So now that Phoenix has gotten better and really excited about swimming out for a stick, I've decided it's time to transfer that behavior onto a toy because sticks can cause injuries. So the night before we went to the park I put some value on the toy by having her retrieve it for food and making it extremely exciting to get. Then when we got to the park we did a bunch of land retrieves to practice. My husband was sure I'd lose the wubba in the river. At one point, I totally thought we were going to lose it, too! Her butt started sinking and she made her way back to shore without it but she immediately went back in to try again. I'm so proud of her! She's gotten so brave!
We had 100% success rate with rescuing Wubba from the river but only 95% retrieve to my hand. A couple of times she got distracted by Zoe and took off with it into the forest. Luckily I was able to find it each time she dropped it. Or she'd run around with it in her mouth and drop it near me. I apologize for the quality of these photos. I didn't feel like dragging the better camera with me so these are all from the cell phone.
Here's a short video compilation of her retrieving Wubba. You may want to turn the volume down because I'm cheering very loudly!