This summer, I have a small number of private students who are coming to train with me because they want help with water training, specifically deliveries by water, and I’m going to share to of those training sessions with you. Last week I showed you the first one with Allwin the toller, and this week I’ll show you some training with Majken the goldie.
Here’s a video showing Ann-Britt and Majken working with water deliveries during a lesson. Majken wants to let go of the object to shake herself off just when she’s getting out of the water. Majken has a delivery where Ann-Britt receives with both hands in front of her, but towards the end we change to Majken moving straight into a hand which is a clear target for her. Majken, who thinks it’s a fun game to press her nose into her owner’s hand, also got better at holding after we had altered the delivery a bit. Really great work by both handler and dog!
One important thing to consider when working in water is to avoid a lot of throwing and splashing. It doesn’t take much for a dog to get fixated by water, and that can take months of work to fix. A clever way to avoid this is to work in a spot where the dummy can land on the other side – on land – which will provide both an opportunity to work on marking skills and on swimming. But in the early training – focusing on the dog leaving the water without shaking, I recommend a helper who calmly puts the dummy down into the water.
What the video isn’t showing is that we also worked a great deal in the other direction. Marked retrieves along the water, marked retrieves away from the water, throw a stone into the water and then letting the dog hold an area on land instead. Everything in order to reinforce “listen to me”. And naturally you can also use the water to reward your dog! One of my students used “go swim” as the reward when her water crazy dog succeeded with working along the water line without taking an “unauthorised” swim.
Take the opportunity when the water is warm to work in and close by water! Good luck!
PS: Thanks to Majken with handler for letting me share your training! <3