Firstly thank you to Debbie Wallwork for letting me use her photo of the venue we had for the day.
Secondly, wow! What an amazing venue, we were so blessed to have access to this ground, well done to the WCGB on securing it for the day. Set in a vast forestry there were around 6 HUGE lakes but better than that was the fact they had such different entries so there was something to truly suit everyone.
I had entered Faith in the puppy class as she can swim but isn’t overly confident with her entries. The morning saw us start with a couple of small land based tests, I’m assuming so our trainer could see what kind of control each of us had. We completed a wait at a distance followed by recall then a wait off lead followed by dummy thrown in distance to mark then you sent dog when ready and they were to retrieve to hand.
After completing those we went to water, lovely sloping entry nice and easy. Faith however felt differently so I ended up knee deep to encourage her in, once in a couple of times she then had no hesitation and was happily retrieving dummies and returning them, some were
to hand but some took at detour so some work required there.
We were then asked to do a land memory retrieve which Faith completed perfectly and to hand.
We soon broke for lunch, as our group broke early we had an extra hour to kill so took our dogs for a lovely wander in the forests surrounding, total bliss and lovely and cool and relaxing for the dogs, good to unwind between sessions.
After lunch we had a lovely trainer who had HPRs in the past but now had a beautiful young lab.
The entry after lunch was still suitable but harder and for Faith a little too hard and she lost confidence, however our trainer was excellent and returned her to the non swimmers entry a few times to loosen her up and give her confidence before sending her to our new entry with a very easy close retrieve and with this she managed to get her in. Once again once she had made the entry once she didn’t look back and retrieved everything required from her and to hand too. All retrieves were completed to shot and she didn’t bat an eyelid.
Our day ended with a small test which consisted of setting Faith up in and off lead sit, having a land retrieve thrown out then a water retrieve thrown out. When told it was ok to release I then had to send Faith for the water retrieve first and after bringing that back to hand, which she did cleanly. Unfortunately we were supposed to sit our dogs in between this water retrieve and sending them for the land one but Faith thought she knew better and headed off to retrieve the one on the land, which she did bring to hand but unfortunately lost us any possibility of a placing.
However, place or no place the day was great, venue superb, company really lovely and I was very proud of all that Faith did as she gave her heart and soul. It was lovely also to be praised by our trainer on how I worked with her kindly and positively as that’s what matters most to me.
Highly recommend this day for anyone wishing to improve their water work! Thank you to everyone who made the day possible.