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Welcome to
Tarncrag Gundog Training

I'm Fran Ardley, owner of Tarncrag Gundog Training, here in Cumbria

My home county provides me with every type of habitat a gundog trainer could want. From rabbit ground to grouse moors, pheasant shoots to rivers and ponds, I have every kind of terrain close by, allowing me to turn a potential gundog into a well rounded and trustworthy one. 

I've developed a reputation as a person who, with a calm and gentle approach, gains the dog's complete trust every time, making life for all much more enjoyable ! My positive attitude to gundog training works, allowing me to achieve the results both I and the owners want.

With over 10 years experience training Labradors, Springer Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels, I offer a variety of training courses for gundogs, including basics, 1:1, group or residential.

While most owners want their dog trained for hunting and retrieving game, I'm occasionally asked to train up a dog for the more advanced and demanding gundog field trial competitions, something I both judge and have had success in.


Training Your Gundog

Basic Gundog Training

1st steps into the gundog world

The basic gundog training that I offer is designed to put into place the initial stages that a young dog needs before going on to a more formal structure.

It is also the ideal time to make inexperienced owners know that they should not attempt to "over train" whilst the dog is only a few months old. 

My basic training covers everything a young dog will need to allow him to mature into a healthy adult.

This includes advice on his diet, how much exercise to allow (while his body is still developing), appropriate stimulation for an active mind and of course a "games" foundation, introducing suitable practices  ie. the use of rabbit balls.

One to One Training

Tailored to the needs of the individual dog

My 1 to 1 training is aimed at the slightly older dog who's mature enough to understand and absorb commands.
On arrival, I will make an assessment of your dog to determine his level of training, before creating a suitable plan for you.
It could be a particular issue you want corrected in a single lesson. Alternatively, a course of lessons may be of greater benefit, to address a series of problems.
And of course, it might be that you have a dog who you want trained from scratch to become steady for beating or picking up, ready for a working life by your side.


My training includes;

  • Introduction to fur and feather

  • Whistle commands and hand signals

  • Hunting (close by and at distance)

  • Retrieving

  • Advanced hunting and retrieving

  • And more ...

Residential Gundog Training

Taking all the stress away from you

If you're struggling with time or your dog is proving a little challenging for you to train, residential training could be the answer.

I take in dogs for both weeks and months. The length of stay is determined by the owners' requirements along with how well the dog's understands the commands it's being taught.

My residential gundog training addresses individual issues ie. bad delivery, poor retrieving, right through to the complete training of a dog.

I pick up and beat on a number of shoots, allowing me to work with a dog and to finally put practice into the real thing.

I have two proven stud dogs who I'm pleased I can offer for use.

Whaupley Lancaster of Tarncrag (Luke)


Luke is a powerful young dog with plenty of natural ability.
He excels in hunting and is fearless in cover, be it bracken or brambles, and when asked, is a brilliant retriever.

Luke has proven easy to train and with his kind nature is a pleasure to own.


Luke is;

Familial Nephropathy (FN) Clear

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) Clear

Acral Mutilation Syndrome (AMS) Clear

Stud Dog Luke.JPG

Whaupley Lancaster of Tarncrag (Luke) training on rabbit ground. 

Video and stills © Nick Ridley Photography

Tarncrag Golden Glory (Cash)

Available to health tested bitches only.

Cash is a proven stud and has sired a number of litters, all of whom have proven to be very trainable for their owners.

Cash is Mr.Reliable and my "go to dog" out on a shoot. He is a fantastic retriever and will pick stray runners several hundred yards away when instructed to.
He hunts any cover and is strong in the water.
Cash has proven very easy to train and is a very honest and hardworking dog, whether it's for beating, picking up or simply at the peg.

On top of everything, Cash has the very important "off" switch, allowing him to live as a house dog

Stud Dog Cash.JPG

Stud Dogs


About Me

The results of calm, fair and persistent training

Coming from a background of gamekeeping, I've always had the need for gundogs. It was a profession I liked, was good at, and believed would be my career.
However, following one particular shoot several years ago, things began to change. Having seen how well my own four dogs had worked throughout the day, one of the Guns asked if I would consider taking both his adult and young Labrador in for a period of residential training.

Since then, word of mouth has seen me train numerous dogs for owners, some of whom have travelled for hours to see me.
Being a professional gundog trainer is a "job" like no other, and gives a real sense of satisfaction.
 And knowing that I've achieved the desired results in a fair, maybe even soft way, makes the whole task even more rewarding.



Contact Me

Joss and Roo.JPG

Joss & Roo --- the future

Thanks. I'll be in touch soon.

Please use the form below to contact me or alternatively just phone me.
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