Archive 2017

Latest news 2017

24 November 2017

 

The Poké-kids celebrate their 1st birthday

 

Today, the Poké-kids celebrate their 1st birthday. A huge congratulation to all six. They have developed into nice young dogs.

23 November 2017

 

The hunting dawg

 

I am so grateful that two years ago I learned that a confirmed hunter and Labrador owner was going to buy a Toller – and not any Toller; but a daughter of Bella and thus a half-sister to my Vixen. I reached out to Per Rasmussen – which was his name – and that was a really good idea, because with Per I met a person who is so unselfish and only wants the best for others. He is very interested in helping the Toller to succeed as a hunting dog in Denmark. This entails that he helps on tests, he offers to provide cold game for training, he offers to help with training and he invites people to join him on pick-ups when it is possible.

 

Last year he invited Vixen and me on our very first pick-up on Sparresholm Castle and it was a huge experience for both of us.

 

This year, he invited us on three pick-ups three days in a row. Maybe a bit too much for a somewhat hot-headed dog with very little hunting experience. However, I had agreed with Per that I could put her back in the car, if smoke started coming out of her ears.

 

On Friday, the pick-up was on Sparresholm Castle. I left home at 4.15 in the morning to be able to meet at 7.30. Per made sure that I was placed on the best possible spot. “Best possible” does not mean where most birds drop from the skies. For Vixen, it'ss mostly about being able to “be” in it and learn that not everything that falls from the skies is for her.

 

A lot of things are required of a dog on a pick-up. One of them is that they should be able to sit closely together – and sometimes almost on top of each other – on the carriage. Fortunately, Vixen is OK with this. Last year she was a bit perplex of all the Labradors that were everywhere. But this year she was cool.

 

During the first beat she retrieves a duck. I send her for it while the shooting is still going on as it was only wounded. After the shooting she was allowed to search with the other dogs. On most beats she was allowed to retrieve a few birds and then search afterwards. However, on one of the beats she was quite busy. It was "raining pheasants" and she was sent to retrieve both the wounded and the dead. Per took some videos of her: Link and Link

 

I was really satisfied with Vixen after the first day. She was able to stay calm and there was only very little and very low sound when it all became a little too exciting – AND……..she did amazing heelwork (WTF!!!!)

 

The “harvest” of the day was 355 birds (ducks and pheasants).

 

I stayed with my brother during these days. He lives outside Slagelse which is near where we pick up. I don’t know any hotel where the food is better. To show my gratitude I brought him some pheasants and a teal from the hunt.

 

The next morning I drove to Ranglemølle estate. This time I didn’t have to get up as early as the day before as it was only about ½ hour from my brother’s house.

 

Contrary to Sparresholm, the gamekeeper on Ranglemølle does not want the dogs on the carriage. They have a special dog carriage with boxes. I was quite curious to see how Vixen would handle that. She accepted it but wasn’t crazy about it. When we came to the end of the day, I really had to persuade her to jump into the box.

 

On the first beat of this day, I was placed with Per and his Labs. We were placed on one of the sides were there would only be a few birds. Good for Vixen as she had to learn to be calm. And this was actually a problem for her. She had a little sound so I put some distance between Per’s dogs and Vixen.

 

A pheasant was brought down pretty quickly and it fell so that it would be easy for Vixen to retrieve it. However, as it was dead as a doornail, Per advised me to leave it until the beat was over. It would be good for Vixen to sit and wait. And the fact that birds are brought down while she is retrieving could make her leave the bird I send her to retrieve to retrieve another bird. So we waited. When the hunters were done, I sent Vixen to retrieve the bird. It was visible so wouldn't be a problem for her. Afterwards I let her search an area with high vegetation. She located a pheasant. However, she was stressed and was a bit hard on the bird. I stopped her and picked the bird up myself. At that time I was considering putting her back in the car.

 

Benedicte Bjoljahn was responsible for the dogs on this pick-up. I don’t know if she saw or heard that Vixen was a bit stressed. At any rate, she asked if she could decide where I should be placed – and of course, she could. I told her that I was not interested in being placed where all the action was. To me it was not about the number of retrieves but that my dog could be calm in the situation. So she placed me where it was quiet but where we would still be able to have some retrieves. So in the second beat we were placed in a good place where we had a full visibility to all “the action”. I had to cover an area that was partly fenced. I had a clear view to Palle Ingemann and his Goldens up on a hill - and boy were they busy. Palle could hardly keep up with his dogs. Vixen got to retrieve one single pheasant. I wasn’t sure if a bird had fallen in some scrubs, so I sent her. She searched for a while then stopped and went to the left where she continued her search. Suddenly, she returned with a pheasant that I hadn’t noticed. Per was placed in an area to the left from me. I suspected that Vixen had been “stealing” a pheasant from his pile so I asked him. But no, it was Vixen’s bird. Per told me, that he saw the bird go down and he sent his Lab, Basco. However, Basco had to give up due to the fence between him and the bird.

 

The next beats we were placed in a more tranquill place which was nice as Vixen was a bit on the lively side. She was sent to search after the shooting was over but didn’t get any birds.

But then, on the last beat of the day, she was busy. We were placed very close to the shooters and there were a lot of birds. Vixen managed it quite well, actually. She was very attentive and on her toes, but she managed to stay at my side unleashed. 2-3 pheasant fell a few meters in front of us. I asked her to stay and went to pick them up myself. I sent her to retrieve 3-4 birds during the shooting. Afterwards, she was allowed to search in an area with high vegetation. I had seen that at least one bird fell in the area and she managed to find it pretty quickly. I walked up along the area and had her continue the search and indeed, she found another three birds. Then this day’s hunt was over and Vixen had to go into the box for the last time.

 

The result of the day was 707 pheasants. Vixen only retrieved a fraction of these – but then again – it is not about the number of retrieves; it’s about the quality.

 

When I returned to my brother’s house, Vixen was not only very tired, she was also in pain. She had injured her right hind leg. She refused to put weight on it and was not happy to let me check her out. I checked the paw but couldn’t see anything. I soaked it in soapy water and put some Kovaline on and crossed my fingers that she would be ready for next day’s hunt.

 

Sunday’s pickup was on Bonderup estate. Unfortunately, Vixen was still hurting so I had to cancel our participation. Instead, we headed west to Vildbjerg. I actually think that it was OK that she was not going on her third pickup in three days – as she was sooo tired.

 

We had some amazing days with Per. And I am very grateful to get this chance to see what Vixen contains – and she didn’t disappoint me. I am also very grateful to the other handlers who were very nice to welome the two greenhorns – Vixen and I. When you are asked to pick up on these big hunts then you have to consider it a job to be done. It is hard work for the dogs and they have to do their part. So it is quite amazing that I am allowed to bring Vixen and just let her work when I think she is in the right mindset – this means that she will be doing nothing during some of the beats – just learn to “be in it”.

 

I hope we will be invited again next year. We will surely be ready! 

 

I believe that Vixen had sprained something in her hind leg. During Monday, she started to put weight on it again and Tuesday she was OK. It’s incredible what a few day’s rest can do. 

 

22 November 2017

 

Redreynard's Daisy Duck

19 June 2005 -15 November 2017

 

Wednesday it was time to say goodbye to Daisy.

 

Daisy had had a longer period where she was OK and didn’t vomit as much as ealier. We knew that it would only be for a short while but we enjoyed the time we could have with her.

 

However, on Tuesday morning before she had breakfast, she vomited again – and the vomit contained quite a bit of blood. I called Leif and we decided that it was not time to say goodbye to her. We had agreed that when she started vomiting again, we would end it.

 

We wanted her to be put to sleep in our own home. None of our regular vets had time for a home visit the next couple of days, so we made arrangements with our local vet, Stella, to come on Wednesday morning. Not the most fun arrangement we have made.

 

On Tuesday afternoon, Leif took Daisy to one last trip to Haunstrup. He took some video of her that you can see here: LINK (first video). She seemed so fit and full of life and we doubted if this was the right time to say goodbye.

 

Then on Wednesday morning, Stella the vet came. We all sat down on the floor with the dogs. She took her time to connect with both dogs. After some time, she gave Daisy the anaesthetic. Stella explained that the reason for giving an anaesthetic is the fact that the fluid used for putting them down is stinging when it is injected.

 

The anaesthetic started to work instantaneously. As it often happens when a dog are given an anaesthetic, it starts vomiting – and so did Daisy. When the vet saw the amount of blood in the vomit she said that there was too much blood in the vomit and this was without doubt the right time to let Daisy go. It was really nice to have her reassure us that it was time as we have had our doubts.

 

When Daisy was sleeping, she got the last injection and shortly after, she was dead. We said goodbye to the vet and Vixen was allowed to check Daisy out. We also spent some time saying goodbye to her.

 

I then called a place where the cremate animals. We had decided that we wanted to do this ourselves instead of letting the vet do it. We could bring Daisy to them right away, so we wrapped her in a towel and put her in the cage in the car. Vixen was put on the backseat with Kristian.

 

At the crematory we said our last goodbyes. It was so hard to leave her there.

Already two days later, we could pick up her ashes and Daisy not sits on a shelf with Chili in our living room.

 

It has been so hard to say goodbye to two dogs only months apart. However, these are the conditions when you have dogs that are more or less the same age. Vixen will also have to get used to being alone. She has never tried that. It will be exciting to see how she copes.

 

We are comforted by the thought that Chili is waiting to greet Daisy at the Rainbow Bridge.

 

22 October 2017

 

Blood tracking with Helle Døj

 

We were lucky enough to persuade Helle Døj to spent a whole day with giving us an introduction to blood tracking. We met in Helle's "hood" - the Klosterheden forest. Helle had teamed up with Knud Erik Christensen, so we knew we were in competent hands.

 

"We" were Caroline with Tessa, Morten/Camilla with Alba, Henrik with Zenta, Erling wit Shappa, Leif with Daisy and me with Vixen.

 

The first tracks were small ones along a path. The second ones we laid in the Woods. Both Helle and I took some pictures and some videos which can be seen here: LINK.

