About Jill Thorpe
Puppy and Gundog Trainer

Jill’s passion for the sport and gundog training started when she was invited to help out, beating, on a local shoot. After a couple of years, she caught the puppy and gundog training bug and was asked to take on the role of picking up. Jill has been doing this since 2007 and loves nothing more than watching her Labradors do the job they were bred for. She has worked mostly on commercial driven shoots but also has experience of smaller family-run days.

Training her own dogs led Jill to get more involved in teaching other dog owners. Jill has been a professional puppy and gundog trainer since 2013.  In the last couple of years, Jill has transitioned across to being a force-free puppy and gundog trainer and strongly believes that building a bond with your dog is paramount to success.

Force-free puppy and gundog training

Jill uses science-based dog training methods to mark and reward precise behaviours to build trust and confidence in the dog. She feels one of the most important aspects of her job is showing owners how to have fun with their dogs and motivating them by giving the dogs choices and rewarding the choices they make.

Jill is very active on the working test circuit with her young male Labrador and has successfully put another of her dogs through the Kennel Club Working Gundog Certificate.  For fun, and to give her dogs another job, Jill has dabbled in the past with Scentwork and Competition Obedience.

Currently Jill has been concentrating on training for competitions and field trials with her young Dog Ezra, Stauntonvale Dickens and so far they have won a Special Puppy Test in 2022, and Novice Working Test run along Field Trial lines in 2023.

Jill’s speciality is in teaching labrador retrievers but she caters for all working breeds, including spaniels and HPRs.

Jill Thorpe’s puppy and gundog training

qualifications and other accreditations


Gundog Trainers Academy qualified instructor.


Foundation instructor and assessor for the Gundog Club, teaching grades 1-3.


Animal Training Instructor with the Animal Behaviour & Training Council


Advanced Canine Behaviour and Psychology Diploma with the PETbc.

Jill regularly attends workshops and seminars to keep her knowledge up to date.

Here’s some feedback from clients Jill has helped

Jill has helped me to understand why Frankie does what he does and addresses our issues

“Please do not be misled into thinking that Develop your Dog, Jill Thorpe, is only suitable for people who want to take their dogs on a shoot or enter gun dog trials.

I have a very cheeky working cocker, who is fundamentally the family pet. We had tried traditional puppy classes held in a village hall but they really weren’t stimulating enough for either of us and failed to address his challenging behaviours.

Jill has helped me to understand why Frankie does what he does and addresses our issues with activities that are broken down into manageable stages and allow us to have fun.

Jill’s enthusiasm for her work and commitment to force-free, positive training is so apparent in her love for the dogs. She’s very patient with the owners too!

I fully recommend Develop your Dog to anyone wanting help training any dog. I’m so glad we found her and can’t imagine what I’d have done without her!”

To help control Sasha whilst on walks and with her behaviour towards other people and dogs.

“We are now more confident on walks as we now know how to deal with her. We are no longer avoiding people when out but are actually looking for people to walk past. Sasha has responded well to the training techniques you have shown us and we are continuing to follow what you have taught us. The changes in Sasha are visible inside and outside the house.”

Gundog Training Courses

Have you got a gundog breed at home? Would you like to train him/her for the shooting field, or would you just like to train your dog to a high level? I can help with these scenarios.

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Puppy Training Courses

When you first bring a puppy home it can be very exciting but daunting all at the same time, so I am on hand to come and guide you through those key canine development stages to ensure that your puppy grows up to be well-mannered.

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