102 – Dog Obedience with a What? Obedience and Agility with a Non-Traditional Dog: Gail Budde

dog obedience

Dog Obedience with a What?  Obedience and Agility with a Non-Traditional Dog: Gail Budde

Dog Obedience and Agility rings are filled with Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Corgis, Parson Russell Terriers, Labs and Golden Retrievers.  But what about Clumber Spaniels, Pugs, Bulldogs, Norwegian Elkhounds and Great Danes?

Dog Obedience with a Non-Traditional Dog – Gail Budde

Gail Budde trained the first Clumber Spaniel to get a Utility Dog leg, “Breaker”.  Breakaway N or M, CDX, RE, MJP, MXP, TDI, CGCA, TT, NFP continued to compete in agility until the age of 10, and obedience until 11 years.

dog obedience


Body Structures and Abilities

Clumber Spaniels are long and low, heavy-bodied, intelligent hunting dogs.  Great Danes and giant breeds don’t turn on a dime.  Pugs and Bulldogs are not know for nimble leaps in the air.

Just because a breed has a different body structure doesn’t mean that they can’t succeed in obedience or agility.  They may not prance at your side with head cranked up or dance through the weave poles, but each breed can do the job with their own style.

Consider Structure, Don’t Compare

First, don’t compare and try to do what other breeds do.  Your dog is unique in it’s structure.

Long and Low

Long and low breeds have straight sit challenges.  Consider the geometry involved.

Fast is Relative

Clumber Spaniels are not fast out of the gate, and teaching a fast recall can be a challenge.  Think change of speed vs greyhound speed and reward quick or energetic starts.

Rewards in Dog Obedience

Not every dog will chase a ball for hours or drill repetitive exercises.

Consider what makes your dog happy:

  • Chase a ball 2 times?
  • Tug?
  • Hide and Seek?
  • Food?
  • Squeakers?
  • Chasing you?

Be creative and be ready to constantly vary the rewards.

Training the Non-Traditional Temperament

Have confidence in yourself and your dog.  Be prepared for the two of you, as a team, to create your own unique style.dog obedience

Remember…linebackers, gymnasts and sprinters do not move the same.  They condition and perfect the body structure given to them.

Breeds have temperament traits as well.  Golden Retrievers are “want-to-do” dogs, and Clumber Spaniels are intelligent thinkers that require a meaningful reward for them.

Tailor your training to your breed, your dog.  Again, don’t compare.

Are short, single exercise sessions best?  One, done then fun?  Or a series of 5 different exercises in a row?

About Gail Budde

Gail Budde trains Clumber Spaniels and Golden Retrievers.  All of her Clumber Spaniels are Therapy Dogs or in the process of becoming one.  Gail competes and enjoys most dog venues, including barn hunt.

“Breaker” – Breakaway N or M, CDX, RE, MJP,MXP, TDI, CGCA, TT, NFP

“Gin” – Kel Pye’s Half Pint of Gin, UD, CGC

“Woody” – Cross Creek’s Mr. Chips v Klpy CDX, NJP, TDI, CGC


When you become a patron of Pure Dog Talk you’ll tap into an exclusive community of experts to help you and your dog be blue-ribbon best at whatever you do with your purebred dog! Your support helps keep the MP3's rolling at Pure Dog Talk!

As a supporter, you’ll immediately gain access to the weekly Pure Pep Talk SMS, Pure Pep Talk private Facebook group, and priority emails. Patrons can choose to level up to the After Dark Zoom and a Patrons Digital Badge for their website— even a private counseling session with Laura on any topic.






  1. Judy Hiller on 08/04/2017 at 9:29 AM

    No disrespect to Gail and her accomplishments, but She did not earn the first UD on a Clumber Spaniel. Check your records!

    • Norma J. Simpson on 08/04/2017 at 11:27 AM

      Judy, Gail didn’t say she earned the first UD (was that you?) but the first leg toward it. I do admire everyone’s dedication in training and obtaining any sort of performance title. Clumbers are wonderful, but EASY they’re not!

    • Judy on 08/05/2017 at 6:43 AM

      ACTUALLY, my Abby was the first Clumber ever to earn a UD leg…she did not attain the UD as she was retired at a young age. Gail (as I just listened) said that Breaker is the first MALE Clumber to earn a UD leg. Bets Young’s Lady Di was the first Clumber UD.

  2. Robin Nicholls on 08/04/2017 at 10:27 AM

    As stated, Breaker was the first Clumber to earn a Utility *leg*. He does not have a UD. Still a wonderful accomplishment!

  3. Kathy Rodriguez on 08/04/2017 at 10:38 AM

    Gail is the most patient trainer I have ever met. And so dedicated to her dogs and their training. She is always kind and gentle when working with them. She is my HERO!!! You go Gail.

  4. Dixie Burkhart on 08/04/2017 at 5:13 PM

    I’m confused, Gin earned her UD many years before Breaker. Unless Breaker was the first male Clumber to earn a UD leg?

  5. Carol Richter Reeves. Stepmother on 08/04/2017 at 7:00 PM

    Nice write up on a dear friend, I worked with Gail getting Breaker started in tracking, unfortunately the dry weather and his age were a hindrance.
    I would say 15 or less of us are seriously working and competing in obedience, rally, and agility.
    Gail has a long history of training clumbers and has been an inspiration to many.

  6. Carol Richter Reeves. Stepmother on 08/04/2017 at 7:26 PM

    Nice write up on a dear friend, I worked with Gail getting Breaker started in tracking, unfortunately the dry weather and his age were a hindrance.
    There are NO. Male clumbers with a UD
    Janice Scott is working Hatfield. A lovely, happy talented dog.

  7. Steve Finkel on 07/23/2018 at 12:16 PM

    This was an excellent interview with a very impressive trainer. Thanks for choosing for DogTalk.

Leave a Comment