Teaching Your Dog To Swim?

Discussion in 'Training Challenges' started by Ripleygirl, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    mar12 026.JPG Ripley loves mud... This is partly why I would love her to swim, the other part is because it is good for her joints, lots of exercise without too much tension posed to her joints. She is happy in water as long as her paws touch the bottom! How do I get past this last stage and get her to swim? I have used small bits of treats that float so far as she will not do toys...!:confused: Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.
    mar12 023.JPG mar12 024.JPG

  2. Dogster Honored Member

    Shivon has kind of the same problem. She will swim in a pool, but 'cause she's a little princess, she won't swim in a lake, river, etc. when the water moves.:rolleyes: I have gone mad. I have even considered doggy swimming lessons, and bought her a life jacket :rolleyes::ROFLMAO: OMG, I want a dog that likes to swim!!!!
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  3. Anneke Honored Member

    I guess going in yourself and coaxing her to follow you. Then holding her up underneath the belly to help her stay afloat. Most dogs have a natural instict to start paddling, when they can't touch the bottom.
    Sometimes it helps if you can get another dog, that really loves to swim, "show" your dog how it's done, but that won't always work.

    When I got Cooper he already knew how to swim. The second day he was with us, he followed our other dog in the water and started swimming. We always call him our seal-dog:D He still loves to swim. Actually he asks to go in almost every day(we walk by a river) and he is soooo happy when I allow him to go in.
    He will happily swim around on his own.
    When we got Jinx, I went in the water and just took her along. Holding her up so she could learn how to stay afloat. It took her two times in the same session to get it. And when I went for a real swim, all of a sudden I heard my boyfriend call me. I was about 20 meters out on the lake and there she was, bravely paddling towards me... Ofcourse this was way to far for her(only 8 weeks old) so i gave her a piggybackride back. But she has turned into a great swimmer. Although she love to just go in and stay in the shallow end. She loves to retrieve from the water, but she won't go in for no reason, like Cooper does.
  4. sara Moderator

    Oliver hated to get his big toe wet when I first adopted him 3 years ago... these were taken last summer:




    I went to Slave Lake the summer after I adopted him. It's a HUGE lake in Northern Alberta, that's very shallow, consequently, it's extremely warm. I went in with Ollie's ball. he was afraid of the waves (think calm ocean swells!) but he was more worried about me getting further and further away. (I think you can walk 1/4 mile before it even touches your shorts! LOL)

    It was hilarious! He's run in, then run away from the waves, then run back in, finally he managed to get past a couple of waves until he was swimming!

    We spent all afternoon playing in the water and on the beach. I haven't been able to keep him out of the water since!!!
  5. Dogster Honored Member

    LOVE the pics, Sara!!!! I guess I need to get her used to the water....:D
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  6. southerngirl Honored Member

    So jealous of you guys not having to leash your dogs. When I take Missy to the lake I have to keep her on leash. I get scratched because when she realized she couldn't touch anymore she freaked out. It's not easy to swim with a leash in your hand and the dog trying to drown you cause she can't touch. I really need to get a long lead.
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  7. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    I taught my dog how to swim in same way described by Anneke, exactly what i did. Buddy is still a lousy swimmer,:rolleyes: but, he can swim now and loves the water now. and yeah, having a doggie pal along will easily help your dog learn to swim. OH YEAH, your dog will quickly learn how to swim if you bring another dog along!!!

    I lured him a bit further each time, rewarded it, and i had to advance so slowly, as my dog is NOT a good swimmer. Just one extra step and then back, so he could learn, i can swim, and then touch that ground again, real slowly.

    So Buddy could learn where the floor of the lake even is.

    Just one extra step out where his feet don't touch, and then back.
    ^Over and over.
    and over. To help him gain his confidence, "i can swim, and i can find that floor again."

    Just one step at a time. Over and over...........slowly advancing along.

