Barbet News (page 27)
Birthday Celebration Picnic.
l to r: Remy, Dolly, Nenu, Baxter, Dylan and `auntie` Bepop
With the dogs from Betsy`s first litter all celebrating their first birthday on the 4th of March it was the
perfect excuse for a get together and provide a bit of fun for dogs and owners. With people travelling from all over the UK to
the venue, a four acre, fenced field with a woodland area and a barn on the edge of the New Forest, the day started with tea/cofee and biscuits
for the owners and a tear around for all the dogs. The first event was a grooming demonstration by Wendy Preston with an explanation of the various
grooming tools used and how to use them correctly. With plenty of `willing` models on hand there was a chance for everyone to have a go and ask questions.
An `al fresco` fish and chips lunch gave everyone a chance for a sit down and a chat and to get refuelled for the afternoons activities. While everyone let their dinners go down there was an introduction to `clicker training` and how it can be applied to almost any situation or training need, with Bepop proving to be an eager student, or that she will do anything for a reward!
Basic gundog training.
Moving out onto the field, Fiona Lucas took a mixed group of owners and dogs through the basics of gundog training, focusing on obediance and steadiness required for field work. With 14 week old pups taking part there was always going to be an element of fun, but they all did very well and even coped when handlers were required to swap dogs.
During the day, nearly all the dogs had a go at the small agility course which was set up (two jumps and a tunnel) even if it was just in the way when they were running around. However the highlight had to be watching owners demonstrating to their dogs the correct way to clear the jumps, sadly we didn`t get any photo`s.
The final activity of the day was a `truffle hunt` in the wooded end of the field where the dogs had to locate pre-hidden dummies which had been scented with truffle oil. The event was slightly marred by Bepop pushing one into my hand half an hour before the competition started. Luckily there were still enough hidden for the other dogs with Dylan getting the honours for being `Top Nose`.
Barbet Birthday Cake.
With the hard work over it was time for tea and cake. A special cake was provided for all the birthday dogs and their guests by Fiona, while Jill provided a more calorie laden version for the owners. The day concluded with prize giving, awards such as `happiest dog`, `most obedient dog` and `fastest recall` judged by Jonty Preston meant that all the dogs managed to achieve a medal. Over the day, club funds were boosted by the sale of car stickers kindly donated by Melanie & Graham Peacock.
All in all, it was an excellent day out for all the dogs attending and wouldn`t have been possible without all the club members being willing to make the long journey to attend.
Barbet Club of Great Britain.