The first Golden I bought in 1984. Reading about Goldens brought me to make out that the dog I owned was (or should be) a hunting dog.

It was a long and hard way finding our way into the world of working retrievers. The retriever seen at that time can in no way be compared to what they are today.


Training a gundog in general was done in a way that I consider to be too hard to the dogs. Looking for other ways to train my dog I was very fortunate to meet John Halstead. His way of training dogs opened a whole new world for me.

John Halstead & Fille Exelmans
John Halstead & Fille Exelmans

Until today I regard him as "The Godfather" of retriever training. So I started training my dog the appropriate way John showed me and by the videos he made of retriever training. And although I started out training my dog properly when he was already three years old, I competed successfully with him at working tests and field trials a few years later.


A few years later Brinwell Valli became my first Golden Field trial Champion. When Malcolm & Lynn sold me Besstock Dee of Clancallum, I found the type of Golden that I had been searching for a long time.

Malcolm & Lynn Stringer
Malcolm & Lynn Stringer

Dee became International Field trial Champion and won the first Belgian Retriever Championship. The following years her daughter Kroonkennel' s Ulrike won the Retriever Championship three times in succession!


Meanwhile I wanted to give other people the opportunity to train their dogs in the same way and I founded the “Gouden Jachthoorn” club, to enable this. Furthermore I strived for changing judging criteria and regulations, creating better and fair competitions as well as enabling people better opportunities to train their dogs.


Since then a lot of things have changed on the continent in a very positive way, with regard to training and competition conditions with retrievers. I am glad that I have been able to contribute my share to make this possible.


My primary objective is dog training, with no or a minimum of physical punishment. It is generally orientated to reward the dog, when he does something correct. It seems, however, as if this idea will be neglected more and more by handlers and trainers today.

I maintain the idea that, using severe physical punishment and corrections, to get a dog to a certain level in training or competition, can in no way be justified! But a method of training without force is of course only suitable for dogs of a character which is typical of retrievers. The dogs, I have trained for myself, met these requirements. I am very glad they did, and I am very grateful for everything they gave me in return for the time and effort I expended.