Working in water. Jumping fences and gates

Any retrieving gundog worthy of the name must face water and retrieve there from. Most cockers of working strain take to water very quickly and love working in it. Introduction to it should be made on a warm day and force should not be used. Choose a pond or stream with gently shelving banks and throw a ball or dummy a little way in. If this does not work throw in something eatable, or make use of a trained and keen water dog as an example. Wade in and paddle about yourself if you feel inclined — anything to encourage the puppy and promote confidence in water. Once he will swim a little way encourage him farther and farther out until you can see that he really has the idea. Then teach him to go across water and climb the opposite bank to seek the dummy. Tact and perseverance on your part are almost sure to be successful — completely water-shy cockers are a rarity — but you must be gentle and patient.

Jumping fences and gates is taught quite easily once a puppy is well grown and confident. Just take him for walks and climb easy fences yourself and walk on. If there are no suitable, easy places nearby it is worth while constructing a jump and bribing the puppy over it either with the dummy or with food, or allow an experienced dog to set an example. Do not let the first places be too difficult, of course, and avoid barbed wire and fences which are not fairly solid to start with. Confidence must be created — once you have your puppy jumping for the love of it you will have no more trouble. All that remains to be done is to practice retrieving over jumps of different kinds.