Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Today I took Roxie to the lake. She was just 100% not cool with swimming. She COULD, but she really, really didn't like it. I tried carrying her out there so I would be with her and that didn't work, and I tried enticing her out with treats and that worked a bit but then I ran out of treats! Is the treats method a good way to try to teach her to swim? She isn't toy motivated enough to want to fetch unfortunately. Or should I just let her lie on the shore and watch me? She seemed content to do that.. What do you think?

ETA: Should I get her a lifejacket? Would that help her confidence? She seemed like she was sure she was going to sink even though she paddled back to the shore without trouble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,043 Posts
I have a lab who is a passionate swimmer and an english setter who is not. I take both swimming every week. The english setter because she has joint issues and the exercise helps strengthen the muscles that support her joints. The only way she will swim is if I offer her pieces of hot dogs. She has to swim for about 10 feet to get her treat and gets 2 more when she comes back. In the beginning, she showed tendencies towards sinking, and her technique was awkward, but I took it easy and let her rest in between each swim. Over time she built up muscle strength which has improved her ability to swim without sinking. Now, she will sometimes do a lap or two without treats and swims beautifully.

If you are trying to build confidence, it's better to keep her only as deep as you can go to stay with or near her. Keep your sessions short and bring her to shore often to check for warm/hot muscles (a sign to slow down, or stop).

If she's safe and happy sitting on the shore I would let her do that. A canine swim coach I know has told me that life jackets don't necessarily build confidence, but perhaps others on the forum have had a different experience with them.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I thought about hot dogs so I'll definitely try that next time. And yeah I didn't try to make her swim anywhere where I couldn't stand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,043 Posts
I hear that there is some brand of hot dog that floats, but I have yet to find them.

Don't forget to sweet talk her and be very encouraging and generous with every small accomplishment. Swimming is very intensive exercise. For a dog who doesn't enjoy it, it can also be very stressful for the first few times.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Oh yeah, I made a fool of myself lol! I get really excited when training and such. Thank you for your advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Go slow, keep sessions short, don't force her to do too much.
I'm currently working with a dog that hates even getting his feet wet, but for some reason loves the rain. It's a slow process and we're working in a kiddie pool right now. It's taken about 5 days for him to master just sitting down in the pool and it's only about 2 inches of water, I'm working on him to lie down in the pool.
It'll work it'll just take a long time.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
That's funny--after the swim she jumped in the shower with me of her own accord! She hates baths and lakes and having water poured on her and rain but she'll take a shower with me, isn't it bizarre? Dogs are funny!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
My Libby LOVES water, and she hates to swim. She will be chest deep playing non stop, but heaven forbid if she steps in a hole. She is so strong nerves, not afraid of anything, and she is afraid of swimming lol. I carry her out, and help her back in, then we play like mad. Hoping she will begin to enjoy it but so far no luck.

Her mom couldn't swim, would sink like a rock. Wonder if its just coincidence or not.

ETA.. my shih Tzu sandy loves going to the lake, can swim, but tires easy, and has trouble breathing in water. So she has her own float. She will swim to me and relax on her floatie lol.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I'm thinking about getting a float thing for my dog to stand on if she wants to be with me while I swim lol!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
158 Posts
You've said that she isn't toy motivated, but you DO have something better - another dog who loves to swim!

I had no idea that Dita could swim until today - I don't think she did, either....there is a small pond in middle of the park where we usually go and play (not very deep, I'm guessing she can only juuuust not reach the bottom when she is right in the middle), and she never really went in it. Until today, when she was romping around with another dog...the first dog leapt straight into the pond, and she followed in an instant...splashing around, playing in the water, even getting to the other side to resume the chase!

If your dogs like to play together, can you get them playing and chasing, and then encourage the dog that enjoys swimming to get into the water? You may find that she is so excited, she dives in before figuring out that there is a problem!

And I wouldn't recommend a lifejacket. Swimming dogs for the most part tend to look a little like they may sink....the doggy paddle is well named - it isn't exactly graceful! I have found that dogs who are put in jackets tend to learn to hate it even MORE, because few of them actually like being strapped into this big cumbersome thing...Like doggie backpacks, many dogs just hate the way they feel.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Roxie doesn't really play and neither does my mom's dog Mollie who swims, but she still might get Roxie into the water. I only have one dog though, it's kind of funny that you thought I have more than one lol! If only!
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top