You are lucky indeed to have me reporting regularly on MY Adventures and so I wanted to let you know that Claude Barbet is going to go to school?? (Oh God)

Now I admit this is not the local primary school with all those mini peeps, non, this school is a special school for my speciality? Imagine the scene?? (Wait for it) Oversized uniform (he’ll grow into it) small gun bag, er…sorry, satchel and a cute lunch box. Oh bless – how sweet
But non, none of that…….

You see peeps I am a gun dog. A bit obvious I admit but the intention going forward is not to waste MY unique talents? non, not my rather egotistical talents but that of the water dog. The Spins do it on the land and from time to time may flail about in the water!! But Claude is a water specialist and it is that that I am going to school for, I of course can be a land gun dog, yes of course I can and probably will be just to make a change for me!! And ‘her’

The Dearest One has arranged for me to have private lessons and with her I am not going to waste the opportunity of adding to my already bursting ego. Of course I will be good at it provided the training is as good as my natural instincts are. When I am fully qualified with an honours degree (2:1) – don’t want to show off, I will be taken out on sporting days and my qualifications put to good use in the field – or more precisely the water. Either way I am going to work for a living!!! You lot have to so why shouldn’t I?

It would be easy for me to become a pet – a fluffy pet!!! Oh perish the thought……….

But with my ego and whether I’m to be a pet or a working dog the two most important factors for my owner to have is in giving me direction and guidance from a good consistent master, I need a pack leader otherwise the ego takes over and I become a bit of a pain in the derriere. With all this brain and being left to my own devices even I think it best to take me to school and get me to do what it says on the tin?? (What)

The thing is I get bored easily unless I’m motivated to work, there is some hidden ‘thing’ in me that says ‘this is fun and I could really enjoy it’ and I suppose that’s the reason for the training. To keep me out of mischief and make good use of my skills. I get restless and the Spins are no help whatsoever, except leading me astray and teaching me all the wrong things.

I mean on the beach (see MY adventures) for example I had to catch my own supper. A crab, but before that those Italians had me bringing back bits of wood, seaweed, a small rock. Useless and completely inedible – I tried – and then cursed my own stupid ego for even trying!!

So you see peeps, I need stimulating the proper way and do something I just feel is right for me.

So as noted earlier – with a little guidance and direction I could be all things to all peeps!!

Remember the vet?? Remember THAT Duck?…….well, if I can’t have that one then I’ll have to go out and get one of my own won’t I?

And so it is that I have started my classes.

The Dearest One has arranged to take me out to a very big pond – a lake, where I am with some others at school who are learning the same things as me. Of course they won’t be as good, or even as good looking as me and it’s obvious they won’t finish top of the class and get gold stars for good work. But at least they can try. Personally I’m doing it for three reasons??

1. To make the Spins jealous
2. To wind up the Spins
3. And three……I’m in competition with them??

What competition you ask? Well a couple of them are going training as well.

Now this is going to be interesting!!

Game on……get it?? Game on?? Clever eh

Smartrrrs Claude

The School Grounds

The School grounds are not near our house and require me to travel in the Subaru with the Dearest One (she drives as I don’t have my license yet) and it allows me to relax for a while and get into ‘spot THAT duck’ mode.

It’s a great place out in the middle of the back of beyond with a nice big lake and lots of trees and bushes and cover and so on. It is a nice location and away from the distractions of those Italians. The area around the lake is nice and has I suspect many things for me to test my instincts with – but especially in the lake itself.

The training is conducted by a qualified instructor and he has lots of experience in his field er…and the water, but I suspect he actually doesn’t teach from the water. That would be silly. And from what I gather he has conducted his teachings for a long time. However? It is NOT just me being trained because as we are to be a partnership, then The Dearest One has to also take the same training as me with one exception??

She won’t jump in the lake and flush the wild fowl out of the reeds like I have to – or at least I think she doesn’t!!!

Anyway, for the where and who that’s about it.


Well after all this is a school and I have some class mates here. From what I’ve seen of them none are as gorgeous as me and equally very unfrench!! But there is one who could be a bit of competition for me? And unfortunately it’s English!! An English Springer to be exact and like me he’s a puppy as well. Now I live with two English Springers, both called Max with one being retired and the other who’s a pet – and as mad as a March Hare (it says here)

And so the scene is set…….France V England for the ultimate prizes…….?

• Gorgeousness……he can forget that one
• French……he can forget that one as well
• Being top of the class……nah….forget it
• Getting into the novice class with me…..nah……this is getting boring

We have all been put into the puppy class. And our teacher takes the register and we all have to bark once to register that we are in class – including The Dearest One which is a bit embarrassing really because her bark is more of a whimper!!

