Canoe dog training?

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Every once in a while I get the bug to try to take out my collies in a canoe. Would probably push it more but hate to think they could become gator snacks. Too many gators in the water around here to chance tipping over. Was thinking of making an out rigger to keep us from tipping over. Maybe even a sponson if I get desperate enough. Which would work the best? Any links to plans?


Any way the smooth collie will not sit still long enough and gives a whole new meaning to rock the boat. If I could just find the power outlet on her could probably power the eastern seaboard with electricity. Now the American Boarder Collie association Boarder Collie has an off switch and feels the best when sitting so he can look at me. The boarder collie will be the be the best one to train to be a canoe dog. Any tips?


P.S.
Have to explain the whole "American Boarder Collie Association" thing. The AKC Boarder collies are breed for different things than the American Boarder Collie Association that are breed for how they work and that is it. They call the AKC ones Barbies. Any way there is a large difference in the way the dogs train, learn and work. Mine is a "hard" dog that some times you have to work hard at to get his attention to a new job. He concentrates very hard on his given task.
 
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Take a jar of peanut butter. Apply some to the bottom of the hull where he is sitting. Re-apply every five minutes, then start making the wait times longer. Worked for a haywire siberian husky I had.
 
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Well, don't know you or your dogs so you may well be past some of what I'm going to say. No insult intended.
Leave the hyper dog at home, work with the calmer one. You're going to be bringing this dog into places where other people are enjoying a nice quiet time. That means that even before you start with the canoe, the dog (and you) ought to have the basic obedience training down rock solid. And no barking.

Get your canoe out on the lawn and practice hopping in and out on command. A good idea is to put a wet towel or bath mat down for better footing for the dog. Dogs don't like slippery under foot while learning something new. Later it won't be so important. Keep it light and fun because initially there's nothing about the canoe that the dog wants to do.

I've been working with my rough collie getting her accustomed to the canoe (8 months old) The other day we invented a game where we had a tennis ball along and I would throw it out ahead of us (us being in the canoe) paddle over to the floating ball and she would lean over the side and grab it. At first I'd work to make it easy for her to reach but as she got better I'd only put the ball off the very end of the bow, then back near me, then to the other side. The point being she was required to hop all over the canoe to reach that darn ball. Because she was so caught up trying to get the ball she never noticed how accustomed she was getting moving around in the tippy canoe.
Now this would never have worked with say......a Lab. Those guy's love the water and would be over the side the first time the ball was tossed. But my Collie and my wife's Shelty both hate getting anything more that their feet wet.

While you're going through this familiarization time I wouldn't worry if the dog walks about tipping the canoe from one side to the other. You can compensate and the dog is learning that the world won't end if the canoe tips a little bit. Later, you may well find yourself in some situation where the canoe is being tipped and you really wouldn't want your dog to bail out in a panic.

Once I've got all my stuff in the canoe for camping I have a place set aside for my dog near me. She can get up to look if she wishes but there's plenty of room to lay down. But that's where she stays, no wandering around the canoe. And if I tell her "down stay" that's where she stays come hell or high water.

Those are some ideas anyway....

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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One thing is for sure. Dogs activate that on/off switch in gators. Gators also seem to notice all things smaller as in small children. I noticed they watched my 2 year old grand daughter, while they didn't seem to
care if I was passing through. I have 3 granddaughters that love to canoe. I never paddle without a small 44 in the back of my belt. It sure doesn't help that some folks keep throwing them marshmallows. If you do take your dog you might want to plan ahead for any unwanted attention you might attract.

Just a thought, Cronje
 
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Thanks memaquay, I'm thinking of adapting your canoe dog training ploy to car rides with the grandkids. A good smear of peanut butter on the van windows ought to keep 'em busy for a couple hundred miles, eh?
 
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Now far be it from me to question somebody as experienced as Memaquay, but he says: "apply (the peanut butter) to the hull where he is setting." Looks like the adhesive properties of the peanut butter last only about five minutes. (?) If that's the case wouldn't velcro strips be a better option? I suppose you could use that Gorilla glue as long as the humane society didn't catch you. Don't know how an upside down dog suspended from the canoe would work out on a portage though.

Brad, before you test that out on the grand kids, you might want to check; it may be the way that Miley Cyrus got started on that tongue thing.

Do you suppose that a dog with a peanut butter backside might act to attract bears? In Memequays case it wouldn't matter; he's always got that cat, but for the rest of us it might be something to consider.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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ha ha, good one, had me chuckling, hadn't thought about glueing the dog down, but now that you mention it, the velcro idea sounds good!
 
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Yes Gavia I mean "Border Collie" Thanks for the peanut butter idea Memaquay. Thanks for the way you said it Oldle Moldy. The Border Collie (read calm dog) has his basic obedience down pat. He has a off switch and a on switch. The velcro strips will work as long as you use the hook side on the canoe his poofy hair should attach pretty securely. :p Going to put the old canoe in the yard and train.
 