 

Even if blood tracking takes a lot of time, we also found time for something else. We had lunch, afternoon tea and cake, talked a lot and not least seen Knud Erik do some tracking with one of his dogs and Helle show how she works with impulse control.

 

The Poké-kids did really well and according to Helle they would become good tracking dogs if this was what their owners wanted to do with them.

 

All in all it was a really nice day in the amazing Klosterheden forrest.

 

18 October 2017

 

Wildmountain Tollers Princess Leia (Leia)

29 September 2016 - 13 October 2017

 

On 13 October, we were informed that Mai-Britt and her familie had had to say goodbye to Wildmountain Tollers Princess Leia - Leia.

 

Leia was born on 29 Setember 2006 as the only bitch in a litter of four pups. When she was 8 weeks she moved to her new familiy - Jan, Tina and their two sons. Jan trained her in DcH. In July 2008, Leia gave birth to her first and only litter of two bitches. The proud father was Shaggy Toller's Milli-Max Maico.

 

In 2011, Leia was adopted by Mai-Britt and her Family. The reason for this was that Jan and Tina were divorce and Jan felt that he couldn't give her the attention she needed. We already knew Mai-Britt ande just happy that she wanted to give Leia a new home.

 

Mai-Britt and her family have given Leia a wonderful live with lots of love and training. We are happy and grateful that Mai-Britt and her famiiliy wanted to adopt Leia when she needed a new home.

 

Now there is only one pup left from the Star Wars litter - Wildmountain Tollers Obi-Wan Kenobi aka Kettu.

 

The below picture of Leia was taken by Mai-Britt. It was taken shorly before Leia's 11th birthday.

26 September 2017

 

Toller hunting test in Sorø

 

On 24 September, we took part in what will be last toller hunting test this year for us. This time, we went to Sorø. Again I had the pleasure of being responsible for the administrative part of the test. Per Rasmussen did the test layout. He is still quite new in the Toller community but he has tons of experience in the retriever world. Judge was Titti Karlström who had her début as judge in Denmark.

 

It was like a Scandinavian get-together with one Norwegian participant, three Swedish participants and three Danish participants.

 

I ran Vixen in open class. The only other dog in open class was Cookie (Vixen’s daughter). This was Cookie’s and Helle’s first try in the open class. You can’t blame them for having trained a lot in the week before the test. Helle and Kim had enjoyed a vacation on the Greek island, Crete, and Cookie stayed with us during that week. I did take her with me out training a few times together with Vixen – even thought this is not the same. However, before Helle went on vacation we did train together a few times, so she was not totally lost. We had especially trained the search as two dogs have to work together in the search in open class. And this takes some practice for them to learn to ignore the other dog.

 

The open class was as follows:

 

 

As always we started by sneaking to the blind. As always, Vixen arrived before me ☹ First we had seks tollings to each side – then a pause – the four tollings to each side – a pause – and finally two tollings to each side. One of my tolling balls disappeared into some bushes. After having searched in vain for a while, I threw Vixen a new ball.

 

After the tolling, we had a double mark – one on land and one on water (1A and 1B). Neither Vixen nor I saw the one on land (which was thrown last) but we heard it. So I wanted to bring that one home first. I cast her, she pokes about in the bushes for some time – and brings me my tolling ball! So now it was a bit difficult to convince her to go again. I moved a bit to the right so that she had a clear path and I succeeded in bringing her further out. I gave her an “area whistle” when she reached the area where the judge had said that the duck landed. And voila, she found it and brought it back. Then she had to retrieve the water mark which she more or less had forgotten. So again I had to give her a lot of support. The water was filled with what looked like waterlilies which made it difficult to see the duck. However, suddenly her nose pointed in the right direction, she caught the scent and went for it.

 

Next was another doublemark – this time both landed on water (2A and 2B). The first one landed left of us behind some rush. I could see it and as there was no wind I assumed that it would stay where it had landed. The other landed a little further than the first watermark. I chose to have her retrieve this first. This time she didn’t need my assistance. She swam right out to the duck and brought it home. No. 2 was also not a problem. I took a small step to the right which enabled me to see the duck. Vixen also saw it when I pointed it out and off she went.

 

Helle and Cookie had finished these exercises before me. They were then asked to stay out of sight until it was time or the search. The search area was a quite big area. The first part had medium growth. Then came a hilly area with forest-like vegetation on three sides. The birds were placed all over the area. Cookie was allowed to go first – and she retrieved a coot (Helle was so afraid that she wouldn’t pick up coots, so……). The it was Vixen’s turn and she retrieve a duck. Then both dogs had to work at the same time in the area. Again, Cookie retrieved a coot. Helle was so proud – and I was so happy as I was not sure that Vixen would retrieve them spontaneously. After having worked together for a while, the were again working alone. When dog 1 had picked up and was on her way back, dog 2 could be cast. The two girls did so well. They covered the whole area with a lot of speed and did so well in following the scents they picked up. And they totally ignored each other. When searching with another dog you must make sure not to disturb the other dog – so we were both careful when sending our dogs into the search. They both retrieved six birds.

 

Then it was time for the last exercise – the blind. Helle and Cookie went first, and Vixen and I had to hide. The blind was about 60 meters across a more or less trimmed area and into a hedgerow. The duck was placed a few meters in the hedgerow. Both dogs had no trouble with this exercise.

 

I am so happy with the way Vixen worked. However, the heelwork was louse but that is beginning to be “old news”. We had a nice oral critique from the judge but we had to wait with the prize.

 

Then it was time for lunch. After lunch we could lean back and enjoy the dogs in the winner’s class.

 

Helle and Cookie were awarded a 3rd prize. Helle had to work quite a bit with the double marks and had to support Cookie. This is why they ended with a 3rd prize. Cookie is still pretty inexperience with doublemarks – so now Helle knows how to use the winter months. Vixen stepped up the “prize ladder” and was awarded a 2nd prize. Of course, we were deducted due to the heelwork (surprise, surprise) and the struggle with the landmark.

 

This will probably be the last test this year for Vixen. There is another Danish test in Octobe, but it is only for qualification and beginner. There are also two tests in the southern part of Sweden. However, I expect her to go into season soon.

 

Vixen’s litter brother, Silver, which lives in Sweden with Jan, started in the winner’s class. He has just been awarded the Swedish Toller Hunting Championtitle. On Sunday, he got a 1st prize. One more in Denmark and he will be the first Danish Toller Hunting Champion. It was a pleasure to see Silver work. He and Vixen are so alike. Jan is, however, much better in controlling Silver’s energy and eagerness that I am in controlling Vixen’s 😊

 

All participants on the test were awarded a prize.

11 September 2017

 

Unofficial test on cold game at Svansømosegård

 

On Sunday we had to get up even earlier than on Saturday. Both Leif and I had volunteered to help at an unofficial test on cold game at Svansømosegård. I love to go there because to the fantastic grounds– and I also had an ulterior motive to go 😊

 

We were both helping in the winner’s class. Leif was throwing ducks all day, and I was a shooter in the search. It was constructed as a hunt (the dogs saw us walk through the search, shoot and throw dunmies which we picked up ourselves. They then had to hunt the area to find the birds). So another day with a lot of walking. We had all kinds of weather. As soon as the sun was shining and I took off my raincoat, I had to put in on again because it started to rain. Nevertheless, it was a nice day with nice people – and some nice and not so nice work.

 

And then to my ulterior motive: I was hoping I could use the grounds for a Toller hunting test next summer. And I could!

 

9 September 2017

 

Puppy meeting

 

On Saturday we had this year’s puppy meeting.

 

For the first time we had “outsourced” the task to Pernille Lillevang / Potepower. We were in charge of the catering all day and Pernille was in charge of the “entertainment” and training. To us, this was the right setup. Previously, it has been pretty stressing to be in charge of everything and also to find time to talk to people. Some of the puppy buyers we don’t see that often. Pernille has some really nice indoor facilities, so we could have breakfast and lunch indoors – which was nice.

 

On Friday, Leif and I were busy shopping, preparing different salads, baking bread and cakes and preparing the meat for the grill.

 

We met at 9.00 for breakfast. Pernille stopped by to inform about her plans for the day – and then we started. She wanted to start with some fun that everyone could be part of – no matter their training level. So she had prepared a relay race. We were split into three teams. First we had to walk zigzag between poles, we had to walk around a bowl (the dogs that had been taught the heel position via the bowl had to walk around the bowl with their front paws on the bowl). The the dogs had to run into an agility tunnel, pass “Dusky the Husky” and his filled feeding bowl. Next stop was a place board where the dog had to sit and stay while the handler walked around the dog. Then we had to go between two fences which were close together and lastly, we had to walk around another fence put up as a triangle. During the whole time, the handler had to carry a long, pink cuddly toy in his/her hands – and of course, the dogs were very distracted by the toy.

 

The dogs that participated were: Kettu (from Chili’s litter – he is almost 11 but he looks amazing). From the Ben & Jerry litter Cookie, Cody and Teddy came, and from the Pokémon litter Alba, Tessa, Fiona and Zenta. Unfortunately, some who had accepted the invitation were not able to come. However, then it was possible for the non-Wildmountain Tollers to participate: Cookies “sister” Troja and Fiona’s “sister” Lucy. And of course, Daisy and Vixen were also there.

All the dogs did well in the relay race. However, some teams were faster than others. The winners were team 3 (Morten/Tessa, Morten/Alba, Helle/Cookie and Leif/Daisy). Team 1 came second: (Camilla/Cody, John/Kettu, Gitte/Fiona and Vanessa/Teddy). This left team 3 with a third place (Henrik/Zenta, Kim/Troja, Tom/Lucy and Lis/Vixen). However, we all got prizes 😊

 

I was able to capture some video of team 1 and team 3. As I myself was on team 2, I wasn’t able to record that (maybe a positive thing as we were last) 😊

There was still some time left before lunch, so Pernille prepared a training session with the Poké kids, while Leif had a photo shoot with the other dogs. I was able to make ready for lunch. We also had time to train the older dogs before lunch. Pernille did some “strickt” obedience with us. When she saw that the dogs did well, she turned up the degree of difficulty with distractions etc.

