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Old 09-04-2012, 09:26 PM
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Beanie Beanie is offline
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Default Maybe I should give up this Dock Dogs idea

Took Payton back to the lake today and expected him to be just as jazzed about the dock as he was last time when we left. Well, the remnants of Isaac rolled through this weekend so there was more water in the lake, so it looked different. He jumped off once and was totally surprised that it was deeper. Not super deep, he could stand up on his back legs and float there fine, but it WAS deeper than before. I called him around and he swam around and came up on the shore, looking happy and proud of himself... but he refused to jump back in after that. I got him all excited over his bumper and then had the bumper in the water, dragging it around and slapping the water. He stood on the dock bark-screaming at it, but would NOT jump in. I didn't bring his life jacket because I didn't think the water would be that deep, I don't know if that would have made a difference, but I don't know how easy it will be to get him back into the water again now, even with the life jacket.

So now I don't know if it's worth it to drive the hour and a half to the trial and pay... because I have a feeling he won't jump in the pool and my time and money, neither of which I have a lot of these days, will be wasted. I've been trying to join the Chicagoland Dock Dogs Facebook group (they're putting it on) so I can ask people questions, and I can't get approved... I actually got approved to the St. Louis Dock Dogs group almost immediately and I don't even live in Missouri. =P So I can't even ask questions about it. I just have a really bad feeling about the whole thing now, which sucks because last week after his enthusiastic hopping into the lake I was so excited.

Maybe I should just throw in the towel... everybody told me shelties don't like swimming or water anyway.
ugh.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:30 PM
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I think part of it for shelties is they're deep chested, so they don't float as well as most dogs do. I know my dobe years ago didn't swim too well, he had to work a lot harder with his rear end to keep level and not sink.

I'd try again with the life jacket and keep working on him, maybe that'll help him get braver with it.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:31 PM
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JacksonsMom JacksonsMom is offline
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Don't throw in the towel yet!

One day Jackson can be super insane crazy about diving in the water and jump in over 15x in a row. Other days, he jumps once... not extremely enthusiastically, and doesn't really seem to want to again. No matter how exciting I try to make it.

I think they can just have off days, just like we do. And Jackson, too, is not a typical "Water loving" breed so I take what I get! I'm just so happy he truly loves water as much as he does... he will always lay in water, etc, but some days he just doesn't seem as into diving... and it also took him THREE summers to get the point where he is consistently diving off the side without jumping onto a raft first THEN diving into the water.

But I know what you mean... I've hesitated on spending $$ on dock diving as well when I'm not even sure he will jump. So I hear ya! But I wouldn't give up yet.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:10 AM
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Yeah, Brit, that's what really gets me... he does LOVE the water, though he needs his life jacket to feel secure. I let him swim one time in the lake without his life jacket and he did it, but he didn't look super happy like he usually does. Life jackets are allowed in Dock Dogs so I see no reason to not just let him always use the life jacket.
I was mad at myself because I feel like I should have let him keep jumping last week when he wanted to do it over and over. And instead of letting him keep jumping and keep jumping and keep jumping, I stopped him after only a half dozen jumps... honestly I think he WANTED to jump in, he kept running up to the edge of the dock and looking at the water and crying. I think he just wasn't confident enough. Maybe if he HAD been wearing his life jacket... I dunno. =/

I'm going to try and see if I can put a small table next to my pool this afternoon and see if he won't slide into the pool from the table. I still don't know if that will help or if that will translate. But I suppose if he refuses to jump into his own pool I can feel pretty confident that there's no way he'd jump into the pool at the event, and just scrap the whole idea. It's not like it will be an easy sport for us to play anyway, there's pretty much no events unless I drive at least two hours. The one this weekend is the closest since three years ago when they were at the state fair.
BOO.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:20 AM
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Um.... NO! You're not allowed to give up so easily! Some of the biggest jumping dogs will sometimes have a fluke day and say, f this.

Work with him in his jacket, build up that confidence, try a squeaky wubba too build the intensity, and rule of thumb for some people (I'm not sure if it matters for some dogs) is if they won't jump in always have them walk in off the ramp and get their toy making it successful in some sense.

Keep it up!
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:24 AM
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If you don't want to go to the DD event then don't...doesn't mean you have to give updock diving though!

Mira learned by jumping off embankments before she ever saw a dock (by happenschance, not by design, but I think it's one reason she took to dock diving so readily). Basically she'd be fetching in her usual rev'd style but the bank was relatively short and steep vs. a long underwater shelf so she'd just fly through it. As the lake receded (there were spring floods that year), in many places she'd be swimming almost as soon as she hit the water so she took to jumping bigger and bigger to get a headstart toward the RO. By the time she saw a dock she was used to plunging straight into water too deep to touch bottom and she thought it was the greatest thing since raw chicken.

I don't know if you have a spot where you can set that up for him pr of you think it will help...but just an idea.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
Um.... NO! You're not allowed to give up so easily! Some of the biggest jumping dogs will sometimes have a fluke day and say, f this.
^this!

Blaze jumped 23ft Friday evening at competition in August. Saturday evening, he would not leave the dock. He's been doing this for *3* years, 3 events alone this season, and jumped huuuge Friday! But...did the whole dancing at the edge of the dock Saturday. No real reason why.

However, we're not giving up! We both enjoy the sport way too much to let one fluke stand in the way. We're hitting the pool again and going to re-train some things and show him how much fun it is, again.

Yeah, maybe the competition isn't the best route to go right now, but don't give up. There will be other competitions next season. Right now, focus on having a good time, while training for a sport at the same time. Seriously, 99% of the people you ask say the big reason they are out there competing is because the dogs love the sport. Keep it fun!

Here are a few articles you might find helpful:

http://www.dixiedockdogs.com/training.php
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