Introducing Your Dog To Water Retrieves

Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

Introducing Your Dog To Water Retrieves

By Tom Dokken of Oak Ridge Kennels and Dokken Dog Supply


0:31 Announcer: helping you get the most from your hunting dogs. Brought to you by Dokken Dog Supply, quality dog training products and accessories.

0:49 Sit.

0:50 Somebody told me awhile back that all retrievers are natural water dogs. Well, I gotta tell you after 35 years in the dog training business, I don't know if I really agree with that. As a matter of fact, how you introduce your dog to the water has a lot to do with will you have a good retrieving dog, a good duck dog? Or will you have one that's just a casual observer from the shoreline?

1:10 Hi, Tom Dokken from Oak Ridge Kennels in Northfield, Minnesota. We're here at the Dokken Dog Supply proving grounds and we're going to show you how to introduce your dog properly to the water.

Now, I've got an adult dog here. But this also applies if you have a puppy that you're trying to introduce for the first time. There's certain ways that you need to do this. And if you do it right, you're going to have a dog that loves the water. If you do it wrong, well, you might not be able to recover.

A couple of things that I like to do. 1. I want to do it on a warm, hot day. 2. I want to have a pond selected that's got a nice hard bottom and a gradual decline into the water. The reason being on a warm day, once I run my dog around or my puppy for a little while, and we venture into the water, not only is it something that the puppy enjoys, because it's a lot cooler, but also he gets an appreciation for the fact that it's something positive.

2:02 Now, there's some points I want to make here, things that you should avoid doing when introducing your dog to the water. 1. Never let your dog fall off of a dock. 2. Never let him fall out of a boat. 3. Never pick your puppy or your adult dog up and set them into the water and make them swim.

By doing so, your dog does not have an option. Now, are they going to swim to shore and not drown? Obviously yes. But, that experience could be enough to turn him off.

So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to walk out into the water. I've got knee boots on today. Maybe you're going to want to put hip boots or chest waders on. We're going to walk out. We're going to make it fun. We're going to make it easy.

2:45 Here's another tip. If you got an adult dog at home and you've got a puppy that you're introducing and that puppy likes your adult dog, you may want to take your adult dog with you as an extra motivator.

So let's go down, see what happens.

Start off,

come on, come on

and we're going to start off real easy, short retrieve to start with because we don't want to get it out there too far,

Here, good boy. Okay.

You don't want to start so far that your dog looks at it and goes it's too far for me to swim and lacks confidence.

3:23 Come on. Come on. Good boy.

3:28 Now as each day goes by, I return to the same spot because this is where your dog's comfort level is. And we're going to increase the distance on a daily basis. And in no time you're going to have that duck dog you've always dreamed of.

Come on, good boy.

3:42 [Closing]

4:05 Announcer: helping you get the most from your hunting dogs. Brought to you by Dokken Dog Supply, discover the Dokken's difference.

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