We set the foundation and slowly built up on experience together and finally our time to go to Germany for our test.
If I said we were not nervous I would be lieing but its our time to show what we put in over the last year, no pressure, lol.
We had a few days to settle in with tracks, going into a saugatter to see how she reacts with live wild boar but also work as a team and help each other.
The gatter was great we went in on the harness and then when we spotted the Boar move in slowly till Thekla sees them then give a little leash build on the excitement and release the dog to bay.
Head down we got right in before she sees the movement then I unclipped the harness and she's off in pursuit.
Barking as she goes the boar stop to face her and she starts cautiously to bay moving forward all the time.
After a short while she looks for my guidance and I run forward to give support but with my support she comes back I give command to go forward and off she goes back in
and on a high we stop and back out leaving the boar to settle after a talk with our instructor and Gatter master we discus how things went we all decide my instruction was a distraction to Thekla and let her go back for another go and this time I move forward to support without much voice.
The second time shes so much faster and straight in no hesitation and barking intermittently.
She catches up to one boar and she goes right in we stop at this point and leave on a high again and the first day is over, we head back for a few weissbeer then bed for our next day.
A new day starts and we head to the forest for tracks and everyone takes turns on set tracks in very dry conditions.
Half way round the dogs are stopped for ten minutes for everyone to talk about what each person sees with each handler and hound.
This is superb to read each dog and handler and see the differences everyone brings to the course.
A full on day then towards the end more tracks are set for the following day to start again.
Our turn comes and we discuss that a shorter track is what we should do to keep her enthusiasm and drive for the Friday and Saturday tests.
We are told where to head towards for our start and I get Thekla calm to start the track, we head off and she finds the shot site which we Verweisen and after a short while we track up the hill in thick leaf litter she hits another verweisen point and I am a happy man, shes working the conditions really well and I relax into the track.
Further on she loses the track but a quick circle round and a shrug of the shoulders so she knows its up to her and we're off again till we reach our prize.
A fantastic end to the day and my nerves have subsided we settle down with a few well earned beers and some great company.
Finally the day of the test arrives and we ease in with conformation and leash work.
Which I am pleased to say she got SG which is the best you will get at a young age before checking again at a later date.
A check of the teeth which was a nightmare she took a dislike to the concrete area we stood on and hated that part but a few treats later and a bit of a struggle and she had the correct amount of teeth so perfect.
We head off into the woods to see some leash work then let the dog free to run then a recall.
After this part we were onto one of our favorite exersizes which is Verweisen/Vorsuche which you set out looking for a track then the dog will mark it and you show the judges your onto the right track then find verweisen points along the way.
We finished this hitting the marks and then off out to lay the dogs up for 25 minutes in the forest and leave them be on a spot after a rifle is fired and a short wait before collection and hopefully the dogs still there.
Then a nervous walk back to wait.
Finally after all that the day ends again on a high, we head off for our final day and my most confident part, the track.
We all meet up for coffee, deer and wild boar had been recorded which meant all of us had natural tracks for the final test I picked out of the hat second and got track 1.
Happy to get it out of the way I am allocated the judges and we go one last time to the forest.
A bit of a climb before we set up for the track.
A quick talk before we head out and our track is a red deer which crosses an area we need to pick up on this and follow.
At this point I instantly see lots of sign of wild boar, everywhere and I mean everywhere, nothing I can do now but focus on Thekla and I set her on her way.
We hit the first large part of distraction and she rings round and round going further out but very slow, she doesn't take much leash and I have to wait for her to carefully work through with encouragement but a little further on her head goes up and away to the right, I spot a few people who have come to follow our progress and again with encouragement to stick to the one track she carries on.
I am not sure how far we have travelled at this point but I am sweating so much and watching every move Thekla makes to support and help I hear the judge call and I stop Thekla for a moment thinking that's it when I hear the judge say no perfect, keep going.
We head off further to a large wallow and a tree been rubbed where Thekla stops puts her nose to the tree for verweisen I give her time to settle and work on we go further up the hill and finally I here stop, we have made the end.
This then is spent waiting an eternity for the judges to deliberate on there findings and we finally pass our SHP/VP I cannot be happier.
I have to thank everyone who turned up to support me on our journey and also thank everyone who spent time translating and lastly to Joachim Bertes and Manuela who bred and raised Thekla for 16 weeks, this start in life was superb and I couldn't wish for more.
Our next chapter starts and its work and more work and our goal is Hauptruefung, Thanks again, Wayne.