The last week in November we had three Christmas parties to mark the end of this year’s training. Since I am the coach of the Trick and Rally teams and part of the club's activity committee I, along with my fellow coach and committee members, had to be creative and come up with fun games for all events!
The week started with the Trick teams party on Monday. This team is a cool little team with not so many participants, but those who are there are all very serious and take part in the training. A cozy team to train, and a team with good team spirit! All the participants on the Trick team had all been told that it might be a good idea to bring a headlamp / flashlights to the party and fortunately they all did! For the party we had arranged a mini walk with the dogs with tasks along the way.
It all started in the forest, and since it was already dark they all got to use their lights straight away! There were four tasks on the walk the first being spitting with Pebernødder (It's a kind of a Danish Christmas biscuit)!
They had to spit seven pepper nuts into a small bowl. The next task took place along a forest trail where I had hidden ten reflectors around the path; it was their job to find them. Here their lights really came into use! On all the reflectors there was a letter that the team then had to put together to form a word that told them where the next task was. The next task took place on the agility course, they had to tie a leash around their stomach with a pen at the end and then they had to get the pen in a bottle without using their hands. This was really fun to watch ;-) The final task involved a nylon stocking and in the foot of one of the legs was a tennis ball. They had to put this on their head and knock down bottles with the ball, again without using their hands! It was a really nice evening and everyone participated and enjoyed themselves. The evening ended in the clubhouse with more fun, lots of talking and cake! In December we will still meet and do some “self-training” until the team officially starts again in January.
Tuesday it was time for the Rally team's party. Again they are a super team to teach! All the participants train eagerly with their dogs and many go to competitions while more will soon be ready to go out and try! The Rally team was divided into small groups of two and then competed against each other in various tasks. In the first task they were given the words CATCH and DIZZY and they had to decide who would do what. They were then told what each word meant. CATCH: they had to find the dog that could catch the most treats in 30 seconds. DIZZY: they had to find the dog that could spin the most times in 30 seconds. The next task they were given the words: ICH SPRECHEN DEUTSCH and DIZZY. ICH SPRECHEN DEUTSCH meant they had to see who could perform as the most “German turns” in 30 seconds (German turn is a Danish rally obedience exercise.
DIZZY: they had to see who got around most pins in a rally spiral in 30 seconds. The last task was the owners' turn to be active! The words this time were STICK and BALL. These two tasks were repeated from Monday and they had to get a pen in a bottle and to knock over bottles with a ball in a nylon stocking. Again a super nice evening was had and it ended with talking and cake at the clubhouse. I am looking forward to next season with the Rally team from January next year!
The last celebration of the week was the club's Christmas party on the Sunday, a day full of games! All members of the club met and had fun with each other; on the day the participants were divided into teams so they got to meet people they do not normally train with. We had planned five different tasks for the teams. Task 1: musical chairs, this time a dog version, everyone had to go around the Christmas tree and when the music stopped their dog must sit. The last dog to sit down was out of the game. Task 2: The dogs had to find objects in a field and retrieve them. In some of the objects were lines from a famous Christmas song, the team then had to guess the Christmas song! Task 3: Participants were asked to stand in a line of hula-hoop rings. They were then told that they had to stand in order of the size of their dogs, and had to so with the less changes possible. Task 4: Participants had to go through a tempting figure 8, one temptation was a human and the other temptation was treats. Here we looked a lot on how well the owners were to help and support their dogs, rather than rush through with tight leashes. Task 5: Here they had to throw tennis balls at cans to knock them over.
After finishing the tasks, we all went to the clubhouse for some Danish Christmas treats. And the club then revealed the members of the year, who won a nice trophy! There were trophies for best competition dogs in different disciplines, best trainer and for members that help a lot in the club etc. While this was revealed the children went outside to search for Santa Claus and dance around our Christmas tree.
All in all, it was a week of fun and funny experiences with all my training colleagues, students and club members! Most teams had a break in December, and it has all now started again in January with lots of new challenges to club members on their various teams.Mette from Denmark