Ash’s Life – The Water Work


There are several different methods of Force To Water, Water T, Swimby and De-cheat that achieve an end goal. I believe that 99% of the dogs coming out of the TRT Water Work Method have a keener understanding of force to water, treading water, taking a strong reverse back cast and a much stronger understanding of lines and de-cheat.

This is Phase 1 and 2 of the above TRT Force To Water – Water T – SwimnBy & Decheat Drill or Method

This is 100% a white bumper easily seen all piles drill or method.

1. Dogs are forced to water from point A to B using the normal force to water methods. Pups are helped to point B by white bumpers along the way or on the edge of the bank and then finally up the bank.

2. Dogs will run point A to B till they are extremely strong all the way to point B. Then a forced Back while in the middle of the pond or water is used to drive the pup on back. This is light e-collar pressure backs. Sometimes we say back a couple times with pressure and sometimes only once with pressure while in route to pile B. We want our pups to understand that nick/back command while in route to point B. Now, we begin a little bit of de-cheat. After pup has picked up bumper at Point B we will sit/whistle the dog on the edge of the water. Give a light sit whistle/nick again and then call pup directly to you in the water. This process will be repeated every other run so our pup does not start picking up the bumper and sitting on their own at point B. This over several times and sessions conditions our pup to the light nick and immediate entry into the water.

3. Once we have ample drive to back pile and our pup is no longer slowing down and by this time 12 or 15 sessions have passed, we will then teach our pup to stop on the whistle while in route to point B. Please search the Harli videos on teaching to tread water on the website. We will then start left and right back force to point B from a treading sit starting at the edge of the water finally graduating to the black intersecting lines. Again this is extremely light e-collar pressure with the verbal back/nicks. We are NOT being intrusive whatsoever with our e-collar. Do NOT dial your collar up to get more of a response. Trust me, your pup is learning and being conditioned to a correct reaction to pressure.

4. Once our pup is stopping extremely well on the way to the pile we will now start stopping our pup on the way back from the pile. With some pups that have a great sit/whistle and tread well I will start the sit/whistle on the way back from the pile sooner. We will simply give our pup a left and right back to the point B pile again with light pressure. Once we have our reverse to point B over several sessions looking great and our pup understanding it’s time to teach the over pile of Point C.

5. Cast pup to center of crossing black lines, give sit/whistle command and toss a bumper while pup is watching to Point C or pile C. Immediately give your pup a Right Back away from the C-pile. Go to B-pile pick up a bumper and return to point A. Now, cast to black lines crossing again and sit your pup. Wait for 2 or 3 seconds to give your pup plenty of time to focus and practice at treading then give your left over to the thrown bumper. If pup digs back hit whistle immediately, stop your pup and throw another white bumper to C-pile and cast pup to C-pile. Now here’s where things get interesting. Do NOT let your pup come back to you with bumper from C. Stop your pup and cast to B-pile all the way till dry. Sit your pup, give extremely light nick and call directly to you. Repeat the same exact from start of 5…. Till your pup is great at doing everything correctly.

6. Now to teach point D. We do exactly the same as 5 yet in reverse. We run that side till our pup is very thorough and understanding the casts. Except now we’re going to teach our pup to cast to point C from D and then back across to D stopping at times and forcing to back pile B.

7. Phase one is complete when pup can run the Water T as a reverse pretty much flawlessly. Things to remember…. This is extremely light pressure from our e-collars. So light that your basically using attrition throughout the process. If your pup head twitches or makes any vocal then that is way too much pressure other than when we first start FTW. This portion of the drill can take me up to a month with some pups. Now let’s work the clock. Move to point D and Cast to C. Then when solid stop pup at intersecting black lines and cast to A or B piles and the back into the water. We’ll run from Point C until solid with reverse. Able to cast to C, stop at intersecting black lines, cast to A and back across all the way to B. To take it even further we can move to Point B and repeat the reverse casting to Pile A and then reverse to C or D back to middle and then come in. There’s tons of ways to run this so that your pup is extremely fluent.

