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I think I know the answer to this but need confirmation.

Meg is great at going in the sea up to her tummy. She is also amazing at submerging her head to look for a thrown stone. But, when it comes to going out of her depth she calls a halt, knowing one more step will be too deep.

We actually have had about 5 really hot days here so much so that I put my body in the Atlantic brrrrr. I thought she would come out to me but no; she sits at the edge looking puzzled, but not barking thank heaven.

I feel she is not aware she can swim but don't want to scare her by carrying her out of her depth. This is what I want confirmation about, that I should leave it entirely to her to decide. Gut feeling says Meg knows best. Right? She would have so much fun swimming though and good excercise.

 

Thank you.

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We had a sheltie that didn't ever like to get his paws wet. He so avoided water I assumed he did not know how to swim. One day we were out at the sandbar - I was out snorkeling. Heard my husband yelling- looked up and there was Jake swimming to me to make sure I was okay. So yes, he could swim. Got to me though, and tried to climb on my head. Thank goodness I am a good swimmer. I would let Meg progress at her own pace - but I also spoil my dogs way over the top. Also - I swim in Florida. My grandmother is from the Dingle penisula. I have put my toes in that water. Maybe Meg just thinks you are crazy going in water so cold. :rolleyes:

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I took Bella, my GSD, out into it to the point there my feet were hardly touching (and I'm 5 foot 6), and let her swim back, just to kinda 'show' her she could swim. Now, she still after that didn't go in deep enough to swim (she LOVES water!) but just now - almost a year after my encouraging her to swim - she's started going in deep enough to almost have to swim.

 

Psyche's been the same, and she's been following Bella out. I think that if I went in, she would too. I'm very excited to take her on her first beach trip this year! :rolleyes:

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Both of mine love the water, but neither will go past where they can touch the bottom. It doesn't really matter to me. Except when I throw a toy too far and they refuse to go get it and there are no retreivers around to help!

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The first couple of time we introduced JJ to water, he didn't care too much for it. About the 3rd time, he realized he could swim and now we have a problem keeping him out of any body of water we walk past.

 

Jake, OTOH, hates water. We have introduced him to water a number of times and he refused to go in. When he sees JJ in the water, he'll get his paws wet but that's it. He won't even get in a kiddie pool after running around in 90+ degree weather. We bought him a life jacket thinking that will help but so far it's not. We found a beachy area at a lake close to us where we sometimes go. One day DH picked Jake up by the handle on the life jacket and just tossed him in a few times. Jake acted like he was excited about swimming but still avoids it. I think with Jake it makes him feel uncomfortable when his feet aren't touching the ground but that still doesn't explain why he won't get in the kiddie pool.

 

I would say just let Meg decide what she wants to do. Some dogs like water, some don't. But even if she doesn't seem to care for it right now, she might change her mind later.

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We got our 8-year-old dog, Jo, when she was a little over 1 year. She had never been socialized and was terrified of everything and everyone (except my husband, me, and our other now-deceased dog, Zap.)

 

We would often go to the beach on a calm bay in the Bahamas, taking our two dogs with us. Zap loved to swim.... couldn't get him out of the water. (In fact, we just spread Zap's ashes over that very bay last month -- we imagine he'll forever be swimming there, chasing fish.)But Jo was so tentative and would step into the water only a few feet, no matter how dang hot it was outside. I would sometimes gently hold her, letting the water support her weight, and gradually wade out a little deeper, all the time talking sweetly to her and encouraging her. If she got too anxious, she would just swim back to shore. Over time, she became more comfortable going out deeper and often would even come swim to us.

 

One thing that really got Jo comfortable in the water was when I'd throw a floaty toy in for the two dogs to retrieve. They LOVED this game and would race one another to get the toy first. (We eventually taught them to "take turns") Jo was so intent on getting the toy that she never paid any attention to how deep the water was.

 

One last story... My husband and I would also paddle around the bay in a couple of high-seated kayaks. Both dogs loved to ride along, one riding in each kayak. Sometimes I'd kayak alone, but that didn't stop the dogs from wanting to ride too. They BOTH would pile into this relatively small seat with me. We were all totally squished in, but neither dog was giving up their opportunity to get a ride around the bay. They loved it... and so did I. Even though the water was 20-30 feet deep, we were never more than a couple hundred yards from shore. A few times we capsized, and the dogs just swam back (while I tried to get back into the kayak -- would have made a great, but embarassing video!)

 

Ahhh, all this story-telling makes me want to go back to the beach!

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Our old bc Lucy never swam, she would just go out until the water touched her belly. Our catahoula loved to swim and it made Lucy jealous that she couldn't swim out in the river to get the ball we had thrown. Until one day, I decided to dip in the river, I took Lucy out with me in about 5' of water. I held her body, but let her use her legs to swim. I gave her lots of positive reinforcement. I did this a few times with breaks in between. Then at about the 4th time, I let her stay on the shore and called her to me. She ran up and down the shore wishing she could get to me... then she got real brave and started swimming out to me. After that she always went swimming and loved it!

 

Not sure if that's the correct way to teach a dog to swim, but it worked for her.

 

Also my pup Seek didn't swim when I first got her. We just had to take her swimming a bunch with our catahoula. Once she saw him go out, she figured it out and now swims constantly. She's even swam in some tough currents at the river (going for the ball that was way too far out and crazy to go after!). I think having her swim at the river a bunch has made her a good swimmer.

