Warming up for Water
The essential behaviors for watersports are first developed on land where safety and control are maximized and learning can begin before lakes and pools are warm enough to start
swim stamina and conditioning.

Let’s Get Wet

HERE THERE STAY: On The Beach And In The Shallows
New Date-- we had to postpone due to weather.
Sunday, June 14th 2015  10:00 to 2:00
Location: Trumbull, CT. Area.  Directions will be sent.
Instructor:  Deborah Lee Miller-Riley
Fee: $99.00 including CT. Sales Tax
Level:  Foundation work -- dogs may do some swimming.
Requirements:  Basic communication skills -- control on and off leash.  Dogs with basic target skills will progress faster.  Only socially tolerant dogs please, if the dog has space issues, please consider a private lesson.  Safety gear is required. When in the water dogs shall wear a K-9 lifejacket.  No throat wear on dogs.  Handlers shall wear a lifejacket and safe water foot wear -- no flip-flops.  Floating leashes only in the water.

This workshop will focus on getting dogs to board platforms, loop markers and people, enter and remain in the start box.  Teams who have introduced these target behaviors in Dry-Dock training will now be building longer distance, stay duration, and improving directional control in the new beach context.  “Go-Outs” in shallow water will be introduced to teams ready for swim-work.

SUBMERSION:Taking Retrieve Work To New Depths

Saturday, July 11th 2015, 10:00 to 4:00
Location: Trumbull, CT. area.  Directions will be sent
Instructor:  Deborah Lee Miller-Riley
Fee: $122.30 with CT. Sales tax
Level:  For water-loving dogs with swim ability. 
Dogs will be working off-leash in the water.
Requirements:  Basic communication skills -- control on and off leash. Only socially tolerant dogs please, if the dog has space issues, please consider a private lesson.  Safety gear is required. When in the water dogs shall wear a harness.  No throat wear on dogs.  Handlers shall wear a lifejacket and safe water foot wear -- no flip-flops.  Floating leashes only in the water.

This workshop will be training submersion from water platforms and motivating the dog to chase and retrieve a submerged food or article target.  The goal is to increase chase-joy, allow the dog to experience and overcome buoyancy to master submersion depths and to build persistence toward a full-body submersion and retrieve.   Handlers will learn how to make underwater retrieve articles and how to position submerged articles to inspire canine effort and success.  There will be a 90 minute break mid-workshop to ensure team rest and recovery.  Canine students will not progress at the same speed.  While the goal is for the dog to experience a full body submersion, most dogs will need additional dive opportunities to achieve this depth. Keep the fun in training -- keep expectations focused on maintaining canine joy and persistence.

INTERNATIONAL CWS JUDGES SEMINAR:Becoming A Shoreline Skills Judge  

Friday, September 4th to Sunday September 6th 2015
Monroe, Connecticut, USA.  
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday 
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday
Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Fee: $299.00 includes CT. Sales Tax
Limited registration
Instructors:  Erica Etchason and Deborah Lee Miller-Riley

Photo and or video submission of the applicant’s training equipment and water training site.
Video submission of the applicant working a dog in any of the shoreline skills.
Each student shall bring swimwear, water footwear and a life jacket or wetsuit to be worn during in-water activity.

This workshop will cover:
Overview of Canine Water Sports;  Expectations and rules for Judges;  Shoreline Skills -- rules and regulations; Hands-on setting up a Test Site;  Safety and equipment;  Behavior demonstrations and videos;  Review Judge’s score record; The Judge’s Briefing, Written Test covering the rules and lecture material;  Practical Test -- each student will judge and score one or more exhibitors performing shoreline skills test behaviors -- students not judging will perform duties as a trial secretary or water steward.  

Friday -- Dinner on the beach with fellow students and your instructors to discuss training questions and share water test experiences. 

Students completing this workshop to the satisfaction of the instructors will receive a letter of recommendation to become a Shoreline Skills Judge.  Sanctioned Judges are appointed by Canine Water Sports.
Canine Water Sports Rules and Regulations:  

Instructor Erica Etchason

Erica Etchason has been involved in Canine Water Sports, www.caninewatersports.com, since 2006. Erica’s water training philosophy is to build joy around water, joy that will build confident, safe swimmers. A structured water program allows dogs of all breeds, shapes, sizes, and experience to enjoy swimming. Erica trains and competes in many venues, but her passion is in water work. Erica turned to Canine Water Sports for her core competency when her eldest Newfoundland reached his geriatric years. Still a working dog true to form she needed to find a low impact venue that kept him healthy and safe. Water cultivates a true team, leash free environment. Many water tasks are done 50 to 100 feet away from the handler. Currently Erica has achieved over 30 Canine Water Sports merits with her two Newfoundland’s and a Water Dog and Water Rescue Dog Title from the Newfoundland Club of America with Molly. Erica and her Newfoundland’s have earned Canine Water Sports merits in the Team Swim, Retrieve, Underwater, and Towing categories. She has earned two, 1st to earn achievements for the Two-Dog Team Swim and the Tow & Slalom Team Swim tasks in Canine Water Sports. Erica has worked with many breeds both water loving and water challenged. Erica’s clients have also been able to earn several water merits in trials. Erica attended the 2011 and 2014 APDT Conference, 2013 Clicker Expo, and trains with the Canine Water Sports founder Deborah Lee Miller–Riley, in Monroe Connecticut several times a year. Erica also teaches indoor pool classes all year at What A Good Dog in Malvern, Pennsylvania (www.whatagooddoginc.com) and Green Leaf Pet Resort in Millstone, New Jersey (www.greenleafpetresort.com). Erica is a member of APDT, New Pen Del Newfoundland Club, and Training Director for 4 Paws Adrift (www.searchresponsek9.org), a Canine Water Sports sanctioned club, she co-founded. During the summer of 2012 Erica and 4 Paws Adrift put on the first ever NJ Splash Camp promoting the foundation behaviors in Canine Water Sports. She has taught over 2000 swim lessons to date for over 45 different breeds. Erica is the Canine Water Sports faculty member for Camp Unleashed (www.campunleashed.com) and has taught water seminars for the Colorado Portuguese Water Dog Club and Keystone Portuguese Water Dog Club.


Learning Course Games & Signals

Level: For teams who have directional controls started on land, including Away, Left, Right, Around, Thru/Between

 This workshop introduces dogs to course work in the water.  Dogs will be collar free and in lifejackets.  Teams will work at their individual skill level.  Course work will include sending to platforms, around boats and water markers, between markers, intro to weaving, left and right hand signals and long distance recalls. 

Getting Target Behaviors Working for You. 

Level: For teams who have started Push, Tow and Deliver on land.

This workshop introduces dogs to pushing, towing and delivering articles in the water and will build for distance and accuracy. Teams will work at their individual skill level.  Dogs are collar free and in lifejackets.   



Handlers with novice to skill building dogs will find this three day training vacation an exciting splash world in which to build canine foundation skills and useful water behaviors for recreation or competition.  Work at your dog’s pace to build new behaviors, strengthen others, plan for future training by watching more experienced teams train.  Enjoy the opportunity to be with like-minds who smile when greeted by a friendly wet dog. Listen, Learn and Relax with your dog, on a beach made warm by the sun or under a tree sipping an ice tea. 

Course Description:.  The purpose of this workshop is to create a water training environment that improves canine confidence and joy, builds reliability and focus and introduces luring, shaping and targeting methods for gaining useful watersports skills. Lessons include:  Review and rehearsal of basic hand and remote targeting for directional control, sending to swim targets, team swimming, basic water deliveries, basic water retrieves, platform jump work,  submersion incentives, transfers & rides on floats to boats.


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