As you may have noticed, we have a new website. I am still playing around with the layout but it has moved so it is now hosted on the server alongside my business websites. This means I can play more with the website and have the ability to play more! So hopefully everything will look smarter and be much easier to update now. It does however mean that we have lost all our old blog entries, as moving them over just isn’t possible. It’s rather sad as it showed how well both dogs had progressed through their sports but hopefully we will soon be able to do the same here too!
So onto the dogs sports….
Lily is doing well with agility but I will write her own blog on that!
Last weekend Paul and Dill entered the first working test of the year. Due to Dill having an operation to remove his retained testicle and a vasectomy on the other, it meant he was out of action for a good couple of months whilst he recovered. This meant that his training also went on the back burner and we had been working so hard on his recall and whistle commands before his op that it meant the idea of working tests was one of the very distant future! However since his op and now we are able to get to gundog training each week, Dill has come on amazingly.
The Kennel Club working test is a big one with limited entries. So all entries are picked on a ballot system, so we entered not really expecting to be picked and because it has sentimental meaning to us. Chatsworth was the first place we ever met a large munsterlander and the moment Paul completely fell in love with the breed. So really our journey started at Chatsworth house 3 years ago… it was that working test that led us back here this year.
So when we got the email saying that Dill had been picked, we really struggled to decide whether to continue and go or not. We decided in the end, why the hell not? He was doing really well and to be honest we couldn’t be prouder of him at the moment. He has a long way to go without a doubt but he has been fantastic recently for the most part so what was the worst that could happen?
Well he was last, which is never a good start! We did retrieves first and he really struggled with the waiting around. The seen retrieve was very long and in a very over grown field. It meant that the dogs that didn’t mark the dummy well were basically doing a blind. A lot of dogs failed. Dill did a really good out, he went straight out, mismarked it so hunted down to it, he wasn’t far off. Then he came back to Paul at full pelt and… carried on straight past him. He did bring it back to hand which was something but then he went off over the wall, ran around in a circle and then came back again. So we knew there was part of him that just wanted to run around, it is unfortunately part of Dill that if he needs to run he doesn’t always work too well.
The second retrieve was a split, a seen and a blind. This is what we expected however it was set up in a way that really tested the dog and handler. They were standing at the side of the field, a dummy thrower was half way in and threw a dummy. Then another person at the opposite end of the field to the dummy thrower and even further in to the field shot a start pistol. The dog was then sent up to a blind, retrieve that and then get the seen. The blind was just as long as the original seen but it was very much a blind, and a lot of dogs failed. Dill headed up to it, arced round, got the seen and then took that to the person with the starter pistol, worked his way round to the blind, swapped dummys and then brought that back to Paul. Paul had to walk him up to get the other dummy though and so they failed that retrieve.
The next was hunting and we had to wait two hours for Dill to have a go. It was a long wait! Still he hunted well, the judge finished it before asking Paul to stop and recall Dill in, which we thought was odd but he worked well so we were happy.
The last was the water and that was after a much needed lunch! We had another two hour wait and we were not allowed to watch anyone else. Though everyone got to watch us once they had finished which seemed a little unfair! Especially as Dill was last so everyone was watching! Still Dill went straight in as if the water wasn’t even there, it didn’t bother him at all. He got the dummy, headed straight back. Even the steward said to me how amazing he looked! However as he got back he decided the dummy needed to be taken to the photographer and then he decided that once he gave it back to Paul he was going to do a runner! The bugger!
All in all he didn’t do too badly. He came 16th out of 24 and for his first working test of the year, a very difficult one at that, it was pretty good! We are very proud of him and hopefully he will get to more soon enough!