Our businesses started in 1984 with 2 dogs and 1 kennel. Tony worked as a self employed farm worker and trained gundogs on a part time basis. Jean worked as a Secretary/Administrator.
Whilst working dogs as a hobby and self satisfaction for perfection, Tony was inundated with requests to train other peoples' dogs. He took on more and more dogs from around Kent until his hobby became almost a full time job. He then had to decide to continue as a farmer or commit 100% to training dogs. This was in many ways an easy decision because he could work at something he really enjoyed. It is often the case the owner will commence training and when running into difficulties will seek advise and professional help. The young dogs will then return to the kennels for training for between 8 and 10 months depending on what end result is required.
During 1992 Tony made the move to Cuckoo Wood Farmhouse and started up with only 8 kennels. Reassuringly all his regular clients were willing to follow him to the new location. Here he could accommodate anything up to 20 dogs at one time for training. It was around this time that Tony met Jean who was working as a Secretary/Administrator and married in 1996. He started writing gundog training articles for the Sporting Gun Magazine in 1996.
Jean starting working for the business full time in the year 2000 and devotes most of her time to the whelping of puppies, boarding and administration.
This property was not their own and it took the best part of 5 years to find a property where they could construct new kennels.
Tawnyhill Kennels - Homestall Road, Doddington, Sittingbourne
During the late summer of 2004 we moved to Tawnyhill Kennels near Sittingbourne. Here we can accommodate the same number of dogs but in purpose built kennels.
The kennels comprise of one puppy and youngster block, holding 12 kennels - 6ft wide and two kennel blocks with 18 kennels - 4ft wide. There are also 4 separate whelping kennels, dog’s kitchen and storage block. They are completely enclosed, with a separate sleeping to exercise area for every kennel.
We now breed puppies (working Cockers, English Springer Spaniels, Labradors and Golden Retrievers) throughout the year depending on demand. Puppies that are not sold when they are 8 weeks old will be kept on at the kennels and trained and sold as trained or part trained dogs. The more promising dogs are kept and run in trials prior to selling. At times of the year we have a waiting list for our puppies.
We have a 6 acre rabbit pen (and a very small pen) available for the “steadying” of the young dogs. The pen is used for training, but is available for the individual to train their own dog in a confined area full of scent.
During the summer of 2007 Jean applied to Swale Borough Council for a boarding license and can now board breeds other than working dogs. The dogs are walked every day in a separate 6 acres of cherry orchards. We now have planning permission to build a fourth kennel block to accommodate our own dogs. This will leave the larger kennels available for boarding dogs, but some of the smaller kennels will be used during peak periods.
Kennel Club Certificates Awarded:
FTCh Bournepark Bobbin (Lemon and White Cocker Dog) - 11th December 1989
FTW Laighpark Miss Biddy - 15th October 1991
FTW Renweth Saturn of Tawnyhill - 6th November 1992
FTCh Wernffrwd Heini (Black Cocker Dog) - 9th November 1992
FTW Parkbreck Halfpence (Cocker Bitch) - 30th October 1993
FTW Tawnyhill Tease (Liver and White Springer Bitch) - 11th December 1993
FTW Robinsmoor Jenny of Tawnyhill (Liver and White Springer Bitch) - 30th November 1994
FTCh Pixiebarn James (Lemon and White Cocker Dog) - 22nd December 1994
FTW Tawnyhill Fern (Liver and White Springer Bitch) - 25th November 1996
FTW Alabama Blossom of Tawnyhill (Lemon and white Bitch) - 11th December 1996
FTW Simcris Melody of Tawnyhill (Liver and White Springer Bitch) - 31st October 1998
FTCh Follybreeze Pip (Black and White Springer Dog) - 8th December 1998
FTW Housty Eternal of Tawnyhill (Liver and White Springer Dog) - 29th January 2000
FTW Tawnyhill Cadbury (Chocolate Cocker Dog) - 22nd January 2002
FTW Ladecourt Quest (Black and White Cocker Dog) - 18th January 2003
FTW Barnwood Judy of Tawnyhill (Black Cocker Bitch) - 2007
FTW Tawnyhill Andrea (Black and White Springer Bitch) - 2007
FTW Tawnyhill Chad (Black and White Springer Dog) - 8th October 2008
FTW Tawnyhill Niger (Black, Tan and White Bitch) - 9th December 2010
FTW Tawnyhill Sly Solo (Golden) - 19th January 2011