Sunday, 26 June 2011

First Working Test

Was very excited yesterday morning as Mum walked me round to meet Auntie Katie, I haven't seen her in AGES as my girlfriend Willow has been in season (some girlie thing I dont know much about!) Willow wasnt in Auntie Katie's car but her handsome big brother Ollie was. Mum was loaded up with the backpack full of training dummies, the flask and lunch etc so I knew we were in for another fun day.

We drove to Elstead in Surrey and Mum told me that she had entered me in my first working test, no pressure she said, all I had to do was remember everything we'd been practising in the woods.

Ollie and Auntie Katie went to the Novice test whilst me and Mum went to the Special Beginners test. There were 19 dogs in our group.

I remembered what Mum and said and put my 'game face' on and really knuckled down to it. We did blind and seen retrieves, recalls, hunting and heel work.

We've been working hard on my stop whistle command, it's something we've only just started doing in the last month or so. The judge asked Mum to send me out and then to stop me, sure enough I was belting along full speed and was quite a way off when Mum was told to stop me, she blasted the whistle, I span round and sat my bum down pretty damn quick. I could see by the grin on Mum's face that she was really proud of me, we'd never done it at that distance. When the test was complete Mum made such a fuss of me and was laughing and cuddling me so much, wow if I'd known I'd get that kind of reaction I would have learnt the whole stop thing a lot earlier :-)

Here are some photos of me on the seen retrieve:

Mum listening to the judge explaining what we had to do, I've got my eye on the dummy tucked under Mum's arm

Here I am bringing the dummy straight back to Mum's hand:

Test complete, time for a pat on my neck

When it was all over we met up again with Auntie Katie and Ollie, me and Ollie sunbathed for a bit and then Mum and Auntie Katie got very excited because the ice cream van turned up, honestly these humans are weird!

Do you know the very best bit though...... we were watching the presentations at the end of the day and they were reading out the results for my class, well they read MY name out, FOURTH PLACE!!!! Me and Mum were so pleased and we had to go up in front of everybody and get a certificate and rosette plus some yummy dog food and a lovely new slip lead for me!!! People were clapping and everything it was awesome

What do you think to my rosette then..........

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Stoughton Down

Mum n Dad are on a mission at the moment to find new places to go walking, so out came the OS map yesterday and they decided to try out Stoughton Down, about 15 mins drive from us. When we arrived there Dad realised he'd been there as a little boy and got very excited as he said it was a lovely walk so off we set.

I did my usual running along in front exploring everywhere, Mum n Dad were taking in the great views and Winston was checking out the stick situation!

It really was a gorgeous place, just the type of walk we all love, loads of woodland to explore. It was like we had the whole place to ourselves as we didnt see anybody for ages.
It was a bit steep in places, me being me of course I set the pace way out front, Mum n Dad were behind and then Winston was bringing up the rear with a mammoth stick in his mouth, nothing new there then.

Here's us at the top,

Mum did make me do a couple of Sit n Waits and recalls, I did dutifully obey but really wanted to keep on exploring.

In the distance you can make out Portsdown Hill and even the Isle of Wight!

We'll certainly be going there again it was mega cool.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Rabbit Dummy

Mum's friend Pam kindly gave her three rabbit skins to make a special training dummy for me.

I was pretty interested in how Mum was making my special dummy. The first step was to prepare the skins for drying out

The skins took just over a week to dry out, the shed was pretty stinky but hey I didnt mind.

Mum then wrapped them around one of my dummies and tied it all up. I was mega interested at this stage and got very excited. Mum had left the feet and tails on the side so I just thought I'd take a look and make sure she was doing it all right.

Hey presto one super duper rabbit dummy, can't wait to go out and train with this one.

Training Day Ashdown Forest

Mum and me went with Mum's friend Katie and my girlfriend Willow to a fab training day organised by the Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla Association on Saturday.
It was a pretty long drive, nearly 2 hours. We were both very good dogs in the car.
When we arrived there were lots of HPRs.
The day started off with some water retrieves which was great as I was a pretty hot dog as the weather was scorching. I loved going in the water to retrieve the dummies but wasnt so great on the whole sitting and waiting thing beforehand. Willow isnt very keen on going in the water so the trainer suggested that me and her 'buddy' up, I was sent in to get the dummy and it encouraged Willow to go a little way into the water.
Then we did the obedience stuff, not my strong point I know. We were all lined up and I was supposed to sit. Nope wasnt going to do that, I point blank refused. Willow was sat there perfectly and didnt move at all. When I eventually sat the trainer asked Mum to leave me, oh no wasnt having any of that and followed her, was prompty returned to the original position and a man had to stand on my lead to keep me there. Mum does practice this with me loads usually and I sit for ages not moving but I tend to get a bit panicky when there are other dogs around. Mum has said I need to pay attention to Willow and be a good dog just like her.
We had lunch and a little rest and then headed off again to a different part of the forest. Mum freaked out a bit as there were MONSTER sized wood ants everywhere and the trainer warned us to look out for adders, Mum muttered something about the fact that she shouldnt have worn shorts!!! She didnt stand still for very long and kept looking at the ants running everywhere!
We did lots more water retrieves in a bigger pond, some of the other dogs didnt go in to get their dummies so the trainer sent me in a couple of times to get them for him, I loved this. Then when it was my turn he told the dummy thrower to really really launch it far, the man threw it soooooo far it was nearly over the other side of the pond..... Mum thought I wouldnt swim that far, little does she know, I swam straight for it leaving a wake behind me, I picked it up and then brought it straight back to shore. See Mum I may be a bit rubbish at the obedience stuff but tell me to retrieve something and I'm your dog!
No pictures this time as Mum said she wanted to concentrate on what we were being taught. I did get a certificate for attending though :-)