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Ginger's eight now. When she was a puppy, she would swim in my friend's pool with no problems. She went in of her own accord.

We go to the beach and the lake once in a while and she likes playing in the waves but won't go in deep and swim.

So nothing traumatic has happened with water. We got a pool three years ago and try as I might, I can't get her to want to join us in the pool. Standard poodles are water dogs, as you probably know, so swimming isn't hard for her. She's in great shape and health.

I've tried luring her in with treats and toys, I bought her a life jacket, I've tried holding her in my arms, I've tried calling her, etc. I've tried everything in "baby steps" (not stairs, I mean progression). The farthest she'll come on her own is the first couple of steps and only if I have treats. I make sure that nobody throws her in. I have to admit that it has happened a couple of times when I wasn't around but I yelled at the person for it.

It's not just her fear of swimming. She's also afraid with us in the pool. Every time some one will go off the diving board, splash or go underwater, she runs around the pool frantically barking. She even grabs my hand and tries to pull me out. A couple of times, she jumped in to "save" me. I keep trying to calm and reassure her but nothing seems to help.

I'd really love for her to come swimming with us. It'd be great exercise and fun for her. And she's a part of the family and I like having her with us and doing what we're doing.

Any ideas?
 

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Keep working with her. Sounds like you need to work on her confidence. It's kind of like my Nell, she won't go into the master bathroom. The barrier is where the carpet ends and the off-white linolium floor starts. Took a while to get her where she comes in with her front paws, but her rear feet will not leave the carpet. Now just recently, with playing ball and Betty helping, she now comes in as far as one or 2 steps with her rear legs and then backs back out. Been working on this for 2 months, lol.

Just keep the positive attitude, lots of treats for new levels, and she will eventually be where you want her to be. Also, work on her behavior when there's lots of splashing, sounds like it's a fear issue that needs to be worked on first. Sit with her while the activity is going on, and give lots of treats. Then work on getting closer to the splashes. Don't go too far too fast. When you conquer this, she will probably just jump right in with you.
 

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Just keep the positive attitude, lots of treats for new levels, and she will eventually be where you want her to be. Also, work on her behavior when there's lots of splashing, sounds like it's a fear issue that needs to be worked on first. Sit with her while the activity is going on, and give lots of treats. Then work on getting closer to the splashes. Don't go too far too fast. When you conquer this, she will probably just jump right in with you.[/QUOTE]

Above advice is good, another way to try below.

I would ignore the problem and act normal, do your swimming etc. Let the dog work it out and if she doesn't not a big deal you're going to love her anyway. Not all dog problems can be fixed. I do think the not forcing her is the way to go, I might even try chaining her to something so she can't get near or in pool while you and family are in pool having fun. She would just have to watch you guys. Sometimes dogs and people want something they can't have. Just a stupid idea to try.
 
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