few weeks ago I enthralled and educated you all with a
riveting report from the gun dog training day held in
the deep back end of beyond somewhere in the English Counties.
This following little report is a sort of follow up to
that, and this time specific to water training your gun
in the wilds of South East England there is an idyllic
spot for training the gun dog in the art of water retrieving.
It’s a substantial area that used to be a gravel
pit. Now nature has taken over and it serves many other
purposes, and today was no exception as it was given over
to a gun dog training day. The Dearest One and friends
had decided to enter into the opportunity and so Freya
was our nominated Spin and Claude was to make up the other
entrant. Both young, both eager?? And of course both determined
to outdo the other……….let battle commence!!
dogs were put into groups and the most experienced dogs
went off to the other side of the gravel pit.
the ‘Spins and Barbet’s’ (and yes there
was two of them)!! were to stay together at the opposite
side of the gravel pit as they had their own specialist
two things had already gone wrong?
Someone who will remain nameless: locked her keys in the
car. And sadly missed the day!! But at least you avoided
number two’s fashion disaster for field work!!
2. Someone else turned up in PINK
boots – AGAIN. Didn’t you learn anything about
dress code? Remember the Warning!!! You bring those ‘things’
to our house then be prepared to be scented out, hunted
down, shot and then retrieved by YOUR own Spins!!!!
Dearest One had travelled down to Annette’s house
who for some unknown reason provided covered shelter for
her for the night. Why? I don’t really know but
it was very welcoming and a BIG Thank you to Annette for
course you know who made it known he was back –
and typically if ‘he’ thought a small delicacy
was available then why shouldn’t he be there!!
so it was that they let ‘him’ out into the
garden to explore…………
after a duckless event in the back garden it was back
into the house to rest……..
so to the lake for the training day………..oh
and look who’s here?
who had not quite got the idea of “Gravel Pit =
someone who had got the idea of “Gravel Pit = Water”
first there was an introduction to be conducted and that
was Claude being re-united with his Dad. Since Claude
had moved on in the world this was the first time they
had been together and what a reunion it was as well….lots
of fatherly advice!!
this is all about the owner and not all about the dog.
The objective is to get the owner to understand all about
the dogs natural instincts and make full use of them.
But it also has to be fun, if you’re enjoying it
then so will the dog. They have remarkable sensing you
you’ve got one fully trained you’ll know what
the gun out and the dog goes into an excitable “Oh
come on let’s get out there” mode, or even
put the shooting coat on and the same result applies.
The dog knows what’s coming…….
try that when you’re NOT in the mood to train him
reaction out in the field is quite the opposite too excitable…….the
dog will have adjusted down to your mood level.
word Enthusiastic is required……..if you are.
Then so will they be
let’s start with Freya…………
has spent her young life in the show ring and so these
training days are to add to her CV and hopefully later
on use her for what she is really all about. It is also
about giving her another interest, and perhaps if all
goes well enter her into field trials. Who knows??
the first training day all went well for her ‘first’
time out in this kind of environment but of course this
environment was a little different. Less fields and a
lot more water and this takes some getting used to –
especially as the lake is a little bigger than our pond!!
And a little deeper as well!!
got the idea of the retrieve from the water slowly but
surely, and as time went on she got deeper and deeper…….
it got just a little out of her depth and despite encouragement
from Captain Nemo she was not going to swim for it, and
it looked as if Freya was not yet ready to take the ultimate
plunge. It will come…….she just needs some
more guidance and a little more encouragement. She has
been swimming before but today she just wasn’t in
the mood so best not push her and let her do it on her
watching from the shoreline was Claude………and
he was never going to miss an opportunity to show up the
took to the water next and clearly was going to make the
most of the opportunity to show up Freya, but little did
we know just by how much!! First the dummy was an easy
retrieve for him from shallow water…….but
he just got more and more confident as the session wore
tennis ball was next and this meant having to swim for
it, the bigger dummy (human) did not need retrieving but
at least was appropriately dressed for the occasion!!
But note the encouragement….as if Mousieur Ego himself
the ultimate retrieve for him and the one that really
set the trend for a session of feeling his way through
the various dummies…..this one was his prize retrieve
of the day. The feather dummy………he sensed
from then on couldn’t be stopped from his swimming
and retrieving and so set the tone for his session and
beyond as he went from confident to over confident??
so at the end of the session we have a wet Claude, a happy
and over confident Claude and of course The Dearest One
now has to put up with his ego all the way back home!!
And Freya?? Well she was much happier on dry land and
the training day she did a few weeks ago, but all is not
lost. We’re back to developing her instincts and
talents and giving her the right mix of both to enable
her to develop naturally.
most of all? They both had loads of fun…………
the last they saw of Claude before setting off home??
that was it for the day………..and what
a great day it was as well………everybody
enjoyed themselves. I think?
the strange mystical figure in the lake? Well you work
thanks to the Bracco Italiano Society for organising the
See ya soon and take care out there…….