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Discussion Starter #1
I'd love to get Dozer involved with Dock Diving. We need to work on obedience and retrieving right now, but I'm wondering what is the best age to start a dog with Dock Diving?
 

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You can't get on the dock with him until he's 6 months, that's in the rules. :)

After that I'd try it out (provided he's been swimming, knows how to swim, etc). It's not a lot of impact so I'd think it would be safe for still-growing pups, there was a few young 'uns there this weekend. ;)

Here's the website for the Ontario: http://www.ontariodockdogs.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was browsing around Ontario Dock Dogs a little bit earlier tonight. Six months is a good rule.

Thanks. :)
 

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While actually jumping off the dock has to wait until 6 months, anything you do with your dog in the area of obedience, retrieving, playing with toys together....any of that is good work and preparation for dock diving.
I agree that basic obedience and socialization are very important to participating in any competition. I have seen several really out of control dogs at our events and it's really aggravating and in a way disrespectful of other participants to not control your dog. One in particular has no concept of recall and refuses to return to the dock. I think the handler thinks it's cute. This dog also weighs almost as much as she does and he pulls her all over the place. Just waiting for the day he will pull her into the tank. :D

Remember that this is a fun event no matter how your dog jumps, or doesn't jump. At our competition last weekend a lady and her daughter brought their young Springer pup that had never jumped before. I watched during practice as this pup initially refused to jump but with encouragement and help from the dockDogs crew the pup finally made the leap. During the competition the pup posted a jump of 9' 5". After the wave the lady was about to leave when I told her to check the standings. Sure enough her pup had won first place in the Novice division. She and her daughter were absolutely thrilled to get that ribbon.
 

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As soon as Dozer is fully vaccinated he'll be socialized TONS. Right now we are limited to the weekly puppy social classes (everyone has to prove updated vaccines) but we have only been able to make it once so far. He will be starting obedience classes in Aug., but we are already doing obedience at home. I am one of those people who is irritated by people who cannot control their dogs.

How do I get him to retireve? He does not want to bring the toy/ball/whatever back to me. He runs to get it, and then starts to come to me and then runs away. Without a toy he comes when he is called 95% of the time ...
 

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Retrieving is sometimes a bit of a work in progress for a bit. I would have him on a leash and do a few short retrieves, reeling him in when he gets the toy.

When he gets to you, take it from him and throw it again immediately, so that getting to chase it again is the reward for bringing it back, because it sounds like he likes to chase.

Just do a few (maybe 2 or 3) at a time for now, soon enough he'll figure out that if he brings it back to you the game goes on and he gets to chase the toy again.

The WORST thing you can do is chase him with the toy, or even really give him any attention when he's running around with it. If he doesn't bring it back the game ends, otherwise this will become a whole other game for him, and a rewarding (for him) and frustrating (for you) experience. ;)
 

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Definitely chasing him with a toy in his mouth would be a game for him, so I don't do that when we are trying to get him to retrieve. If he doesn't come back, game over. The only time I chase him is when I absolutely have to (like yesterday when he took off with Barbie's head in his mouth) ... he loved it. :p
 

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I agree that basic obedience and socialization are very important to participating in any competition. I have seen several really out of control dogs at our events and it's really aggravating and in a way disrespectful of other participants to not control your dog. One in particular has no concept of recall and refuses to return to the dock. I think the handler thinks it's cute. This dog also weighs almost as much as she does and he pulls her all over the place. Just waiting for the day he will pull her into the tank. :D
I have one of those out of control dogs :eek: It isn't from lack of trying though. My biggest fear at an event is that we are aggravating others, but I don't want to give up trying. We work on recall at home, obedience on our walks, obedience at the vet office, etc. She walks loosely on our leash walks, stops when I ask, pretty much a model dog at home. However, when we get to an event Piper becomes super excited. I'm at a loss how to get her to focus at the event. She pulls, tries to lunge to get to the dock and barks pretty much non-stop when she is in line waiting her turn. I keep her away from other competitors, she is not aggressive, yet she is a handful. I come away from the day physically exhausted. She is also one that likes to victory swim. She'd much rather swim laps than get back out of the pool. We're working on that. I just had to comment because not all out of control dogs are from lack of owners trying(although some times it is the case) I keep hoping with enough events under our belt we can get her to focus better in the stimulating environment and not annoy too many people along the way :)
 

