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Hey everyone! i need some advice. im a big duck hunter, and i have a 7 yr old black lab and Greyhound mix. She is the most amazing dog ever! But... She hates water. is there any tips as to how i can make her used to it? maybe she will end up enjoying it! Thanks!
 

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At 7 years old? I would think that you have a task that is going to be pretty difficult. Maybe the Greyhound is doing you in.
 

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I strongly suspect a greyhound lacks enough buoyancy for swimming so your Lab X Greyhound may have the same problem.

My Puff is lean and when I finally was able to get her swimming, only her head and some of her neck were visible above water. That's a contrast with my Bess, chunky, bench line -- an inch or two of her entire back was visible above water along with the upper half of her tail.

Suggestion: I take it that your dog likes retrieving. Tie a strong thin rope onto a retrieving dummy and throw it into very shallow water for your dog to retrieve several times. (The attached line is so that, if you toss it too far in for your dog to get, you don't have to wade in after it -- just reel it back in and try again.) Do this several times so your dog gets used to the water and splashing.

The following days, throw it slightly farther so it requires wading in deeper water.

Before you ever try getting your dog to swim, get a flotation vest for him and put it on him for water retrieves. RuffWear's FloatCoats are among the very best.

When I was teaching Puff to swim (at first w/o the life vest) I almost had to go in after her because she was flailing the water with her front legs trying desperately to keep her head above water, body vertical in the water, not using her back legs.

That's when I got the RuffWear FloatCoat. That helped enormously. She learned to swim properly and can swim, if necessary, without wearing it. But when we go sailing, she always has it on.

HTH

 

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That vest sounds great, my old girl @ 10yo has never swum at all, since her dad, threw her in the pool as a small puppy.

He claims is was to toughen her up, all it did was scare the absolute crap out of the pool little thing.

We live in a really hot part of Australia and she really suffers through our wet season. Maybe one of these vests would help.

Would you mind letting me know what the website was you got it from?

Thanx
 

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Lab Greyhound mix

Looking to get one of these.....my friend has one in Vegas for adoption, but unfortunately it's spayed.........z
 

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One thing to consider with a mix is that the mix may not have a good water repelant coat or may not even have a double layer coat. this can make water really cold without the insulating qualities of the coat and can very quickley cause htpothermia in a dog especially in cold weather. I would always try and introduce a dog to water in the hottest part of the year (July/August) and find warm water 60+. Its always better if the dog decides to get into the water on its own and this can be done by "stranding" it on an island and rowing away (requires a boat and an island).
Puppies/new dogs often do the puppy swim where they are getting their front feet out of the water and splashing alot. the extreme of this is they can get their entire body vertical and actually bob up and down without moving. Once they start carrying a bumper while swimming the weight of the bumper is usually enough to get them horizontal and swimming well. once they figure it out they become better swimmers.
A greyhound coat and bodytype is extremely poor for swimming in cold water.

Kelly
 

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if she likes to retrieve, practice throwing the toy just out of reach , so she has to go further and further into the water to get it. many dogs just stick to splashing in the shallows though, and there's nothing wrong with that.. why force the issue?
 

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Why force the issue?? That is a good question. The original poster said he was an avid duck hunter. Retrievers are conservation tools because they can find and retrieve ducks and other sporting birds much much bettter than people can. A hunter that shoots a bird and cannot find it will shoot another bird. So finding birds = less birds shot. Having a retriever that won't get in the water means you will not be able to retrieve those that fall on the other side or in water. Duck hunter hunt ducks around water ponds, streams,rivers, etc. and there really isn't a better dog than a lab at retrieving ducks.
Since he is an avid duck hunter then this is a true working dog and gets to earn its keep by retrieving ducks. If the dog was just a pet then it really wouldn't matter if his dog liked water. It is a bit unfair to start training a dog at 7 years old but life isn't always fair and sometimes we have to work with what we have. I expect the next dog he gets will be a purebreed lab from a hunting line or something similar.
And of course you are right that there is no reason to get a dog into the water just to get the dog in the water.
Nothing tastes as good as a meal you and your dog have worked together to put on the table!

Kelly
 

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sometimes we have to work with what we have. I
After 7 years, I'd have to say that this dog IS a pet, not a true working retriever (unless the owner just adopted it.. but even so, this is a square peg, and all the work and training in the world isn't going to make it round...
 

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I am thinking either the person just started duck hunting or just got the dog. Or has just seen a person with a trained retriever picking up ducks for the first time.
I have seen a 10 year old dog trained to retrieve out of water (Golden) because the owner wanted to get its JH or WC so it would be in the hall of fame or something. The dog "Hated" water when they started but once they taught it to swim and it figured out water wasn't scarey the dog loved swiming. You can teach old dogs new tricks but sometimes I wonder why people do??!??!
Amber hated the water till she was 3 but just because she didn't get enough exposure to it to become confident. Now I have a hard time keeping her out of it..lol
And there is nothing that prevents one from training a full blooded Greyhound from being a retriever. its not the right tool and is way more work but you can hammer a nail in with a crescent wrench.
You can also do AKC tracking with a Lab but a bloodhound is a much better tool

Kelly
 

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well, I'm not going to presume to speak for the OP - they asked how to get him into the water, not how to make him a retriever - but I still think you need to honour the dog's ability and temperament and age before choosing for him - the dog cannot refuse a job they may or may not enjoy.

If I was the OP, I would borrow a trained retriever from a friend for hunting, or get a second dog with the drive and ability to enjoy retrieving, and let the 7 year old enjoy what they already enjoy.
 
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