Barbet News (page 45)
Further success in the T.A.N.(Eau)
Following on from the success of of Fiona and Yvonne with Nénu and Odo in passing the T.A.N (Eau) in Wales earlier in the year, a training/test day was arranged in May for those that were ready to take the test and for some of the others to see what is required and pick up some training tips.
Mick Cleverley and
The `Test d`Aptitude Naturelle` is a basic French apptitude test that is designed to show that a dog has the basic instincts required for its particular breed. In the case of the barbet or French waterdog it is the T.A.N. Eau (water) that we are interested in. The T.A.N. is normally taken in France after a large meet or show although this is obviously difficult for the UK based barbet given the need to travel abroad and keep to ferry times.
On the first test day, as everyone began to arrive at Annettte`s home, there was time for all the dogs to get reacquainted and let off some steam after their journeys in the field at the back of Annette`s house where the sociability and gunshot parts of the test were to be completed. We were introduced to our assessor, Mick Cleverley of Corunna Gundogs our assesor for the test, who has a long and impressive C.V. having trained dogs for the Army, the M.O.D. and is a gundog assessor for the Kennel Club and the Gundog Club. Mick also trains and works his own gundogs throughout the season. We hoped our barbets wouldn`t let us down!
The sociability part of the test requires that each dog weaves between at least five dogs of the same gender set at two meters apart without being fearful or aggressive. Since the test does not require all the dogs to be of the same breed we were able to `borrow` some of Annette`s Italian spinone to make up the numbers. All the barbets passed this part of the test without any problem.
For the second part, the gunshot test, we grouped at one end of the field while Mick started firing into the air from the far side of the field, and moving closer each time when none of the dogs showed any adverse reaction. This was a wise precaution given that this was a new experience for some of the youngsters in the group. Again all came through with flying colours.
The water retrieve.
We broke for a much needed lunch of bacon rolls, straight from the BBQ and mugs of tea and coffee.
In the afternoon we relocated onto an estate a few miles away for the water retrieve part of the test. With two lakes available the owners and dogs waited by one lake while in turn each dog went to the second lake with Mick to be either assessed for the T.A.N. or for a session on how to train for the water retrieve. For the T.A.N the dogs are required to enter deep water from the bank and retrieve a dummy which they have seen being thrown several meters from the bank. The dogs must return the dummy back onto the bank.
At the end of an excellent day, six barbets passed the T.A.N.(Eau). The completed test forms have been passed to the Club du Barbet, Lagotto et Autres Chiens d’Eau in France who pass the details on to the S.C.C (French Kennel Club) where the title T.A.N. is added to their pedigrees.
With future recognition of the breed in the U.K. in mind this ties in neatly with the Kennel Clubs "Fit for purpose" campaign aswell as providing a day of mental and physical stimulation for dogs and owners alike.