Transitioning to Water
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Thread: Transitioning to Water

  1. #1
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    Post Transitioning to Water

    I have a 2 year old male Topbrass golden sired by Hawk. He has his JH and WC. He is my seventh dog over 40 years. I ran him in senior hunt tests last fall and had trouble with handling him in the water at tests. We have completed pattern blinds on water and continued to practice them. He hesitates on left and right overs at times. He goes back relatively well. He stops on the whistle. I mainly follow Mike Lardy's program but have used a lot of other sources over the years. He is a lot more interested in training with birds then bumpers. He has been through the land training and we continue to review all the training on land. I will put him back in the water as soon as it warms up a little. He is a upland and waterfowl hunter. I enter AKC hunt tests over the years to make sure I have a decently trained hunting companion. Any suggestions, tips are appreciated.

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    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Do water forcing and swim-by again - thoroughly
    Darrin Greene

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    Senior Member polmaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjbuckley View Post
    We have completed pattern blinds on water and continued to practice them. He hesitates on left and right overs at times. He goes back relatively well. He stops on the whistle. Any suggestions, tips are appreciated.
    Merely a thought ...nothing else ! Do you stop the dog with a hand raised before the dog treads water ?
    One Shooter One Spaniel One Retriever

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    Senior Member drunkenpoacher's Avatar
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    Revisiting swim by is good for any dog. Keep it fun, no pressure, simplify if necessary and finish with a few fun water retrieves.
    Should be easy with the superior intelligence of your Golden.
    "I'm thankful someone stood up to him, even if it was a woman." Franco 10/18/19

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    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
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    I would be more interested in what you have done in the way of teaching your dog to handle
    after completing swim-by. Running blinds is a process called transition. Pattern blinds are
    just one step in the process. The pattern blind focus is to simply "go" because they know where.

    When you give a cast, the dog will only respond correctly when it is a condition response (taught).
    What have you done in the way of precise practice that would present a clear picture for how the
    dog is supposed to respond to any given cast?

    For example, in the following setups, the dog is lined and then handled to various positions. The
    dog knows where each target is, but will be asked to take many different casts determined by you.
    Properly focused practice produces conditioned responses....handling. Dog learns to stop and "ask"
    for "what's next".

    land (this is not taught in one day)




    water






    later
    Last edited by KwickLabs; 03-11-2020 at 10:52 AM.
    Jim Boyer KwickLabsii.com

  8. #6
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    Agree with repeating swim by. I review it every spring. But in cold blinds on more open water I think a dog can lose perspective in relation to the handler since it takes so much longer to pivot once given the cast. I suggest review cheating singles and channel blinds. With the channels, it helps give the dog a better perspective of what cast to take from the handler, since the shore is right there on both sides. Makes it a very black/white situation. Can be hard to find channels, so working on a blind that parallels a shore can be helpful too.
    I just think when they are in the middle of a big round piece of water, they can get directional challenged.

    Tune up drills in water can be helpful too.
    Last edited by NateB; 03-12-2020 at 01:25 PM. Reason: add
    Nate Baxter, DVM
    Clarksville, OH

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    Quote Originally Posted by polmaise View Post
    Merely a thought ...nothing else ! Do you stop the dog with a hand raised before the dog treads water ?
    That would be a signal for a dog trained by popular methods over here to turn and swim in that direction. -Paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

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    Nice post, Jim! Really good photos and diagrams. Excellent way to transition to cold water blinds, IMO. -Paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

  11. #9
    Senior Member MissSkeeter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjbuckley View Post
    I have a 2 year old male Topbrass golden sired by Hawk. He has his JH and WC. He is my seventh dog over 40 years. I ran him in senior hunt tests last fall and had trouble with handling him in the water at tests. We have completed pattern blinds on water and continued to practice them. He hesitates on left and right overs at times. He goes back relatively well. He stops on the whistle. I mainly follow Mike Lardy's program but have used a lot of other sources over the years. He is a lot more interested in training with birds then bumpers. He has been through the land training and we continue to review all the training on land. I will put him back in the water as soon as it warms up a little. He is a upland and waterfowl hunter. I enter AKC hunt tests over the years to make sure I have a decently trained hunting companion. Any suggestions, tips are appreciated.
    For water casting in transition, I start with water walking baseball.

    I like this drill because it focuses on casts (not stopping or lining)
    and each cast is from a new origin to a new destination.
    Each cast is a long success from the dog's perspective.
    I also like the drill because the trainer can focus on any cast pup is having problems with,
    such as casting into the wind.
    I think it also helps improve memory in youngsters.

  12. #10
    Senior Member Matt McKenzie's Avatar
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    Good stuff Jim!
    Matt McKenzie

    "Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it." Henry Ford

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