Need help with wate intro

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Re: Need help with wate intro

Postby JTracyII » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:16 am

When you wade in a key to success is take no one else with you. No other dogs or humans. You want no person or dog to be standing on the bank with your dog making it feel secure enough to stay on the bank.
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Re: Need help with wate intro

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:11 am

I have a favorite pond I use with small islands in it. They are only about 50' from shore. I wade to the islands and let the dog do what they want. I will just sit down and eventually they can't stand it and swim over to you. Then I praise them and wade back to shore. Usually they swim alongside me. If you have a dog that swims with straight up, attach a rope to him and go in a row boat, canoe or kayak. When ever he tips up, gently pull on the rope to straighten him out again.

Never make the water a chamber of horrors for a dog. Make it fun. Throw cheeto's in the water, hot dog, what ever. Just make it fun. Never force the dog in the water.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Need help with wate intro

Postby JONOV » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:12 am

I was panicked about the first time I was scheduled to run Gus in an NA test. A trainer who had seen him and who is scheduled to take him later this year suggested a duck on the pond. I modified this advice and took him to a city park with a bunch of geese. Within five minutes he was 250 yards out in the middle of a lake. I didn't say anything, just stood on the edge and he figured it out. A week or two before that I walked in and he would follow me in to swim.
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Re: Need help with wate intro

Postby daeion » Tue May 30, 2017 8:59 am

Well it's been a month now and she still won't swim on her own, she just won't leave the security of being able to touch the bottom, and now she's started to learn that the wind will push the bumpers and birds back to her if she gets in the right position... I've waded out with treats, thrown bumpers, birds, left her on a small island 10' from shore, had multiple other dogs playing in the water and retrieving the bumpers and birds at the same time, and I've waded out far enough while holding her so that she couldn't touch the bottom and then let her go, heck she even fell out of the boat 3 times. When survival has called for it, i.e. falling out of the boat and me wading out and releasing her she's swam just fine, heck I even had her at a trainer for 3 days this past weekend while I was out of town and they couldn't get her to swim of her own accord, they said her brain keeps getting in the way and she needs to stop thinking about it, but I don't know how to make that happen...
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Re: Need help with wate intro

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Tue May 30, 2017 11:25 am

Well, I'm sticking with towing her behind a row boat on a rope in WARM water. Just row along, maybe for two miles, and MAKE her swim. When she tips up, pull on the rope to straighten her out and keep on rowing. Row far enough and she'll start to swim and maybe even like it if it isn't associated with the retrieve. I have seen dog's that hated water, even Lab's, made great upland dog's but would never go in the water.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Need help with wate intro

Postby ryanr » Tue May 30, 2017 1:54 pm

The dog's now what 8 months old? No big deal, just keep working at it. Have you tried a live duck with the primary feathers pulled? I think any dog with the requisite amount of prey drive tobe even a decent hunting dog should be driven enough to pursue a duck like that that can't fly.

Have you contacted your breeder? What's his or her advice? Again it's only 8 or 9 months old now, sure it be great if it was already swimming but it's not a real big deal yet. FYI, my DD wouldn't leave his feet & swim until he was at least 7 months old. Heck, for a good long while he didn't even like crossing tiny headwater trickles barely over his paws. That all changed when he came across small group of mallards right in front of him in a very small pond. His intense prey drive took and before he knew it he was swimming. From then on you couldn't keep him out of water. Get him excited about the duck, and release it in front of him and let him go just as it gets out to where he'll have to swim to get it.
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Re: Need help with wate intro

Postby AverageGuy » Tue May 30, 2017 2:41 pm

I agree, my money is on the pup would swim after a duck released in front of it. It might well swim for a live pigeon with primary wing feathers pulled on one side tossed into the water as they will struggle and swim and provide a lot of enticement for a pup to go in after it. And finally it is or will be soon, warm enough for you tp put on a life jacket and swim enticing the pup to come in with you. The Life jackets lets you hold the pup up and praise once it gets to you and you can gently release and swim back to shore. It may provide the enticement and confidence to get your pup enjoying the water.
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Re: Need help with wate intro

Postby daeion » Tue May 30, 2017 3:58 pm

I haven't done a live duck, but dead ducks and both live and dead quail have been used.
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Re: Need help with wate intro

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Tue May 30, 2017 4:00 pm

How about a clip wing pigeon? They float like a cork on the surface. First try lunging water, then swimming.

