In preparation for his upcoming retriever hunt test, we set up a few walk-up water marks for Freighter. Freighter loves water and loves to swim and to make a big splash.
A walk-up is where the dog is supposed to walk at heel and then stop when the bird is launched out in the field. Freighter has struggled with this because sometimes he does not stop walking and leaves to retrieve before he is released. That is called a “break” and in a Master Hunt Test is an automatic NQ.
Freighter may start out at heel, but he tends to get too far ahead of hubby. He then gets so excited to retrieve that he does not want to wait. We trained walk-ups with land retrieves a few weeks back and now it was time to work on them over water.
We used dokkens (plastic training dummies that look like ducks) and used our winger to toss them up high in the air and make a big splash right in front of Freighter. The idea was to make it as exciting as possible for Freighter to test his heeling, sitting and steadiness.
The first time through, Freighter got a bit ahead of hubby.
Freighter sat on hubby’s whistle which was a good thing, but out ahead is not good so hubby called him back to heel.
Once Freighter was at heel, hubby sent him to retrieve. This is where the big splash comes in. Freighter loves his water.
OK so let’s try that again.
This time Freighter was way ahead of hubby. You give a Freighter an inch and he is happy to take a mile.
After a small e-collar correction, Freighter was back at heel.
Time for one more walk-up water mark.
Dogs are not required to sit when the bird is launched. They can stand up as long as they stop and wait to be released. However, if you want extra insurance that the dog remains steady until they are released, sitting is better than standing so hubby insists on the sit.
Freighter would have done this a million more times but we had enough for the day. We have not been able to get in much water training at all. The weather has not cooperated. If it is not cold, it is windy, or it is pouring rain. I guess we are not the diehards that we used to be because we have not been out there in the cold rain this Spring and consequently have are behind with training.