8. What have we taught our pups by the end of this drill or method? We’ve taught our pup to take all casts, that pressure comes from the land and is light but to seek water quickly. Swimby is almost complete….


9. Now for Phase 2 of the Drill or method. Start teaching your pup the de-cheat by moving from Point A to numbers 2,3,4 and 5 all the while teaching them to come back straight back to us. As we progress slowly from 2 to 3 to 4 to 5 we’ll see our pups wanting to jump back immediately in the water at Point B. We’ve also seen this when casting from other points. We are now teaching our pups that it is ok to come straight back to us without getting dry. If pup tries to cheat, simply cast back to pile B, give a light nick and cast to C until pup is in the water good and then call to you. We want straight lines from A,2,3,4,5 and back.
Once our pup is great at understanding these concepts then a ton of de-cheating, swimby and casting are built into your pup. Soon time to start angle casting and on/off point drills. I will post that diagram in the very NEAR future.

10. Once your pup is done with this portion of the drill they can pretty much handle any season/senior level test on water. However, there’s a LOT more we’re fixing to teach our pup about lines, seeing the picture and understanding angle casting.


Once Phase 1 & 2 of the TRT Advanced FTW & Swimby are complete it’s time to start Phase 3 & 4 of swimby, de-cheat, angle casting and on/off point drill work. After we’ve finished Phase 1 & 2 our pups are great about taking the cast onto land and taking a cast back into water. They have been somewhat de-cheated and a pretty solid understanding of lines. Our pup’s are seeking water on their own without any strong pressure to get wet. Attrition and extremely light e-collar pressure have been our only corrections. This will remain so throughout Phase 3 & 4.

Below is a description of Phase 3 of the TRT Advanced Swimby & Angle Casting Drill or method

1. I always start at number 1 and identify the pile strongly and to again not cheat the bank. We will spend a couple sessions driving to the pile (X). I may even do some force light nick/backs with some pups. Pile (X) is easily seen and I use 100% white bumpers on an extremely clean low mowed grass pond bank. We’re building confidence in our pups to drive drive drive! We’re building TRUST in us as a team.

2. After pile is more than well established, I will cast pup from 1 and as pup is going to pile I will quickly move to the number 2 station. Keep pup in line and do not let pup cheat on the way back. If all goes well then I will cast pup from 2 station thru number 1 and on to pile (X). I will receive pup at station number 2. I will again cast pup to pile and this time I will stop pup if all before has gone well at station 1. I will most of the time give a very light nick and an exaggerated non-verbal angle cast to get in the water. We are teaching our pup on/off point casting to think fat when giving a cast off of a point into water. We’ve already introduced somewhat the concept in Phase 2 so most pups usually have a keen understanding. We’re just setting it in stone. Now, when pup comes back let’s cast straight thru 1 from station 2 without stopping. The next time we cast from station we will stop our pup on station 1 and if given pressure the first time we will NOT give pressure the second time with the exaggerated angle cast that is non-verbal. AS our pup takes our cast we will then move over to station 3 and all the time keep eye contact and help our pup come straight back to us by moving back and forth along the pond bank.

3. We will now cast our pup from station 3 to Pile(X). We will work on getting nothing but a down the center touching no banks line. We will use attrition here ONLY! No pressure other than recall to a spot and another exaggerated angle cast that is non-verbal. Every time our pup comes back we are keeping strong eye contact and doing our best to keep our pup focused on coming straight back to us. This is paramount in de-cheat and as well reverse teaching the straight line going out. Look where your going and go straight there. I require all my dogs to run as straight of a line back to me as possible. Once our pup is driving straight back to the Pile (X) from station 3 let’s move back to station 2. Why? Because we are building a very balanced pup not seeking water and not seeking land.