Really good training.

 

While we were training, Leif had prepared som meat on the barbecue. The meat was done just as our training was done 😊

 

After lunch, the Poké kids were at it again. Pernille had prepared some exercises that were first step into doing blinds. Afterwards, the older dogs, went a few steps further to show how you can build on the basic exercises. A really good and educational way to do it. After a few hours of traning it was time for coffee and cake – and some more talk. And then we had to say goodbye.

We are so happy and grateful that we have puppy buyers who will support the things we do. We had the feeling that everybody had a good time and that the training was good. Actually, I am trying to find a time to book Pernille for a whole day of training.

 

You can see pictures from the day here: Pictures from puppy meeting 2017

 

 

3 September 2017

First show for the Poké kids

On Sunday, the club held a show near Odense. I had persuaded four of the Poké kids to participate: Chappa, Zenta, Tessa and Alba.

 

As they are almost 10 months, the were in the junior class. And due to the lack of babies and puppies, it was straight from the shoulder for Henrik and Erling. Fortunately, we had spent some time practicing so they didn’t come totally unprepared. And – as always when it is a club show – both the ring secretary and the judge were willing to spent time explaining and letting people try a second time if they didn’t succeed the first time.

 

Judge was Bjarne Sørensen and as always he was very humorous and good at handling both dogs and handlers.

 

There were three dogs in the junior class for males: The two Poké kids and a Shaggy Tollers dog. All three received an excellent and some very nice critiques. Furthermore, the dog from Shaggy Toller got a CK (Champion Quality).

 

Shappa's (WT Pikachu) critique:

Masculine head with a nice expression, left ear folded. Nice neck, good bone. Nice body for his age. A bit overbuildt on the day. Some what sloping croup, nice fur structure but somewhat fluffy. Moves nice when he wants to. Excellent temperament.

 

Zenta's (WT Charmander) critique:

Masculine head and expression, nice ears. Nice neck and shoiuldes. Nice body but a in a bit too god conditioon. Could have more bone. Lack of angulation back, tail a bit curly. Parallel movements but somewhat short steps behind

 

That was a nice beginning :-)

 

Then it was time for the girls to shine. There were seven bitches in the junior class. Tessa and Alba received a Very Good while the rest received an Excellent.

 

Alba's (WT Mew) critique:

A bit light bitch, feminine head. Expression is disturbed by the foldede ars. Nice neck, OK body for her age. Could have more bone. Pulls up loin when moving. Moves with short, ineffective steps. Nice fur structure but lack of fur. Could have more confidence.

 

Tessa's (WT Eevee) critique:

Small bitch, feminine head. Nice expression, nice neck. Sufficient angles in the front. Nice chest. Pulls up loin when moving. Sloping loin and moves with short ineffecitive steps behind. Nice fur structure. Excellent temperament.

 

I am very happy with the critiques. It was no surprise that the girls were labelled ”light” and ”small”. These are not the largest Toller bitches produced – but maybe the nicest 😊 The boys, however, were quite masculine and did also better than the bitches.

 

I was quite curious to see how they would behave in the ring. They are all quite inense and it has been a problem to teach them to stand still and be touched. However, they actually did well. It could easily have been better but I feared it would be worse.

 

No get-together with these pups and their owners without cake. On top of it, Birgit had made a pie so we also had something healthy that day.

 

The Retriever club had an unofficial test in the area that day which gave us the possibility to watch some nice work before heading back to Vildbjerg.

 

6. september 2017

 

Toller hunting test in Davinde

 

On 2 September the Toller club held a toller hunting test in Davinde near Odense. We had borrowed some really nice grounds and I envy those that can train there on a daily basis.

 

The PRØVELÆGGER was from the Retriever Club. He had designed a reall nice and fair test for us. Unfortunately, he couldn't stay there during the test as he was going hunting (hunting season starts 1 September). So after having showed his layout to the judge, Finn Lange, and me, he left. For the rest of the day, it was my responsibity to remember his layout for all classes and instruct the helpers. The helpers - well, they were in fact the participants. Except from the shooters, we didn't succeed in finding any helpers, so everyone had to lend a hand to make the test happen. Fortunately, they all accepted to help and they did so well. It is just sad that there is no support from the club members living in the area.

 

Furthermore, I had to be the judge's "secretary". This means that I had to write his critique of the dogs. We normally don't use secretaries in Denmark, but Finn had asked if it was possible. And it was!

 

Helle and Cookie also participated - in the beginner's class. They were the first in their class - and what a test for them. I believe, this was their best test ever. There were small imperfections but their cooperation was excellent and Cookie was amazing. They were awarded with the only 1st prize in the class - and thus also best dog. So now they are ready for open class and Vixen and I will meet our match :-)

 

After lunch, it was finally our turn. Vixen was pretty eager after having spent all morning in the car. That is the only negative thing when you are busy helping on a test - yor dog gets ignored most of the day.

 

 

 

 

Well, we started with the tolling. Lots of speed but also total passiviness when required.

 

After the tolling we had a doublemark on water. She solved that without any effort and at no point was she in doubt where the ducks had landed.

 

So far so good. Now we had to walk to heel for quite a distance. Oh dear, not so good. It is annoying to keep thinking "are we there yet - are we there yet" while looking at the stick pointing out your distination coming closer and closer. Well, we arrived more or less at the same time, Vixen and I :-)

 

Here we were served to single marks on land. Also here, Vixen was totally on top of it. She went straight to the ducks and back. Never in doubt of where they were. Then some more heelwork :-( to the blind on the water.

 

On our way to the blind, the shooter shot in the direction of the bird. The heelwork was not good but again, we almost arrived at the same time, Vixen and I.

 

It was a blind over water. The duck was hidden in the rush on the other side of the lake. I sent Vixen. She starts well then seems to be a bit unsure, but I succeed in persuading her to continue with a back command. On the way over the lake I need to encourage he a couple of times. On the other side of the lake she stars searching on my whistle, finds the duck and come back and delivers it to hand. My first impression was that this was not that good direction work. However, Helle sent me a video of the exercise and I must say, I think Vixen did well.

 

Then it was time for the last exercise - the search. I was pretty sure that Vixen would do well in the search. Well, I got wiser. The other dog in the search was Anina's Tristan. For some reason, Vixen was intimidated by him - and for no reason. He totally ignored her. Her uncertaity made her come back and "ask" for my help several times and she didn't manage to search in the far end of the search area. Furthermore, she was about to ignore a widgeon. Fortunately, I was watching her closely, so she only managed to lift her head and look as tough she was continuing to search when I shouted at her. She then immediately picked up the duck and delivered it to hand. At some point, the judge asked me to take a few steps forward. And this was what was needed to make her search the far end of the area. At some point, she picks up something big and very white up. At first, I was puzzled because I knew that there were no white duck. Then I could see that it was a rabbit - and we are not allowed to have rabbits in open class! Well, Vixen likes rabbits and she brings it to me.

 

The judge awarded us a 3rd prize - a completely fair 3rd prize. We were penalized due to the very bad heelwork and the fact that Vixen didn't pick the widgeon up spontaneously.

 

It was av very long day. When the tests were over, we had to make sure that the area was cleared of our things and then we had to load the car. Helle and Cookie were dropped off in Middelfart. Of course, Cookie was given her prize burger. And to Vixen's delight, there were smaller burgers to her and Troja.

 

Before I landed at my own house, I dropped the used game off at a local zoo. It is a bit creepy being alone in a zoo late in the evening. But I appreciate that they are willing to take the used game. I find it more respectful than having to destroy it.

Once again a long day - up at 5.30 am and in bed a 11.45 pm. 11.58 km or 16,592 steps (according to my Fitbit).

 

21 August 2017

 

Newly qualified therapy dog

 

Teddy (WT Chubby Hubby) is now a gualified therapy dog. Together with owner, Vanessa, he has completed his training as therapy dog and has passed the test.

 

Since he moved to Frankfurt to Vanessa and Dejan, Teddy has joined Vanessa on he job. She is a speech therapist and has her own clinic. Teddy has been a great success on the clinic; so great that it was difficult to "sell" the time slots on the days, that Teddy was at home.

 

In his sparetime, Teddy enjoys dummy training - and also here he excels.

 

A big congratulations to Vanessa and Teddy. We are so proud of you.

 

 

17 August 2017

 

Toller Specialty 2017 in Sweden

 

I have just returned from this year’s Toller Specialty in Sweden (which took place 3-6 August) and now it’s time for an account of a fantastic event.

 

Odd and I drove to Halland in Sweden on Wednesday afternoon. Before that, Odd had gone from Farsund via Kristinsand/Hitshals to Vejle, where I met up with him. Of course, he had Charlie with him, while June and Foxy had been left back in Farsund together with all the puppies.

 

We reached Skogaby just prior to the opening of the secretariat so that we could sign in. Then we drove to our hostel. It turned out to be in the opposite direction of the test area so we ended up driven one hour back and forth to the test area each day. In return, it was quite close to Halmstad which gave us the opportunity to go out for dinner every evening :-)

 

Our hostel was in a league of its own. It was an old farm house in the country side. When we arrived, they got our bookings wrong. My room was occupied and instead they gave me the “family room” which – I guess – used to be a living room. It had a double door with stained glass. To avoid that people could look inside they had put a curtain in front of the door on the inside. The number plate on the door – and every other door - was a piece of duct tape with the room number written on it with a marker pen. The walls were covered in pale green and pale red hessian. There were five single beds, a dining table and five dining chairs in the room. It felt like a dormitory on a camp. But what the heck – I was only supposed to sleep there and the bed was quite nice.

