Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Retrieving Workshop

April 3, 2012.  Yes, retrieving!  As of September 2011, Weimaraners are eligible to compete in the AKC Retrieving Hunt Tests.  The Weimaraner Club of America already had a Retrieving Ratings test so have recognized the versatility of this wonderful breed.  Sawyer does already have his Novice Retrieving Dog (NRD) title from the WCA and there is a component of retrieving in the AKC Pointing Hunt Test so this is not too unfamiliar to Sawyer.  However, this was a new environment and new procedures that Sawyer and I needed to learn, along with a whole new vocabulary. 

My first clue that we were a bit out of place happened right away.  When participating in Pointing tests, handlers are required to wear blaze orange for safety.  So of course I showed up in my blaze orange t-shirt and quickly noticed everyone else was dressed in camouflage!  Doh!!

I did get to wear my cute new boots.

Our first retrieve wasn't very successful.  In this sport they use a duck call and then throw the duck for the retrieve.  During this practice the duck call was sounded and Sawyer pointed.  Then when I sent him out for the bumper, Sawyer started hunting for a duck.  He bypassed the bumper and kept looking for the bird.  So I took him aside and threw the bumper a few times until he understood that was what he was supposed to be looking for and retrieving. 

He got it and even delivered the bumper to hand.

He had to learn to work around the decoys, which he's never seen on a land retrieve.

He was an honorary retriever for the day, or as our trainer, Linda, called him a Weimtriever!

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