The end of June saw us travelling to Windsor and Hall Barn working test. As we were staying for a few days and only two of us able to go, we decided to only take Lyric and Trio. Both to be shown at Windsor and Lyric to go to the LMC working test.
Windsor was a long day as we travelled down early that morning for the show, which meant a very early start for us all. The weather was good, not being too hot but pleasant for the dogs and us too. There was a lovely atmosphere around the LM ring, it was so nice to relax and not rush between two breed rings for a change!
Lyric won post graduate bitch and was considered for the reserve best bitch, but being a typical munster character she messed around so missed her chance. Anyway, it was one of those things and she's still rather young and immature. Trio had a 2nd in open bitch, and really enjoyed being back in the ring again.
We rushed over to the stakes ring after breed judging to compete in the brace class, something that seems like a good idea when the entries were completed. To our astonishment Trio and Lyric went really well together and impressed the judge enough to be awarded 3rd out of a huge class 13 entries.
Lyric was a very busy girl and also took her Kennel Club Good Citizens Bronze award, passing this well with all of the distractions of the show and unknown dogs completing the test alongside her.
After the show we took the opportunity to walk in to Windsor and have a walk around the castle, we even managed a walk on the 'long walk'. The dogs loved having a run and it was then time to go to Hall Barn for a well deserved rest.
This WT was our last one of 3 that we did last year, this year it was our first and possibly the last. Lyric is no longer a puppy and so had to make the transition to the novice category. Novice is judged in a similar way to the puppy test but the obedience section is omitted, so only hunting, water retrieve, and two other retrieves (in this case, a seen and then a blind).
I was so pleased with Lyric as we hadn't managed to put too much practice since the start of the year, all I wanted from her was to see an improvement from last years tests. Well she didn't disappoint at all.
The water test should have been her strong point, but she had to be sent back out for the retrieve as she came back to me at first. I do think that she is picking up nerves from her handler as water is not normally a problem for her.
We then moved on to the retrieves, starting with the seen. This was in a small wooded area, up a steep incline where the dummy was obscured from their view, they really had to mark it well. Lyric set straight off for this and then within about two foot of the dummy came back to me, I then had to walk her out to it which she successfully retrieved.
The second retrieve was through the wooded area and in to a grass track, the dogs needed to ignore where they had just been sent for the 'seen retrieve' and go down the track and just around the bend to the dummy. To my utter amazement Lyric went straight out to the bend, something that I hadn't expected from her as we have done so little work on blind retrieves. As with the other retrieve she got within a few feet and then came back to me and had to be sent out again.
After some thought I have come to the conclusion that this is coming down to confidence and the possibility that she has noticed the dummy thrower with has unnerved her as she has fully understood what was wanted from her.
The hunting was the biggest improvement and she scored over 3/4 of the total marks. The ground was so different to what we normally have at home and it was hard at times to see the dogs working in such long grass.
So all in all a fab weekend, lots of fun and things to work on for the future.