water concerns?

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Re: water concerns?

Postby EED » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:00 pm

A little follow up. Over the past couple weeks I have had the pups in several different bodies of water. I'm pretty certain they are not afraid of the water. If I throw a clipped wing pigeon in the middle of a pond, they both will go crashing in after it. I used the pigeons a couple times per dog, and have intentionally not used birds since. After doing that, one of the pups has started to show more interest in going in after bumpers. The other pup has essentially zero interest in bumpers. I think her lack of interest in bumpers is the main issue. I assume that force fetch would solve that problem, but don't have the time or experience to complete that before the NA test in late August. Right or wrong, I have started working on getting both pups to Hold the bumper, with hopes that they will learn to like it. No corrections, I have been using treats as a reward when they hold the bumper (1-2 seconds at this point).

Does this sound like a reasonable approach? Any other suggestions?

Thanks
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Re: water concerns?

Postby huntinmo » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:21 pm

As I understand it for NA the dog just has to follow the bumper into the water. Does not have to hold it, pick it up, or retrieve it. So if the problem is the bumper but not birds I would get a couple of wings from a dead bird and a couple of rubber bands to hold them to the bumper and see if they are then interested in it. First on land before going to water, let them smell it, hold it briefly if they want to and then make a game of following it. First roll it a short distance and then further. You may have to show some excitement and you might have to go get it at first and make it a fun game for them to chase the bumper. If that works then you can start over without the feathers, just the bumper a short distance and then further. All of this on land before going to water. Then redo everything at the water. Don't show any displeasure if they do not hold it or retrieve it, that comes after FF. Good luck with your NA test. :-D
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Re: water concerns?

Postby gwp4me2 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:37 pm

You don't have to use a bumper at all. You can throw a rock. You can just send the dog in with a command. You just can't bring anything of your own to throw. They are testing the dogs willingness to enter water with minimal incentive. No treats, no birds, no handler going in first.... Willingness to enter water without hesitation. Many young pups need to experience a variety of locations and entries to do so. That is also why they do a minimum of 2 tries. On the second send the pup should be more confident with the entry and certainly not more hesitant. The 3rd time is to give the pup another chance to be familiar with the spot. Go to lots of places and have an audience at least a few times.
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Re: water concerns?

Postby ryanr » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:19 pm

EED wrote:A little follow up. Over the past couple weeks I have had the pups in several different bodies of water. I'm pretty certain they are not afraid of the water. If I throw a clipped wing pigeon in the middle of a pond, they both will go crashing in after it. I used the pigeons a couple times per dog, and have intentionally not used birds since. After doing that, one of the pups has started to show more interest in going in after bumpers. The other pup has essentially zero interest in bumpers. I think her lack of interest in bumpers is the main issue. I assume that force fetch would solve that problem, but don't have the time or experience to complete that before the NA test in late August. Right or wrong, I have started working on getting both pups to Hold the bumper, with hopes that they will learn to like it. No corrections, I have been using treats as a reward when they hold the bumper (1-2 seconds at this point).

Does this sound like a reasonable approach? Any other suggestions?

Thanks


Just get them to love going in the water, with or without a bumper. Some dogs bore easily of just chasing bumper after bumper but as long as it loves to swim whenever it's given a chance to you'll do fine at the NA test. It doesn't make much sense to FF before an NA test but right after the test, BEFORE steadiness work, is a very good time to do FF. After that you can go right to your steadiness and the FF can actually help benefit the steadiness because the retrieve of the bird is the reward now.

I'm 2 weeks from getting my next pup, a female GWP. She'll be 8wks old when I get her. My plan is to run her in either our May or June 2018 NA test. Between now and then I'm going to simply work on obedience- basically her name, recall command, and likely NO. The other thing she will get is lots of natural exposure to the field, water & woods. No pressure, lots of exploring and learning growing from that. She'll have opportunities to hunt but I will by no means be in ahurry to shoot a bird for her. After the NA I will immediately begin Force Fetching her and then go right to my Steadiness work and realistically should have all of that accomplished, God willing of course, by the time hunting season opens in October 2018. At that time the dog will be about 16 months old and ready to have lots of birds shot over her.
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Re: water concerns?

Postby Urban_Redneck » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:41 am

Before bringing the dog to water, throw a dead pigeon (they float well)15 feet from shore. Do this 3 or 4 times and the dogs should swim out to investigate on their own every time you approach water.
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Re: water concerns?

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:47 am

Another twist on the same approach is to toss a rock followed by a bird every time, then use a rock in the test to get the pup to swim out to the splash having been conditioned that a bird will follow.
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