Why Gundog HR & Development?

Brown and white spaniel

Share post

I have been asked on a number of occasions why I named my business ‘Gundog’ HR Development, what’s the Gundog all about? And how did I arrive at this decision? Well let me explain and hopefully this gives you an insight in to what makes me and my company tick

When you take the decision to buy a dog, it’s a huge commitment and a decision that will remain with you for a reasonable period of time, so it’s a decision that you need to get right, it needs to work for you and there are really no second chances to ensure you have the right one.

There are other considerations, should I get a puppy, a fresh new dog which has not had any previous owners, coming straight from the parents or do I get a ‘second-hand’ dog, a rescue dog or a dog on loan from one of the support organisations such as a guide dog in training.

What about the breed of dog? If I go for a Gundog, which one? A spaniel, what type of spaniel? A Working Cocker or a Springer? What about a Labrador, they are great Gundogs too and they look so cute when you see them on the toilet tissue adverts.

So what has all this got to do with my Company I hear you ask, well it’s like this.

Human Resources

When you buy a dog to carry out a role for you, household pet or working animal, research is really important to allow you to consider which is going to be right for you. Asking yourself questions such as what do I want my dog to do, what criteria is important to me when bringing a dog on board in to my family or business?

· Is the behaviour important?

· What about temperament?

· What size of dog do I want and what breed of dog can I cope with?

· What do I want the dog to do? 

                    Work?              Be a Pet?                Both?

Once you have chosen your dog, you will need to make sure it follows the rules of the house; recall when out in the park; not bark incessantly when you are at home.

Of course you will take it to dog classes, where you will work with my dog along with other dog owners to ensure it can do all the things that you want it to do, when you want it to do it.

I chose two gundogs to join my family during the past 10 years and they have taught me so much about the world of HR & Development, that I wanted to share it with others through a business approach. My business has two key strands, Human Resources and Talent Development (Training).

Well, this is what my business is all about?

If I focus firstly on the Human Resource part of my world, it has all the similarities of on-boarding a dog or a puppy. The decisions you take to recruit a dog are taken well in advance of actually receiving it, it’s the same with the recruitment of people joining your organisation, making sure as far as possible you get what you need to deliver what you are looking to achieve. 

You focus on job design, what do you want your new employee to do, you will look at what behaviours are important in the people you employ, what expectations do you have of them once they have arrived with you, if you like what are the rules (policies) that you need them to adhere to?

What breed? More about this later in this blog

How will you review how good they are doing for your organisation? You can watch them or you can review and appraise their performance regularly to ensure they stay on track. All these activities and many more you will undertake to ensure you get the right person on board in your organisation. 

So, just like bringing a dog or pet in to your life, it’s not an easy decision to recruit an employee and it is extremely important to get it right, so you don’t end up with a mixed pack of dogs all pulling a different direction.


The second part of my business focusses on the talents that are in the people you employ to work for you. 

To go back to my roots, what type of dogs are working in your organisation?  I don’t mean this in any derogatory way. Let me explain myself.

There are many cute and some not so cute dogs in the world which I would like to explore in this blog to illustrate the second part of my work, however before we do, let us just take a look at what talent is.

Talent management can be defined as:

‘Seeking to attract, identify, develop, engage, retain and deploy individuals who are considered particularly valuable to an organisation’.

We have already talked about the attraction, I would like to now focus on the elements beyond this. Once you have the people, how do I ensure I get the best from them?

Well, as you are probably aware, there are many breeds of dog in the world and this is the same in the Gundog world, you could bring on board a Spaniel, a Labrador or a Pointer what you choose really depends on what you want them to do for you and what behaviour you are looking for, is it about retrieving, flushing out or pointing being the three main categories of Gundogs.

Whatever category or breed you have in your care, understanding their needs, strengths and personality is the key to getting the best out of your dogs and it is the same for people.

Let’s take a look at the Spaniel, so what are the key traits of a Spaniel?

Brown spaniel stood in a field of wildflowers

· Loyal, companionable, gentle and affectionate

· Cocker Spaniels love being with their pack/part of a team

· Like to be the centre of attention… and they need a fair amount of it

How does this compare to the key traits of a Labrador?

Golden labrador lying down outdoors

· Easy going, tolerant temperament and a love of water

· Their ability to track items by scent alone is extraordinary

What about a Pointer?

Black and white pointer in a field

· A competitive spirit with an independent streak, but fun-loving and mischievous 

· Hard-driving and courageous

Do you recognise anyone in your organisation or team that show these traits? From what I have set out above you can determine that each dog is different and provides something different to the world.

What the second aspect of my company strives to achieve is to identify the skills, personality traits and talents of the individuals and nurture and develop them to achieve the end game or to achieve the outcomes for the organisation/team.

There is talent hidden in everybody, all we need to do is identify it, develop it and nurture it to be engaged on a daily basis.

If you want to learn more about the individuals and teams in your organisation, get in touch with me to discuss the opportunities to develop your people and the processes in your organisation.