4. We may have to cast our pup onto the point from Station 2 but that’s ok. That’s how we build balance.
We may spend 3 or 4 sessions on station 2 and 3 before moving onto station 4 teaching another concept of on/off point. But we will start the session before introducing station 4 by starting at station 2 run it completely without stops. Then meet your pup at station 3 and cast back to pile and when your pup is returning from the pile try to get your pup on the point or a little bit dry on the way back. Then cast from station 4 to pile(X) and using attrition put your pup back on the new point. Run this till your pup is solid at going over the point. Then when solid, let’s cast to pile from station 4 and give that extremely light nick and exaggerated non-verbal angle cast to pile(X). Most pups will immediately jump out into the water and then turn to dig back to pile. That’s what we’re wanting! Now, if your pup does not do that then that’s ok as well. Do NOT fret it. Just give a freebie thru the point again from Station 4 and the next time repeat with a whistle sit/light nick/non-verbal angle cast. Over time your pup will get it. At this time I will start running reverse to the pile X from stations 2,3 and 4 just to keep that reverse in shape.

5. As we progress around the stations we balancing our pup to look straight and tackle the line before them or that they see as the end result. Across the middle of a larger piece of land from station 5 and so on throughout 6,7 and 8.

6. Station 8 is my favorite. We now should have the ability to run that line to pile (X) from station 8 and cast our pup onto the bank and back into the water. At this point I will solidify everything by running more reverses from the stations to pile x.

7. A couple notes about station 7 and 8. I will again start sitting my pup at pile (X) give a light nick bout half the time and cast them directly with an over back into the water before coming to me. If pups seem to want to run the bank a bit then I continue with the light sit/nicks at Pile X and if pups are seeking water after picking up the bumper I let em’ roll more without light e-collar pressure sits… BALANCE!!!

8. Once our pups can run these legs pretty flawlessly or we can tell they are taking the casts and understanding to drive straight and reverse from the piles is as well looking great then it’s time for Phase 4.


Phase 4 of TRT’s De-Cheat – On/Off Point – Angle Casting Drill turns completely around from Phase 3. All piles are still easily visible and we’re still building tons of confidence in us as team. This is 90% attrition still with very little e-collar pressure. We will recall to the spot our pup was when our pups don’t take the cast given and give the cast again slowly and methodically trying to convey the cast to them. If a second time our pup does not take the cast we will call them to that spot again, sit them and wait 2 seconds and give a very light e-collar correction. Wait another second or two and methodically and slowly give that cast again with exaggeration of the cast. We are now teaching our pups to change lines and take a new direction when given the cast. Yet, we are also teaching our pups to drive straight to where they are looking. So we NEED and MUST have balance between stops/casting and driving all the way thru to the pile. This is very simple to orchestrate in Phase 4 while teaching all the concepts of casting. Here’s how we do it….

1. We are now running from the X mark line 100% of the time to numbers 2 thru 8. Since we’ve turned around from Phase 4 we will first build confidence from our new line. We do this by separating the piles. Let’s start with white bumpers at 8, 6 and 3 for a few sessions. Drive to those piles each maybe 2 times at most. After a couple of sessions let’s drive to piles 7, 5 and 2 till they look great. Let’s go back and run them as a reverse one time each for session for 8, 6, and 3 for a session and in another session let’s do the 7, 5 and 2 piles as reverse. Tons of praise and keep pup jacked up as possible throughout the training. Really let em’ know they’re doing a great job.

