“Cracking terrain with the wood, water and lots of cover!”“I learnt today….not to over handle my dog, especially in water!”
“I'm not a member of the GWCT but after listening to the talk today perhaps I should be!”
These were just a few of the comments coming from the gun dog handlers at the AV Gundog Working Test & Fun Day (non kc) held at Bloxworth Estate by kind permission of Lisa Macdonald Smith. The event was sponsored by Skinners Dog Food and the Game& Wildlife Conservation Trust.
Local gun dog competitor Felicity Green found the day to be rewarding and a good exercise to experience the test environment without the pressure. “These events are a great way to assess how far you are with your dog. I've got a kc intermediate test coming up and it's helpful to keep doing them because dogs and handlers behave differently in test circumstances. These fun events are slightly more relaxed but you're still in a test environment and you get alot more help and feedback from the judges.”
"I really wanted to learn how to handle a gundog properly and Henry is loving his training and enjoys it so much." Gemma has been pleased with his progress and came away with some areas to work on. "I need to do more heel work and keep Henry a bit tighter when quartering, and remember to draw him back if he goes on a bit too much. He can get carried away so I try to make sure he is always listening to me." The handsome German Pointer x Irish Water Spaniel clearly loved his puppy tests and his achievement reflects a young dog who is keen, quick to learn and eager to please.
Corbinsbere were delighted to see 14 year old Becky Mann participate in the working test with her Labrador Retriever Ellie. "I've enjoyed today and realize I have to work on our steadiness." The local junior handler has had a successful start in life with various gun dog events and has won many scurries in the four years she has been handling. From a very young age Becky has shadowed her Dad, Gerry, in the competition field and has a passion for the countryside. He said, "Becky always gives 100% in all she does which is a good thing these days and we are very proud of all she has achieved."
One of the benefits of a working test is that it teaches us something new about our dogs and our handling. Thankfully the support from our sponsors and local gun dog clubs enables us to celebrate the outstanding working characteristics of our gundogs whilst enjoying all aspects of the countryside. This year the GWCT have expanded their dog theme at the Scottish Game Fair and introduced an exciting 'World of Gundogs' attraction which no doubt will prove popular not only to the gun dog enthusiast but to all dog lovers.