Hello all. My 8 week old puppy has arrived and he is awesome! Everything a Lab pup should be. Happy, energetic, bites at everything . I'm just a little concerned about our swimming pool. Now I know putting a fence around it is the correct answer, but what if that is not an option? My last dog was a Lab mix and loved the water. When he was young sometimes he would trip my wife during a run so he could take off into the pond. But for some reason he never even tried to get into our pool. Are most Labs like this? Or do I need to be concerned that he will eventually want to jump in? Right now our plan is to stay with him in the backyard at all times until we figure this thing out. I'm hoping he will have no interest in it at all, and eventually I'll be able to take him to a nearby lake. Then perhaps he will associate swimming with lake and not pool. On the other hand if him jumping into the pool is inevitable, then I will need to install some type of latter and train him to use it to get out of the pool to avoid a nightmare scenario. But I would really rather not because sometimes I shock the pool, sometimes the pool is dirty, etc. etc. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
first - never ever leave your puppy outside without being there with him. if he falls in he could drown but even if not that dramatic, it could make him fear water for years and years.
that your dog stayed out of the pool is pretty impressive. I would not say that is normal behaviour for any dog (especially one that likes water). I would think you may end up having to put a fence up or keep the dog on a long line. I would go on the assumption he will jump in.
He will most likely jump in. You can put an invisible fence around the pool and train the pup when it is old enough (if not a physical one). I would not want my dogs going in the pool whenever they want or I would be constantly having to dry them off to bring them back in the house.
My husband and I went thru this when we brought our girl Beaux home. We do not have the option of a pool fence. We have a 40x15 ft pool that's 11 feet deep. My husband did a lot of research. Basically what he found was introduce them when the water the warmer as soon as you can. You should put them about 3-4 feet from the stairs so they can see them in front of them and so they have and easy swim the first few times out. When they swim to the stairs and get out put them back in and repeat do it only a few times at first. Then do it a few times a week once you know they have a good understanding start throwing a tennis ball in the area you trained them. Be patient with this part they may not dive right in. Eventually they will get the ball throw and repeat. If they are gonna like the water this will work, or at least it did for us. Just like a baby when she did what we wanted we gave her tons of praise. Now I can't get her out of the pool, she even mastered the pool floats and lounges around.
As for not leaving them unattended I agree 100% which is why any trainer will tell you teach them where the stairs are first so they always know how to get out just in case. Now that she is 16 months she goes in whenever she wants unattended. I do however remove any floats or lounges just in case they tip over on her they are net and unattended they could get trapped under the netting.
Jenn Beaux's Mom
Paul I just posted a vid (in a new thread) of our 10 week olds 1st exposure to the water and how I did it.
OK, don't beat me up too bad on this one, because I took care of that already. I felt so incredibly guilty. Just three days after posting this thread, he fell in. He was 9 weeks at the time and still had plenty of baby fat and feeling his way around the world. I was literally standing right next to him while he was sniffing around the pool and almost as if time lapsed for 2 seconds, he was in. He went straight down in the water, so I reached in and pulled him out. The water was still dirty from the winter so I toweled him off, took him upstairs and gave him a bath. He was shaken up after the bath and fell asleep in my lap. When he woke up I took him back out and saw he was reluctant to go near the pool. Not wanting him to be afraid either, I lured him over with threats. We walked past a few times and figured we were good. For the next couple of weeks he wouldn't even go over to that side of the yard. Slowly he started to again, and now (at 13 weeks) he is darting past the pool with no fear, but still keeps his distance. So... long story short I'm getting a fence ASAP. He's a really smart little guy so I'm sure this summer when I take him over to the lake he will be fine. BTW cool video Don. I'll probably try that this summer too once we get the pool open, but will probably start swimming at the lake so that hopefully there is no water connection with the pool.