I'm trying to find a suitable place to take our pup for her first water experience, well first main experience and was wondering if it best to get a regular harness to hook a long line to. We did that years ago with our other lab, but I can't find the harness anymore, darn it. She has no recall yet and I don't want her getting out too far or away from us.
For dogs that will occasionally retrieve in the yard, will they retrieve better in water or at a park? We have found one toy that she will bring back about 60% of the time. Balls, forget it, usually won't even chase them. Do they usually like the bumper things better than balls?
I have taken my two to the river or lake I put them on a long line (like you use for training). My two don't have the best recall either. One thing I do is keep a knife in my pocket though - just in case there is a problem and I need to cut the line for any reason. My male, Tugg will chase a ball for hours, Skye on the other hand could care less. She really doesn't retrieve much and doesn't like the water much either??? Wierd.
You can get a regular harness at the pet store... Pet Smart sells them I'm sure of it. We got our long lines we use for retrieving (before they are 100% on recall) from a tack shop. It's a 40 foot horse lead (nylon) easy to clean...we toss it right into the washer or sometimes just hose it off.
I got Tal one of those retractible leashes for this very purpose. I think I used it once. I wanted to make sure he would swim and that I would be able to get him in quickly. And his recall is pretty good plus he doesnt stray too far from me.