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How to introduce a pup to water?


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We've got a doggie play date scheduled at Cosmo Dog Park here in the PHX area tonight and it will be Cerb's first real access to swimmable water. In the past, he has been reluctant to even walk through puddles and has done everything he could to avoid water.

I'm an aquatic ecologist.....I live and breathe water (well, not so much breathe) and I'm really counting on Cerb to be a "field dog" and go with me on my trips. What do people think would be a good way to introduce him? I'm hoping that he'll follow his buds into the water and find out that it's OK.

Besides, we live in the Phoenix AZ area....swimming is a form of self preservation.

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We've got a doggie play date scheduled at Cosmo Dog Park here in the PHX area tonight and it will be Cerb's first real access to swimmable water. In the past, he has been reluctant to even walk through puddles and has done everything he could to avoid water.

I'm an aquatic ecologist.....I live and breathe water (well, not so much breathe) and I'm really counting on Cerb to be a "field dog" and go with me on my trips. What do people think would be a good way to introduce him? I'm hoping that he'll follow his buds into the water and find out that it's OK.

Besides, we live in the Phoenix AZ area....swimming is a form of self preservation.

 

If he's around dogs that are good swimmers, he'll probably follow them in eventually. You could try getting in the water yourself to see if he'll come to you. I'm gearing up to introduce Seamus pretty soon and I expect that he'll end up following Daisy in, since she loves the water and he loves to follow her around!

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We're at Cosmo park every evening. What time are you meeting up?

 

We'll be there around 5ish. We're (hopefully) bringing some dog lovers from work, too. Look for us to be infesting one of the ramadas.....

 

um....make that between 5 & 6...seems like everyone else will be a bit later.

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Don't make a big deal out of it and let him follow the other dogs lead. Missy and Kipp like retrieving in the water when it's warm. And they'll go stand in it to cool off. They're pretty neutral on it otherwise. OTOH, I believe Kenzi is going to be a water dog extraordinaire. I took her down to the river for the first time to cool off after playing frisbee last week. Kipp waded in a little a stood there. Kenzi jumped in and started swimming around!

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We'll be there around 5ish. We're (hopefully) bringing some dog lovers from work, too. Look for us to be infesting one of the ramadas.....

 

um....make that between 5 & 6...seems like everyone else will be a bit later.

We're usually there a bit eariier, but we can hang around a bit longer. Look for my water monster:

P1040740-m.jpg

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Alot of dogs will follow other dogs, but if they are insecure, you being in the water (at least waist high) will REALLY help them get over it. All of the pups that come here are introduced to water slowly, and usually avoid it, and won't swim even when other dogs are swimming at a lake. But, bring them to the beach, everone goes in the water, and they follow- can anyone say Pack Mentality?

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Alot of dogs will follow other dogs, but if they are insecure, you being in the water (at least waist high) will REALLY help them get over it.

When we have been to Apache Lake and I went in the water, Senneca followed me in and actually swam a bit. She still won't go in on her own. Rhys bach took a while to get the courage, but once he did, he won't stop.

[bTW: the water in Cosmo park isn't exactly very clean, so I won't recommend anyone wading out in it.]

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When we have been to Apache Lake and I went in the water, Senneca followed me in and actually swam a bit. She still won't go in on her own. Rhys bach took a while to get the courage, but once he did, he won't stop.

[bTW: the water in Cosmo park isn't exactly very clean, so I won't recommend anyone wading out in it.]

 

heh....my "area of expertise" is "effluent dependent waters"....you know....poop water.

If I'm getting in, it'll be in waders.

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Having a dog that likes the water and giving the pup time to adjust seems to do the trick. Ladybug loves to "herd frogs" and glides around the pool like an alligator. Robin took to the water almost immediately (that's him in the middle of the cannonball) though he seems kind of desperate when he swims - head above water, paws flailing. Brodie played around the edge the shore for a week or so and then slipped in the water, swimming quietly like Ladybug. We just have a little frog pond -- none of them like the swimming pool though Robin has launched himself into a bigger pond, he landed in the muck and wasn't too happy. It will be interesting to see next week what he does. Our new dog training group meets outdoors in good weather and there is a pond quite close to the practice area.

 

Also, if you're near a creek where the dog can splash around a bit and get used to water outdoors, that could help.

 

August17009.jpg

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heh....my "area of expertise" is "effluent dependent waters"....you know....poop water.

If I'm getting in, it'll be in waders.

Well, you'll be in your element at Cosmo park. I should point out that many people do paddle in with their dogs, though mostly only deep enough to reach their ankles. I have even seen some children swim in it -- I'll bet they smelled lovely when they got home. At least they have stocked the lake with fish -- that helps to keep the water a bit cleaner.

