Our local Newfoundland club had their yearly water seminar a few weeks ago and I found it quite ironic that we were pretty much rained out for the entire day! Luckily we had a wonderful teacher, Judi Adler, who wrote the book on water training- Water Work, Water Play! I really respected the fact that she uses positive training techniques to teach her dogs, and would rather spend 3 months working on one aspect of basic training than force a dog through hurtful and/or forceful exercises. She had an upbeat attitude that was contagious and kept everyone engaged and entertained throughout the day. Above you can see one member teaching her dog to focus on the hand direction before sending her puppy out.
One of my favorite exercises what setting treats on a chair and every time your dog opened his/her mouth to take the bumper you quickly took it away and fed a treat. Bumper = Treat! It's a good thing! On the right is Captain learning how to go out to the float.
We actually did make it out to the pond for about an hour or so to practice bumper retrieval in the water.
Here is Linda and Sarah practicing jumping on and off the boat. She's an excellent swimmer and will hopefully be going for their WRDX title this summer!
Back into the barn to practice recalls and more basic training. Foyle jumped in for a few exercises and we're definitely going to keep going with the bumper/chair exercise because it is incredibly easy to do between commercials. We call it Commercial Training in our house, but this way neither one of us gets bored. It's a win-win! For more training resources check out the Working Section of the NCNC website and this article Water Training- The Voice of Experience.