 

 

We were shown the ”bathroom” which was a shower cabinet in some kind of a utility room. However, we were allowed to use the owner’s bathroom which they also showed us. It was a huge bathroom with a huge tub in the middle of the room and it also had a shower cabinet. And now that we had entered the private part of the building, the owner would like to greet us. He turned out to be a very big man – so big that he was not able to leave his bed. I noticed that there were some hoisting apparatus in the ceiling of both his room and the bedroom. However, he told us that he was no longer able to get to the bathroom, so I don’t know if he used it.

 

Well, the bed was fine, the dogs were allowed to be there and the area was nice for walks with the dogs.

 

On Wednesday evening, we went for dinner with Doris and Thomas (Vixen’s breeders). It was so nice to see them again and to hear news from Germany and Lech-Toller Nest.

 

Then on Thursday it was time for Vixen and me to shine in open class :-) I was one of the last participants that day so I had plenty of time to look at the other dogs in the class. The exercises were: Tolling, a double watermark on line, a blind on land, a search, another watermark and a blind on water.

 

Tolling and the double mark on water was quite easy – even if the fell on a line. The markings fell very close to each other and on open water, so that should not be a problem. On the way back with the second mark there was a shot to help the dog with the blind.

 

The blind on land had me worry instantly. The direct way was to send the dog through an area with very high vegetation – high enough that you couldn’t see the dog. Furthermore, the ground was very moist and in some places even with surface water. The goose was placed between a birch and a low bush in the backend of the area. My idea of solving this task was to send the dog along the left side where the vegetation was not so high and the ground dry, stop it when it was on a level with the goose and send it to the right. The wind came from the right so that would be a great help. I wasn’t worried about the goose. It was a big graylag but I have never experienced that Vixen had any trouble picking up geese, so…….

 

 

The search was in an area with high vegetation and a marshy ground but I assumed that this would not be a problem for Vixen.

 

In the search, when the dogs was on its way back with a retrieve, the shooter shot twice – one time to a water mark and one time to a water blind. The water blind was a tricky one. A huge part of the swim was in parallel to the shore – only a few meters from the shore. I later found out that they had put up a fence to keep the dog from going via land.

 

In general, a lot of the dogs didn’t manage to retrieve the goose or they were stopped in the search because they weren’t efficient. During Thursday’s test only a few dogs did well. One of them was Speeding Katniss vom Lech-Toller Nest – bred and handled by Doris Hoffmann. Katniss is a half-sister to Vixen (same dam). Katniss solved all the tasks. However, she could have been more dirigible but she solved both the blinds.

 

The first couple of hours in the morning the weather was fine. Then it started raining and it kept on raining for the next three days :-(

 

After lunch it was finally our turn. Strangely enough, I wasn’t that nervous. Not that I was confident that we would do well. I think that it had to do with the whole atmosphere and a very nice judge – Marie Kinder.

 

Well, the sneaking to the blind went well. A few times, Vixen was a little faster than me but she was in control! The tolling went super well. She exploded when I sent her and was totally calm during the breaks. She also did the double water mark ithout any difficulties. But…..then came the blind on land and it all fell flat :-(

 

When I stood in front of the area it looked quite different from what I saw as an audience up from the hill. I shouldn’t’ have taken me by surprise, but it did. The left side, which from the hill looked like a path was not at all a path and not at all as distinct as I thought. So I took a minute to think about how to solve this. The plan was still to send her up along the left side of the area, stop her and send her to the right to the goose which she – of course – would pick up spontaneously and proudly bring back to me. Well, I got wiser!

 

I sent her up along the left side but she quickly went to the middle of the area and I lost sight of her. I handled her for quite some time and she was not at all willing to listen and obey. At some point, I thought she had found the goose and I gave her the “area whistle”. But she didn’t bring any goose so I must have been mistaken. After some more handling she found the goose (again). Whistle and some verbal encouragement when she looked at me – and then she finally took it. But she put it down after a few meters. She repeated this 5-6 times and my verbal encouragement to her to pick up became more and more high-pitched. Finally, she was only a meter from me when she dropped the goose again. I was relieved that it was over. It wasn’t very nice or impressive but the goose was retrieved. I was ready to continue to the search. But…….then the judge saw a hole in the goose. A hole that fitted Vixen’s canine tooth perfectly. So it was goodbye. Bullsh…! I didn’t see that coming. I talked to the judge about it. She was sure the hole was from all the picking up and dropping. I believe she is right. I did not see a stressed or pressured dog. So I am not in panic that my dog made a hole in a goose. I am just frustrated that we didn’t have the possibility to try all the exercises. I was especially excited about the blind on water. We have trained a lot of blinds on water lately and also some that was not straight over water, so I thought that she might be able to do it. Well, I never got to see that.

 

I am puzzled that Vixen didn’t retrieve the goose spontaneously. She had never had problems with game. A couple of days before we left for Sweden, she retrieved barnacle goose, cormorant, seagull and gray heron spontaneously. In Sweden, the same goose had been used the whole day and it was heavy due to the rain, but it looked fine and it didn’t smell. I don’t know if it is the size or weight that she was unwilling. So now we are going to train with heavy dummies and I hope that someone will be able to sell me a graylag or canada goose now that the hunting season starts.

 

On Friday, I was helping all day in the elite class. There was a lack of helpers and I had volunteered to help. However, I had insisted that I should help in the elite class as there were several dogs, that I would like to watch. For instance Hali’s and Maria’s debut in the Elite class, Bella and Thomas (as Bella is Vixens very talented mother) and Lukas and Petronella. I have followed them from a distance and were looking forward to seeing them work.

 

It wasn’t an easy test for the elite dogs.

 

They started with the tolling. Then came a double mark on water – one on each side of a small island. When the dog was returning with water mark no. 2, shots were fired for another water mark and a blind. The point of impact was not visible for the dogs. And to get the blind, you had to direct your dog between the two islands where they had just retrieved a water mark and up onto land. On top of a small hill lay the duck.

 

When this was done, it was time for more tolling. At the end of the tolling, two shots were fired again. One for a watermark that fell where watermark 2 had fallen and one for a blind on land. To get to the blind the dog had to pass an area with high vegetation and a very soft ground. A lot of the dogs were drawn to the first tolling area. However, the ducks from the markings had been removed.

 

When this part was done, it was time for the search – where the goose lay. The area was big and – again – it was an area with high vegetation and a soft ground.

 

Maria and Hali had their first try in the elite. Unfortunately, they didn’t complete the test. Maria chose to pull out after having struggled with Hali on both the markings and the blind on land. However, they will be back.

 

Thomas and Bella made it to a 3. prize. Bella missed the blind on water and Thomas struggled with her on the blind on land. The other things she did so well – as usual.

 

 

On Saturday, I helped again. This time in the beginner’s class for juniors (those that compete for the Junior Tollermester title). And again – it rained from early morning till late afternoon :-(

 

Saturday was also the day when Odd and Charlie had their start in the beginner’s class. Odd would text me about ½ hour before it was their turn. I would then find someone to replace me so that I could go and watch him. Unfortunately, the connection was pretty bad, so I never got his text. However, Odd told med that Charlie had had a run out on one of the water marks and that he had refused to pick up the ducks in the search. Reminded me of Vixen a couple of years ago.

 

Even if it would have been great to have done well and enjoyed homage during the award ceremony later that day, our poor performance during this year’s Toller Specialty had the positive effect that we could return home several hours before expected.

 

As usual, it was amazing to be part of this great event. I am so impressed that the Swedes are able to organize such an event – what a lot of logistics to keep track on.

 

Luckily, the rain stopped on Friday evening and Vixen and I went for a long walk – and I got to take a few pictures of her in the sunset with my phone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

19 July 2017

 

After some time with no updates: Here are some news from us:

 

An update on Daisy

 

Daisy is doing better. We have agreed with our vet that we will keep her on adrenal cortex hormone. She gets 4 mg per day. It is not that good for the body to be on adrenal cortex hormone but due to the small dose the risk is not that bad. Her appetite is coming back and she has gained a little weight. We have had a few incidents where she vomited profusely with a lot of blood in her vomit. Every time has been in connection with her stomach being empty for a longer period. In coorporation with our vet, we give her an anti-ulcerant drug once a day. If this does not help, we will try to reduce the adrenal cortex hormone to once every other day. However, overall she seems to be more stable and in a good spirit. We keep our fingers crossed that this continues.

 

 

Holiday in Norway

 

We have just returned to Denmark after two weeks in Norway. June and Odd had kindly offered us to use their cabin in Suttevik. This was an offer that was hard to refuse 😊 They currently have a Toller litter so not only did we enjoy the cabin and the surroundings; we also enjoyed the wonderful pups – and Leif had the possibility to take some pictures of the pups.

 

 

 

Kristian and Julie and of course the dogs were in Norway with us. The holiday was a mixture of relaxation, enjoying life and kissing puppies.

 

The cruise to Noway, however, was somewhat of a bumpy ride. The wind was 20 metres per second with waves of up to 2,-2,5 meters. We had just finished the breakfast buffet, when Kristian, Julie and Leif – in the order given – had to return their breakfast to the vomit bags given to us by the crew. I wasn’t ill but only because I managed to focus on the horizon on the entire trip. At some point, I even fell asleep.

 

We were worried about the dogs that were in the car during the crossing. How did they experience the bumpy ride? When we got back to the car, the looked great and none of them had vomited.

 

 

I love being in Norway – and especially in the cabin in Suttevik. It is impossible not to be loaded with energy when staying there.

 

While in Norway, we also found the time for a boat trip. This time, we didn’t go in Odd’s beautiful Farsund Racer but in an equally beautiful wooden boat owned by Henriette and Tom-Johnny. We enjoyed our dinner (from a Thai take away) on a small island. Just the thought of being able to do this whenever you feel like it: Taking your boat 30 minutes outside Farsund, find an island, have your dinner and sail back. What a life. After two weeks in beautiful Suttevik it was time return to Denmark. Fortunately, the sea was calm and neither dogs nor humans got seasick.

