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  • Writer's pictureSpanish Water Dog Club

Gundog Training Day - 18 June 2023

A great gundog training day in Sussex last month, as reported by our Gundog co-ordinator, Jane Appleton.

'It was a beautiful morning in the Sussex Weald as we gathered at Gardners Farm, on the track overlooking our training area. Judy and Sandra were there to meet us and show us where to park, next to the fishing lake. There were 4 Spanish Water Dog handlers and 3 Lagotto handlers, all excited to step out into the delightful countryside with the prospect of good company and a lot of fun.

After Judy's health and safety briefing we walked to our designated lake, where a sturdy little boat was ready and waiting on the bank.

While Judy donned her waders we took it in turns to accustom the dogs (and their handlers!)to the boat, on dry land. Then as Judy stood in the water guiding the boat, each dog was given the opportunity to try a water retrieve to their handler in the boat. This was the first time for some of the dogs working to a boat and they really enjoyed themselves.

Next we moved to a wooded area past a spectacular show of pink water lilies. Here we stood on the grassy track while our dogs worked on blind retrieves to shot, over a small jump at the entrance to the wood. Sandra fired the training shots from within the cover as she threw each dummy for the dog to find.

Before lunch Judy helped us with our search techniques where the vegetation hid both the article and our dogs. During lunch it clouded over and threatened to rain as we chatted with Judy who answered any individual questions and we shared plans for our future training.

Sandra then led us across the gated bridge to the reeded area next to a stream with high, sloping banks. Here she put us through our paces in control and with distance retrieves, working as a team. We then had a chance to execute a retrieve across the stream. While this tested us all it gave us something to take home and work on.

Thank you to all who attended with their wonderful dogs, and a special thank you to Judy and Sandra for their good humour and the excellent training they gave us all.

Jane Appleton

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