"May you have a fair wind and a following sea"
CH. Bridonport's Designated Diver CGN, CDX, CWD, RN
Another year... another Water level achieved!!
After 2 months of training and preparation we headed out for Wednesday August 25, 2010 for a pre-trial practice at the beautiful McDonnell Island on the Long Sault Parkway. It went very well - almost perfect.... spectators and other participants had high hopes for us for Thursday.....
Thursday August 26 was our ONE CHANCE (until NEXT year) for our Courier Title, sonce there was only one Canadian trial this year (normally there are two).
Under Judge Charles Robinson, we started our run about 1:30pm on Thursday. Tiago was in good spirits and luckily the weather was decent. We did our warm up, everything looking good and it just continued from there. CH. Bridonport's Designated Diver "Tiago" lived up to his name!! He worked, followed instructions and directions performing all of the exercises almost flawlessly. It was incredible! With Russell having a 'nap' in the car... - Rob was on one boat and I was on the other, Tiago worked back and forth delivering & retrieving objects. First, the Courier Pouch exchange: no problem except for dropping it as he reached my boat with the second pouch - however as soon as I directed him to pick it back up and give it to me, he did. The second exercise: Blind retrieve of the float line from shore - which gives many people (dogs) trouble, was done well and well within the time allowed. Even after the previous dog - intact female - had urinated on the shore!!! He ignored the strong draw to sniff and mark over top! (which would have disqualified him). Again, he dropped the line as he reached my boat, which indicated to me - since that is not a typical issue in training for him, that he had trial 'jitters'. So, after he delivered the line to me when I re-directed him to pick it back up and hold it - I decided to take a few seconds before signaling to the judge that we were ready to begin and get Tiago settled. I gave him a command to 'Shake' (which often relieves stress in dogs), then asking him to 'Speak' (another tension releaser) and then give me a 'Kiss' (which he hates to do but knows that it puts him 'back in control'... haahaah because he gets to decide if he will actually 'kiss' me or not... it's always been a good motivator for him - he visibly relaxed and re-focussed. The current in the water was a little strong and the 3rd exercise: the double directed retrieve was put to the test when the bumpers (which normally land 50 feet apart) were about 20 feet apart by the time he was retrieving them! He 'marked' the correct one and went towards it when I directed him to it but then caught the sight of the other one (since it was so close) and thought about going for it... with one calm re-direction from me, he switched back to the correct one and finished by retrieving the second one in great fashion after delievering me the correct one first! The 4th exercise is the Net retrieval which doesn't usually present too many problems - in this exercise, the hard part is the weight of the net once in the water and dragging. It becomes very heavy. Which is why our beloved PWDs have such STRONG jaws!!! Tiago had no problem with this exercise.
Then... came the dreaded Buoy Ball Drop!!!! The, very difficult 'reverse retrieve'!!! Which after only 2 months of training, had been very challenging for us right up until the practice before we left Ottawa for the trials. After performing the 4 prior exercises very well, he was directed to jump into the water, come back to the boat, take the ball and swim out, in a fairly strong current, in a straight line with the ball, PAST the natural target of the boat marker... and continue to swim straight on my directions.... THEN... DROP AND LEAVE THE BALL BEHIND when told to do so by me (and my trusty whistle!). This exercise has been done by competitors before... but most say it takes two years to teach..... after just 2 short months... my Tiago made me look good once again......this precious and most intelligent boy went out, dropped the ball and came swimming back to me - just like he was supposed to!! WWWWWOOOOW! We were thrilled to see the judges two arms reach into the air to signify the qualifying drop! (the judge will raise one arm when the dog has reached the correct distance and area to leave the ball (which is when the handler can signal the dog to Drop the ball and return to the boat) and then will raise both arms if the dog has been successful in leaving the ball in the correct / designated spot).
Each night, leading up to the trial, after practicing, we began our dinner with a special 'Grace' ... a family cheer to see those Judges arms go up! We saw them! So, above is our family picture - because we did it as a family - to celebrate and in recognition of our wonderful and very gratifying successful Courier Level run. Cyndi, Rob, Russell and CH. Bridonports CGN, RN, CDX, and now CWD
p.s. As another wonderful note... he also went on, less than an hour later... to win Best of Breed in the PWD Wet Dog Conformation Class!!! Not just smart... beautiful too! Beauty AND Brains!! woo-woo!Wet Dog Conformation Class 2010
Judge Vickie Robinson
Best of Breed
Tiago sucessfully passes the Working Water Dog level!!!
Aug. 29, 2009 we were in Elora, ON. for the 6th Annual Water dog trials. After a couple of months of training, thanks to my great husband Rob getting us a boat, transporting it to the water and then rowing for us!!! we competed towards in the Working level. Without hesitation, with precision, obedience and for the love of work, Tiago easily passed!!! The gear bag retrieve, dummy from boat, 3 articles overboard, dummy between two boats and blind float line retrieve, he did them all without fail and well within the time limit allowed. Because he competed after Fergus, the judge had to ask me if it was a different dog! Since both boys were so "on the money". It was a very exciting day!!
We went on to try it again the following day. The weather was cold and windy and many people had decided not to go out again... but we did!!! I felt like my boys were up for the challenge and sure enough.... AGAIN, passed with flying colours!!! What a great weekend.
Tiago finishes his Canadian Championship with style! A group 3rd. Handled by Linda Thompson
Tiago achieve his Apprentice Water dog title
Tiago acheived his Apprentice Water Dog title Aug. 2008. Again, with limited training due to other commitments and lack of training space he performed the Apprentice level excerises calmly and with focus. We were both confident and we passed the level the first try. We attempted our Working Level exercises the next day, which was a "shot in the dark" due to REALLY limited training (we didn't have a boat, let alone 2 boats to practice with!) he did the first two exercises but failed to retrieve the 3 objects overboard. He went to shore and jumped on the other boat that was docked. What a guy! And although we didn't qualify - I was proud of his attempt.
The trial site is gorgeous! If anyone gets a chance to visit Royackers training grounds in Ariss, Ontario, you won't be dissapointed! It was a great weekend!
Tiago in the conformation ring (right in the middle of the Newfoundland and the Rottweiler!).
Tiago completing his Companion Dog level obedience
Tiago completed his Companion Dog Excellent level obedience
Tiago loves to retrieve on land or in the water....
Tiago doing a figure 8 exercise