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We have a pool in the back and have been reluctant to give Dakota free run of the yard until he knows how to get out of the pool if he should fall in. With the weather better, we decided that yesterday was training day. What a disaster :cry: !! I have never had a problem like this before. I tried to coax him in--not really expecting him to respond--and when that failed, my husband took him about 8-10 feet from the steps (with leash on) and dropped him in the water. We held the leash and directed him toward the steps. This has not failed in the past, but Dakota thrashed and tried to climb out of the side of the pool, over and over. I'm not even sure if he swam at all or if we just drug him to the steps. We did this 5 times, with a nice treat every time. No improvement. Except now, he keeps walking over to the pool and looking at it--I don't like that at all because I'm not at all convinced he figured out the meaning of the steps . . . Any ideas on pool training??
 

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You tried your pool? :shock: our water isn't quite warm enough yet, even though the solar has been going for almost a week. I haven't tried yet with Copper but Jett had the same reaction as Dakota when we tried with her last year. I even tried to give her swimming lessons. Maybe this year she will get the hang of it. We only have one dog that can swim to the steps if he falls in. That would be our cocker Hunter. Our other cocker, Halo, literally sinks and we have had to jump in to rescue her a couple of times. She always manages to fall into the deep end too, go figure. So, Diane I am sorry to say I don't have any tips for you. With Hunter we just did a lot of practice and he eventually got it.
 

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I know doods are supposed to be great swimmers, but I agree that swimming with him at first is best. I actually built a pool, when I had my old sheepdog, that had "swim outs" in three different places! (Sheepdogs are notoriously lousy swimmers and so am I!) I think the edge of the pool can be pretty intimidating when you aren't sure how you can get out. But I'll bet that after you show him the steps a few times, when you're there to reassure him, he'll figure it out.[/i]
 

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I am no expert at all...but I have read that pups are like children, some love water and some don't and what they said to do was to take the pup gradually into the water so that they don't feel unsafe.
Maybe when you are able to get in with him, you can hold him securly in your arms (or even put a life vest on him until he learns) and then let him set the pace.
My dogs love little streams and kiddie pools, but I don't know how they would be in "big water"! Good luck!
 
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