How did you introduce swimming?
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Thread: How did you introduce swimming?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    DefaultHow did you introduce swimming?

    Just got back from a pond in our subdivision with Riley. She liked the water, but only got in to about half way up her chest. How do you get your dog used to it to where they will go all the way in and swim? Gradually? Or like my dad did with me... threw me in and said sink or swim?

    PJ

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    DefaultRe: How did you introduce swimming?

    the way i got my labs to swim is i went swimming and they went in after me. or if she likes to play ball toss a ball in the water and she well go after it i have two labs a 3 year old black and a 9 month old yellow the black lab is my service dog this is thunderhaven1 and i live in kansas

  4. #3
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How did you introduce swimming?

    DON'T THROW RILEY IN.

    My Bess jumped in and swam like a fish the first time she saw unfrozen water at about 5 months age.

    Puff like to splash and wade but didn't know how to swim and had to be carefully taught.

    I taught Puff to retrieve first and then used that to get her to go farther and farther out in the water.

    While Bess had so much buoyancy her back and the top of her tail were visible above the water's surface, Puff (field line) has so little that only her neck and head are usually visible. I think that has a lot to do with the differences in swimming interest.

    We use Lucky Dog vinyl 2" x 12" Training Dummies to which I tied a 30 ft. string or line; the line was useful in retrieving the TD in case I threw it too far for Puff to be comfortable retrieving. It saved me having to wade in to get it. (One source of TDs is http://www.gundogsupply.com)

    I threw the TD into progressively deeper waters.

    When Puff DID dare to try to retrieve the TD, it quickly became apparent what much of her problem was -- she was in a vertical position, so frantically flailing the water with her front legs she created a moving geyser just in front of her but wan't using her back legs at all to swim.

    I bought her a canine life vest to level her out and that helped a lot -- she learned to use her back legs.

    She still was not that enthusiastic about swimming but she had no choice on the training. I love sail and if she was to accomapany me as my first mate, she needed to learn to swim.

    It took all of one summer and much of the next with daily swim practice before she was comfortable swimming. She now goes in and swims without the life vest.

    --------------------------------------------

    Thunderhaven -- where do you live in Kansas? I live in Topeka.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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  6. #4
    Join Date
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    DefaultRe: How did you introduce swimming?

    The best way is to go in yourself and they follow. This is how we taught Aidan. Emma needed a bit more coaxing but is now a fish and will dive in off the side, doesnt ever want to get out.

  7. #5
    Paddysmom's Avatar
    Paddysmom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How did you introduce swimming?

    This was Seamus' first attempt...




    After that little stint, Paddy got him started on his way.


    Seamus and Flynn

  8. #6
    Felix Guest

    DefaultRe: How did you introduce swimming?

    What ever you do, dont push them to swim, or throw them in to pond/lake, otherwise you will end up with a dog who's scared of swimming

  9. #7
    Join Date
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    DefaultRe: How did you introduce swimming?

    Rest easy everyone, i was not gonna just throw her in... I was just kidding on that one!

  10. #8
    Apollopuppy is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How did you introduce swimming?

    I wish my dog would get in the water as far as your dog. i have a lab that will literally jump from rock to rock in order to avoid getting wet while crossing a stream/creek! I think he thinks hes a cat!
    Love,<br />Giuli<br /><br />

  11. #9
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    labby is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How did you introduce swimming?

    I always take Libby. She's such a bitch with the bumper that the puppies get frustrated that she won't let them have it and they go in after her. Works every time.



    Laura





  12. #10
    Felix Guest

    DefaultRe: How did you introduce swimming?

    Shall we change for Labradors for lets say a week or sow ???





    She swims in to the midle of the lake over here, and then starts searching for her tennisball ;D :

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