If Friday was any indication, Doc will never become a dock diving dog, as he sunk like a rock his first time off the boat dock.
The guys haven’t been swimming since duck season ended in January and I thought it was time to re-introduce them to the water. I combined fishing with training, and took Doc along with me to see how it would work out.
We did a few simple retrieves, both singles and doubles, before I switched over to fishing. I didn’t expect to catch anything since I didn’t start fishing until later in the morning, but fish were still jumping occasionally so I decided to try a fly and bubble.
After fishing awhile without getting any strikes, I end it by seeing if Doc would be willing to jump off the boat dock for a retrieve. It would be good experience for him since some of the places we hunt ducks have sheer banks.
I tossed a stick for him and while he was eager to retrieve, he didn’t know how to enter the water. He sat on the dock paddling with his front feet before getting up enough courage, then dove headfirst into the water which both surprised and alarmed me. It took him several seconds to swim back up to the surface but once Doc resurfaced and got his bearings, he made the retrieve and I pulled him back onto the dock.
Training should always be enjoyable for the dog but if they do have a bad experience such as this, you never want it to be the last thing they remember. I tossed the stick a couple more times so that he could retrieve from the bank, which entered the water at a nice gentle slope.