I finally got some video of a practice session! I went to some public land near me that has some fishing lakes (after confirming with the DNR that they didn’t have blue-green algae). It is a gorgeous day today with low humidity (finally!) and under 80 degrees for a change, rather than the 90+ degrees with 99% humidity it has been all summer.
He was full of energy, so we did quite a few retrieves (and then he came home and ran with Dazzle who got some of his own). We started in the shade, but I moved into the sun after reviewing the video and seeing it was really hard to see him. But I wanted to include the one shade area throw where he navigated over a branch in the water on his return. Obstacles in the water can be a challenge for some dogs, but he just took it in stride.
Once on a sunny part of the shore, we worked on angled entries/exits from the water with a bird shaped toy called a dokken. I have 2 sizes. One that is about pidgeon sized that is comfortable for him and one that is duck sized that is quite a mouthful right now. I accidentally called that a goose size in the text on the video- oops! He also did his first water retrieves of the bigger duck sized toy! He did a longer retrieve of the smaller dokken and I even got in a distraction (stick in the water). He did an amazing job!
He wasn’t tired when we started heading to the vehicle, so I took advantage of the taller grass and weeds (cover) along the trail to the parking lot and had him do some retrieves on land. This is harder for him because he has to remember where he saw it land and can’t see it till he’s right on top of it. Again, he did fantastic! He really makes training easy and enjoyable! I know all the foundation stuff we have done up to this point has really helped as well.
Forgot to add the photo I took of him near the lake: