17. Retrieving in water
When you start retrieving in water, it's good to have two things in mind:
1. What does not work on land will not be easier because you practice in water, quite the opposite.
2. It is not a good combination to try to retrieve in water if you can not swim. In other words, teach the dog swimming separately from this work.
3. Failed retrieves does not make the dog better - make sure that it succeeds. Do not increase the limits every time - make the dog safe and secure before increasing the difficulty.
17.1 SwimmingThe easiest to teach your dog to swim is by swimming with it. Strat with playing in shallow water. Move slovly laterally so that it does not get deeper too fast. Work out into deeper water. If the dog is having trouble finding a good technique. Hold the tail, yes it sounds odd, but many dogs forget that they have a hind part and thus forget to swim with the hind legs. But if someone touch their tail, to remind them of the body's part most of them begin to swim with their hind legs. For dogs who do not like water, make it fun! A little and often. And keep the dog on the beach and tempt it by plaing by your self in the water. Make the water a place you want to be in, not something forced or a must. Water is a place to long for.
17.2 Obedience in waterThe next step is to do the exercises that sit 100% on land, but to practice in shallow waters. Practice sitting,make your dog lie down or heel - yes here you will find out which of these moments that really are fortified. Because if they do not work on land, it definitely does not work in water. If you have intended to compete in obedience, this is an superb place to practice. The contest plan will never be more drenched by rain tha a small lake!
17.3 Water work on shallow waterNow you can start with the most simple gripping in water. Put the dog in the water, put the dummy between the two of you, re call. Practice doing what you do on land. Gripping, recalls, lifting. Yes, everything you can do on land can be done in shallow water.
17.4 Water work in deeper waterStill not in really deep waters, but significantly deeper than just water around the feet. The dog shall still be able to sit in the water. This is where you continue to practice. Try recalls from deeper waters with dummy in the water and then along the water or diagonally to deeper waters. This is to teach the dog not to bother and not take the shallower road. Then you can practice in the opposite direction, out wards. You put the dog in shallow water, lay the dummy on the way out and put yourself in the deep end. Diagonally, straight outwards, this is just to make the dog okay with the water becoming deeper, though the dummy is in its mouth.
17.5 Water work in deep waterWhen the dog can swim and can retrieve in water, you can start sending through water so deep that it has to take a swim or two. Not more. For example, if you have a “pit” in the seabed that the dog needs to get over, that will be an excellent first step. When this works and the dog always retrieve to hand - you can start throwing the dummy a few meters and send the dog out. Put the dog in the water, throw, send. And after one or two throws, you do just like when you're training on land, eye contact, backa a few steps or turn around behind you and make the dog lose the “mark” before sending.
17.6 Water retrieve from beachWhen the dog can be sent from a sitting in water to swim deep water and retrieveing back to your hand, you go up to the beach and start from there, but you still receive in the water. When all retreives are 100%, you can start backing up on land and receiving there.
17.7 Water retreieves from landStep by step you can now start to back up slowly on land every time. As soon as the dog hesitates to go into the water, start closer to the water. Keep an eye on how high your dog feels safe. Do not push it!
17.8 Starts into different watersNow you can start practicing in different places. Start in the water at every new place. Make the dog safe with the new seabottom before starting from land. The more routine the dog gets the higher up you can send from.
17.9 Retrieving from the dockIf you begin in the water and attract the dog to you or if you jump together in to shallow water does not matter.
17.10 Water retrieving from boatThe difficulty here is usually to make the dog dare to recieve help to get back into the boat. Start on shallow water, where the dog can walk easily. Working slowly out into deeper water. Teach the dog dare to receive help. Find a good technique on shallow water before starting deeper water. Te idea is do make it comfortable. So that the dog does not hesitate to deliver the shoot game because it does not like how you to lift it into the boat.
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Well all of us write here, both humans and dogs ;) At least that was the plan but it seems it´s mostly me Robyn who´s attached to the keyboard...