Barbet News (page 43)
T.A.N. Eau Triumph in Wales!
It was a sunny Friday morning when Nénu and I met up with Yvonne Thomas, her family, Odo and Lulu (her P.W.D.) at Lakeside, Huw Jones’ campsite and home to the Wales Gundog Training Centre, after their long drive across England and Wales! On Friday afternoon we took Nénu and Odo to the training ground which is reserved for more advanced gundogs and, after a chance to “stretch their legs” we spent an hour or two doing retrieving practices and fence jumping.
Nénu and Odo after their swim
On Saturday morning and afternoon we had a training session with Huw starting off with polishing up some basics – heelwork off-lead, sit stays, split retrieves, and go-backs with hand thrown dummies, steadiness to shot etc. After a break we progressed to training with the Bumper Boy launchers; these are excellent as they have banks of dummies which are electronically launched remotely from the other side of a hedge, from cover or from the far side of a field, not only that, they can be programmed to emit the sound of duck, pheasant etc before the “gunshot” and the launch!
On Sunday morning we had another training session with Huw. Sunday afternoon saw Odo making a guest appearance in Nénu’s regular Gundog class. The first element of the TAN Eau (Sociability) was accomplished with the help of handlers and dogs from the preceding class. The second two elements (Swim and Gunshot) were also carried out successfully.
Monday morning brought more training with Huw and then the Thomas family had to strike camp and start their long journey back home.
Yvonne and I would like to thank Jessica for her patience when acting as “cameraman” (to provide video evidence of the proceedings) – she dealt with the three “Directors” with admirable stoicism! Many thanks go also to Huw Jones (www.gundogs-wales.co.uk) for helping to make the first TAN Eau in Great Britain a reality and for his unending enthusiasm, good humour, patience, wisdom and his generous gift of time to us and our two Barbets. I know that Barbets provide a considerable challenge to train and are so completely different from the retrievers, spaniels and HPR’s that he usually sees!
Finally, thanks to the Club du Barbet, Lagotto et Autres Chiens d’Eau for granting authorisation to our Judge for the test and enabling us to be the first ever to take this test outside France.