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Dog Days of Summer
by Loretta Baughan

Photos Provided by the Author

Sultry and steamy... muggy, sweltering heat... the dog days of summer are here. Webster’s Dictionary refers to it as "a period of stagnation or inactivity". Common sense dictates summer heat is taken into consideration when dog training. Yet, it does not necessarily mean the spaniel should stagnate from inactivity. Young or old, the dog days of summer are the ideal time to do some water work with your spaniel.

Safety First

We are fortunate to have a small, slow-moving, shallow river nearby. A lake or clean pond are suitable types of water, but avoid stagnant ponds with algae growth as that can cause the dog to become sick. Ditto, for locations downstream from places where livestock have access to the water. Check for submerged timber, rocks, trash, glass, barbed wire, or other items that may pose a danger before allowing the dog to enter the water. If Blastomycosis, Lyme, or other tick borne diseases are concerns, you may wish to speak with a local veterinarian to learn if the water location you plan to use is considered to be a hot spot or not.

Get a Grip

I prefer to use either a knobby plastic dummy or one of those Dokken dead fowl trainers that looks like a game bird as opposed to a cloth dummy. Mainly, because the cloth dummy doesn't sit as high in the water - so isn't as visible to the pup. If it's a new type of dummy for the pup, I'll introduce her to it ahead of time, on dry land.

We’ve added a lightweight handle grip to our training dummies, which helps to keep the rope from slipping out of wet hands and seems to make it easier to toss.

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