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How It All Began

I have been involved with Cocker Spaniels for over 30 years and during this time I have gained knowledge and experience from well-known kennels of the past and present to bring to the future.

During my childhood, we had a family pet dog named Kim – he was a crossbreed (Cocker Spaniel x Poodle), and I treated him as my own dog. Kim was a lovely loyal companion and made such an impact in my life that after he died at the grand age of 16years, I felt I had to have another one like him but couldn't find one. So I decided instead I would have a Cocker Spaniel, for it was my Uncle's black Cocker Spaniel, Jet, that was the father of Kim and I always liked Jet!

It was then, in 1983, I bought my first cocker spaniel - a black & white dog puppy, Gemokim Gillsboy aka Jasper, from a litter sired by Styvechale Schadeus - from that day on I got hooked on Cocker Spaniels.

Early 1984, I visited a local kennels and introduced myself to the late Phyllis Masters (Styvechale). Phyllis became my mentor, and under her guidance I gained knowledge on breeding, trimming, welfare and general involvement of cocker spaniels of ALL colours – solid, parti- and tri-coloureds – and in doing so this broadened my interests in our lovely breed and became more involved in breed club activities and competing at various Open and Championship shows.

In 1986, I bought my first black & white ticked cocker spaniel bitch puppy – Jolly Miss Gemstone at Pearkim aka Gemma, and from her the PEARKIM generations began ….. as you will see detailed on My Dogs.

In 1990, my first litter was born at Pearkim – affix derived from part of my surname and after my first pet dog Kim. I retained from this litter my first orange roan – Pearkim Pollyanthus [photo] aka Polly. From that breed line I have bred and owned and shown several generations of orange roans, as well as black & whites and blue roan cocker spaniels.

I commenced judging Cocker Spaniels at general open shows in 1994 and was enlisted on to the B List of judges in February 2010. Under the A3 judging criteria, I applied for the A3 list of judges in order to award Challenge Certificates (CC) and was added to the A3 list in March 2014. Internationally, I have had the pleasure to judge Cocker Spaniels in Sweden, Finland and Czech Republic.

My involvement with cocker spaniels has broadened my experience in other areas too. I am Honorary Secretary to The Parti-Coloured Cocker Spaniel Club since 2006 and The Cocker Spaniel Breed Council since 2008. I am also a representative for The Cocker Spaniel Club's Rehoming and Rescue Scheme since 2005.

Aside from showing, I have also trained some of my PEARKIM cocker spaniels for gundog work and have competed in various spaniel working events achieving many good results and taken my cocker spaniels for a day out in the beating line on several organised shoots. It gives me great pleasure to watch PEARKIM cocker spaniels working, flushing or retrieving game, and from their bustling through brambles and in hedgerows with nose down and wagging tails they seem to enjoy it too. This is proof that show cocker spaniels have the ability to do what they were originally bred for if given the time and training – always remember it's bred in them and so they should do what comes naturally and so then be 'fit for function'.

Gill Pearce-Gudger