Ready....Set....Jump! Foyle is very proud of his big cuz, Viggo, for earning his Water Rescue Dog title this weekend at the Northern California Newfoundland Club water test up in Lincoln. It was a brutally hot day and over 25 dogs were entered to try for the Water Dog (WD), Water Rescue Dog (WRD), and the Water Rescue Dog Excellent title.
I was lucky enough to be able to train with an amazing girl, Nikki, who taught me to focus ,and not to ask if she wanted to do an exercise but to "demand" that she do an exercise. If you think about why we are testing we don't want our dogs to hesitate in a serious rescue situation, they need to go out into the water under any circumstance. There were many occasions where she just looked up at me and spit the rope out on the ground in defiance; it was as if we were 50 paces apart with hands on our triggers just waiting for the other to make the next move. Instead of spitting chew we were spitting from the enormous amount of hot dogs it took to keep her interested in the exercises. The next move was usually hers as she gave me one last glance and then trotted off to graze in the grass as if I said she could be put out to pasture for the rest of the day. But come test day she had unearthed a focus that I had not seen in training and did every exercise perfectly. She has now re-qualified as a Water Dog!
Testing for WD begins with basic obedience. Here's Jen and Sophie starting out with controlled walking.
Next up is the Single Retrieve.
Then we have the Drop Retrieve in which Flint swims out to take a cushion and bring it back to Dana.
Here's Riley's Drop Retrieve
The 4th exercise is Take a Line out to a caller in the water
Flint takes his rescues very seriously and makes sure that she's safe.
The 5th exercise is Tow a Boat. Here's Jordan on her way out to take the line.
Coming on into shore, the boat is behind her.
And finally we have Swim with Handler. It's such a good feeling to hear that last whistle because you know you passed and your dog now has a title! This is Nikki's son Riley finishing up his WD title with Roland.
It's been a long summer training and there's another water test coming up in September so Foyle and I will cheer everyone on and support them as much as they've supported us! Good luck and keep working!