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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How do I Introduce a Dog to Swimming?

Hey guys! My fiance and I are going to be moving back to BC, which means lots and lots of water and beaches and lakes! :) Anyhow, it will be Luna's first time around "big water" I've never had to teach a dog to swim before and any advice would be great.

I imagine just go slow, maybe toss her toy or treat in there or something? She loooves to retrieve. My last dog had little nub legs and hated the water, so my expertise on water dogs is next to nothing haha

She's part lab and has webbed toes so I really want to teach her to enjoy swimming!
 

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Re: How do I Introduce a Dog to Swimming?

Well, one thing to not do (and I really doubt you would) is to walk in with your dog and toss it in. If you are going to do anything remotely like that you could hold him and walk in until he gets some water touching him and see what he thinks of that (a life jacket may not be a bad idea in that scenario). Has she been in the bathtub with water? How is she with bathing? If she is fine with the water part of the bathing scenario you probably wont' have TOO much trouble.

Really though, the best bet would be to walk up to the water and let Luna check it out herself, maybe walk in yourself a little way and see if she follows, if so, but is a little unsure, give a treat. Take your time (or rather let Luna take her time). If you toss anything in though, make it a random stick so you don't have to run in and retrieve a rapidly vanishing (and usually expensive) toy. Been there done that lol. Really big water, with waves can be a special challenge too, slightly more placid (but not stagnant!) water might be an easier start. Be prepared for the fact that your dog might not like water and might not like swimming though. Dexter HATED water, and was terrified of it, after some coaxing from Caeda, and some calm time just standing near the water with just him, he managed to get up to his belly, but he never did swim (he hated hoses too...possibly something from his past though). Also be prepared for possibly needing a really good long long line, she might take to it immediately!

Something else to think about...if you are going to be around salt water (you probably know this...but) don't let her drink it, and even if she doesn't purposefully drink it she may get some, which (at least in Caeda's case) means high-speed intense diarrhea, so take her on a short walk afterwards before you get into the car (if you are driving), or go home, and even then be prepared for some cleanup (seriously nasty, I'd never seen anything like it the first time Caeda swam in salt water!).
 

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Re: How do I Introduce a Dog to Swimming?

Indeed she was in a bathtub when we were at my fiance's mom's house but she didn't particularly enjoy the water splashing noise from the bucket pouring on her D: she puked in the car on the way there and she needed a bath though, so I didn't have much time to make it enjoyable as i'd have liked. Normally she gets bathed with a shower-head attachment and she's totally fine with it. Maybe I'll fill up the tub a few times and let her have some hotdog pieces haha everything's wonderful if there's hotdog involved!

Thanks for all your tips! Knowing me I'd totally end up tossing her ball too far out >.> I have the worst throw... Sometimes I mean to throw it forward and it just goes straight up in the air, or vice versa. (Reason why my only sport companion is a dog.) Haha

One time Luna ate a bag of icing sugar.. Believe me, I know what you mean about high speed diarrhea... soo nasty. Luckily all the water is fresh water where we'll be at so I won't have to worry about that! xD
 
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