Yogi (The Wirehaired Vizsla) at 16 months
Yogi ran in his first Field Trial last week. Things started off reasonably well; we were called up to a retrieve that the previous dog had failed on, I sent him out to the area that the judge had indicated, and he quickly located, and retrieved the bird to hand.
So far so good, but things then went south pretty quickly. We were given a field of turnips to hunt that was nicely in to wind. I thought I'd demonstrate what a wide ranging hunting machine he was. Unfortunately when he was about 80 yards away, a bird lifted, and was shot in his vicinity. He then, despite my protestations, ran in and retrieved the bird. I didn't need to be told, that for us, the trial was over.
The first lesson was for me. Control diminishes with distance and distraction level, and I was probably expecting a bit much from such a young, inexperienced, and enthusiastic dog. Second lesson is for Yogi, and we will spend a little time every day, sharpening up his sitting to the stop whistle.
Not all bad
There were positives though; in my ten years away from competition I'd forgotten how boring trialling can be, for both dog, and handler. Both can become prone to wingeing, and in the dog's case, if they are vocal when they are 'under the judge' it is a serious fault. Luckily Yogi didn't make a peep, and for a high energy dog, was actually reasonably manageable throughout the day - running in aside!
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