SWDCA Junior Water Dog Test
JUNIOR WATER DOG TEST EXERCISES
Objective: To provide an introduction to water work. To demonstrate the dog's readiness for and interest in water tasks and ability to perform basic skills necessary for title level work.
Overview: The Junior Water Dog level consists of four exercises: underwater retrieve; retrieve dummy from shore; retrieve floating line from shore; dummy carry, boat ride with handler, and recall to shore.
Exercise and Time Allowed
1. Underwater Retrieve (1 minute)
2. Retrieve Dummy from Shore (1 minute)
3. Retrieve Floating Line from Shore (2 minutes)
4. Dummy Carry (30 seconds), Boat Ride with Handler, and Recall Boat to Shore (2 minutes for all three parts)
Equipment Required (handlers may use own equipment or use provided equipment)
a. Floating dummy (see example link at bottom)
b. Sinking object (see example link at bottom)
c. 10’ floating line (see example link at bottom)
d. Collar and/or water harness
e. Handler must wear closed-toed water shoes and a life preserver
f. Optional: life preserver (dog)
g. Optional: leash made out of floating line
Starting Positions for Exercises
SHORE: Handler is standing on shore behind the three foot line and facing the water. Dog is at the handler's side under control.
BOAT: Handler is sitting or kneeling on the boat platform. Dog is at the handler's side under control.
OTHER: Position is explained at beginning of exercise.
1. Underwater Retrieve (2 points)
Purpose: Demonstrates the dog's ability to retrieve and deliver an underwater object. In the process of retrieving the underwater object, the dog’s full face must be submerged to include the eyes. Equipment: Sinking object, such as a bait bucket with handle, weighted wiffle ball, or a three-handled fetch toy. Objects must immediately sink, must be safe for the dog and may not be a rock or sharp metal.
Time: 1 minute from the time the object sinks to deliver to hand.
Starting Position: SHORE.
Procedure: The handler and dog enter the water to a depth of water that will allow the dog to complete the task as required. The dog must be at the handler's side (either side), facing the same direction as the handler. Dog and handler will be parallel to shore so the judge may view the distance of the drop. On the judge's signal, the handler drops the object in the water at arm's length in front of the dog and parallel to shore. The object must sink immediately. As soon as the object sinks, and without further direction from the judge, the handler sends the dog and the dog retrieves the object and delivers it to hand above the surface of the water.
Notes: The handler may lead the dog into position by the collar or harness. The handler may re-toss the object up to a total of two times within the time allowed if he/she believes the dog does not see it or for any other reason. The judge must be notified of the intention to re-toss on each occasion. The handler may point but may not put a hand in the water to assist the dog in locating the object. The handler remains in place and does not move closer than arm’s length to the object unless repositioning it. As soon as the dog brings the object above the water’s surface, the handler may step in as close as desired to the dog and object in order to take delivery of the object. If the dog paws the object ashore, the object is repositioned in the required depth of water in order for the dog to submerge its full face, including eyes, with no additional time allowed. The dog must remain in the water during this exercise until the object is delivered. If the dog leaves the water and crosses the three foot line with or without the object, the dog fails the exercise.
2. Retrieve Dummy from Shore (2 points)
Purpose: Demonstrates the dog's willingness to enter the water and ability to retrieve.
Time: 1 minute from when dummy is thrown.
Starting Position: SHORE; Dog may be held by the harness or collar until the judge signals to begin.
Procedure: On the judge's signal, the handler will throw the dummy at least 25' from shore into the water. On the judge's signal, the handler sends the dog. The dog will enter the water and go to the dummy, pick it up and bring it to the handler.
Notes: Delivery to hand is not required; however, the dog must cross the three foot line and drop the dummy close enough to the handler so that he/she can recover the dummy from where he/she is standing behind the three foot line. Handler is not permitted to move more than one or two steps in any direction once the dog has left the water. The handler’s feet may move in place as he/she turns to receive the dummy.
3. Retrieve Floating Line from Shore (2 points)
Purpose: Demonstrates the dog's willingness to retrieve an article which has been placed by someone other than the handler. Floating line emulates the line on the end of a fishing net.
Equipment: 10' floating line, boat.
Time: 2 minutes from the judge’s signal to begin.
Starting Position: SHORE.
