Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

21 - 36 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,458 Posts
I also went to a dock diving competition over the weekend. It looks like a fun time. We didn't take our dogs but they allowed people to try it out and I'm pretty sure both our guys would love it.

It's very fun. I see it as Shala's total fun sport - no real rules, other than holding the sit at the foot of the dock until I release her. And it's a chance to do big entries into water (which she loves to do) and swim all day. What more can a dog ask for?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
It's very fun. I see it as Shala's total fun sport - no real rules, other than holding the sit at the foot of the dock until I release her. And it's a chance to do big entries into water (which she loves to do) and swim all day. What more can a dog ask for?
It's funny because the first dog refused to jump, and then a Golden came out flying. We watched for a while and when we left my husband and I both thought that our dogs would love it. There didn't seem to be anything involved that they don't both already do.

Later that night my son came over and he had been at the same outdoor expo, but at a different time. He said "we should load our dogs up one weekend and try it". He has a lab that jumps from one end of my pool to the other from a sit. My pool is 30' long. We actually were afraid last year he was going to hit the end.

It just seemed relaxed and fun. To be clear I'm sure we weren't watching the very best dogs, but they were having a great time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,458 Posts
It's funny because the first dog refused to jump, and then a Golden came out flying. We watched for a while and when we left my husband and I both thought that our dogs would love it. There didn't seem to be anything involved that they don't both already do.

Later that night my son came over and he had been at the same outdoor expo, but at a different time. He said "we should load our dogs up one weekend and try it". He has a lab that jumps from one end of my pool to the other from a sit. My pool is 30' long. We actually were afraid last year he was going to hit the end.

It just seemed relaxed and fun. To be clear I'm sure we weren't watching the very best dogs, but they were having a great time.

(Sorry for the thread hijack!)

You should definitely bring your dog to an event (or see if there are classes in your area, that's how we started). But most events have opportunities for dogs to try it - either before the competition, or at the end. Or just sign up for one wave - it's about $25-$30 a wave. If your dog doesn't like it, or doesn't jump, well, so you lost $30. Email the event organizer to check before you go and see what your options are, but generally, they are interested in helping people get into the sport (that's my experience with Dock Dogs - I've never been to other dock diving organizations' events).
 

·
Golden Ret Enthusiast
Joined
·
1,482 Posts
It's funny because the first dog refused to jump, and then a Golden came out flying. We watched for a while and when we left my husband and I both thought that our dogs would love it. There didn't seem to be anything involved that they don't both already do.

Later that night my son came over and he had been at the same outdoor expo, but at a different time. He said "we should load our dogs up one weekend and try it". He has a lab that jumps from one end of my pool to the other from a sit. My pool is 30' long. We actually were afraid last year he was going to hit the end.

It just seemed relaxed and fun. To be clear I'm sure we weren't watching the very best dogs, but they were having a great time.
So I took Maggie in to the local pet valu to use their self serve dog washing station. It's over 4 feet like maybe 4.5 feet high for the front ledge and it's all ceramic tile. I taped the ledge for Maggie to put her paws up so I could pick her to put her in. This is the norm for when we come which is an average of about 3 times a month for a bath (the dryer is the reason lol). This was from a sit about a foot or so back, she just cleared it without touching anything. Just BOOM! and she was in. I had to pick up my jaw. Then when she turned around, she had this look like hmmph, why did I do this!? Lol

She's so athletic it's crazy and I don't have time for agility but the dock diving I'll be doing this summer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
So I took Maggie in to the local pet valu to use their self serve dog washing station. It's over 4 feet like maybe 4.5 feet high for the front ledge and it's all ceramic tile. I taped the ledge for Maggie to put her paws up so I could pick her to put her in. This is the norm for when we come which is an average of about 3 times a month for a bath (the dryer is the reason lol). This was from a sit about a foot or so back, she just cleared it without touching anything. Just BOOM! and she was in. I had to pick up my jaw. Then when she turned around, she had this look like hmmph, why did I do this!? Lol

She's so athletic it's crazy and I don't have time for agility but the dock diving I'll be doing this summer.
Is there a club in Maryland? I'm in Delaware and seem to have no luck finding anything.... It really did look fun.
 