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We are trying to figure this out as well. Our previous dogs have all been natural swimmers and loved being in the water. Brody loves to swim and now the weather is warmer it is his favorite activity. Rievaulx is slowly getting braver, he has gone from giant leaps over anything wet to happily being in the water, as long as his feet are on the ground. As soon as he gets over his depth he is straight out the water. As my husband is a sailor and the dogs spend lots of time near the water being comfortable around water is not just a fun activity but a life skill, and we are very concerned about this. We are hoping that he will eventually follow Brody in, at the moment he just barks. When the weather gets warmer I am sure he would follow us into the water, but neither of these humans is swimming in New England at the moment. (this human thinks swimming in New England is insane at anytime of year)

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Ewww, who wants to go into pooh water, but who wants a stinky dog from wading in pooh water? Dont they ride in the car? Maybe let him swim in stuff YOU'd swim in - haha! :rolleyes:

Any border collie with a "teflon" coat can shake off and be dry in minutes -- remember Arizona is hot and dry. For dogs that don't dry out that easily there is a wash station, so no need for a stinky car.

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When the weather gets warmer I am sure he would follow us into the water, but neither of these humans is swimming in New England at the moment. (this human thinks swimming in New England is insane at anytime of year)

 

Call me insane then. :rolleyes: I lived in MA and enjoyed swimming in the lake with my dogs.

 

I've found that most dogs will follow others into the water. For the ones that will not, a life vest and some swimming lessons can work wonders. Put a life vest on and carry the dog out out, put him in gently and let him swim back to shore. Repeat as needed. The life vest really does make a big difference if the dog is worried about the water. By keeping their heads higher in the water it boosts their confidence.

 

This dog hated the water until I bought him a life vest and taught him how to swim. Since we lived on a lake it was an important skill.

notagoosedog2.jpg

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Mick was reluctant until I threw a tennis ball into shallow water. His ball drive overrode his fear of the water. Now, he's really into swimming.

 

Sinead (pit bull) will only go in water that she can walk in. She's gone deeper, but she seems to have a hard time floating/swimming, probably because she's about 60lbs of pure ripped muscle. I'll probably get her a life jacket, so she feels more comfortable going deeper with him.

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Just got back from Cerb's first water park adventure. John Lloyd Jones' dogs were there trying to show him how it was done....but alas, he didn't get into the water on his own.

However, he did jump in inadvertently when he was running, ahead warp zillion, with another dog and had nowhere else to go. No retro rockets! He actually swam around the fence and out of the play area....

He's still only six months old and who knows...come summer in AZ water might be a refuge.

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Mick was reluctant until I threw a tennis ball into shallow water. His ball drive overrode his fear of the water. Now, he's really into swimming.

 

same here; Nico would just hang out at the edge of the water and steal sticks and balls from other dogs. Then one day I threw the stick he was chasing in a creek and he saw it moving along, and his expression said "OMG that's magic!" and then went right in. after doing that a couple times it there was no going back. going off the dock was a whole other thing, but he did it eventually to save his precious ball.

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However, he did jump in inadvertently when he was running, ahead warp zillion, with another dog and had nowhere else to go. No retro rockets! He actually swam around the fence and out of the play area....

 

Sinead did that about a week ago. Ran full tilt into the lake at night, straight off a rock. Who knew pit bulls could levitate? Naturally, she repaid me by rolling in sand.

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I think if you let him get used to it gradually, he'll be swimming by the time he "needs" to.

We've always had a lake or pond to swim in till here. We miss it big time!

I use a ball or stick for reluctant dogs. Tossing the ball barely in the water then a bit farther each time usually does the trick or other dogs fetching balls/sticks out of the water will convince them to at least meet the dog at the shore with their feet in the water to see about the ball.

Pach never liked water but he'd get in up to his knees. The rest of mine are swimming fools. Pach doesn't even like getting his feet wet in the morning grass so he's just warped :rolleyes:

I used ponds as a huge part of Mick's rehab from the TBD's he had that left him totally out of shape.

Dew is just a swimmer, she'll get in and just swim around for nothing. Loves it.

There was a time that she had gotten loose as a youngster and my sheep were close to the pond. She cut one yearling lamb off and he headed for the pond. They both swam around for about 5 minutes till I could wrangle Dew out. The lamb made it to the side but from then on if he was worked around the pond that's where he'd go. Never learned to play the game after he found the pond. He looked smug in his discovery until Mick would go in and work him to the side. Dew had to much fun just swimming around with him, she didn't catch on to the work him out part but in her defence she was young with not much training on her.

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same here; Nico would just hang out at the edge of the water and steal sticks and balls from other dogs. Then one day I threw the stick he was chasing in a creek and he saw it moving along, and his expression said "OMG that's magic!" and then went right in. after doing that a couple times it there was no going back. going off the dock was a whole other thing, but he did it eventually to save his precious ball.

 

 

Bea was letting Colt get all the balls, too and sticks until I took her by herself and threw a stick. She was 4 mos. old. She dove after it and now races Colt to the swimming spot at the river. They swim everyday.

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