Water Dog

The Junior Division or Water Dog (WD) division level is the first level in Water Work and consists of seven exercises. Pictures of each Junior level/Water Dog exercise can be found on the NCA website.

Basic Control

Basic Control is performed off leash on the beach in the test area.  Controlled Walking and a Recall make up the Basic Control exercise.

Controlled Walking: The handler and dog will move forward, parallel to shore, to the marker 60 feet away where the judge will give a command for an about turn. After the about turn the handler and dog will continue forward 60 feet to the original marker where the judge will give a command to halt. At some point during the Controlled Walking pattern the judge will give an additional halt command which will be in the same location for all dogs.

Recall: Is performed between two markers 30 feet apart in the water front test area. The handler must give only one stay command and will walk 30 feet away, turn, and face the dog. The judge will instruct the handler by voice or hand signal to call the dog. A signal, verbal command, or simultaneous commands may be used to call the dog. The dog must go directly to the handler, and stop within four feet of the handler.

Single Retrieve

The handler throws a bumper 30 feet out into the water. The dog retrieves it, and delivers it to the handler who waits on shore.

Drop Retrieve

A boat cushion or life jacket is dropped onto the water from a boat.  The handler on shore draws his dog’s attention to the dropped article and sends him to retrieve it. The dog swims out, retrieves it, and delivers it to his handler.


Take a Line

A steward treads water, splashing and calling the dog. The handler gives the dog the knotted end of a long rope. The dog takes the line and swims out to the calling steward, and comes close enough that the steward can grasp the line or dog.

Tow A Boat

A boat with a steward in the front holds a line attached to a bumper.  The steward splashes and calls the dog. The handler commands his dog to swim out to the boat, take the bumper while the steward holds the rope, and tows the boat to shore until it touches bottom.

Swim with Handler

Dog and handler enter the water together and swim together for approximately 20 feet. At the judge’s signal, the handler commands his dog to swim toward shore. The dog turns and tows his handler directly to shore.