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Clancy, Northant’s Unique Super-Dog

Photo by Gareth Griffiths
Northant’s Unique Super-Dog: Forestry Commission wood warden Mrs Chris Stewart
with her seven-year old standard poodle clancy.

Keeping fit in his favourite Northamptonshire woodland has turned Clancy the Poodle into a unique British sporting superstar.

The seven-year-old standard poodle has just won top honours in a tracking competition that has launched him into the canine hall of fame. His owner Chris Stewart, said: “He is the only standard poodle in the country trained to compete in the events normally dominated by breeds like German Shepherd Dogs. Clancy’s superb agility and winning form are thanks to my job as a Forestry Commission wood warden, near Corby.

“The work’s also made me very fit. I recommend that everyone who wants to get into shape should try a regular walk in our forest.

“Each morning and night Clancy and I go on patrol in Wakerley Woods. Our job is to ensure everything is shipshape and secure for our thousands of visitors.

“Every fence along the way is a practice jump for him - every bit of undergrowth is perfect for a spot of seeking. He’s so good at tracking now he could find a lost key in a hay field”.

Mrs Stewart said Clancy’s score rate at the regional Working Trials Society competition had been 9 per cent. People were amazed to see a wildfowling breed take the title.

She said the tracking events were designed with military and police animals in mind. The dogs needed discipline, total concentration and huge intelligence.

However, she said people did not have to have a super-dog in training to enjoy a walk in Wakerley. There were plenty of wonderful trails to amble along just enjoying the scenery.

She added that there were also opportunities opening for six more people wanting to be part-time wood wardens. Clothing, equipment and training would all be provided.

The new wardens will work in twos, sharing the job of looking after Bourne Wood, near Bourne, Southey Wood, near Peterborough, the Salcey Forest, near Northampton. Anyone wanting information should ring 01780 444394.

Public access details for Forestry Commission woods across the country can be found on the website.