2. Now, let’s start getting a little trickier… Let’s put white bumpers at stations 8, 7 and 3. Cast to station 7 and if pup takes a great line then let them roll to the halfway mark. Hit your sit whistle and give angle cast to pile 8. If pup takes cast then awesome. If not then call back to spot hit sit whistle again and give cast again. IF pup takes cast then awesome. Give tons of praise. If not call back again to same spot pup was when given the cast, hit the sit whistle, wait 2 seconds and with extremely light e-collar pressure give a very light nick after pup is treading water or sitting and give cast again. Repeat until pup takes the cast with very light e-collar pressure nicks and evermore exaggerating the cast. Keep your attitude completely upbeat and as well praising your pup. It’s all about communication. Here’s where balance comes in!!! After pup has completed taking the cast we’ll cast to 3. We’ll let our pup line that blind all the way thru. This keeps confidence up and builds balance. This time let’s line number 7. If pup wants to go to 8 we recall all the way back to our side and cast again really talking up the line to 7. This time if pup lines to 7 then great! If not, we’ll handle with nothing but attrition all the way to 7 and then run to 7 again. Balance and confidence again. Now let’s line number 3 again. When pup comes back let’s line for number 8. Halfway there let’s stop our pup and cast to 7 with a slow and methodical angle cast. If pup takes line then awesome! If not repeat as we have been doing. First time with attrition. Second time with extremely light e-collar pressure. Then let’s line 3 again and call it a session.

3. Next day or next session, again with only 3 visible piles let’s setup 7, 6 and 4. Let’s first cast to 7. Our pups should line 7 and if not let’s simply handle to 7 with attrition only. Now let’s cast to 4 and again our pup should line this blind taking the piece of land at least by a little bit. But let’s pay attention to how our pup reacts to the point of land. IF our pup is avoiding the land lets put our pup on the land and across using 100% attrition. This run we’ve either instituted to get dry or they got dry on their own… Now, let’s line our pup on 6 and cast. Our pup should drive right to the point and just as our pup is touching the land halfway to 6 let’s quickly stop our pup and give a very slow methodical angle cast to 7. If our pup takes the cast then awesome! If not, let’s call back to that exact spot, give extremely light e-collar pressure after letting our pups sit 2 seconds and again over exaggerating the angle cast. 6 to 7 teaches our pup to jump in the water, not follow the land but yet angle across water to pile 7. After successfully running to 7 let’s come back and run to 4 again with less emphasis on getting on that point just to keep momentum flowing and confidence rocking. AS always, tons of praise and really letting that pup know they’re doing a great job.

4. As our pup gets better and better at taking our casts the more we’ll add difficulty to Phase 4 of this drill. We may have piles at 4, 5 and 6 setup. Casting to 5 as a straight line, then casting again to 5 stopping in the middle of the point or island and angle casting to 4 or 6. Then lining the blind opposite of either the 4 or 6 your pup just ran. AS we graduate thru sessions of training our pup becomes a stronger confident running pup with quicker whistle sits, treading water better and taking those casts given.

5. We can now setup up Phase 4 with a myriad of options and technicality. But here’s a great tip and DO IT – about every 4th session let’s setup only 2 easily visible piles and line them. Keep our pups rocking with confidence. Looking out and wanting to go exactly where they are looking. This portion of the drill can take a solid three to 4 weeks or longer to get thru. But, I’ll guarantee your pup will take every single cast given on and off points or while treading water with great ease and confidence. Your also building the ability for your pup to understand e-collar pressure while running cold blinds and your pup does not take the cast the first time and pressure comes with the call back to the spot and a little higher e-collar pressure. Your pup’s confidence will not become eroded as seen in dogs that go to running cold blinds without a solid foundation of casting drills.

6. Most pups can literally go straight to the BIG pattern blind field after this drill or even during this drill without running Wagon Wheel. However, I still run wagon wheel graduating to advanced wagon wheel or indented wagon wheel with my pups. I just feel better about getting that initial line as solid as possible. But, as stated about 3/4’s of the pups I have in training have great lining abilities after this drill as well as understanding of change of directions when given angle casts and are ready for the BIG pattern blind field build.

7. The important things!!! Tons of praise. Let that pup know they’re doing a great job. Slow down!!! Your casts need to be slow and methodical. Lessening the over exaggerations as your pup gets better and better. Do NOT spend more than about 20 or 30 minutes on this drill. Only run 3 legs at a time. Always give your pup the benefit of a doubt. But if you slow down, give casts methodically and slowly then all should be good. Those piles need to be easily seen.