So I live in San Diego and live 4 blocks from a bay. 10 blocks from the beach, and have a pool right in front of my condo so I am dying to take my little one swimming. *I was thinking I should wait until she has her last shot--but any suggestions? *When is it developmentally appropriate? *What is the best approach to get them started? *
Just wanted to say ... LUCKY YOU! ;D We have a creek nearby and Sami swims there alot. I don't remember how I introduced her ... I think I just took her down there and she introduced herself ;D She was about 5 months old when she got her feet wet -- but she was introduced to water by my breeder, so that wasn't her first experience.
We don't live near any water. We introduced Riley the following Spring, so she was about 6 months. We took her favorite ball and went in the lake with her. The first few moments, she just got her feet wet. Soon after she was fetching the ball. Keep it fun and don't rush it if they seem afraid.
I would introduce her in the bay first if possible. Let her go somewhere she can control how deep she goes. The ocean can sneak up on them and and pool can be difficult to go in and out of for some dogs.
Sharon, loved by Moose & Sky
I am pretty luckyi guess with swimming. i have a large pool 40' x 25' in my back yard. i also live 1 mile from a large lake....and 30 minutes from the ocean. my dogs love to swim. my little Bo will soon follow suit! ;D
I was going to say the same thing as Sharon- try somewhere without the waves, first, so that you don't have to worry about pups getting swept out to sea or even just getting the "sand" pulled out from underneath them and creating a very scary experience. Get her used to swimming and confident swimming before allowing into the actual ocean.
With Libby, I have a life-preserver for when she first started swimming. It was right after elbow surgery on both legs and it was the first time she'd ever been in a deeper pool, so I didn't want to make her struggle to keep herself afloat post-op while learning to swim all at the same time.
Monty, on the other hand, had never been swimming and I was getting a photo of Libby swimming in the duck pond that is in our signature photo, when I hear a big "splash!" Here comes Monty swimming across the pond to visit Libby! LOL
~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~
"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon
Swimming pools can be really scary to dogs because they don't have the depth perception necessary to see how deep the water is. If possible, find some place where the beach gradually slopes off into calm water. This way the dog will wade out into deeper and deeper water and before she realizes it, she's swimming. If she has a swimming friend, bring her along too. Dogs learn alot from each other.
Allie doesn't like swimming pools, she fell in once and couldn't figure out how to escape, so I had to grab her and pull her out.* I agree, the beach is the best first move, go sometime when its as still as a mill pond.* I was able to take a floating toy into the water with me and I would sit about knee high in the water and call her out.* She wanted to be close to me and wanted to play so she would walk her way in and return back to the beach, and this continued for a few hours.* I would encourage her to come a little further each time, next thing I knew she was swimming and jumping off the swim platform of our boat.* You could also find a very shallow creek to get your pup use to the water.* Once they get over the depth issue, they will swim in anything.
We dont have a pool around and Allie isnt that interested in entering the one she fell in, so we will cross that road another day, but she is one heck of a lake rat like her parents...* We are lake bums...* ;D
Here are two of her younger day pictures at the lake:
When you have worked your pup up to beach, defenitely take her to dog beach in OB! so fun and other doggies to swim with.
I intend on introducing Rocky to water in our backyard pool. We have a set of steps at the end of the pool which would allow him to enter and exit from. We still have the winter cover on now but I'll be opening the pool towards the end of April. I hope he is not spooked as he fell in on the weekend :-[. I rescued him and he didn't seem to be fazed by it as he went right back beside the pool to investigate after I dried him off .