As the weather warms up it is a good time to get young dogs introduced to water. Nothing is better at coaxing a young puppy into the water than other dogs frolicking in a pond on a hot day. The past few weeks we have been ending our training sessions with a walk to the pond. The 14 week old brittany above was a little timid the first couple of times. He would wade out a little and get his feet wet, but wouldn’t jump in. Then on the third trip we through a bumper and he decided he wanted to swim out and get it. This was after watching several other dogs fetch the bumper from the pond. It was a great positive experience with water and a perfect intro to water retrieves.
The chain gang theory in bird dog training is a trick for getting other dogs excited to have their turn. The idea is simply to make them watch other dogs train and work birds from a short distance away. It works like a charm for dogs that are a little tentative or hard-headed. After a few times watching other dogs they will be ready to have a go. We keep our chains pretty short (around 3 foot long). The other part is that they are all hooked together on one long chain, this teaches them to give to the lead for collar conditioning.
We have updated our recall pen and built a new updated model. This one is a little taller to accommodate a 5 gallon water fount and feeder to make maintenance a little easier. We used 6-7 2X4 studs and ripped them down to nice straight 2×2′s. Also, this new design uses only one sheet of 1/2″ plywood due to the smaller shelter in the back. The new shelter is only 18-24 inches wide and has a platform for roosting. They seem to like this better.