·
Golden Ret Enthusiast
Joined
·
1,482 Posts
Is there a club in Maryland? I'm in Delaware and seem to have no luck finding anything.... It really did look fun.

I don't know I'm just over the DE MD line in Elkton but I do everything in DE, Newark area. I'm going to start on my own and I'll look for something. Just look up dock dogs and they should have a schedule of where and when they will setting up places.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,458 Posts
Is there a club in Maryland? I'm in Delaware and seem to have no luck finding anything.... It really did look fun.

You don't need to join a club - you can just register for an event in your area. Check out the Dock Dogs website. There is also North American Diving Dogs (have not done their events).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,052 Posts
You don't need to join a club - you can just register for an event in your area. Check out the Dock Dogs website. There is also North American Diving Dogs (have not done their events).
And Ultimate Air Dogs (but they don't do AKC titling, if that's something you're interested in).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,447 Posts
Going back to your problem of not retrieving after a few times. I’d do a couple of short to mid range retrieves with him every day. Since you say after 2 or 3, he doesn’t want to work anymore, so just do 2 retrieves, then that problem doesn’t happen.
At the same time I would go back to the beginning of force fetch. When you do, make sure it’s after those 2 fun retrieves when his attitude is good, then do a short simple FF. Start at hold again and go all the way thru. It will take a good 3 weeks if you work with him every day for FF. After every FF session, I’d thrown one nice fun bumper and call it a day to end on a positive note. For every retrieve I’d also keep him on a long line so he can’t get away and lie down.
Don’t make his FF sessions long and drawn out.
Keep a journal every single time for everything you do with him.
Just my 2 cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
Discussion Starter #32
Going back to your problem of not retrieving after a few times. I’d do a couple of short to mid range retrieves with him every day. Since you say after 2 or 3, he doesn’t want to work anymore, so just do 2 retrieves, then that problem doesn’t happen.
At the same time I would go back to the beginning of force fetch. When you do, make sure it’s after those 2 fun retrieves when his attitude is good, then do a short simple FF. Start at hold again and go all the way thru. It will take a good 3 weeks if you work with him every day for FF. After every FF session, I’d thrown one nice fun bumper and call it a day to end on a positive note. For every retrieve I’d also keep him on a long line so he can’t get away and lie down.
Don’t make his FF sessions long and drawn out.
Keep a journal every single time for everything you do with him.
Just my 2 cents.
Thank you. We've backed it way up!! He will FF all day with no issues. We were doing a lot of pile work and drills so we have completely stopped it for a couple weeks. I think we were over doing it. We are doing short fun retrieves, and going back to obedience and things he knows for a couple of weeks. We are also doing water work because he loves that. In the last couple of weeks we have figured out he's lost his confidence. We are slowly rebuilding and seeing improvements daily.

I've never had to completely stop training for 4 months right at the age it's so important. We are working with a new trainer and her techniques seem to be working with him. We are doing it all ourselves, but she is guiding each step. He is the polar opposite of our 8 year old. He's making us better at training. lol

I think we were doing way to much repetition and he was bored. I also think everything was way to long and drawn out. We were trying to make up for lost time and it was just to much. We've figured out he's a thinker. Our 8 year old would jump off a mountain if you said BACK, and I don't think I've ever seen him even hesitate. (We were spoiled) This guy is making us work!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,447 Posts
You're right every dog is different. I can't train Lucy more than 2 or 3 times in a week. Riot will train all day long every day. You just have to work with what your dog is. Sounds like you have a plan. You'll be back on track before you know it!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,543 Posts
"I think we were doing way to much repetition and he was bored. I also think everything was way to long and drawn out. We were trying to make up for lost time and it was just to much. We've figured out he's a thinker. Our 8 year old would jump off a mountain if you said BACK, and I don't think I've ever seen him even hesitate. (We were spoiled) This guy is making us work!"


My mentor's last dog, Bones, did better with fewer reps. He would say to me "I can't do too much with her, she does better with less. I do what I need to do, then put her away". He also said to know your dog and stop with the dog wanting just one more retrieve.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
I wanted to update this thread just in case someone else ever goes through something similar. I also thought maybe some of you that offered such helpful advice deserved an update...

