A Newcomer’s Perspective – by Werner Terblanche.
Since the day back in 2010 when a good friend introduced me to the uniqueness and intelligence of the versatile hunting breeds I knew that I was hooked!
The day of eventually becoming a GSP owner arrived in August 2016 when I attended the inaugural SAVHDA weekend, where I was introduced to some of the top breeders and trainers in SA.
I was in complete awe witnessing practical demonstrations of what is really required from these breeds to live up to the German standards of hunting, pointing and retrieving. The reality in Europe is that you are not allowed to hunt or breed if your dog did not pass the required tests on which SAVHDA has based its testing system!
Demonstrations included blind retrieves from deep cover, hare drags up to 350m and a duck search to mention only a few. The minimum interference from the handlers, one command to get the task done and the complete control required, made me realize that this is a journey I am prepared to venture on and to challenge myself and my new puppy to see what our limits are.....
SAVHDA is different in so many ways. The true versatility of the dogs is tested mentally, technically and physically through multiple disciplines on a single day. You and your dog are competing against yourselves and the bond and control formed over time is tested to the finest of detail. Herein lies the challenge!
I have learnt so much in the last 12 months! I have learnt the importance of good genetics in the pup, and the role that the handler’s personal determination, dedication and discipline plays. Sometimes the handler can be the biggest obstacle in realizing a dog’s true potential!
I am proud of the achievements over the last year with the help and support of Matthew Berry and his team at Boavida. I am truly grateful for the guidance, support and learning that helped Keizer and myself successfully complete the JVHT and NHT. We look forward to the next milestone in 2018!
Upward and onward SAVHDA!