 

 

Toller hunting test

 

June 24 is my birthday. However, this year it was also the date of the second Toller hunting test – and my first as test administrator. As I have already revealed, I am now a part of the hunting test committee and my first task was to be responsible for the administrative part of the hunting test on June 24. In the Danish Toller Club we have two roles in connection with a test: A person who is responsible for the lay out of the test (the exercises) and a person who is responsible for the administrative task related to a hunting test. The latter was my role.

 

In addition to my role as test administrator, Vixen and I had our debut in open class. I was somewhat nervous. Even though I know the exercises that we face in open class there are some variations in regard to the degree of difficulty (terrain etc.).

 

Hanne Søndenbroe was our judge, and the person responsible for the layout was Kresten Henriksen.

 

We started with the tolling part. Vixen was high-spirited – as usual – and had a lot of speed. However, during the breaks she was calm and relaxed.

 

I cast her for the first water mark from the blind. She went straight out and came straight back and delivered to hand.

 

Next exercise was a double mark. The first landed on water and the second was on land – on the top of a slope coming from the water’s edge. Vixen was totally focused on the water mark. I didn’t succeed in getting her to focus on the land mark so she didn’t see it. I cast her for the water mark which she retrieved without any problems. Then came the hard work to get her up the slope after something that she hadn’t seen. It was just as a blind and I had to handle her a lot. The first 2/3 of the slope you couldn’t even see the dog, so it was no easy task. She came close to it several times but due to some stupid decisions on my part, she didn’t succeed.

 

Then we had a break while waiting for Annette and Timber to finish their tolling, water mark and double mark. It then turned out that my land mark had landed in some bushes and I was allowed to do the whole double mark again. And this is where it shows and I am not that experienced. She saw both marks this time and had I been wiser and more experienced, I would have cast her for the land mark as I have no doubt that she would remember the water mark. But I didn’t and again I had to handle her quite a bit before she finally found the duck.

 

Then it was time for the blind – that I had feared. The dogs had to cross an area where the dogs from the wt beginner’s clas had used for a search area. It as not an easy blind. Approx. 50-60 meters, then stop the dog and send it to the left for the pheasant. I managed to get Vixen out in the area several times and she must have walked all over it. But she never got the scent of the pheasant – so we had to stop the exercise without getting the bird.

 

Then it was time for a single mark. It landed behind a section of sea buckthorn. Vixen ran straight through it, searched for a little while and brought me the duck.

 

Last exercise was the search, and in open class two dogs have to work together. The search area was big, flat and with a lot of very high grass vegetation. So high that we often couldn’t see the dogs. However, both dogs worked really well and ignored each other – as the should do.

 

The missing pheasant in the blind and the handling on the double mark resulted in a 3. prize. But I guess this is OK for a debut in open class? I was very happy with Vixen. And I was impressed with the fact that I could handle her a lot before she gave up on me 😊

 

Critique:

Tolling: 4-6-5-6, nice and full of energy.

Water work: Good swimmer – directly in water – eager

Ability to mark: 1. mark water: Nice and direct. Double mark water: Nice and direct. Land: Must be handled to the bird. 1. mark land: Nice

Search: 5 ducks (3 drakes and 2 ducks). Works well with the other dog.

Blind: Works very persistent but does not pick up scent. Is stopped. Obedient to the whistle in the beginning but then not so much.

Handling of game: Nice – nice deliveries.

Reaction to shots: ok

Calmness: Ok

Heelwork: Ok

Overall impression: Lovely dog that solves markings and search well. Nice tolling. Today, unfortunately not dirigible.

 

Helle and Cookie also participated in the test – both in the working test and in the hunt test. And both times in the beginner’s class. Cookie worked really well. However, in the working test she stalled in the search. The search was located in a hollow with a lot of sea buckthorn. I believe that there wasn’t much scent to be found as she was not the only dog to struggle. Primarily due to the search she got a 3. prize. However, they did a lot better in the hunting test and ended with a 1. prize.

 

 

Body control

 

Martin and I have helped some of our friends who do obedience with some hunting training. They have a field trail golden and a field trail lab and wanted to know more about how to train for hunting tests. In return, they invited us (or did we invite ourselves??) to try some exercises for Vixen and Chinook to gain better body control. So we met one evening and Chinook and Cookie was challenged with some new exercises.

 

It was hard work for the dogs but I think they actually did really well. I would like to explore this a bit more – to build muscle and muscle control on Vixen but also because it is fun to do something completely different with your dog.

 

 

Meeting Sansa - finally

 

On June 16, Per Rasmussen was going to Jylland and he asked if he could stop by for some training. Absolutely! I have been looking forward to meeting his Toller, Sansa.

 

Sansa is a half sister to Vixen. The share the same mother - Nova Bella vom Lech-Toller Nest. Sansa is Per’s first Toller. He has had a lot of dogs during the years and the last many years he has had field trail Labradors. At the moment, he has a pack of really nice labs that are used on hunts and tests.

 

I contacted Per when I heard that he was going to have a Toller after Bella and since then we have become good friends. Sansa is out of really nice working lines so if Per wanted to try out a Toller this was the perfect choice 😊

 

 

 

 

 

We had a really nice afternoon with the dogs. He gave me some good advice and I had the possibility to see Per working with his dogs. We ended the visit by having dinner at our house. By the way, Sansa got her working certificate with full points shortly after – together with her lab “sisters”. A huge congratulation 😊

 

 

Chili’s final resting place

 

When we had to let Chili go, we had a potter make a really nice urn for her. Unfortunately, it was a little too small. I suggested to Leif that we should spread the surplus ashes in Haunstrup as we have spent a lot of hours there. However, Leif didn’t like the thought of her being “split into two”. So we ordered a bigger urn. We received it not so long ago and now all of Chili is resting in this really pretty urn. It is placed on a shelf in our living room so that she can keep an eye on us.

5 June 2017

 

Lots of updates

 

 

Daisy

 

Daddy's Princess Daisy has not been feeling well for some time now. Actually, since mid-May. She has been vomiting almost every day and it has been difficult to get her to eat.

 

She has always been quite picky and her stomach has always been a bit sensitive, so in the beginning we were not that worried. However, when it continued we started to worry. We thought it could be connected to pains in her hind part. She sometimes "looses" it on her way up the stairs and it is often difficult for her to jump up onto the couch or the bed. So we had the vet take some x-ray so that we could see how bad it was. It didn't look good. She has spondylosis in most of her back. However, it looked worst in her hind part. Since the beginning of May, she has been on pain medication (in agreement with the vet) to see if that would help. Sadly, I don't think it made a huge difference.

 

 

The vet also saw a shaddow behind her stomach that he would like to investigate further. So we had to come back the next day. Daisy was given some contrast fluid and they took a lot of x-rays during the day. The last x-ray was taken the next morning. Now the shaddow behind the stomach was almost not visible. However, it appeared that there was something in the start of her stomach and they found that the passage through her system was a bit slow. So we were not that much wiser after this. We agreed on two weeks of antibiotics, an antiulcer medication and wait and see.

 

Well, this didn't have the expected result on neither her appetite nor the vomiting and the vet gave us three options: 1) a CT scan which would give us better pictures but not good enough to give us a diagnoze, 2) a gastroskopy and an ultrasonic test or 3) to open her up to be able to see if there were anything in her stomach or her intestines (cancer or a foreign body). I was in favour of opening her up as it would give us the best idea of what is wrong with her. However, Leif found it unbearable to open her up so we decided on a gastroskopy. She had that last Tuesday. The result was that they could no see any cancer. Her organs looked fine and also her pancreas. However, they could not guarantee that nothing was growing on the outside of her intestines. They believed, however, that it more likely was a lymfocytinfiltration (white bloodcells growing in the mucous membrane of the intestines). I have googled it with no luck, so if anyone knows anyting about this disease, please let me know. The cure is two weeks of adrenocortical hormone and penicilli. So right now we are waiting.

 

 

Puppy meeting

 

Saturday 27 May - the hottest day of the year so far - we had a puppy meeting with the Pokémons and their owners.

 

Actually, we started on Friday as I had persuaded Gerda and Ib to come. They were on vacation with their camper not so far from us. And as we hadn't seen Ayla since she left us at 8 weeks, I would like to spend some time with them and to see her. She is the most lovely young lady. The white spots in her neck are still visible so I am happy I registered her correctly as "not approved colour".

 

I had booked an area in Haunstrup and planned some training. When we met with the others, it was already pretty hot. So we decided to take a walk through the woods. We passed some lakes and the dogs could cool off in the water. So now all the puppies have tried to swim.

 

 

We stayed at our place in the evening starting with a wine tasting. Then we had a barbacue. Everyone had brought some food so there was a lot of things to taste. On Sunday, those who had stayed the night had breakast. We talked about making this into a tradition. Count us in!

 

When everybody had left, we discovered that SOMEONE had forgotten this little guy. As noone will admit to having put him there, we will decide what his faith wil be :-)

 

.

The Hunting Test Committee of the Danish Toller Club

 

Some time ago, I learned that the members of the hunting committee of the Danish Toller Club wanted to leave the committee. For some time, I had been thinking about joining the committee. I would like to "give back" and have earlier been on both the board and the Health Committee.

 

So, I persuaded two other members to offer our help. And to my great surprise - they accepted our help.

 

I am really looking forward to the job. We have a lot of plans and it will be exciting to see what can be implemented. First of all, we will have to ensure that the hunting tests already planned for this year, will be held.

 

I have no doubt that this will be hard work - but I am also sure that it will be exciting.

Training with Janne Vendelbo

 

On 10 May I was invited to join a training with Janne Vendelbo. We were split up into two teams - the young and more inexperienced dogs in the morning and the older and more experienced dogs in the afternoon. Vixen was participating in the afternoon.

 

It turned out that Janne remembered Vixen from when we participated in the pick up at one of the estates during last fall's duck hunting. So she more or less knew what to expect.

 

We started with a walk up (see video). Then we went to an area where we had to send the dogs on a blind. The blind was in an area with a very small puddle of water. A lot of the dogs - Vixen included - were totally focused on the water and we had to make a lot of corrections to get them on the right course.

