If I ever had any doubts that size and strength are an asset when it comes to dogs working water it was put to rest on Tuesday morning.
We have being taking advantage of the heatwave currently sitting over our small island of Ireland and every chance we get Elly and I will head for the beach with some fourlegged friend. This morning we took Mossy.
Now, I have an unwritten rule when it comes to beach walks here….if a dog and owner approaching are free running their dog then I allow mine the same freedom. I have spent too many walks when Elly was small having my dogs under control, walking to heel and sit-staying while yelling at a distant dog owner to call up their dog as my own dogs have to endure some posturing male. So beach walks now for my dogs are more about meeting other dogs, interacting and moving on.
So as we made our way back along the waterline on Tuesday morning a middle-aged couple coming towards us were running their two Labradors. They were having a grand old time running in and out of the water in pursuit of the dummy their owner was flinging into the waves as they walked.
They were about 70 meters away when Mossy spotted the last throw, it landed about 50 meters out in the frothy water. Without hesitation the Labradors dived in after it through the waves but this time they were about to have some extra competition.
On seeing the throw Mossy ran the beach to where the owners stood and without breaking stride plunged through the chest deep water after the two dogs who by now had a twenty meter head start and were closing in on that red dummy fast.
His acceleration through the water made it look like the Labradors were simply threading water as this big brown thug churned through the waves, overtook them, retrieved the dummy, swam over them on his return and ran back towards me with his booty.
As I walked towards the owners to return that red dummy we looked at each other and then we looked at the three dogs milling round our legs and then we looked out at the waves and in unison we all said WOW!! that was some retrieve.
I spent much of last weekend watching some fantastic Labradors competing at the CLA gamefair in Blenheim palace and with all due respect they are incredibly fast, agile and athletic on land work. I have read countless threads on forums over the years in relation to whether size and strength is better than lighter and more agile and perhaps again on land faster and fleeter of foot possibly has an advantage but water and in particular heavy water changes all the rules as I witnessed on Tuesday morning…..even I was surprised 🙂