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Hmmm....been doing some more thinking about this business with the alligators. Now bear with me because I think I may have an idea. (!) I know that guys who bird hunt where there are rattlesnakes can get their dogs "snake proofed" involving a trainer who has a snake and a shock collar. The snake can be de-fanged or maybe the venom milked down but the dog doesn't get injected with the poison. What is done is to get the dog interested in the snake to where the dog now knows that that's what a snake is and then the dog is zapped with the collar. So that in the future when the dog smells the scent and or sees a snake the aversion in already in his noodle.

Now, I'd guess that down where you are there are trainers who offer this kind of service with snakes and it wouldn't surprise me if they hadn't come up with some ideas about how to improve the odds when encountering alligators. It wouldn't need to be a big gator so long as the scent was available for later reference.
It might prove valuable to you too; if you find your dog climbing up on your head, it might be a good indicator that alligators could be around!

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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I had a border collie once. He wanted to herd everything that moved. Alligators might not be much of an issue as they move slowly but birds might be another matter. After he jumps out of the canoe to herd birds that might be where the alligator issue enters. I know alligators are not supposed to take animals large enough to put up a fuss, but I haven't heard from the gators where they draw the line on dog size. It's pretty accepted that a small toy breed is a taco.

I have a Golden Retreiver that we have to be careful of while canoeing. We try to distract her when passing moose. She WILL chase anything that moves and looks interesting.
 
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Well Yellow Canoe, about the dogs that herd birds or leap out of canoes; it all comes down to training. Just about every dog I've ever had at some point in their youth decided to "give me the finger". They knew what they were trained to do, they heard the command, they just decided not to do it.

At that point my job becomes one of giving them a reason that will absolutely eclipse any lure of moose or birds. You remember the Godfather? "Make him an offer he can't refuse?" How hard you need to come on is dependent on the dog and how hard headed he is, but what ever it takes that's what I'll do.

I've heard it said and it might well be true that what's going on is that the handler is establishing that he is sure enough the alpha dog in that pack. Perhaps you've seen wildlife films about behavior in wolf packs? Establishing the pecking order is a rough business; but the good news for the wolves and us with out dogs is that once established it only rarely requires revisiting.

I'm sorry if all this sounds grim; there's a quote from some where, "I need to be cruel only to be kind". Once you can absolutely depend on your dog, it really opens up all the places that you wouldn't risk bring him before.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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I'm not going to belabor my point OM.. I have an extremely social dog who wants to play with everything and say hi to everything. She likes to hike and is nervous in a boat. She also likes to meet other hikers and get petted. I am not going to try to train her off being friendly. Sorry. We have taken her on several trips and cold and wet was an issue that no amount of training could solve. The one time she went into the woods to pee ( never will on a hard surface) and she got her collar stuck in a bush and was choking also scared the cra out of me.

Being social and liking people has its advantages. Everyone wants to keep her while we canoe.
 
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OM. What if the dog doesn't see the snake till too late. Yesterday I was glad I was using my paddle as a hiking stick. I was walking along. Rattle rattle. I stopped and tapped the ground with my paddle. Rattlerattlesssssratle. Backed away never saw it. Prodding seemed unwise!

More for for your ruminations....
 
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Hi Yellow Canoe, Well I truly don't know but I suspect the dog'll get bit if he doesn't become aware of the snake in time. Now, I'm really hesitant to offer reptilian advice to somebody who braves alligators on a regular basis but;
The way you told it, yesterday if I'd been you, I think I'd just hold still until I knew for sure where that scaly booger was before I moved. He might have been within striking distance or just behind you.
Now this is 20-20 hind sight and probably I'd been too scared to think, but if he was close that nice flat wide paddle might have been just the thing to gently slip between him and my leg.

As I'm sure you know, very little underarm deodorant is sold to snakes, their sense of hygiene is sadly lacking. Which as it turns out, is good news for our four pawed friends. As they slither along through the grass and brush they leave their musty scent behind, located where the wind can't get at it very well. And it's a continuous trail not like footprints. So, if the dog has been shocked while with a snoot full of snake scent I can just about guarantee he'll be alert and very interested in avoiding that snake. I suppose he could just be a hard luck dog and still get bit, I wonder what the latest thinking is on treatment of snake bites? Wonder if there's a kit that would work for humans and dogs?

That's all I know and a little bit more,

Rob
 
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Yellow canoe be very careful with your dog and moose. A supposedly true border collie story for a border collie website is about how a farmer decided he only needed one dog to heard and be his bird dog. Well to make a long story short the border collie herded a moose back to the hunter as he could not find any birds. Sadly the hunter was not ready to hunt moose and now has a herding dog and a hunting dog.

Sharp cheader cheese seems to be working well as training treats. Both my dogs love this but am very careful how much they get.

Gavia any tips on getting the attention of a herding dog that tends to get too absorbed in his job? Whistles seem to work well and strangely enough whispering.
 
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