|Floating "Bumper" Retreiver Toy that Floats|
While tossing a stick for my dog in the Willamette River at Sellwood Park (Portland, OR), his attention was snatched by a guy throwing one of these things for his retriever. It floats. It's easy to see. The dog loves it. It's just a great water fetch toy. I should've asked where he got it, but instead just looked on Amazon. These things were $20 and up. Pricey. After a bit more Googling, I discovered it's called a bumper and before there were dog versions, they were dock bumpers to keep little fishing boats from getting scratched up. Someone figured out they were great fetch toys and so...
Gundogsupply.com has a great selection and lots of good info. For example, orange = great visibility for owners. Not so hot for dogs (doesn't contrast with the water with their limited color vision). So they sell different version. White. White/Black. Orange. And they are CHEAP. Like $4.25 (as of this post 7/13/2013). Less than 1/4 the price. High quality too. And they come with a little free rope just to make them easier to grab.
CAVEAT/WARNING/YOU MAY NOT LIKE THIS: A lot of people who train their dogs for hunting use "traditional" (negative feedback/punishment) techniques. Gundogsupply.com sells stuff for those people. If you would prefer not to support a company that sells choking, shocking and otherwise not very nice kinds of training tools, Stay Away. What can I say? I'm a sucker for cool dog thingies. I balance my karma by buying carbon offsets, not eating much meat (Pogo does what he wants), and not yelling at small children. But Each Person Must Be His or Her Own Judge.