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Thread: 7 month cocker loving the land retrieve but from water, any advice?

  1. #1

    7 month cocker loving the land retrieve but from water, any advice?

    I have a seven month old cocker who is turning out to be a great wee dog, thought id start training him to retrieve the dummy in the hope that in September I can take him out shooting the birds. He's been doing really well retrieving the dummy over various types of terrain, but he's not keen when is in the river or loch.

    In general he's not too keen in the water as it is still a wee bit nippy, but any advice for getting him to retrieve from water once it gets a bit warmer?

    Cheers
    Chris

  2. #2
    Used to start my labs retrieving in something very shallow and then progress from there.

  3. #3
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    I can't keep my cockers out of the water, which can be a bugg3r when I'm fishing :



    I am not a dog trainer - hopefully others more experienced will respond - but have you tried taking another older, more experienced, dog along at the same time? Competitiveness can be a great way of getting your dog to try things it hasn't done before. In the case of our cockers, the youngster learned from his mother, who in turn learned from our labs.

    Also, how big is the stretch of water you're trying to get the dog to go into? A loch is a big expanse of something new for a small cocker. How about having a friend hold your cocker on the lead, whilst you go and stand the other side of a small burn with a dummy. Then wave the dummy and encourage your cocker to come towards you. Get it over the nervousness of the water and you might find that does the trick.

    Hopefully others will be able to help with more experienced advice.

    willie_gunn
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  4. #4
    Try a small pond, and maybe wait for it to warm up a bit. Another dog in the water will also help show the pup the way forward. Like the previous poster I struggle to keep my Cocker out of the water, no subtle smooth entries into the water for her, she's leaper!

    One of the handlers on the Shoot Im on does no retrieving training on land, all his is over water as he says any dog can retrieve on land, but over water only the best will hold their mark and not have to hunt when they exit the water. He's trained his own Goldies up this way, and made them up to FCh, so he knows what he's talking about.
    Work them hard, treat them like heros.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Baker View Post
    I have a seven month old cocker who is turning out to be a great wee dog, thought id start training him to retrieve the dummy in the hope that in September I can take him out shooting the birds. He's been doing really well retrieving the dummy over various types of terrain, but he's not keen when is in the river or loch.

    In general he's not too keen in the water as it is still a wee bit nippy, but any advice for getting him to retrieve from water once it gets a bit warmer?

    Cheers
    Chris
    not every dog takes to water regardless of time of year or water temp
    best water dog I had was a spangle that hated water untill he as 11 months old
    it was his choice

    But best way I found was to work and test retrieves along a brook or burn
    then in time progress to a river and lake/loch
    short 2-3 yards retrieves pushing the dog when confident past it's fear of treading water
    it is not the cold that holds the dog back
    but the depth of water
    short shallow water retrieves to start with
    then slightly increase the distances to build up the dogs confidence

  6. #6
    Wait till the water is a bit warmer and then get the waders on and get in there with him. Even the most water shy dogs enjoy being in the water with you beside them. Builds confidence and trust.

  7. #7
    +1 with Stone's advice. He's only a pup at the moment and at 7 months don't be too keen on pushing him through training too quickly. He will take to water if you introduce him to it slowly and don't make him do too much at first. Remember he's a nipper at the moment and needs to trust you completely so concentrate on building that bond between you by keeping it fun for him with bags of praise when he gets it right. Just keep it casual and if at all possible, bring along an older dog that enjoys the water too. Like you said, the waters a bit cold at the moment and to be honest I've always kept water training for new dogs for the warm sunny days when they can cool off and really enjoys themselves.

    Take your time with his training. Every dog is different, some are ready for a gentle introduction to the real thing earlier than others but for the most part, 18 to 24 months is more realistic before they get into the real thing. A dummies one thing but the real thing is a different ball game. I'm no Field Trial Guru but it's just my own thoughts from previous experience. Best of luck Chris and have fun.

  8. #8
    Thanks for the great responses and advice!

    There is a big park about a 10 minutes drive away from where I live with a large shallow man made pond which may be a better choice to start him on but i'll leave it for another month or two and slowly introduce him to it, in the mean time i'll keep him on the land retrieves in the usual 10-15 minute stints just now,

    Cheers
    Chris

  9. #9
    Hi Chris,
    Year's ago I remember having a springer that was wary of water. As said earlier I used to walk through a shallow brook not very deep at all six inches or so. I did that daily and also took a floating dummy that they can retrieve from a yard or two found that this worked a treat. A week or two of this and I think you should be sorted.
    ATB
    TS

  10. #10
    Try him with another dog in the water to play before any training. He needs to build confidence thats all. Usually you start them really young in shallow water they generally love it. Just have patience it will come.

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