Judge: Mrs Betty Smith (Zavis)
Class: Weimaraner Junior
I took Minx out by herself today. This is the first time in months I have done this. I also worked with some dummies which we have had a long break from too.
Minx worked really well! At first we had a bit of scrubby ground to work on and she loves to hunt this type of ground. No fear of prickles or stingers, she gets right in and hunts brilliantly! While hunting I worked on her stop whistle which was great, every time she sat!
Dummies next, started with just a couple of seens / memories and moved on to splits and then a couple of small blinds. Every single retrieve was completed successfully and to hand! She has so much enthusiasm for the dummy it’s so lovely to see!
There were quite a few wood pigeons on the field so I worked her up to them practicing her steadiness. In the past she has been a bit wild and chased after them before I had a chance to stop her! But today, she stalked them very carefully while I was instructing her. As soon as the bird lifted I blew the whistle and she sat and watched the bird away. We did this a few times and the last time she sat to the bird taking off without me blowing the whistle!
I’m so pleased on how she has come on and look forward to training her for the Gundog Working Tests this year. We still have a way to go but her enthusiasm means we are going to have a lot of fun!!
I decided to enter Luna into another trial to keep the momentum of entering going. Although I had not done as much training with Luna in between her being placed at the previous trial I was relying on a couple of shot over training days to keep her ticking over but sadly these had been cancelled.
I knew I would have to be on top of her as she had not been out hunting real game in nearly a month!
We were running number 3 so on our run she wasn’t too hot. I was a little bit anxious of her boring on wards so my whistle kept busy! She had an open piece of ground with which she worked with great pace. I could have helped her a bit more by getting her to range further on my left but sadly my nerves and anxiousness gets the better of me! She had a blank run so we were to wait to be called for a second run.
This was quite a long wait and as we were waiting, Luna was watching all the birds come out of the woods (where the other competitors were) land not far from us and then run into the ditch opposite from where we were standing. This was getting her quite agitated and I was hoping and praying we wouldn’t get the ditch on our next run. We were called up to do a retrieve. It was a very short one and I could see where the bird was. I lined Luna up for it and she kept looking towards the wood. I set her off and she went exactly where I thought she would go! I stopped her as a bird had lifted from the edge of the wood and called her back. She returned and completed the retrieve to hand. I then set her off along the bank of the ditch, at first she winded a bird and tracked it where it flushed before she could point it. It wasn’t shot and we moved on.
Initially she was working well but I found she was speeding up towards the end of the ditch (where the birds had been running to earlier!) She was so determined to find something she began to ignore me and get further and further away from me. I was in two minds of what to do with her as she was getting hotter and hotter. I could either keep nagging her back with the risk of her ignoring me or let her run on and get on the bird. Sadly, we were pulled up for not covering the ground well enough as Luna would not get over the ditch (she was running along the outside of the ditch)
I knew we had blown it but could not entirely blame her for being naughty as she had spent such a long time on the lead and watching the birds go to the ditch. She isn’t a robot and totally has her own mind! Working on control is what we know we have to work on for next season! So we left on a positive note!
Held at the Hamptworth Estate, Hampshire
Judges: Rita Howard and John Anderson
Luna (Aeneas Moon Song for Verwegen) received a Certificate of Merit gaining her stud book number
This was only Luna’s second ever field trial. She worked really well considering the conditions which did challenge the dogs. It’s been quite tough training Luna as she a hard hunting dog and tends to want to do everything ‘her way’. But I have been working hard with her to try and teach her to work with me. It’s not been easy but I feel we are slowly getting there. I am so proud of Luna and I hope we are now on the right road!
Bitch Judge: Mrs Denise Mosey (Denmo)
Class: Puppy Bitch
Place: VHC (5th)
Class: Special Working Bitch
Critique: 2 Baker’s Aeneas Moon Song for Verwegen, small finer bitch, little short in depth. True amber eye.
