water dog?
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Thread: water dog?

  1. #1
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    Defaultwater dog?

    * I love Labs, mainly because all of my friends have labs and we can take them almost anywhere. I would definitely like to take her motorcycle riding with all of the other labs and i would also love to take Bailey to lakes and pools where she could swim. She is about 14 weeks and she seems like she doesnt like water very much. She used to cry every time we gave her a bath but now she just tries to get out of the bath while I am rinsing her off. Are all puppies unsure about water? Will she learn to like swimming? And should i be doing something to help her like water? ???




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  3. #2
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    DefaultRe: water dog?

    Is there a particular reason you're giving her baths? The only reason I ask is labs aren't supposed to be bathed much. If it's just washing her with water, that's ok, but not shampoo. When ours was small, he'd get muddy paws a few times from jumping in a creek. We put him in the tub to hose him off with water so he wouldn't muddy the carpets...he didn't particularly like the tub, so we just use a wet washcloth and dry his paws at the door now.

    I'd suggest slowly introducing your puppy to water; let her splash in a shallow creek or pool, but nothing to frighten her.

    We took ours to a large creek last year, at about 5-6 mos., when the weather was warm enough. He jumped and splashed in the water, then we slowly waded out further. We threw a bumper for him, and he just started to glide....he swam for the bumper. He's been swimming ever since.

    Labs are water dogs; their coats are made for water. Baths can dry out their coats, and the natural oil in them. Ours is 15 mos. old, and hasn't had a bath (with shampoo) yet. The nice thing, too, is after he's been in a pond, even if his paws are muddy, he dries all clean, and feels and smells good too.

  4. #3
    Ender's Mom's Avatar
    Ender's Mom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: water dog?

    Ender doesn't like the tub (only been in there once since we don't bathe him unless he rolls in some particularly stinky... like goose poop) but he LOVES the lake and the river. We introduced him slowly ... praised all heck when he was in but otherwise acted like nothing special was going on.
    ~Lindsay

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  6. #4
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    DefaultRe: water dog?

    My labs hate baths but love retrieving/playing in lakes, ponds, pools, etc...

    As far as a young pup not caring for water, some take to it like fishes and some need gentle encouragement IMO, the best way to get your pup to enjoy water is to bring her to a pond/lake with another water loving dog and just let them play.

  7. #5
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    DefaultRe: water dog?

    Okay because I rarely bathe Bailey only when she covers herself with mud and usually it is not with shampoo. I only wash her with apple cider vinegar and eggs because it makes her super soft but i rarely ever bathe her. Im just worried that she wont like the lake.

  8. #6
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    DefaultRe: water dog?

    I'd say just take it slow with her (she's very small yet)...let her get into water and see how she does. You may be very surprised; she may have a ball!

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    Ender's Mom's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: water dog?

    Quote Originally Posted by yellowlab21
    Okay because I rarely bathe Bailey only when she covers herself with mud and usually it is not with shampoo. I only wash her with apple cider vinegar and eggs because it makes her super soft but i rarely ever bathe her. Im just worried that she wont like the lake.
    With EGGS?!

    Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think a lab's coat should be soft. Sure puppies are very soft and cuddly but the stiff upper coat (sorry I don't know the EXACT term) is the waterproofing that grows in as they mature. Ender, 4.5 months old has this stiff upper layer on his topside and soft undercoat underneath it. You might be harming your dogs coat by doing that but I'll defer to the experts on that.
    ~Lindsay

  10. #8
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    DefaultRe: water dog?

    no no not the top of the coat is soft, but i guess i mean more shiny than soft, and our vet recommended it. But i dont think it really matters because i really dont ever wash her that much anyways.

  11. #9
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: water dog?

    I'd also question the eggs.

    Also, dogs do NOT like hard, slippery surfaces (like bathtubs) that they cannot grip with their claws. Put in a large rubber bathmat.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The following is a response I've posted over the years and modified from time to time:

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    My first Lab, my beloved Bess (BF, AKC, bench line, 55 lbs., 1967-81) jumped in and swam like a fish as soon as she saw unfrozen water -- probably around 4-5 months old. She never saw a body of water she didn't want to jump into and swim in -- except when crewing on our sailboat.

    My present Lab, my beloved Puff (YF, AKC, field line, 63 lbs., dob: 8-'01) loves to wade or splash like a small boy through puddles BUT she had to be taught to swim. (Her field line body has much less buoyancy than Bess's bench line body had.)

    At about 7 months age (March '02), since we'd already started training to retrieve, we started tossing a training dummy into shallow water. (I tied a kite string to it so it could be pulled back if it ever went too far out -- very useful.)

    Very gradually, I increased the depth of water the TD went into. Lots of praise, liberal treats (her kibble from her next meal).

    For some time, whenever it went past the point that Puff's legs touched bottom, Puff splashed mightily with her front legs to keep her head above water which made a geyser just in front of her. That often served to push the TD farther -- too far -- away.

    I bought a "Ruff Wear" canine life vest for Puff and using that helped a lot to level her out in the water and for her to learn to use her back legs for swimming.

    (We had tried several times having Puff play around water with other Labs that like the water and swim but that didn't help. And neither did the Lab Dad wading into the water and encouraging his pup to swim to him. Puff was an EXTREMELY reluctant Lab to teach to swim.)

    We practiced swimming daily -- sometimes twice daily -- for about 8 months that first summer. By the end of the summer, Puff felt comfortable enough to go out 20'-30' from the shore and retrieve but was still not a good or enthusiastic swimmer.

    We've practiced Puff's swimming daily during the non-ice months of '03, '04, '05, '06.. She's long since outgrown the need for the life vest.

    But swimming still ranks far less than 10th on Puff's list of preferred methods of locomotion/travel -- behind #1, car rides; #2, runnng with other dogsi; #3 running solo; etc. I think I've seen Puff spontaneously jump into water and swim only twice in over 1,500 days/opportunities. Wading and splashing? Hundreds, maybe thousands of times.

    So teach your Lab to retrieve and use that to teach the swimming. EXCELLENT exercise. VERY useful learned skill to acquire.
    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

  12. #10
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    DefaultRe: water dog?

    Our Bailey is still pretty young, but we bought a kiddie pool at Wal-Mart & filled a bit in the bottom of it (not all the way full) and let her play in it yesterday. She loved it, but was unsure of it all at first.
    I'd try making it fun & optional for them so they can take their time to get used to something new; for some they love it right away & other takes a little getting used to.

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