Practice makes perfect!

Truth be told I am really not a ‘dog showing enthusiast’.
Please don’t get me wrong: I love dogs, I love taking pictures of them, I love watching breed judging but I swear I can’t stand the atmosphere.
And the waiting (why the roans always after the orange-white braccos???).
And the people (“whatever the judge will say, my dog is so obviously better than yours!”).
Dog shows – imho – ought to bring dog lovers together, more often I feel like that kind of exhibition only tends to tear them apart instead.

I don’t know about where you live, but here in Italy showing is just another word for critics and polemics.
The Facebook propaganda that usually follows, makes it even worse.

We’ve been presenting our Ulisse di Casamassima every now and then for a couple of years and now that he is 9 years old and Italian Champion of Beauty, it is time for him to enjoy a well deserved retirement.

Bad news is I will be soon re-involved in all this with his daughter, my little girl Olena which is now 9 months old – and even though she won’t officially perform until she will be 15 m.o. at least, we have already started our daily work out!

Hers and mine.
Because I’ve never ever done any “handling” I desperately needed someone to guide me throughout this brand new adventure.
That’s why I went straight to my friend Cristina Zeni from “del Bosco Magico” kennel: breeder, groomer but most importantly a good person and occasionally a miracle worker.

Being a professional handler, Cristina knows exactly what I’m going to face (I am not!) and even though we’re beyond happy with Olena’s progress, I am a bit worried about my inexistent physical endurance.
Presenting a bracco italiano is worryingly way harder than it seems.
It requires focus, self-confidence, experience but most of all it means —> I will be cordially invited to run (the aim is to enhance the natural trot!) for several times, meaning—-> I will need to get back in the shape I lost as soon as I turned 12.

Run Giulia, run! You are showing a bracco italiano – not a f***** bichon frisè!
Long story short, Cristina has become my personal trainer too.

Luckily enough, Olena is doing great!

She is very smart, learns fast and loves exercising especially only when biscuits come out from my pockets!
As her grandfather and her father before her, she has been blessed with an excellent quality of movement so it’s a pleasure practicing while she is flying by my side.


Ring-thing aside, we are working at the most basic level: Stand, Sit and Down.

She is rather good!

Olena now masters the walk on leash which sounds great to my forearms!
I’m also impressed by how, after just 3 classes, she visibly pays more attention to me, what I’m doing or where I’m going.
There is still a lot to do but I have to admit that I’m extremely satisfied with the results we achieved together so far.

Ulisse is with us all the time, I believe he can be a plausible distraction for her and sometimes this can be helpful making everything more realistic.

…but of course eating the jackpot is their favourite exercise!

Despite her strong personality, Olena gets along with every creature she meets (but pheasants better watch out!) and she recently found herself a boyfriend, Stracchino (yes, they named him after the Italian cheese!), Cristina’s Bavarian Mountain Hound: he can be incredibly strong and gentle at the same time and I guess that’s what she likes about him.
With him she can go full Olena, a tomboy princess who never needs to ask or to play it nice.

But I promise she can also be sweet, delicate and kind…

Not often though.