set out to help you form a strategy for your own dog.

I can thoroughly recommend Bowerland and Devon Dogs as a play to stay and a place to train.

About the author: Throughout her career Nichola as worked in hospitality and tourism, and until 3 years ago as HR Director for QHotels – a large hotel group which meant travelling extensively throughout the UK. She then switched to working on a project/consultancy basis which gave her more flexibility, including more time at home. At last, that meant she could get a dog – as she thoroughly enjoys spending time outside in the Yorkshire Dales and also the nearby Lake District.