Interview with our ambassador Rosie James and Fern, Red & Fig

Anna Erlerova


March 26, 2024

Rosie James has been our ambassador for 4 years, and we could not be happier having had her on board with us! In recent months her Instagram account boomed and gained an incredible number of followers & counting!

We have the great pleasure of having Rosie & her three dogs Fern, Red & Fig as our ambassadors and we wanted to bring you an exclusive interview that could shed a little light on Rosie’s life.

How did you becoming a Skinner’s ambassador come about?

We became an ambassador for Skinner’s out of the blue really, it completely took me by surprise when Skinner’s approached me and asked if we would like to be ambassadors. It actually meant quite a lot to me. We come from a family of Fieldsport enthusiasts and have known the Skinner’s brand for a long time, so I was really excited to think that Fern was going to be associated with Skinner’s.

How’s the puppy training going? Do you find having two puppies from the same litter a challenge?

Oh wow, puppy training! Talk about biting off more than you can chew. Yes, of course it’s quite challenging, having just one puppy in a busy lifestyle with a young child is challenging enough, but having two from the same litter is a whole new level. I hadn’t planned on keeping two, but they both had different characters and once you make those bonds they can’t be broken. There are lots of great tools on the market to facilitate training puppies which makes life easier and we have the support of a great trainer too which is really helpful.

What is your best advice for the people wanting to do the same and get 2 pups from the same litter? Anything to look out for?

My advice is really think about the decision to have litter mates, research, ask people and discuss it with your family thoroughly. Make sure you have the support of a good trainer to resolve issues quickly. It’s not easy, double the training, double the time, double the dedication. I’ve chosen to train them as a brace so they’re with one another most of the time, but it can present as a challenge when one is left alone, I have to have some gentle music or some boredom busting treats available for the one that’s left behind.

When did you decide you’re going to have Fern’s puppies? Was it always the plan?

We loosely discussed the idea of puppies a couple of years ago, but the Covid pandemic set us back with those plans. Then last year, Fern came into season, my partner and I were both unwell at the time and we discussed the thought of not having a Fern and our daughter potentially not remembering her. So, we decided that this was our opportunity, before she got too old, she’s 4 now. I’d looked previously at a lot of studs but hadn’t planned which one we were going to use. Thankfully, I contacted the owner of a stud we liked  and he was available for me to take Fern the next day. It wasn’t how I planned it at all. I’d planned to have her progesterone tested etc., but just ran out of time. Thankfully she tied twice and now we have these lovely little puppies and a legacy for Ferns lines to continue.

Are you planning to have any more litters?

I get asked this a lot! I cover it quite a lot on my Instagram, I adore Fern, she really is my dog in a million. She was a fantastic mother, but it’s very unlikely I will breed from her again. I set out with a specific goal, a slightly stockier female puppy, fingers crossed for a Black and Tan, but not imperative, I literally got a replica Fern in little Fig. I got everything I wanted with the one litter so I don’t have the need to breed again.

Are you planning to take all three dogs to shoots once they’re older?

Yes! I hope to work them either as a brace or as a trio just on small syndicate or farm shoots. We had such a lovely shoot which sadly folded after the estate owner passed away. I know they would have absolutely flourished there, so I hope to find something similar for the future.

How often do you get to go shooting and how often would be ideal for you?

I don’t go as much as I want to. Unfortunately, life has a habit of taking over, normally on shoot days. I’m really hoping that things will settle down for the next season and we can all get out.

We know you live on a farm – does Fern ever help out or is she mostly a gundog?

Fern is more than just a gundog, first and foremost she’s a family dog, then a therapy dog and then a gundog. She doesn’t help out on the farm so to speak but she’s always around the animals, but we have new cows at the moment that aren’t used to dogs, so it can be quite difficult in that situation. Fern adapts well to situations and she’s quite a dynamic dog so she’s usually quite happy wherever she is.

Would you ever consider owning a different breed of a working dog?

I really love Teckels, my friend Louise has a lovely little Teckle, but I hear they’re hard to train! I absolutely love Vizslas and Golden Retrievers as well, but I think I’m just going stick to cockers for now.

And last but not least – What is your favourite Skinner’s product and why?

I absolutely love the Skinner’s Training Treats! The size is perfect for little hands and they can be broken into two for the puppies. Since having the puppies, the wet food toppers have been a godsend. I find them great for stuffing horns and kongs and freezing for teething and boredom busting.

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