Photo Gallery: Christmas Party for dogs and handlers, 2017

The games

Our dogs' party includes several games. We aim for fun ... but it helps if you've done your training!

We'll drop in on two of the games ...


The Server
There were three teams.
The handler (the Server) walks down a winding course, carrying a cocktail sausage on a plate and a cup full of water. For the more advanced dogs, the cup must be carried in the same hand as the lead (but it looks like some cheating happened!). At the end of the course, the Server pours the water into a bucket. The dog can have the sausage (yum).
The team with the most water in the bucket wins. Of course, if your heelwork is poor, you'll spill a lot of water on the way. And if your dog keeps jumping up for the sausage, you can't keep your cup steady either.
Good food manners and great heelwork win the game.

some of the Elves Team

Getting started. Hope he lets go of the lead
in his left hand – she is an advanced dog!
Sometimes handlers get in a twist ...
but his water looks safe ...
... Sometimes the dog gets in a twist ...
... but hang on –
– Look! He's carrying the sausage
in his hand! His dog still behaves well!
A fair bit of water spilt just a moment ago!
But this pair are now back on track.
Oh dear. Little Archie has spotted
the food bowls on the table ...
Phew. One step further and
he's staying in splendid heel.
Oops! Dodgy!
Her dog is looking round just in time.


some of the Santa Team

Steady stuff despite
that Labrador nose at work.
Here's another Labrador. Starting off great
with a lovely loose lead ...
... Alas! The Labrador nose
takes over for this one!
Whoops! A cone got knocked over, the
Server is unsteady, but nothing dropped!
This Server's going to have to get attention
to turn her dog between the cones ...
... Well done! Back on course
... and is that another nose down to sniff?
Santa's Team seems full of Labradors ...
all with a splendid sense of smell ...
But just look at this heelwork:
accurate and effortless. Bravo!
Oh no! Is that water being spilt?
Heelwork is tricky for a very young dog.
Yep! Drops of water! Bad luck.
But keep working on heel. You'll get there.


some of the Reindeer Team

Starting off well,
great attention on the dog ...
... And look now, lovely position in
heelwork – her water is safe.
Argh! This coordination is hard. But
the sausage is too enticing for pulling!
Very neat work from a dog
not yet in the advanced classes.
Oh, but this one IS in advanced classes ...
what's the cup doing in the free hand ?
And another one! But with heel that good,
doesn't matter if both hands have the lead.


Reaching the final bucket

Pouring the water into the bucket
at the end of the course.
The last trickles. This dog
thinks All Life Is Very Interesting
And a sausage reward.


Noughts and Crosses
Mark your team's square with your dog in stay (but you lose the square if your dog gets up). The dog can be in Down or Sit. Handlers with advanced dogs must leave the dog, and retreat from the grid. Handlers from our puppy, beginner and intermediate classes can stand next to their dog.
The game tests Stay under distraction (people coming and going), and near to other dogs.
We found out that it also tests handler concentration – it's very easy to loose track of which dog is in which team and put your dog in the wrong square (to the dismay of others in your team!).

Waiting to get started.
All dogs beautifully behaved.
Not sure the handlers understand it all?
Will they remember who is in which team?
Placing the first dog. See how this dog
remains in their Stay throughout the game!
Leaving the first dog in a stay. The handler
is careful to make sure the dog understands.
Placing the second dog.
”All is calm. All is bright”
Third dog in place.
The first two dogs look very settled
Fourth dog in place.
This one in a sit, with handler next to them.
The fifth dog goes into the grid.
Still no dog has moved.
The sixth dog gets placed. A line has formed.
Well done to all. No dog moved!

The Barbecue

We ended the morning with a scrumptious barbecue. There were meat and vegetarian sausages, rolls, mince pies, chocolates, warm spiced fruit punch, and more.

The kitchen helpers watch the games.
(Better than them eating it all before we finished!)
Look! They have cooked it so well.
The sausages look delicious. Can't wait ...
... The queue. Rolls ready,
now where are those sausages and the punch?
Ah! Magnificent!
Plenty for all.

Meet some of the Cast of Characters

A closer look at who was there ...
... From those with a lot to say ...
... to those completely laid back ...
... and the nonchalant ones
in between.
There were dogs in a melee
... and the trainers trying to bring order
(and wearing extraordinary stuff!)
We had some with ...
... smart matching coats.
We had those with a touch
of Christmas glitz ...
... Santa's new transport (sorry,
Rudolph, you are no longer needed) ...
... and one who thought
he was Santa!
We had dogs paying attention
to their human ...
... dogs paying attention to what
was happening in the arena ...
... dogs wanting to join in ...
... and dogs more interested
in who was outside!
We spotted some cuddles
here ...
... there ...
... and everywhere.
And there was a vandal
who broke the reindeer horn!
Families were welcome. We had the
Fabulous Five family ...
... and the Fantastic Four family (they have a dog too,
but that's Richard, a trainer, and his dog was in the car)


Thanks to Bruce for taking the pictures.

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