Moe is back to retrieving and loving it. He is once again excited to see bumpers come out. He is steady and casting well, he is consistently delivering to hand again. He is also running the fastest I've ever seen a dog run to do the drills, often to the point that he is over running and sliding on his front end to get back to it. (not so desirable, but from where we started it's great)

How did we get here?

We backed all the way up. We stopped all retrieving, even balls. We haven't used an e-collar in 4 months. We also changed all cues and even made sure we changed the tone of voice we were using. We haven't had any one other then myself and my husband work with him. My son is a good handler, but learned from our trainer so he was left out as well.

We consulted with Lori Jolly and she was a huge help. We started with her place board training and worked through the steps she outlines in her videos and books. We also read Robert Milners's book and used a lot of his techniques. They both overlap. This was a much different approach then our trainer uses, but it seemed to work in this situation. It is hard to start over.

We train the desired behavior for no more then 5 - 10 minutes a day. We reinforce the easy stuff for the rest of the training time, and then we just play. Moe is smart, fast, and eager to please.

What do I now think went wrong?
Moe was in pain from his feet and no one knew. He was being trained and shouldn't have been for at least two weeks at my best guess. As the pain progressed he related the E-Collar, FF, and casting to the pain and refused to do it. He also is smart enough that the minute he saw the collar come out, or a bumper he just turned off. It's odd because most hunt/field dogs get excited, or at least ours do. There is nothing they love more. Moe will not work for our trainer, and I will not put him back in that situation. I am not blaming our trainer. He is good and has done multiple dogs for us. I'm also not saying that our traditional training method doesn't work. It did! I have Duke that loves our trainer to this day. My son has a lab puppy with him right now and she is excelling.

Moe had a genetic problem that didn't become apparent until he was running over 30 yards on retrieves. Some of his problem may be that he is so darn fast. He learns fast, runs fast, and jumps high. He's the most athletic dog I've ever owned while at the same time has the worst structural integrity I've ever seen.

What now?
Moe is dock diving on a limited basis. He earned his Senior Dock title this summer. We don't attend every event. We are careful with him.

Maybe we could hunt test him, but we are going to wait until next April to make that decision. We will have new x-rays of his feet, elbows, and hips done and sent to OFA at that time. (Hard to believe he'll be 2) If his elbows clear and his feet are good we may consider starting with the JH test. Our fear is the terrain. He is fine in a nice level field, or nicely mowed pond area, but his health and longevity are most important. We both hold our breath every time he stumbles, or tumbles head over heels to get a bumper. (he's clumsy) His original CT Scans show elbow problems, and I tend to believe they didn't go away. We may have to fix them if that's an option. Our surgeon and our rehab Drs both advised waiting given his feet.

He is a great pet. He won't go into a real hunting situation. My husband feels like we are asking for trouble to put him in a blind on the marsh or in a corn field with ruts and stalks. If he was slower and more careful we may not worry so much.

We are going to keep training him ourselves and just see how far we can get. He may never earn the titles but he's taught us so much!

I know there are so many different opinions on field training techniques and I feel like through this experience I've run the gamut. Here's what I know; collar conditioning works, force fetch works, the old standard of training works. Those of you involved know all the methods I'm referring too. Here's what I've learned; there is another way, the old way doesn't work for every dog, it's harder to change your training methods and start over then it is to start and follow one path.

Our Future
So Duke is having some serious health issues and is definitely no longer going in the field. Moe will most likely never see an actual hunt, unless it's the perfect situation. We have decided that sometime in the future we will be adding another dog to our lives. We are going to do everything we can to ensure it's health. We are both far more knowledgeable then we've ever been before about many things. The question we keep asking ourselves is how will we train the new addition? Do we try ourselves? Do we send it to our trainer at 7 months like we have in the past? Do we send it to a trainer that uses these methods that Moe has responded to? The one thing with Moe was he already knew what to do, we just had to get him to want to do it again.

Our hope is that whatever direction the new addition goes in we will be able to take Moe along for part of it. We are going to try and pursue scent work. I think Moe would love that. I'm hoping to try rally, or agility with the new addition too.

The bottom line...... Moe got his MOJO back! If his joints and feet would hold up he has his drive back and could again excel in hunt/field training.
 
21 - 36 of 36 Posts
Top