 

Then we moved to another spot but had to send the dogs to the same area. Now with two dogs on the line. The first dog was sent to a mark in the "puddle". When it had returned, the other dog was send to pick up in the area next to the puddle. Vixen was send for the water mark first (see video). This was a piece of cake for her. Howver, it was not so easy to send her for the direction after the other dog had picked up the water mark (see video). It wasn't easy or her as the water was very attractive :-) She started out really well following the line. But then she changed direction for the "puddle". However, we did succeed after a few tries. As can be seen from the video, I had to recall her several times. I am often astonished about how much handling she can take in a situation like this.

 

Then we moved again, but the area to send the dogs to was the same. I was pretty sure that the "puddle" would be too much of a distraction. But I was positively surpriised. She did so well - stright line out and straight line back (see video).

 

It was a really educational day. As far as I know, they are planning a weekend course with Janne. I hope, they will invite me :-)

5 Maj 2017

 

Vixen's season has ended and we continue our training

 

I was starting to get worried because Vixen was in season a whole month. She has never been in season for a whole month before. Fortunately, it stopped and we are back to normal trainingwise. This means that we are now allowed to train with Potepower again and I can start training water with her (which is about time).

 

On 22 April I went to traing the obedience program with Helle. At home, I don't have the possibility to train the jump. Also I needed Helle's input to some of the exercises that I was struggling with. We were supposed to train for an hour, but suddenly three hours had passed. However, it was three hours well spent! Of course, Vixen was not the only one getting training. Cookie was also active. While one dog was working, the other was relaxing while watching. This is also training.

 

We have also been trainin the Poké-kids. When we trained on 23 April they were pretty good. They were pretty good walking on a leash and alltogether they have improved on a lot of things. Then when we met a week later the progress had vanished. Suddenly, they found it very difficult to walk on a leash. We also did a little direction work to a lid. However, we had to skip that. The were fine running to the lid, but they had a lot of trouble comming back to their handler. Even if there were a lot of distance between them, they all decided that it was more fun runnin to one of their siblings than to the handler. To end with a success and to teach the pups to run to the handler, we ended with a recall. As before we took the pups and Vixen to the water. As usual Vixen runs straight into the water and waits for something to happen. We wanted to see, if any of the pups followed her. They didn't. The were dipping the paws on the font legs but that was it. Except from Shappa that went for a short swim. I don't think it was intended, but we got to see that he actually can swim :-)

 

On Monday we had the second part of the "direction triple" with Ms Potepower. This time she had made it more difficult, but all the dogs solved the tasks really well. It was nice to be challenged.

 

On Tuesday we were going to train with Ms Potepower again. But prior to that we had the last training with Sanne. This time we went to a rabbit enclosure where the dogs were supposed to walk to heel! First the dogs supposed to be able to walk to heel in a relaxed manner. This went well. Then Sanne had one of her Spaniels search the enclosure for rabbits. Still became more aware but was still calm. The "break" was a bit of direction work which Vixen did very well. We had one more turn in the rabbit enclosure with a working Spaniel. Again, Vixen was pretty calm and realxed - even though she was very aware of the rabbits jumping around :-)

 

At Potepower we also did walk ups. And I went from being so satisfied with my little dog to being the exactly opposite. It was so stressful for Vixen to walk so closely together with the other dogs and see them work while she was not allowed to. Had I been an experienced and wise handler, I would have pulled her from this exercise (which lasted more or less the entire training session). This was just too much pressure for her after the rabbits and I wasn't fair pushing her like this. When will I learn? While we waited for our turn to be part of the walk up I did some direction work with her - and she did so well. It would have been nice if this was the feeling we had when we drove home. Instead, I was filled with annoyance and doubt about the continued training (will it ever lead to something????) and I am sure that Vixen was wondering where the nice atmosphere had gone. A really bad experience.

 

Then on Saturday, the nice feeling returned as I trained Vixen in Haunstrup. Water marks, directions on water and on land and a little bit of tolling (the pauses between the tollings). She was so good and I left with a very nice feeling - which then disappeared the next day when I trained with Martin and Chinook. Again, Vixen was very stressed and I managed to make the exercises too difficult for her. Leif had joined us with Daisy who were whining all the time - that might have had some influence on Vixen (it had on me, for sure).

 

At home in the garden, we have trained some of the obedience exercises. We are getting there. I will never be an "obedience person", however. It is actually a bit funny, because I would be so happy if the heelwork she does when we are training obedience could be transferred to the hunting training. However, looking at it with your "obedience glasses" on it is not very good. However, I am not going to use a lot of energy on that. I don't mind if she walks a bit askew if she is relaxed.

 

Now, we need to train delivery from water. My bitches are never in water while in heat so we haven't really trained deliveries from water this year. And with less than one week to the next tolling test. The first delivery from water almost always ends on the ground as she has to shake the water of her fur.

 

 

18 April 2017

 

The Easter holidays have come to an end

 

The Easter holidays are now over. It has been lovely to have som relaxing days with time to train dogs, enjoy good times with friends, reading books and have time to do absolutely nothing.

 

On Monday, I had a "date" with Martin and Chinook in Karup. This time we concentrated on marks. Martin had found some spots with terrain that was pretty challeging. Both dogs did reall well and were not put off by the terrrain.

 

While we were training, Leif and Daisy went for a walk in the area. Luckily for him, the returned just in time for coffee/tea and freshly-baked cinnamon bons

 

14 April 2017

 

Lamb and obedience

 

On Good Friday, Helle, Kim, Cookie and Troja came to see us. The plan was to have a nice lunch and train some obedience - in short "have a nice time".

 

While the lamb was enjoying itself on the grill, Leif took some pictures of Cookie and Troja.

 

After lunch it was time to train some obedicence. Helle had brought her jump for Vixen to try it. I guess, we need some more practice before we have nailed it. We also trained the stop and stand exercise and the change of position. We have a lot of work to do before we will be ready to show our skills at the obedience trial during the Tollerdays in May.

 

While we were training, Kim, Leif and the elderly ladies - Troja and Daisy - went for a walk.

11 March 2017

 

My enounter with an adder

 

On Tuesday, Vixen and I met with Martin and Chinook in Karup - my new favorite training area.

 

Chinook has had a tendency to go on the back command before Martin had lifted his arm high enough. So we started this training session with teaching her to stay until a full command was given. She got it quite fast.

 

Then we revisited our target points which we have used for direction work. We chose three of the target points. We cast the dogs and stopped them half-way to send them to the right, the left or back. Sometimes when we had stopped the gods, we moved ourselves around in the area to be able to send the dogs in different directions. Both dogs did really well. Vixen stopped instantly when I whistled and she followed my directions so well.

 

We ended the training session with a few marks in some pretty difficult terrain. Martin started with single marks and the built them to double marks. Vixen did well on the marks that fell to the right of us. However, she struggled with the ones on the left. The dummy landed in an area with dry, yellow grass and Vixen had problems leaving the heather and enter the grassy area. She kept running up and down the edge of the grassy area.

 

As I was not able to see what she was doing, I moved closer. Suddenly, I saw an adder in the grass. The was curled up with its upper part of the body in an S shape. This was my first adder so I had to take a closer look. I poked it with a small twig. It was totally passive - probably due to the cold weather. Finally, it got tired of me and disapeared into the heather. I am scared of snakes but at the same time quite fascinated, so I had to take a picture of it - even though it made my hair curl.

 

 

Then it was my turn to throw some dummies to Martin and Chinook. She did a lot better than Vixen despite the fact that I really suck at throwing dummies :-)

 

As always we ended the training session with coffee/tea and some cake - this time an oatmeal cookie :-)

 

 

10 April 2017

 

Heat and Tour of Scandinavia

 

During 13 and 14 we "toured" Scandinavia. On 31 March and 1 and 2 April we went to Norway. Several months ago, we agreed with June and Odd, Helle and Kim and Christina to meet for a weekend of dog training at June's and Odd's in Norway. When the weekend approached people started to excuse themselves. First, Christina had to stay home as her dog, Phoenix, had surgery on his nose (a tumor). Then June's bitch, Foxy, came into season and June had to go to France to mate during this particular weekend. Then Cookie came into season and would peak during the weekend in Norway, so Helle and Kim had to stay home. So we ended up with Leif and me and Odd - and of course the dogs, Vixen, Daisy and Charlie. While Odd and I were training our dogs, Leif and Daisy went on a Photo safari.

 

Odd's brother has an amazing terrain wthat we could use. During the three days we did direction work on land and on water, markings and search. However, we found time for other things than dog training - relaxing, good food, good wine and a drink now and then.

 

On the same day we went to Norway, I entered Vixen to a double Toller hunting test on 8 and 9 April in the south of Sweden. I waited until the last moment to enter her as I was waiting for her to go into season. I had been waiting since the beginning of March. Now, at the end of March still no season, so I took a chance and entered her to the test just before deadline. Then 1½ days later, she comes into season - and goodbye test! It would have been our debut in open class so I was somewhat disappointed. Well, I went to Sweden anyway as I had persuaded Maria to enter her dog, Hali, to the test and promised that I would drive us.

 

Hali was entered in open class. Maria needed one 1. prize to be qualified for winners' class / elite class in both Sweden and Denmark. On Saturday, they did OK. Unfortunately, Hali failed on the direction (a Canada goose). There were a few other minor faults. We both thougt that the would get at least a 3. prize - and even a 2. prize with some luck. However, the judge didn't agree and gave her a 0. prize. Bah!

 

On Sunday, however, they did well. Hali worked really well and this time she managed to "drag" the huge Canada goose home. The judge was satisfied and awarded them a 1. prize - and voila! they are qualified for winners' class / elite class. So we had a nice trip back to Denmark :-)

 

I had been looking forward to participating to find our if we are ready for open class. I had my doubts that we would be able to solve the direction. I have seen some pretty difficult directions in open class in Sweden. However, this was one of the easier ones and with a Little bit of luck, I think we could have solve it. However, Vixen has never retrieved a Canada goose before. They are somewhat bigger than greylag goose and barnacle goose that she has retrieved, so I don't know if she would pick it up and if she would be able to carry it.

