Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My black lab Molly is 19 weeks today!

I havent introduced her to swimming yet...when is the best age to introduce this to her? Is it ok to do so now?

Also is sea water safe? I live near a very clean beach but salt water is always salt water. I read they might drink it and be sick?

What's your views/experiences?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,849 Posts
Has she had baths yet? Sea water should be fine, but I'd start at home. With her outside the bathroom, plug the tub and fill it a tiny bit so there is still a dry side. Bring her in and put her on the dry side of the tub. Give her lots of praise and be excited for her to be in there. Tap the water gently with your hand and encourage her to check it out herself. Don't push or pull her in. You can run your wet hands over her legs and body to help. When she's loving it and having fun turn the faucet on to a trickle and let her play in that too.

Are there waves at this beach? If so she may be too scared of it and rightfully so. I've seen many small dogs and puppies knocked down and rolled by waves. What I did was to carry my puppy out to the point where she had to swim a few feet before she could touch again. KEEP YOUR HAND UNDER HER for support. Dogs swim naturally but they have to have a moment to figure it out and they need to feel secure. I carried my puppy out a little farther each time and had her swim to shore several times just so she could practice swimming. After that I never forced it. I'd walk out into the water and call her to me, toss toys out for her, and encourage her. She now goes out by herself, playing with other dogs, and jumping over waves.

The key is to not force it. Be positive. Don't just toss her in! She'll probably love it and if not that's ok, take it slow and let her figure it out! Water is a weird surface/experience for them to walk into at first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,043 Posts
I keep a toddler pool in the yard when they're young. Some pups like to play in it, some don't. My lab was about 8 months before she saw the beach for the first time. She went berserk! Absolutely overjoyed that there was a such thing as an ocean. My other labs weren't interested in water at all.

Leann gets the salt water squirts and it takes about 24-36 hours to recover with a bland diet and Pedialyte. If you can find a clean lake, I would start there, but I if she is adventurous, I would take her to the beach and let her take the lead in what she's comfortable with. If it's just getting her feet wet and chasing sea gulls, that's fine. If she seems uncomfortable, walk her away from the waves, then leave. Definitely keep the outing fun and reassuring. Try to prevent her from drinking the salt water, but some dogs will taste it no matter what. Also, keep cold fresh water in a thermos for her to drink.

I agree with Sibe. Don't push. If it's a lake or pool, go in and support her until she's comfortable. I have an English Setter who likes water, but will only swim for hot dogs. We took it very slow with her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,391 Posts
As 3doglady suggested, you will have a problem with your Lab, she was bred for water and her webbed feet will spring into action. Some Labs won't go crazy, but I've never seen one that had problems with water. Also, assume that she Will taste the water, and she will throw up (be prepared, just in case it happens in your car), and may get the runs... but she'll be fine in a few days... and she should grow out of the tendency to make herself sick.

Also, if the air is warm and the water is cold, the dog may be much friskier, being cooled off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
great advise all i can add is go slow in introducing water or anything new lots of praise and treats. Just one word of caution to much salt water consuption is very very bad and can get dog deadly sick. I would keep fresh water on hand when at beach make dog drink so much fresh water that it doesnt want any salt water :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Alright noted! Thanks! Good advice all round...going to go to a lake to start off with...as well as bath at home!
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top