Watercubs & Kivisilmän

working show-quality newfoundlands

Introduction Our Dogs News Puppies Working Articles Photo Gallery
Waterwork Shows Obedience Draft work Hiking Blood trials and tracking Frisbee

Boom - Waterwork Sunday 15.4.07

They day started, like usual, with the worst thing: trying to fit into the wetsuit! (It really did shrink this time!!) The warming up-exercises were getting the dummy a few times or swimming alongside a boat. Unfortunately we didn't have the boat, so we had to stick with the dummies. Since I train both dogs at the same time, the warming exercises were also done so. First we swam to 20m, threw the dummies a few times (they bring them back). To make the exercise a bit harder, I threw the dummies towards the shore. (the dog has to go turn away from the shore and come back to the  "open sea".

Vera's dummy is the pink one, Capri prefers the white one. When throwing the dummies "the wrong way" (they have to cross each other's path), they still bring the right dummy back.

When we were still doing the warming up, the others had already started. They went for the paddle and a dummy.

It was time to save lives! First we went for the "alive" (splashing water) one, then for a "dead" (not moving).

This was the first time Vera brought the "dead" back from the hand. Until now she had just trained with an empty glove.

Capri knows this by heart..

After the saves, it was time for me to get wet again. The exercise was to save a person with a lifebelt: The drowner calls for help, I and the dog swim there as fast as we can. Since the human can swim a bit faster, I have time to "calm" the drowner and give him the belt. By now the dog has reached us and I can give the other end of the vest to it. The dog will follow me with the drowner to the shore.

Then we did almost the same exercise again, except this time the dog had to leave with the belt from shore, circle the drowner and bring him back (the drowner grabbed the belt).

Then we wanted some challenge: directed retrieve. The dog had to pic a dummy that the owner wanted and come back. (choice from three). Capri had to get the pink (Vera's one) this time.

It's easier to get the dog to change direction than to change objects. Therefore I needed to make sure Capri was heading towards the pink one (not the white one = her favorite) 

Capri did it well on the first try.

Vera had to get the furthest one. Because the dummies were in a straight line, it was harder for Vera. She also had to swim past her favorite one (pink). Vera did great and passed the fisrt one, but couldn't resist and grabbed her own (pink). I started to swim towards her to correct and she soon realized what she had to do. She let go of the pink and headed towards the last one. She took it and brought it back! Good girl! :-)

After a short break, it was time to save lives again.

The exercise was more for the handler than for the dog. While the others decided on the exercise, I had to be away and not know anything about it. (same for the others) When I walked back to the shore, there was a "situation" I had to take care of.

The drowner swam to the middle of the lake and called for help. I had to quickly decide the best strategy; what to take with me, should I go at all, etc..
I decided to jump and go after the drowner myself. The dog followed without hesitation. When I reached the drowner I grabbed him and started to pull him to the shore. When the dog reached us, I grabbed her and she pulled all of us back to shore. 

The last exercise of the day was directed retrieve, but this time with a paddle. 

After a succesful retrieve, she was rewarded by letting her get her favorite dummy. 

To finish up, we did a few easy retrieves. Even though it might seem that we do a lot of retrieves, it's not just because it's such an easy exercise, but because the dogs actually like it and take it as a reward instead of an exercise.


After the usual " bye bye' s and "see you on wednesday"s it was time to go and head back home.. By the time we got home it was four o'clock. Everyone was tired, but happy.



(c) Salmelin