Is the dog really bird crazy???
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Need help with wate intro

Postby daeion » Tue May 30, 2017 5:52 pm

This is my first dog so I don't have much to compare her to, but I'd say she's bird crazy. She'll run across afield to break up a flock of birds and then chase them, she'll point pretty much any solo bird, and if there's birds in the bushes outside our house she lets us know about it.
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Re: Need help with wate intro

Postby ryanr » Tue May 30, 2017 9:25 pm

daeion wrote:This is my first dog so I don't have much to compare her to, but I'd say she's bird crazy. She'll run across afield to break up a flock of birds and then chase them, she'll point pretty much any solo bird, and if there's birds in the bushes outside our house she lets us know about it.


Well, what are you waiting for, most likely there's your answer. Clipped wing pigeon (we've used them before for this) or duck, doesn't matter too much. Quail don't do anything but sit there when wet so I doubt they swim well so forget 'em. If it were me, I'd probably skip the pigeon and get a hen mallard, they quack and carry on more. Or start with pigeons, use several over a week or so'stime. Then up the reward with hen mallard, that should get the dog really fired up and swimming. Remember to praise the dog up too when it's swimming.
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Re: Need help with wate intro

Postby bhennessy » Tue May 30, 2017 9:55 pm

blue04 wrote:
orhunter wrote:Use a wing clipped quail or pigeon if that's all you have.


Can pigeons swim? I've seen a chicken swim like a fish while being chased down by my Griff, but hadn't considered tossing a pigeon in for a search...Didn't want to waste one.
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Re: Need help with wate intro

Postby AverageGuy » Wed May 31, 2017 6:05 am

Yes pigeons float and swim pretty well. When my pup was about 3 months old, I tossed a wing clipped pigeon in a small pond intending it would struggle on the surface and entice him to make a short water retrieve. He went in with gusto, the pigeon started doing the breast stroke and an impromptu pigeon search took place with the pigeon swimming into some flooded brush I never intended to challenge my puppy with at that age. He went after it everywhere it went and eventually forced it to the opposite bank of pond, got ahold of it and retrieved back to my feet.

That is why I suggested using a wing clipped pigeon in my post above. I would do as GH suggested and use it first in shallow entry water depth that the pup can get to the bird without swimming. After it is pumped to chase the pigeon I would toss a fresh pigeon where the pup will have to swim to reach it (or delay to the next outing and build on the prior success). If the pup is keen for birds it will get it swimming is my prediction.

A duck is an even better enticement, but they are harder to come by, more expensive, harder to keep and can intimidate some young dogs and I have obviously not seen this dog. From the information provided I would probably try the pigeon first, and use the duck after the pup has shown a willingness to swim for the pigeon, as the duck will lead it on a much longer chase. Get it confident and comfortable swimming for pigeons first will prepare the pup better to persevere after the duck is my thought.

Good luck, let us know how it goes. I expect it is only a matter of time before your pup is swimming with confidence.
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Re: Need help with wate intro

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Wed May 31, 2017 7:18 am

AverageGuy wrote:
A duck is an even better enticement, but they are harder to come by, more expensive, harder to keep and can intimidate some young dogs and I have obviously not seen this dog. From the information provided I would probably try the pigeon first, and use the duck after the pup has shown a willingness to swim for the pigeon, as the duck will lead it on a much longer chase. Get it confident and comfortable swimming for pigeons first will prepare the pup better to persevere after the duck is my thought.

Good luck, let us know how it goes. I expect it is only a matter of time before your pup is swimming with confidence.


Yup, gotta be a little careful with ducks for a pup. They will bite the pup and may scare it. I used to tape their beak and tape wings for first intro.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Need help with wate intro

Postby daeion » Wed May 31, 2017 1:53 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:
A duck is an even better enticement, but they are harder to come by, more expensive, harder to keep and can intimidate some young dogs and I have obviously not seen this dog. From the information provided I would probably try the pigeon first, and use the duck after the pup has shown a willingness to swim for the pigeon, as the duck will lead it on a much longer chase. Get it confident and comfortable swimming for pigeons first will prepare the pup better to persevere after the duck is my thought.

Good luck, let us know how it goes. I expect it is only a matter of time before your pup is swimming with confidence.


Yup, gotta be a little careful with ducks for a pup. They will bite the pup and may scare it. I used to tape their beak and tape wings for first intro.


The first time our pup was introduced to a bird the trainer used a duck as that is what we will primarily hunt, due to my dads health, and she did the tape the bill and wings thing. I took a few photos and posted them online and oh man did I get blow back about the inhumane treatment of the duck, stupid thing is that I posted them to a private group just for our breed...
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