by no means am I an authority on how to handle a dog in the VGP. Josh and I have only done a couple, and helped a couple other dogs/handlers train for the VGP as well. All of the tasks that you and the dog must do are HUGE, especially for your first VGP. When Josh was in Germany last year training, He was training for his first VGP. He was told " You WILL NOT be doing the 24 hour blood track" this is your first test, do NOT fail the dog or lessen the dogs score because of your handling!!! Get through your first VGP and then if you want you can do the other extra VGP tasks next time.
Now this being said, you will recall that Josh did do the Bringsel with Ike. Josh really enjoyed training for it and enjoyed having his dog complete this task. Fast forward to this past HZP/VGP testing with Jax, whom you saw this year in Hugo. This dog wasn't 2 yet, and did HZP on one weekend, and the following weekend did the vgp. Josh of course was training Jax for the Bringsel, I pulled the plug on that two days before the VGP test. I didn't want the dog to fail the VGP for an "extra". And here is how the dog almost failed the VGP because of this, and I never saw this coming, and this is NOT why I pulled the plug.....dog came happily back to show Josh where the fox was laying out in the woods, tried to get Josh to follow him back, man was this dog ever happy, because he knew where the fox was and he was going to "guide" Josh back to the fox.
Do you want to fail your first required VGP tasks because you are going for extra credit? All the previous posts have tried to give you friendly advice, I am offering the same friendly advice. There are so many dogs that fail the VGP on the minimum tasks, But the short time I met you and how well you did training Max for his tests last year, I know why you would want to "push" the envelope a little further. You will do whatever you choose to do, just know some of the pros and cons of running your first VGP.
Now to the question of how practical is the Bringsel, it's great! would love to be able to let THE BITCH off the leash, we would have most of our tracks done in 38 seconds flat! but up here in the North, a dog in the woods that is interpreted as chasing deer, does not come out of the woods!
Another question can be asked as to how practical is it to have a versatile dog retrieve a dead, sinky fox through the woods, you would think NEVER, until as what happened last summer when Josh shot a coyote out in the back bean field, sent Chisle out for the search, he found it, he delivered it to hand. That scene alone was a couple different tasks of the VGP test.
Long story short Mary, have a great time training you and your dog for the VGP test. Sounds like we are going to have two DD's, one DL and one handsome Munstalander in Hugo VGP this fall.
Crystal clear.I dont want to take anything away from my dog because I want to dink around with something kinda neat. We will run our first VGP together as 2 rookies and keep the bringsel for the next go around.
I am actually going on my 4th time through the VGP rule book. It doesn seem kind of intense without adding anything new to it.