If we all perform well (which is not a problem for me) then we will all move up to the novice class. I doubt the Springer will make it!! And even if he does then it will be me that’s chosen as the prefect of the class. I know the Springer well, especially living with them, and it would be competition (a miracle even) if they had a brain cell. Que ce cera!!

Now I do have just one minor setback to all this?? “Oh Claude, surely not” “well yes, but it is only one and a minor one at that” – “I can be a little stubborn at times” “Obstinate no, stubborn yes”

So the first lesson was for The Dearest One…..’Be consistent’, ‘NO MEANS NO’ and ‘he should do as he is told’

“Oh really…….we shall see won’t we”?

“Well it works on The Banker”!!


The Lessons

In the puppy class we have seven subjects to study and peeps we get homework. Now no one ‘Dearest One’ told me we had ‘homework’. Homes for fun, not homework. We’ll see about that later on.

Hang on hang on, what if that Springer practices at home??

OK – homework it is………..
Oh oui – the lessons, forgot where I was then…..too much pressure

Well there’s walk to heel, that’s easy and already doing that – France 1: England 0

Weaving in and out of a line of dogs – oh God that’s so easy. I live with those Italians so walking in out and away from them I’ve done from day one – France 2: England 0

Sitting on the whistle – no you idiots not sitting ON the whistle but if I hear one whistle I am to sit. But I always seem to be in the mud and when I sit it sticks to my gorgeous derriere and is so off putting. It’s difficult at times to be at school and learning all this stuff and keeping myself looking so gorgeous. France 2: England 1 (The Springer couldn’t care less how it looks)

Sit/ Stay and recall – OK OK so I cheated. We’ve been practicing this at home and although I’m a little stubborn I have got the idea and its coming slowly…the thinking that is. The recall isn’t coming slowly as I run over, if you see what I mean. The Springer’s hopeless, France 3: England 1

Dummy retrieve – easy. Could do this stood on my head with a muddy derriere. And do as well just to show off. I am just so good – show me the Novice class and I’ll show you the prefects badge. But the Springer does the same but without the muddy derriere……..damn him
France 3: England 2

Tennis ball retrieve – now I can do this with ease as it’s almost the same as the dummy retrieve but for some unknown reason I pick the tennis ball up very carefully. It feels different – could be the fur and feather thing, you know the distinction between the two sensations. Anyway I do it OK but the pickup slows me down. Of course that bloody Springer can do it damn him
France 3: England 3

And what about The Dearest One I hear you ask, what’s she doing and learning??

Whistle training – oh for God sake how difficult is it to blow a whistle. Pathetic

Now this period of lessons is not all done at once of course and we all have to take turns, in between waiting for my turn to come around I am lay down next to The Dearest One and I am watching everything and everyone like a hawk. But as I am not allowed nor interested in retrieving one of them I keep one eye on that lake for those ducks. And trust me peeps I know they are there. I love this instinct

The Dearest One has one bad habit that our teacher has to train out of her? When we do sit and stay I actually understand sit and stay. So on her command I more or less sit and stay, depends on my mood and how I feel at the time and the drying mud on my derriere is a distraction. But for some unknown reason after she’s told me to sit and stay and I AM sitting and staying, she then puts her hand up to me and holds it there.

I bark at her and tell her “I am sitting and staying, what’s wrong with you? Put your hand down or else I’m going to keep shouting at you” “I’m French and Gorgeous and getting more and more intelligent and don’t need two commands for the same thing”

“Owners – what can you do”?

Anyway, it’s clear she has no hope of moving up to the novice class with me if she has to take whistle training lessons and gives two commands for the same thing. I should be training her. That teacher’s got this all the wrong way round…….I hope she learns quickly otherwise I will be going up a class without her and that would be so embarrassing.

But at the end of the day we all have to learn and whilst I do all this and more of it instinctively it seems to me that the owners should be trained to bring the best out in our instincts…….

Stop press: I have just been told that the training is for the owners and not for us. The owners have to ensure they understand that we have the instinct and they are being trained to make the most of what we have. Well, glad we’ve settled that

Does that mean I’m driving home…..??

Oh, OK then I’ll get in the back shall I?

And so on the night we finish at France 3 and England 3 with The Dearest One not scoring at all.


Not to worry peeps I will make sure she does her homework for the next lesson!!

That’s it for this introduction – or should that be intro duck shun!!

Take care and au revoir for now

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