Today my dog Diesel and I took part in a working test in a place called Säve in the western part of Sweden (I brought my other dog Ludde as a mascot). The trail was very well organized and everything flowed smoothly and quickly.
We had a really good result – 78 points (75 points means that you have past the trail and that you will get a first prize) and Diesel was also the judge’s first choice once. I am so proud of Diesel – she did a great job even though she still is really slack after her heat. (Today she listened at all my stop signals and didn’t eat deer droppings).
We started with a double marked retrieve, and one of them they happened to throw up in a tree (only about 27 inches from the ground, so not so high up). The first retrieve she fetched nicely, and I thought that she would fetch the other one in the tree fairly easily too, but it was a bit tedious because she didn’t scent the dummy, and I had to cast her in different directions a few times, but then she came with the dummy and she got 13 points. The fact that the dummy hade been thrown up in the tree by mistake and how we handled that made us the Judge’s First Choice – and that was almost the best thing during the day.
At our second station I was supposed to cast Diesel on a fairly flat ground with a ditch to the left. Here we did our best performance in the trail that day – I am so pleased. I cast her straight out, then the stop whistle, hunt in a small area to the right, done, and 19 points.
The third task was one marked retrieve and I had to cast Diesel a long way close to the place where she fetched the retrieve before. The terrain was a meadow, short grass, and over a ditch, and that wasn’t a problem. She found the retrieve, but it was hidden under some brushwood, so she had to dig for a while, and when she got it, her grip was bad, so she put it down on the ground, and then took it again. When I then should cast her I sent her a little bit more to right (to avoid that she would run toward the location where she fetched the retrieve before) and it all started very nicely, but then she pulled a little towards the location of the dummy and ended up a little too far away so I had to call her back a bit and then send her to the right, which was a little difficult because she thought that it was a better idea to run to the left. 14 points
Then it was again a single marked retrieve and casting, this time in the forest and I had to cast the dog over a stonewall. She nailed the marked retrieve, but when I sent her straight she pulled again a little towards the area where the dummy hade been placed before, so I had to stop her and send her to the right over the stonewall. 18 points
The last station for us was a double marked retrieve on a straight line in the forest. Diesel fetched the last one in the line first, but she searched a little back and forth before she found it. I then sent her really badly and she did run as I said (which of course was really good) but it was in the wrong direction. I had to redirect her once but it was okay. 14 points
So on the whole I am very pleased. We need to train more on casting with distractions and to run correctly on the first try, without having to redirect her, and apparently also on dummies which land up in the trees.