Procedure: On the judge’s signal the steward, with floating line, will row across the test site approximately 60' from shore and parallel to the 60' markers and place the floating line in the water on the shore side of the boat. The steward splashes the line several times to attract the dog's attention, but will not call out to the dog. When the floating line is in place, the judge will ask "are you ready?" The handler may respond when he/she thinks the position of the boat and the line are the most advantageous for a successful retrieve of the floating line. When the handler gives an affirmative response, he/she must release the dog. Upon hearing the response, the judge will tell the handler "you may begin" at which time the handler must send the dog. The dog retrieves the line and (without further direction from the judge) delivers it to the handler.
Notes: The judge will not ask the handler if he or she is ready before signaling the steward to place the line. The floating line is placed rather than tossed in the water. The dog does not have to bring the entire line out of the water, but must cross the three foot line with all four paws to make the delivery. Delivery to hand is not required; however, the dog must cross the three foot line and drop the line close enough to the handler so that he/she can recover the line from where he/she is standing behind the three foot line. Handler is not permitted to move more than one or two steps in any direction once the dog has left the water. The handler’s feet may move in place as he/she turns to receive the line.
4. Dummy Carry, Boat Ride, and Recall to Shore (1 point for each)
Purpose: Demonstrates the dog's willingness to carry an article on land and bring it to the boat, ability to remain under control on a moving boat until called to shore, and ability to exit the boat under control.
Equipment: Dummy, boat with platform.
Time: 30 seconds to carry the dummy, deliver it to handler and board boat; 60 foot boat ride; leave the boat and return to handler. Two minutes to complete all three tasks.
Starting Position: OTHER: Handler with dummy is standing on land 25' away from the boat (parallel or perpendicular to the shoreline) and facing the boat. Dog is at the handler's side or otherwise under control.
Procedure: Steward will secure the boat keeping it near shore in water just deep enough that it will float freely once the team has boarded. On the judges signal the handler places the dummy in the dog's mouth, without touching the dog. The dog holds the dummy while the team moves to the stern of the boat, where (without further direction from the judge) the dog delivers the dummy to the handler. The dummy must be delivered to hand either on the ground near the stern, or on the platform. The handler passes the dummy to the steward. Depending on the point of delivery, the team or the handler boards the boat. The boat ride begins as soon as the team is in position. (The team is in position when the handler is seated on the platform and the dog is under control on the platform.)
The dog must remain under control on the platform while the steward rows the boat approximately 60 feet out from the three-foot line. Dog remains on the platform while the boat returns close to shore but still in floating water. A steward may intercept the boat before it runs aground. The judge will signal the end of the boat ride. The handler then instructs the dog to remain on the platform while he/she exits the boat and goes to shore. When the handler is standing behind the three foot line, the judge will signal her/him to call the dog. Timing of the recall begins when the handler calls the dog. The exercise ends when the dog crosses the three foot line and is under control.
Note: During the first part of this exercise, which ends when the dummy is delivered, or when time runs out, the dog may not enter the boat. Once the second part (boat ride) begins, as outlined in the exercise, the dog must remain on the platform. The handler then instructs the dog to remain on the platform while he/she exits the boat and goes to shore. When the handler is standing behind the three foot line, the judge will signal her/him to call the dog. Timing of the recall begins when the handler calls the dog. The exercise ends when the dog crosses the three foot line and is under control.
Junior Water Dog is a pass/fail test. A dog that passes all parts of the test within the allotted times will be awarded a Junior Water Dog certificate (JWD).
Dogs are ranked by the total amount of points. Ties are broken by the lowest amount of time. Barring this, placements are at the judge’s discretion.
Required Personnel for test:
3. Boat Rower
Note: Function of Timer may be fulfilled by Judge or Steward
Examples of water work equipment:
Floating dummy. Can be fabric, plastic, vinyl and be purchased at most sporting goods stores. Try not to get a goose-sized one! Dogs can see white, blue and yellow. Some people like to have two colors so the dog can see it against glare and against dark water. Example: http://www.4mypwds.com/store/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=55-004&Category_Code=AWW&Product_Count=3
Sinking object. An object that will immediately sink, can be easily picked up by the dog, and is not something that can injure the dog. Common choices are a whiffle ball filled with stones, a bait bucket with a little cement in the bottom, or this great three-handled toy (get a bright color so the dog can see it): http://www.4mypwds.com/store/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=55-006&Category_Code=AWW&Product_Count=4
10’ Floating line. This is very easy to make using floating line and net floats from any marine supply store—just remember to get 12’ of line to accommodate the knots. If you don’t want to make one but would like a floating line of your own, here’s a link: http://www.4mypwds.com/store/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=55-007&Category_Code=AWW&Product_Count=5