 

Even if I didn't participate, I had a really nice weekend in Sweden. I saw a lot of good work. In particular, I was impressed by an offspring of Vixen's litter Brother, Silver - River Fox Freeze of Simo - and his handler, Cornelia Merlöv Larsson. On Saturday, the failed at the direction and was awarded a 2. prize. On Sunday, hovewver, they had a 1. prize with HP (merit award). It ws such a pleasure to watch them. The dog worked so well, and Cornelia handled him superbly - calm and without any noise. I could really learn from them, and I am looking forward to seeing them again.

5 April 2017

 

Redreynard's Chichi Cayenne

Chili aka Chilsen aka Chili-Billi

19 May 2004 - 21 March 2017

 

A huge star has left us!

 

Chili was never a start in the field trail / hunting test world. She was never a start in the obedience ring or the show ring. However, she was a huge start in our lives. She has enriched our lives so much by just being the dog that she was. And it is solely due to her that we fell in love with this wonderful breed - with all its positive and negative sides.

 

We have so many good memories of her. When she was a puppy and chased Kristian around the living room to know him down, steal his socks - and then it was suddenly Kristian chasing Chili around the living room to get his socks back.

 

When I started on puppy training in the Retriever Club and she was soooo different from the very nice Labrador pups that were almost grown up and mature in their heads already as pups - which Chili wasn't - and which made me doubt if I had the skills to train a dog and if Chili was a normal dog :-)

 

The many hours in the obedience class where all the walking in circles made Chili become more and more tense until she had to release the tension by running as a maniac 2-3 times around the circle before she "landed" by my leg more relaxed and ready to work.

 

All the hours spent teaching her to pick up and deliver to hand. I spent a whole winter doing that in our living room at home. When she finally got it and I wanted to show my instructor that NOW she was able to deliver to hand - she wouldn't pick up the instructor's dummies because I had used the same dummy all winter. However, this we also overcame and I still remember with pride and joy when I send her in a search with "unfamiliar" dummies and she picked up spontaneously and delivered to hand.

 

All the hours teaching her to pick up game. This was not something that was natural for her. However, after many hours of training she was able to pick up everything (except for foxes).

 

All the hours on the couch under the blanket where she was able to lie totally still during a whole episode of "Inspector Barnaby". And in bed, where she was the best bed warmer one could ask for on a could winter's evening.

 

All the hunting tests and working tests in the Retriever Club where she proved that Tollers were actually able to work - but where she also contributed to the conception that Tollers might have a lot of sound :-)

 

I also remember the times where Martin invited us to join him on a rook regulation - the first time was just a few years ago. She had a party even if those "still half alive" rooks fought for their lives when she had to pick them up. The second year, she remembered what was going to happen: She was constantly looking up into the tree tops as she knew that this was where all the funny birds came from.

 

She was very verbal and "talked" a lot and was very good a letting us know when she wanted our attention. When we were fooling around with her, she really became verbal (LINK and LINK)

 

As she was our first dog, she was the one we taught all the tricks: Bark on command, roll over on command, give right and left paw on command and a lot of other things.

 

Many years ago, she was lying on her back on the couch and Leif put her mouth to her belly and made farting sounds. The rests of her life she would go crazy when Leif took a deep breath.

 

She was the dam of our very first litter - the Starwars litter. Four beautiful pups of which two are still alive and make their owners happy by just being present.

 

She was a wonderful aunt to the next litters. When Vixen had her first litter, Chili started producing milk for the pups. At Vixens latest litter - the Pokémon litter - she sat outside the puppy pen very day. We didn't allow her inside as she had a 15-20 cm long post-surgery wound that we didn't want the pups to scratch. But she so wanted to join them.

 

Some years ago, she was diagnosed with spondylosis but she lived with it without medication up until about 1 year ago. Then we had to daily give her pain-releiving medication. Her hearing was also pretty poor and we were actually not sure how well she could hear. Her hearing was always a bit selective but we are sure that she started to loose her hearing during the last years.

 

She has left a huge void in our lives - and no doubt in the lives of our two other dogs. She was our very first dog - and the first one that we had to say goodbye to.

13 March 2017

 

Training in Karup

 

Martin suggested that me meet and train some heelwork. As this was a very good idea I accepted :-)

 

We started by talking a longer walk with both dogs walking at heel. And they did pretty good. Actually, there were sections where I believe Sanne would agree that Vixen was relaxed :-)

 

Afterwards, we found a really good spot to train dirction / straight lines. The terrain was challenging so it wouldn't necessarily be an easy task for the dogs. We created six target points of different length and degree of difficulty. Especially one of the target points proved to very difficult for Vixen. So we went closer and we succeeded.

 

We agreed that we would use the same target points frequently over the next couple of months.

 

13 March 2017

 

First time in Open Class

 

This Saturday, Vixen made her first appearance in open class on an unofficial test i the Retriever Club. Nothing to write home about. But I have to put something in this website so you will get the story anyhow :-)

 

I had originally entered her to the beginners' class. But Jan Jørgensen provoked me to change it to open class. He asked me if I really used a lot of time, money and miles to train Vixen in the hope that we don't develop. And of course, we want to develop and challenge ourselves. And if we don't take the step at an unofficial test where then? So I moved Vixen to the open class. .

 

I felt pretty relaxed about it as she - in my opinion - would be able to solve most of the exercises. She is still pretty inexperienced in searching with another dog and she was a little pressured the last time she tried it. So I was not so sure how she would do in the search. I am normally able to direct her. However, this is definitely also an exercise that can go wrong if I don't keep a cool head or if Vixen chooses to not listen to me.

 

What really worried me was the heelwork. But that would be a concern no matter what class I would enter her in. We have been training it intensely and actually she does well - not well enough for an obedience test but well enough to make me happy. But......she behaves until we feel the pressure of a test and then her impulse control goes west.

 

As I had promised to help in the beginners' class, I was allowed to start whenwver I was ready. I chose to see the first two dogs in the class to get an idea of what I could expect. Then I went to pick up Vixen. She walked really nice at heel from the car to the starting point. Maybe we would do well? NO, we wouldn't!

 

The first execise was a fairy easy single mark. She ran straight out, picked up and delivered to hand. However, the heelwork to this exercise was really not good. She left me once or twice and I had to raise my voice.

 

After the single mark we walked together with the other dog to the search. Again at heel. And "walked together" is not quite true as Vixen again went to investigate things on her own! After what felt like hours we finally arrived at the search area. As I had the highest number, I had to wait for the other dog to retrieve its first bird. It searched for a while before it came back. I was on needles because I was so affraid that Vixen would loose her patience and start vocalising. But she was quiet. When I was allowed to send her, she ran straight out and retrieved a rabbit. Then both dogs were sent to work at the same time. Vixen seemed a little intimidated at times and she came home empty several times and asked for help. She retrieved two rabbits and two ducks. She never managed to find the pigeons that was farthest off. And by the way, she also took a crap in the search area. I had walked her before the test and she had already been on the toilet twice, but maybe she was also nervous :-)

 

Finally, time for a short break while the other dog went for the direction. When it was our turn, I had problems keeping her by my side while we walked up to the exercise (again heelwork). The target for the direction was a rabbit which was placed 40-50 meters in a wooded area. The dog had to be send across a path and over a ditch if you wanted to send it in a straight line. I should have spend more time calming me and Vixen down and made sure that she knew where to go - but I didn't. So she ran alone the path. After about 20-30 meters I stopped her and wanted to send her straight to the right over the ditch. At the same time as I whistled, it looked as if she was to cross the ditch by herself. But too late; I had already whistled. She stopped - but then she started to ran towards me and then I lost the opportunity to send her straight to the rabbit. The rest of this exercise was not nice to look at and she really didn't listen to me. However, she got to the rabbit and retrieved it. The judge said afterwards that I had been too passiv for too long. And he was right. However, at some point Vixen stops listening if I continue to whistle and direct her. So in my head I had a certain number of tries and a hope that she would pick up the scent by herself.

 

After what felt like several hundreds of kilometers heelwork we arrived at the last exercise: A double mark. Again, she seemed not to realize that she was supposed to walk next to me and I had to raise my voice a couple of times.

 

We had to wait while the other dog did the double mark. When it was our turn, we had to walk at heel the 20 meters to the exercise. I guess, I don't have to tell you that I needed to raise my voice several times-

 

The first mark fell on land - in high grass behind a wide ditch. No. 2 fell on water. I let Vixen decide which one to pick up first and she chose the one on the water (surprise, surprise). She hasn't been swimming since the fall and with the water being quite cold now, I expected her to drop the bird and shake as soon as she got out of the water. Well, she didn't. But then again - she didn't get all the way back to me without dropping it. However, she picked it up and delivered to hand. She struggled a bit with mark no. 2. She stopped on the wrong side of the ditch to search. But I succeeded to direct her to the other side of the ditch and by using the "area whistle" she found the bird and retrieved it. So I managed to show the judge that I can direct her :-)

 

While we were waiting for the judge to write his critiques, I appologized to my partner that I had rased my voice several times. He was not impressed with me - and rightly so. In fact, he was a bit mad at me. He told me that he is and old pro and his dog is a very stable dog, so me being verbal didn't affect hm and his dog. But if it had been a younger dog or a dog that is not as mentally stable, it would have been a problem and affected their test. And he is totally right. In this situation I had to raise my voice towards Vixen. However, I will have to realize that open class is not for us until I am in control of Vixen's lack of impulse control.

 

The very nice judge awarded us a 3rd prize. He said that he was not sure if it should be a 3rd prize or a 0. I believe that a 0 would have been more correct. But maybe the thought that I had suffered enough :-)

 

The learning from this must be that we stay in the beginners' class until we are in control of the heelwork. So training this must be 1st priority.