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The WORST thing you can do is chase him with the toy, or even really give him any attention when he's running around with it. If he doesn't bring it back the game ends, otherwise this will become a whole other game for him, and a rewarding (for him) and frustrating (for you) experience. ;)
I agree 100%. The kids used to chase Piper with the toy. Piper would much rather tease you than bring it back. So I have been having to re-train her idea of what fetch/retrieve are. We have been working with her on her retrieve skills with a long line. Short throws to start with, excitement and jumping around when she returns with it. We are working on longer throws. We only do short sessions and I try to stop on a good note. letting her carry the toy back into the garage and letting her put it away seems to help.

I thought all labs were born retrievers. Piper is NOT. It is a learned exercise for her. This is one of the reasons it is more difficult for her to want to get out of the pool after jumping. Swimming is her #1 favorite thing in the world, I think it even trumps food. She'd much rather swim than bring the toy back. She'll usually bring the toy close to the ramp, drop in the water and push off back to swim more.
 

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Also remember puppies get distracted easily. Sometimes it works well if you have a hallway to do some indoor retrieving practice. Not as much to get distracted by and the hallway limits the return path.
 

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Also remember puppies get distracted easily. Sometimes it works well if you have a hallway to do some indoor retrieving practice. Not as much to get distracted by and the hallway limits the return path.
I do it in the kitchen (which is sort of hallway-ish). For the record, if someone is TRYING to control their uncontrollable dog I have empathy for them. It's the people who just don't give a %#@& that tick me off.
 

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I have one of those out of control dogs :eek: It isn't from lack of trying though. My biggest fear at an event is that we are aggravating others, but I don't want to give up trying. We work on recall at home, obedience on our walks, obedience at the vet office, etc. She walks loosely on our leash walks, stops when I ask, pretty much a model dog at home. However, when we get to an event Piper becomes super excited. I'm at a loss how to get her to focus at the event. She pulls, tries to lunge to get to the dock and barks pretty much non-stop when she is in line waiting her turn. I keep her away from other competitors, she is not aggressive, yet she is a handful. I come away from the day physically exhausted. She is also one that likes to victory swim. She'd much rather swim laps than get back out of the pool. We're working on that. I just had to comment because not all out of control dogs are from lack of owners trying(although some times it is the case) I keep hoping with enough events under our belt we can get her to focus better in the stimulating environment and not annoy too many people along the way :)

I found your post interesting. I went to my first dock diving practice session recently and was suprised and happy because Dexter (who had never swam before) jumped off the dock and swam like a fish. However, he was constantly pulling and wanting to get in the water. He never stopped with the high pitched barks of excitment. He is NOT aggressive at all, but he is a handful! My shoulder the next day was killing me from where I had been holding him. The good thing is he comes back to me when I call, but given half a chance would chase other toys unless I keep him focused on his.

We are currently half way through an intermediate obediance course in order to get him more focused on us and less distracted. I hope it helps. He is such a calm dog, yet when at practice he goes balistic. The only good thing is it may make him jump further! (Dave is wishful thinking. ;))

- Dave
 

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I found your post interesting. I went to my first dock diving practice session recently and was suprised and happy because Dexter (who had never swam before) jumped off the dock and swam like a fish. However, he was constantly pulling and wanting to get in the water. He never stopped with the high pitched barks of excitment. He is NOT aggressive at all, but he is a handful! My shoulder the next day was killing me from where I had been holding him. The good thing is he comes back to me when I call, but given half a chance would chase other toys unless I keep him focused on his.

We are currently half way through an intermediate obediance course in order to get him more focused on us and less distracted. I hope it helps. He is such a calm dog, yet when at practice he goes balistic. The only good thing is it may make him jump further! (Dave is wishful thinking. ;))

- Dave
That's great he jumped. Yeah Dexter! You do want the dog to be excited and ready to go and it does help them jump further. I hope your shoulder feels better. It can be very tiring. The best part is just having fun.

We participated in an event this weekend and Piper was just as excited as before. It was a very hot day and she took more victory laps than usual. Guess all that recall work isn't paying off yet.
 
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