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Discussion Starter #1
After a winter of hiking, Bernie (and I) were ready for the dog park to open to get around some other dogs, and to finally see if my Lab was manic about the water.

Turns out, he is!

Here were are before we head to the park. Both dogs were excited, but unfortunately Rufus couldn't come. He's not a big fan of other dogs.



Bernie made a friend as soon as we showed up.



..but quickly decided he'd rather play fetch.



 

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He was a little timid about the water at first, but once he realized that he could swim, he also realized that he LOVED THE WATER. He would go fetch, bring me the ball, then run and stand in the water waiting for me to throw it back out there.








He would occasionally get distracted (he is an 8mo Lab), but would always make it back.

 

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Eventually, his best friend (and cousin) Ellie showed up, so they had a good time. He kept trying to get her to go out and swim, but she wasn't having it.



...that Husky hung around for a while, but finally left when he realized that our dogs were too busy for him.



He ran with this dog for a while



..but always came back for more fetch



 

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Ended the day with a picnic so both dogs could hang out.



AND Bernie was finally tired..





Overall, great day yesterday. Bernie was always skiddish around the water last fall when I took him, but it only took him about 5 minutes this time around to realize he could do it. I was so proud, and so was he. He also always lost interest in fetch, but out of the blue he decided that he loved it. He actually brought the ball back! Granted, he would drop it about 10 ft away, but better than me having to wrestle it out of his mouth like normal.

On a side note, it never ceases to amaze me how smart dogs are and how well they can read human. A lot of times, I'd throw the ball out there and he'd run out right before the water dropped off, and lose sight of the ball. He'd turn back to look at me, and I'd point and say "Go get your ball" and he'd turn around and swim out to try and find it without hesitating. It was awesome! We'd also be walking, and I'd point and say "Go swim" and he'd walk out into the water.

Funny, how I can work with him every day since he was about 3mo to walk loose on a leash to no avail, but he almost inherently knows what "go get your ball" means.
 

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What great pictures! Thanks for sharing them.

I really miss taking Mercy to the dog park, but our trainer has said that I shouldn't take her back until we can get her impulse controls issues under control. She's not agressiove, but as soon as we get there, she obsesses about the other dogs and I cease to exist.
 

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The park is my haven. The one we go to is awesome, 7 acres all fenced in, separate area for small dogs, and huge pond to swim in. And I've seen nothing but responsible owners there. I've never seen a fight, and I've gone there a ton. I've also talked to several owners who told me they have to leave others dogs at home because they don't get along well with others (much like I have to do). It's a great place with a great group of regulars.

I lucked out with Bernie. I also thought his timidness was a bad thing, but have since realized I would take that over him being that over bearing dog getting on other dogs nerves. Hes also mostly 'me' orientated, as he would rather pay attention. To me than other dogs or people. He will still play with other dogs (especially his BF Ellie) but not unbearable, and will ALMOST always leave them when i tell him. I guess the I my negative is that some of the more in-your-face dogs take advantage of it.

My brothers dog Ellie sounds like yours, as she'll just get in and run with other dogs like my brother doesn't exist. She'll peek up to look for him if she hasn't see him in a while,and usually comes when he calls her, but she gets totally caught up in dog mania.
 

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Love your chocolate lab. :) A picture is worth a thousand words.............
 
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