We have started introducing our 5 month old chocolate lab (Lucy!) to water - we have a small stream on our property that she loves. The problem is that all she wants to do in the stream is drink. She would stay there and drink until she made herself sick, and then go back and drink more. Will she outgrow this?
Possibly not.She would stay there and drink until she made herself sick, and then go back and drink more. Will she outgrow this?
Have you tried other places, such as ponds or lakes?
Does your Lab like to play fetch? If so, tie a kite string to a retrieving dummy or toy and toss it a few feet
out into the pond to retrieve. You can gradually increase the distances until your Lab is swimming. (And
skip the string if you won't mind wading out to retrieve the dummy yourself.)
OR, do you know of other Labs who love to swim? If so, often the excitement of playing in the water with
other swimming Labs will be enough to get yours swimming, too, to stay near them.
My first Lab, Bess, took immediately to the water and swam from the git-go. It was sometimes a problem
keeping her out when there were rapids or waterfalls or other dangers. Bess never met a body of water
she didn't like and want to swim in.
My present Lab, Puff, took much work to teach her to swim. We used the training dummy on a string after
other methods didn't work. For one thing, Puff's very lean (she's from a HT & FT line rather than the bench
line which is chunkier) and only her head shows above water. Putting a canine life vest on her and using the
fetching-the-training-dummy-on-a-string worked well for her in teaching her to use her legs and webbed
feet to swim.
Hope these suggestion help.
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":
When I took Tucker to the beach for the first time, he bounded for the water. I usually walk on the sand and he will swim. Maybe if you throw a ball or something to keep her occupied she won't drink so much?
haha.. sounds like Libby. She won't drink though but doesn't want to have too much to do with the water now. Waiting for the water to warm up a bit then I'll get in and hopefully she will join me
Libby - 11 Sep 2013
I would recommend standing water, such as a pond or lake, versus water with current flow. And, I agree completely with Bob Pr's tips. Get your pup interested in playing fetch near a body of water, keeping the retrieving dummy on land, initially. After several tosses and retrieves, toss the dummy a foot or so from the edge of the land, so the pup has to step in the water to retrieve. Be certain the water isn't deep enough to force swimming. Repeat this process several times, gradually moving it further from shore.
It may take more than one session, especially if the pup looses interest. And that's fine! It should be a fun time for you and the pup. In no time at all, the pup will experience water depth greater than its young legs are in length, and instinct takes over. Even if it swims only a foot or so, that's great! Time will handle the rest. I'm trained all my duck dogs in this manner, and don't forget a small food reward (in addition to lavish verbal praise) for each retrieve -- whether on land or from the water. Wishing you great success.
I don't know if your dog will outgrow wanting to drink alot from the stream --- at the very least, I think she will most likely calm down a bit as she gets older and not drink the stream water to such excessive amounts.
I have a pond on my property. My dog also loves the water. I don't have problems with her drinking all the water out of the pond anymore, however, her problem (or is it my problem?) is that everytime she gets a "hot flash", she always runs to the pond and dives in to cool off. Well, it's a pain in the neck because she's constantly in and out of the water and then wants to come into the house.
It was driving me nuts, because I was constantly having to towel her off throughout the day to let her back in the house, if not, she'd cry like a baby if she had to stay outside while I was inside, LOL, LOL.
My answer?.... I ended up buying one of those high velocity animal grooming dryers so I could dry her off in a flash. It's still a pain in the neck having to do that, but at least with the dryer she will dry rather than being perpetually damp and just waiting for a hot spot, or something to start.
You definitely need to discourage your dog from drink on not totally safe water. Our pup George started loving water when we introduced water the garden as play time, now he's water lab who would jump immediately on water whenever we visit the nearby stream in the park or hit the beach. He had diarrhea couple of times drinking the salt water so we have to play something like fetching or chasing ball or playing with other dog to keep him busy.
"Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that is how dogs spend their lives." ~Sue Murphy
Hey I am a proud Pappy
All my labs took to the water before 6 months
But they were born in Jan or Feb
Moses is 8 months old (he would have learned way before 6 months) but he was born July 20th
..Moses is a handful but most athletic dog I ever had.
I am so glad I got the black one
He has come a long way
Just have to gloat
It is a GREAT feeling seeing your pup swim and loving it
sorry wanted to give a tip here too (if it helps)
Long ago @the park someone else with a lab told me
as soon as the dog gets out of the water say SHAKE OFF
the dog does it naturally (shake off)
But when then shake the water off keep telling them shake off and good dog
Then if it rains and you leave your dog out to pee.
Before your pups come in tell him to shake off
Moses picked it is up right away ( it saves on towels)