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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm training a real nice 11 month old chessie male for a friend of mine. This is really a nice dog , smart , willing, really rock solid UNTILL he gets near water. I don't have a issue with him going in it's that he literally won't come out. Threw a fun bumper for him today in a fairly large pond we have. He got the bumper and proceeded to swim back and forth across the length of the pond, probably 200 yds round trip, paying absolutely no attention to any commands. He swam for 20 minutes untill I actually waded out and grabbed him, no I didn't have his collar on, he is collar conditioned and yes it was cold. This dog just seems to go into a different place when he gets in the water and while my labs like to swim they don't tune out when they do.
Is this common for the breed? What would be the correct fix here.

Mac
 

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One of mine did this when he was young. I wouldn't use the E-collar just yet. I used a long rope, sent the dog for shorter water retrieves and then "reeled" him in each time until he figured out it was "work" just like on land. After he gets that then you can use the e-collar if her refuses to come back in. This is something that has to be monitored constantly and never let the dog in the water unless you have a way to get him back in (rope or ecollar). As the others have said there is a lot of writeups on this out there.

Other things I have read, don't spray the dog with a water hose as a game as this can make it worse. Mine would go crazy if I sprayed the hose for them to run in when it was hot but this re-enforces the freaking and is not recommended.
 

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puppy swim

I have a female in training that is over a year old ,and still puppy swims.She stops and treads on the whistle,takes the cast, and does really well at tests.I have done all the traditional cures for puppy swimming to no avail.She still nails the marks accross water......not a cheater at all.....I dont get it.
 

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saltmarsh,
sounds like you have a water freaker. Seems more common in CBRs but I also know of a Lab that did this. For CBRs that were water freakers, I know of two that were working dogs that it was somewhat gotten under control but they are like crack heads around water which is like a drug to them and the potential is always there for them to zone out and merrily go into the water freaking trance--splashing, snapping at waves, swimming mindlessly around totally oblivious to anything else including retrieves or the owner apoplectic and screaming on shore.

First thing is to deny ALL access to water until after the dog is thoroughly trained including CC and FF. This has to include obedience and retrieve sessions near (but not in) water and then once the dog is solid, water is introduced for WORK only and always with a means to get the dog to come out of the water on command (ecollar or check cord or owner/trainer willing to go in after the dog). Dogs that are water freakers and allowed unlimited access to water to do their thing, are the hardest to work with. I saw one really nice CBR at a hunt test, do a nice job on all the retrieves til the last water mark and going out to it, went into the water freak trance splashing, whining, snapping at the water. Most people in the gallery except CBR owners thought the dog was drowning.
 

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ALL access includes creeks and steams. My female if not able to swim then freaks in creeks by pawing at rocks frantically, trying to pull submerged sticks out and stuff like that. It sounds like you might have caught it in time and it could be fixable. For the life of the dog I would never let it in any sort of water unless for a structured retrieve.

mary
 

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Where's Cesar when you need him!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Julie R. said:
saltmarsh,
sounds like you have a water freaker. Seems more common in CBRs but I also know of a Lab that did this. For CBRs that were water freakers, I know of two that were working dogs that it was somewhat gotten under control but they are like crack heads around water which is like a drug to them and the potential is always there for them to zone out and merrily go into the water freaking trance--splashing, snapping at waves, swimming mindlessly around totally oblivious to anything else including retrieves or the owner apoplectic and screaming on shore.

First thing is to deny ALL access to water until after the dog is thoroughly trained including CC and FF. This has to include obedience and retrieve sessions near (but not in) water and then once the dog is solid, water is introduced for WORK only and always with a means to get the dog to come out of the water on command (ecollar or check cord or owner/trainer willing to go in after the dog). Dogs that are water freakers and allowed unlimited access to water to do their thing, are the hardest to work with. I saw one really nice CBR at a hunt test, do a nice job on all the retrieves til the last water mark and going out to it, went into the water freak trance splashing, whining, snapping at the water. Most people in the gallery except CBR owners thought the dog was drowning.
He is probably the nicest dog I've worked with on everything except water. We do land work right next to this and other ponds and he has'nt shown any inclination to bolt for the water and in fact will go into the shallower water with the other dogs and come out. It seems to manifest itself whan he starts swimming. Since I'm not real high on going swimming in March here in the Pac NW I'll make sure I can get him back in. Whats the psychology with the dog here? And I do appreciate, as always, the help.
 

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Re: puppy swim

Jay Dufour said:
I have a female in training that is over a year old ,and still puppy swims.
it's not really puppy swimming, but splashing for the sake of the splash. It is something about the splash and swimming just because they can. Like a young horse running effortlessly across a rolling meadow. Not because it is being chased but just because it can. Some Chessies will swim, just because they can. Unsupervised water play is a bad thing for these dogs. And I do not know they why about the splashing foam. You figure you take a bunch of red neck market hunters breeding best dog for hundreds of retrieves from a punt gun blast in freezing water to best dog for protecting your gear and you are bound to have an issue or two :roll:
Ken Bora
 

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achiro said:
Where's Cesar when you need him!
Funny, I think he did a show about this. Chessie was OCD about being in the pool at the owner's house in the Hampton's. For the life of me, I can't remember what he did to fix it, as my problem is always getting the damn dog in the water not trying to get them out. :lol:
 

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Actually the first Dog Whisperer show I ever saw was the one with the water freaking yellow Lab! And I have known one other (pet) Lab that was a water freaker, but it does seem more common to CBRs. As to the psycology...well it's like I said before, they're like crack heads and water is the drug. The two I know where it was gotten under control were both very talented dogs. But like a crack head, you have to be aware that the potential is always there as long as the drug (water) is within reach.