 

GOOD LUCK!

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I think I'd leave it up to her. I have a bunch of dogs, some of whom love to just splash in the shallower depths and some who love to swim. While I might encourage the splashers to swim, I've never forced anyone to do so. I just think that would reinforce whatever fear/discomfort with the idea they might have.

 

J.

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I don't think I'd want my new swimmer to try out their skills on the Atlantic. They can easily get out too far. At least I'd be sure I had a harness on her with a long lead that was actually in my hand while she tried.

 

The last time I was on the Atlantic side of Florida was at Satellite Beach many years ago. My dogs had some serious fun at the water line but none attempted to brave those huge waves. I have one great picture of the late Lena right before, and right after...she relized those waves can sneak up on you.

 

Most of my dogs swim happily. Tuff came to me late so he's learning at 3. It's quite hilarious to watch him work this out. I think he things if he gets that white ring around his neck wet he'll drown LOL

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We taught Dean (in a lake) to actually go in and swim by tossing a ball for him along the shoreline. At first we didn't throw it in, but parallel to the shoreline. Gradually I moved into the water and began to toss the ball in, but he still ran in the shallow part.

 

When he got super comfortable with that, it got to a point where I could really tell that he wanted to go further in and was ready. I tossed the ball into the part where he would have to swim, gave him one single gentle push and that was all it took - he was a waterbug from that point forward. There is almost nothing he loves more than swimming.

 

Still, he doesn't swim in the ocean. He runs along and chases the waves, but he doesn't go in and actually swim.

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My Maggs will go in and swim the lengths of the small ponds, at the golf courses,

where we shag geese, as long as there are geese on them. She very seldom

will chase a ball into water. She's an excellent swimmer and loves the water, but

absolutely hates to go outside when it's raining, go figure...

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Fergie refuses to swim in the ocean. It moves too much and tastes awful. She'll wade just a bit - and chase the edges of the waves. Mostly, she likes the seagulls and seashells.

 

She will swim in our neighborhood pond when she gets overheated on a summer walk - or if a thunder storm is coming. No idea why she thinks swimming in circles will save her from the nasty noises and low pressure.

 

She loves to swim up in Kerr Lake - and went right in and had a ball at Little Sebago. We think that's because those are so clean. She's not dumb.

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My strong swimmers love to swim in the ocean and bay. Once I had a struggle to get Jill out of the bay--it was winter and she was swimming after ducks and the wind and surf made it next to impossible for her to hear me. I remember thinking I was going to have to go in after her--not a pleasant thought. Jill is also the dog with whom I did swimming rehab work by letting her swim in the bay while I walked parallel to her on the beach. Twist also enjoys swimming in the ocean. Kat prefers to bite at the surf and ingest way too much salt water. Willow used to love to swim in the ocean as well. I've never had the youngsters to the ocean, but none of them go out of their way to really swim in ponds, etc., like Twist and Jill do, so I imagine they'd just play in the surf, unless perhaps I went out and they followed me.

 

J.

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Thank you.

I will let Meg make up her own mind. If a safe and not threatening way of encouraging her arises I will avail of it. I think the floating toy is perhaps the best idea. I could attach a thin rope to it and pull it in until she is in her depth and gradually let it go out further. A plastic bottle will do fine!

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Hi, we're new here. First post. We got Cindy about 10 years ago as a pup that was abandoned in an empty house. It took us a while to figure out what she was but for the most part she's a Border Collie. She herds us to the bath every morning, and if we're not fast enough to fill her bowl she'll literally shove us in that direction.

 

She loves the water and always has. My first memory of her and water was a big black mud puddle in the back yard that she raced through splashing water everywhere, digging into the mud making her all black instead of white and black. Now, she swims in the pond every morning. She'll run at full speed and just jump right in. The water is 20 feet deep but she doesn't care. We can throw her frisbee in there and she'll jump in after it.

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We do what Kristine does. I will throw a ball in the shallow, working up to deeper water as the dog shows it's ready.

 

My little LGD puppies are teaching themselves. We hike down to the creek, it's shallow but very fast moving at this time. Each time we go, the pups go a bit deeper. They are excited to follow the older dogs in but it's still slow going to where they are going to get right in.

I have some that love to swim and some waders. THey will all cool off in a stocktank if need be or the shallow end of a pond. I think it does have something to do with their feet touching the ground.

What I can't figure out is the hose chasers. Dew loves the hose, loves swimming but if I start to give her a bath she fights tooth and nail. I win but it's not pretty. I've taken to just having her get in the stocktank to cool off and that usually washes off the yuck.

 

I say encourage but don't force. It could backfire on you quickly.

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Bonnie will walk on the shoreline with her feet wet, and she will chase a toy into the water but only if her feet can touch the bottom - any further than that and she'd rather forfeit the ball or frisbee then actually have to swim. She will swim if I swim with her and will swim as far out as I go, but she'll often try to grab hold of me, or climb onto me. She obviously doesn't enjoy it (some dogs just don't) so I don't push her.

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My BC took the lead from my older ACD who is a complete water fiend. She will now rush into the ocean, plough through the waves and just go for a swim. My ACDS like to fetch a ball. My BC just likes to paddle around out behing the small waves and do her own thing and cruise around.

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