    Now he LOVES it, but, he is always the slowest of all the dogs in our neighborhood lake, always.:rolleyes:
    Even lil small dogs easily outswim Buddy!! :ROFLMAO: I often work on buddy's dog-aggression issues in the water, in the doggie beach area, cuz the dogs are safe from my dog and can easily avoid my dog...
    and soon enough, at some point, Buddy gives up trying to catch them all, and just sits there, panting, and watching how dogs are supposed to play.:ROFLMAO:

    and i do use a lifejacket when we swim outside the boat in deeper water in middle of the lake, too, cuz Buddy gets exhausted so quickly when swimming. With his lifejacket, he can float or swim around with us in the deeper parts of the lake, too.
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  8. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    I do feel very lucky to be able to have Ripley off leash so often where we live.
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  9. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    She loves to go in up to her belly in any water, including in the breakwater of the sea with small waves spashing over her! But as soon as her paws cannot touch the bottom she decides it is time to retreat. I have been in with her but that caused a lot of panic as I tried to hold her to get her bearings and realise she can paddle and she decided that she didn't like and that was that. She has done some swimming but this was because another dog that she was playing with jumped in, no problem, with Ripley following close behind and as soon she hit the water, following the dog (who loves swimming), and she realised she could not touch the bottom her demenour changed and she swam to the edge, jumped out and ran back to me as if to say 'look what he made me do...?!'. That was the end of that. I like the patient, hands on approach as Anneke said ( and Tigerlily also) and will keep working on that. Have not done much over the winter as the water has been too cold for me to go in with her, but it is warming a bit now. The thing I do not want to do is force her in with me and cause her not to like water at all!
  10. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //and she swam to the edge, jumped out and ran back to me as if to say 'look what he made me do...?!'.//


    my dog much prefers water he can walk or wade into, as opposed to jumping straight into deep water.

    actually, i didn't often hold my dog in the water, i didn't really, i lured him, one step, and then back, so he could identify how and where the floor "disappears" and how and where to refind it. I might have held Buddy up somewhat now and then, but, mostly, i think i just let him work his own feet, to get the hang of it, as i am in a swimsuit, with a lot of scratchable skin exposed,:( lol!
    It takes time, too. AT least, it did for my dog.

    It took my dog, who initially loathed water,:cautious: to learn to love water:D . This didn't happen in a week or so,
    i think it may have taken all summer, (?)not sure now, but, i recall, getting Buddy to like NOT having his feet on the floor of the lake, took quite a while.

    Getting him INTO the water, didn't take that that long, nope, (and at first, he was so NOT getting into the water:ROFLMAO:, my dog even walks around all puddles:rolleyes: )
    but gettting him to actually like swimming with no feet on the floor, did take a while.

    but i just mostly let Buddy decide how fast and how far he wanted to go out "deep", and he did get there. i just lured him one step out, praise, treat, and back. Over and over.
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  11. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    OFF TOPIC, but thinking of how much other dogs help dogs learn stuff,
    one of Buddy's good pals is a some type of doodle, i have forgotten, maybe a goldendoodle, who is named Cosmo.
    Cosmo, having a lot of poodle in him, loves loves loves water.

    Okay, so Cosmo loves to FISH! For real, Cosmo studies the water closely, and then, rises up on his back legs and pounces down, face into the water, and comes up with a FISH in his mouth!!! Okay, not all the time, but now and then, Cosmo actually does catch a fish.:eek:

    here's the funny part. Buddy watches his pal Comso fishing very very closely, and whenever Cosmo DOES get a fish, Buddy runs over to THAT EXACT SPOT, and looks down into the water!!:ROFLMAO: As if to see if fish are "right there, in that exact spot". Too funny.
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  12. Dogster Honored Member

    Actually, that's ^ how I got Shivon to swim for the first time.:D Shivon and Carmel were together (they're both not too fond of swimming) and Dogcrazy and I were trying to get them n deeper water. So then we see a frog :lightbulb!: :) And we start saying "Where's the frog???" The dogs saw it.....and went after it!!!! They spent 30 minutes in the water trying to find the frog (the frog was long gone in about 5 minutes:ROFLMAO:) and we couldn't get them out of the water!!!!:ROFLMAO: Shivon actually SWAM that day!!!!:LOL:
  13. Tâmara Vaz Experienced Member

  14. Dogster Honored Member

    AWWWWwwwww!!!!! Love that pic!!!!!:love::LOL:
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  15. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    My dog had two epiphanies today....

    Number one - (bearing in mind I have been trying for a year to get my dog to play with toys etc) Sticks can be fun!
    Number two - Seen as sticks are fun if they are thrown into water she wants to get them back out (although she only paddles - as said earlier) suddenly her fear is over come and her feet don't touch the ground but it is okay because she can get the stick!!! MY DOG SWIMS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Lets hope it is not a one off!:):LOL::D(y)
  16. Dogster Honored Member

    YAY!!!!!! WOOOOOT!!!!!! AWESOME!!!!!!!:LOL:
  17. Anneke Honored Member

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  18. Tâmara Vaz Experienced Member

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  19. dogcrazy Experienced Member

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  20. sara Moderator

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