13 March 2017

 

Training

 

We have started a new cycle of training with Ms Potepower. We started with in a new class in week 10 and it looks really promising. The gods in this class are pretty well-trained which makes it possible for Pernille to challenge us.

 

Before I drove to Pernille, I stopped by at Sanne Ammitzbøll where I had entered Vixen to a walk-up class. I have wanted to train with Sanne or a long time. And now I succeeded in finding af class suitable for us at at time suitable for us. I was a little concerned that two classes one after another would be too much for Vixen. However, last Tuesday I didn't feel that see was tired.

 

Sannes class is every second week. We are only two in this class, so we can never rest as Sanne is watching us all the time. In Sanne's opinion the dogs need to be able to walk a relaxed heel in situations where there is no pressure. So the first exercise was walking to heel all the way to the mailbox. Here I must mention that Sanne lives in the country side, so the walk to the mailbox was pretty long. I needed to correct Vixen a couple of times but all in all she did well. Sanne even said that she could see that Vixen had a few periods where she was relaxed.

 

Back from the mailbox, Sanne threw a couple of birds in the grass. And the relaxed attitude disappeared. The birds were replaced with dymmies that we placed behind us, walked at heel away from them, and if the dog had been relaxed and calm, it was allowed to retrieve them.

 

I am sure, that both trainings will be rewarding and I am looking forward to the next classes.

28 Februar 2017

 

"Slideren" ("Hard worker")

 

In the beginning of mail from Vibeke - the owner of Vigger (WT Fudge Brownie). She thinks he has become a teenager who doesn't always wants to listen :-)

 

Vibeke trains him in the local dog training Club on Ærø. And they were recently awarded the club's challenge cup "Slideren" ("Hard worker") for theri eforts in 2016.

 

Vibeke send me this picture of Vigger and the cup. I don't know about you. But besides being a cutie pie, I think he looks a bit high and mighty :-)

 

 

25 Februar 2017

 

Training with the Poké-kids

 

Today we met with some of the Poké-kids to train. We were supposed to meet at 1 p.m.. However, the weather forecast said rain from about noon, so we decided to meet at 10 a.m. The pups still have puppy coat which is not designet for Cold rain. However, we didn't completely avoid the rain, and it was pretty cold, but we managed to do some training.

 

We could clearly see that they had all ben practising at home. We did some contact exercises, hand target, direction to lid. Then we introduced recall and walking on a leash. They were all very good. We ended the session with a Little playtime.

 

And of course we had a coffee break. Erlind had made a cake and Birgit had brought some chokolate.

 

The feedback from the puppy buyers are that all pups are ver tired and very calm :-)

23 February 2017

 

Walk up till you puke!

 

The worst I can expose Vixen to - from a stress point of view - is a walk up. It is so hard for her to walk on a line while dummies or game is flying around and the other dogs are allowed to retrieve. Exactly for this reason, I do walk ups whenever it is possible. This Saturday, Pernille at Potepower had arranged a walk up course, and we went and "walked up" for three hours. Oh, this was hard for the hotheaded redhead. Nevertheless, she did better than I anticipated. There was a little sound and she could have been more obedient. But all in all she did OK. She was sent on both markings and blinds. And she did it well.

 

Walk up is really hard for her and it requires a lot of training to get her to do it well. So, we have signed up for a "Walk up" course at Sannes Hundecenter. We will train every other week - five times in total. The course starts at 5.30 p.m., so I will have to get off work ealier to be there on time. And afterwards I have a course at Potepower. Well, we will see how hard it is on the redhead. But you never know; maybe an hour or so of walk up will mean a more obedient dog at Potepower's training :-)

18 February 2017

 

Tollerdays

 

The Danish Toller Club will be hosting Tollerdays in May around the days of General Prayer Day. There will be hunting tests, working tests, tracking, obedience and a show. It will all be held in the area around Randers.

 

Of course, I entered Vixen to the hunting test. Helle and I were talking about making this into a nice "glamping trip" with hunting and obedience tests, nice food, a chilled rosé and a Mojito or two. So we persuaded Leif and Kim to join us. Helle and Kim have rented a cabin, and we have a place for the caravan right opposite their cabin. I am sooooo looking forward to this.

 

Now that we had dedicated three days to all things Toller, Helle and I decided to also enter Cookie and Vixen to the show. Helle also wanted to enter Cookie to obedience (class 2). So I thought it could be fun to try an obedience test with Vixen (and what a nice opportunity to train some heelwork). So I entered her to class 1. Oh dear, how exciting. I believe that we are OK on some of the exercises, but some of them we have to learn from scratch. And this is when I am really happy that Vixen is clicker trained. We have already started clicking some of the exercises as well as using "reversed luring" and we are actually making progress. And right now the obedience test is well into the future :-)

 

13 February 2017

 

Hunting Toller of the Year

 

Vixen has won the Danish Toller Club's title Hunting Toller of the Year 2017. I have known for some time, so it was no surprise. However, I had been looking forward to receiving the prize which a glass figurine with a laser engraved picture of your dog. The picture is one that Leif took especially for this occasion. Furthermore, she got a diploma AND a title (our first): KLBVJ16 (I believe it stands for Club Winner Hunting 2016). She also got a challenge cup, a huge rosette and a bag of dog fod (which I donated to the club as it is not our brand of food).

 

The prize was presented to us at the first club show of the year. As usual, they also awared a prize for the best tracking dog, the best obedience dog and the best show dog (male and bitch).

 

I really love the glas thing. Is is really beautiful and I am SO happy to own it. I my eyes it is very desirable. I guess I have to get a handle on the things that we are not good at to be able to win it again next year :-)

 

For the first time two dogs had the same number of pionts, so Vixen had to share the title with another dog - Annette's Cana. And to be honest, we didn't win on the background of amazing results. The point are based on the two best results of the year's Toller hunting tests. Due to Vixen being in season and being bred and a cancelled test we only participated on two of the four (three) tests with a 2nd prize and a 3rd prize. So not really that impressive. But as a friend wrote in her comment on Facebook, I must remember that Vixen has also done well on the Retriever Club tests and the Swedish Tollerspecialen. So it isn't that bad!

 

Leif and I celebrated the title with lunch at Bone's together with Helle and Kim.

11 February 2017

 

Search training with Potepower

 

Today, I attended another course with Potepower. This time the theme was "Search for open class dogs". Vixen works well in the search but she lacks some experiene in searching with other dogs.

 

Pernille and Tommy had prepared three different search areas for us. All in all it went well. However, in one of the searches Vixen seemed to be a bit intimidated by the other dog. So clearly we are not done training this.

 

Some times you can get advice that you wonder you didn't think about yourself. This happened today. Vixen leaves a tufted duck in the search. Afterwards Tommy asks me if I want to send Vixen to the duck to have her pick it up. I would like that. So I take the duck, put it 10 meters from Vixen, return to her and want

to send her. However, when I return to Vixen, Tommy asks me to take her and walk another 3-4 meters back. I am a pit puzzled by this as the distance isn't important here. However........this was not about the distance. This was about Vixen knowing exactly what was going to happen when I returned to her. She was so aware that I would send her and Tommy wanted me to break her expectations by walking further away from the duck. Hmmm, so logical and yet I didn't think about it myself.

 

Pernille shot a lot of pictures of the dogs. She shot some really nice one of Vixen that I would like to share with you:

 

6 February 2017

 

Back to normal life

 

We have returned to normal life. The pups have started their lifes with their new families and we can now again concentrate on jobs, the other dogs - and maybe do some cleaning and some tidying up at home.

 

On 30 January I took Vixen and a selection of dead animals from the freezer out training. One of the animals was a grey heron. I was a somewhat excited of how Vixen would react to it. We would never be presented for one at a test, but I think it is funny to see her reaction to different types of game. Well, I send her on a short direction - and she was just spontaneous. Unfortunately, a heron is not an easy thing to carry. It is easy to stumble in it long neck, the long legs - and in this case a huge broken wing hanging down to the ground. However, it didn't make Vixen give up. She picked it up again and delivered it to me. I videotaped the retrieve. But the quality is not too good.

 

Afterwards, we did a small search with a pigeon, a duck, a crow and a magpie. I also videotaped this. And again, the quality is pretty poor.

 

On Saturday 4 February, we met with the four pups living in Jutland for some training. I had persuaded Helle to help me train them. However, we started with letting the pups play. Not a good idea - and that would normally be a "no go" in my book. And we did feel that it affected both energy and concentration. Both apart from that it was great to see them play again. Some of them were very energetic :-) And they had grown so much during the few weeks since the left.

 

The pups were introduced to placeboard, target on hand, sending to a treat on a lid. And we had a talk about how to start teaching them to walk on a lead.

 

I am so happy that Helle wants to be a part of this. I can surely feel that it I haven't trained a pup for a lone time.

 

So far, we have planned two more training sessions - and we will be planning more. It will be so nice to see their development.

 

Unfortunately, Haunstrup is too far away for the pups living in Zealand. Luckily, the two pups living i Zealand have arranged to see each other. Leif and I will be going to Zealand to help them with some training.

 

When we were done with the training of the pups, we had cake and coffee - surprise, surprise. Well, we had two different cakes as both Caroline and Birgit had baked a cake. We also had a talk about the pups, their upbringing, their daily life etc.

 

After coffeee and cake, it was time to train Vixen and Cookie. I the meantime, Martin and Chinook had joined us. We had all brought some game and mad a search for them. But before doing the search, Cookie met mr. Grey Heron that I had thawed in honour of the occasion. She had to size him up first but then retrieved it. As with Vixen, the retrieves were not pretty as she also stumbled on the neck, the legs or the broken wing.

 

Vixen did so well in the search. She picked it all up spontaneoulsy, she covered the area really well and did not slow down even if it took her some time to find game. And even if she hadn't reteieved a goose for a long time, she just picked it up without a hitch. I just love this girl.

 

Video of grey heron

 

Video of the small search

2 January 2017

 

Happy birthday

 

Happy birthday to the Ben & Jerry litter. They are two years today.