Saltmarsh, sounds like you have caught it enough to where you might be able to manage it with the dog. Many people say not to use the collar on them for this, and I agree if the dog is not CC'd it might be a disastrous idea, but you have to be able to "shock" them out of their trance, whether you do that with a collar, check cord or swim. I have also heard of people that swam out and gave the dog a good thrashing/dunking--not something I'd want to do in March! But the key thing is here if they go into the trance you have to be able to get through to them.

The worst cases I've seen are dogs that have free access to water and the freaking becomes an ingrained habit. At 11 mos. and with the training you're putting into this pup you should be able to instill the idea that water is for work ONLY not play. But you will have to be sure the owner is on board with this also and doesn't let the dog do its thing or all your hard work will be undone.
 

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My first chessie water freaked on me once, I had seen it building over a few weeks/months but wasn't aware it could turn into a problem until it happened. He went for a mark, picked it up and on his way back dropped the bumper and started freaking, several minutes later he was still going and completely ignoring me. I was training him amish style it was cold and it was in a cold water stream. I had to go for a swim and I was pissed. I ended up thrashing him around right there in the water and dunking him a few times for good measure(did I mention I lost control ;) ) I honestly think I may have held him under as I swam all the way back to the bank. :( At that time I didn't really care if I ruined him, I was just cold...and pissed. I wouldn't advocate doing that but in his case it cured the problem and I never saw it happen again.

The good news is I have never lost it like that again in 17 years of training. :shock: I guess we both learned a hard leason that day.
 

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"A common problem is "water-freaking," that is, once some Chesapeakes find they can swim, they will get in any water they can find and swim around and around, often splashing, snapping at the splash, and yipping with excitement. Until they have a strong training foundation, they will not leave the water merely because you call them. If you have a water-freak, avoid water until obedience is well-established, and preferably force-breaking, too. The idea is to avoid reinforcing their enjoyment of playing in the water (so they don't develop a lifelong preference for water-freaking over retrieving). "
John Dahl, oakhillkennel.com
Breed characteristics
 

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sounds like i am lucky my chessie is what i call a fun swimmer. She is totally obediant when hunting and training, but if i want to get her some exercise i can just go to a pond and say go swimming and she will spend as long as i let her swimming from one end to the other, however im able to just blow a come in whistle and she gets right out and we go. otherwise im not sure what to do.
 

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Why do exotic breed people have a name for everything. Water freaker...... :shock: :shock: :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:


The cure is OB. You have a dog that likes water and won't get out. Train him to heel.

/Paul
 

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Gun_Dog2002 said:
Why do exotic breed people have a name for everything. Water freaker...... :shock: :shock: :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:


The cure is OB. You have a dog that likes water and won't get out. Train him to heel.

/Paul
Paul,
I forgive you for you know not of what you speak. A water freak is a real thing. It is a disorder (mental) that is just as real as bad hips or exercised induced collapse. It does not affect all Chesapeake's. But it affects more Chesapeake's than any other breed, I think. Telling a water freak, while it is in "the zone" to heel is like telling Marian Berry not to smoke crack. It ain't going to happen.
BTW Paul
Why is Marian Barry like a social disease?.....
He's embarrassing
He goes away and comes back
He responds well to drugs! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Ken Bora
 

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Ken Bora said:
Paul,
I forgive you for you know not of what you speak. A water freak is a real thing. It is a disorder (mental) that is just as real as bad hips or exercised induced collapse. It does not affect all Chesapeake's. But it affects more Chesapeake's than any other breed, I think. Telling a water freak, while it is in "the zone" to heel is like telling Marian Berry not to smoke crack. It ain't going to happen.
BTW Paul
Why is Marian Barry like a social disease?.....
He's embarrassing
He goes away and comes back
He responds well to drugs! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Ken Bora
I guess i've never seen one because being a mental disorder they must all drown before responding and coming back in. I don't buy it. Besides if its a disorder why hasn't someone started the "water freak" genetic study and why haven't we started selective breeding to remove the disorder? How about we get AKC to include a rule that if a dog has been exposed to a "water freak" in the last 30 days they do not have to run the water series. I think I found the breeding that started the water freak syndrome...



/Paul
 

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Believe me Paul, water freaking is real. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a mental disorder, but it is like a drug to the dogs who are addicted to it. My brother has a Newfoundland who is a water freak, and I know chessies also have a high incidence of water freaking. For you to say it isn't for real is like me saying that EIC doesn't exist in labs. There is no test for EIC, no drugs for EIC, and no selective breeding program to limit EIC...but everyone who knows anything about working labs knows about or has heard of EIC (exercise induced collapse).

Hunter
 
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