Dog Judge: Mr Keith Groom (Grunjager)
Class: Special Working Dog
Judge: Mr Chris Atkinson
Class: Limit Dog
Place: Reserve (4th)
Class: Puppy Bitch
PB (6) 1 Baker’s Clasola Carina by Verwegen, well proportioned bitch carries it through to true movement, has length of neck, good firm level back, straight bone, very good feet, moved on a long stride;
Judge: Mrs D Stewart-Ritchie
Class: Minor Puppy Bitch
Judge: Mr Rob Dawson (Greythorn)
Class: Special Yearling
Awarded Best Puppy in Breed
Awarded Best of Breed
Critique: 1st – Baker`s – Weiambea Blue Moon of Verwegen. Super well balanced dog, ideal height to length ratio, Fantastic rear angulation, good front, nothing over done at all, he seemed to cover the ground effortlessly, but would have loved to have seen him move around a large outdoor ring , feet all in order, good hard condition, nice alert but gentle expression, all in all a very nice example of the breed, everything in moderation, a very worthy BOB
This was Luna’s 2nd working test. Because she has progressed a bit more in her training I decided to give her a go just to gauge her training so far. Even though she has recently began to swim, I wasn’t worried whether she would go in or not and knew we would have to forfeit points for that part of the test.
Test One – Seen Retrieve
A simple enough retrieve down a track, verge on one side and bank to the lake on the other, both sides had very high grass. Dummy thrown up and over the track from the verge side to a marker near the edge of the lake. A few dogs in front of me had struggled with this test and the dogs were hunting the bank instead of retrieving the dummy. I set Luna up, a little concerned she would do the same as the other dogs. She marked the dummy and I released her, she shot out for the dummy and was coming up to where the dummy had been thrown. As she turned into the area, I blew the stop whistle! Now, I wish I didn”t and can’t even explain why I did! She stopped and I directed her to the dummy. Luna searched around for the dummy and then went off hunting the bank. I stopped her numerous times and directed her back to the dummy but by this time she wasn’t interested. I walked forward and set her up nearer, she set off and continued to hunt. I went further towards her and she rushed over to the dummy and picked it up! She knew it was there all along!! I really thought we were over her ‘issues’ with other people’s dummies but maybe she wasn’t! But, I also feel IF I hadn’t have blown the whistle she may well have continued on to it as she had marked it. Handler Error! Points: 5
Test Two – Hunting
It was a lovely area for hunting, tall grass and there was word of game and deer being on the ground. Me and two other competitors went off with the judge. I was 3rd to run. As the 1st competitor set their dog off, Luna began to track and was then indicating, I just thought it may have been where something had got up previously. All of a sudden a hen pheasant flushed! Luna wasn’t on the right side of the wind to have pointed but she definitely knew something was there! This obviously fired her up for her go. In some way it was a bit of a pain as she was being a little ‘deaf’ which is my main issue with Luna. As she was keen to find something I began to whistle her more to try and keep control. I hate doing this but if I kept quiet, she takes advantage of that and will bog off! The wind was all over the place so I left her to work it out herself. Thankfully there were no deer on her run. I was asked to stop her and call her in. Overall, I was pleased with what she did. Points: 29
Test Three – Water
As I expected, Luna did not complete the water. I was not concerned about this at all, the judge was very helpful and let me throw a dummy in close to the edge to encourage her in, she did wade but didn’t swim. An area we are well aware needs work! Points: 0
Test Four – Blind Retrieve to Shot
As Luna’s first retrieve was quite unsuccessful, I was a little apprehensive she would mess about on this one too. It wasn’t a particularly long retrieve but the track leading to the dummy went round a bend so the dog would be out of sight. What concerned me more was the wood beside the track as Luna would be tempted by this on her way to the dummy! I set her up and she was quite eager to go as she had been hearing the shots while we waited. I did tell her a few times to ‘wait’ before sending her incase she ran in. I set her off and she went like a shot! Within a few seconds she returned with the dummy and retrieved to hand! I couldn’t have been happier! Points: 17
Overall, I was pleased with what she had achieved. Although disappointed with the first retrieve I knew getting hung up on it would get me nowhere! I was partly to blame so something to note for myself! A great day anyway!