5. Buoy Ball Placement
Demonstrates the dog's ability to perform a "reverse retrieve", ability to follow multiple directions in succession and willingness to relinquish an object on command at a distance from the handler.
On the judge's signal, the handler directs the dog to enter the water and take the rope of the buoy ball in its mouth. The handler sends the dog to a point approximately 10 to 15' beyond the opposite 60' marker. The judge will indicate when the dog is far enough past the marker. The handler will then command the dog to drop the buoy ball and the dog returns to the handler.
The buoy ball may either be thrown into the water for the dog to pick up or handed to the dog, but not before the dog enters the water. If the buoy ball is thrown, it must be in the immediate vicinity of the boat and no more than 10 feet away. Once the dog has taken the rope in his mouth or the ball has been thrown into the water, the handler cannot touch the buoy ball again. The buoy ball rope must be dropped from the dog's mouth approximately 10 to 15' beyond the marker. The dog may drop the buoy ball at a distance greater than 10 to 15' beyond the marker (e.g., 20'). If the buoy ball rope catches around the dog's neck or harness the dog must be directed to swim free of the rope so that the buoy ball is left beyond the 60' marker. (If the buoy ball has been dragged back toward the marker due to a caught rope, the dog need not swim the ball back to the original drop location. In this case, the only requirement is that the buoy ball be left beyond the marker.) In the event that a dog 1) has passed all the other Courier Water Dog exercises and 2) has made an effort to free itself from a tangled buoy ball rope but cannot do so in the allotted time for this exercise, the team may elect to be retested on this exercise one time after an opportunity to rest. The buoy ball drop must be in a line fairly straight out from the handler (not more than 10' to the left or right of the site marker). The steward is inactive and the steward's boat must leave the area for this exercise.