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Discussion Starter #1
ok it sounds funny right- but my dog doean't know how to swim-at least not confidently or well. He LOVES the water. but when he gets to the point where he cannot touch the bottom he freaks out. I mean complete panic. Instead of tring to swim he keeps trying to touch the bottom with his back paws. How do I get him to calm and realize that he can swim and doesn't need to be touching the bottom?
 

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We have a life-jacket for Dexter. You can do a search on this website.

In the beginning, I would carry him in and if I let go of him, he would panic and swim toward the edge. I started to hold him, balancing him on my knee to get him comfortable in the pool.

We didn't force the issue and didn't make him go in when he clearly didn't want to go back in the pool.

He was in the pool for a few minutes at a time and we did this over a couple weeks. The real break thru came when he focused on the floating thermometer. He took off after it and we started playing keep away with it. We bought a kong water wubba and he loves swimming now. He chases the wubba in the water and we're getting him to dive into the pool now.

We hope to introduce Kirby to the pool but he doesn't seem to like water. Maybe next year...
 

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Life jacket is an excellent idea and also the game of keep
away so they swim to get it. You can also put on the leash
but let dog decide to go forward and you can use leash to pull
back to safety. When you walk forward keep leash loose and encourage your baby to follow you with fav. toy or treat.
Do not use leash to pull into deeper water as
that can create fear and panic.
 

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Sue--it sounds like you're talking about learning to swim in a lake vs. starting in a pool.

Doodlelove, if you can teach Tiga--is that your doodle's name?--to swim in a lake it is much easier because they lose the bottom gradually. Dakota was terrified of the swimming pool but loved to chase his ball into the lake, as long as he could feel the bottom. We gradually threw the ball out farther until, in his zeal to get to the ball, he finally "lost" the bottom. The look in his eyes was panic as he frantically flailed in the water on his way back to us. We threw it out again and he went out for it again. This time there was a look of wonder in his eyes, "Hey dad, mom, look at me! I'm swimming!!!!!" After that, the pool was pretty easy!

Now, we can't keep him out of the water. Every night when I get home, it's out to the pool we go!

 

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kumo swam for the first time as a puppy in a lake, and he was unwilling to "lose the bottom" until my fiance and i went in beyond where he could touch. kumo came swimming right after us!

-em
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the great advice. D.O.G. has only ever been in a river (Potomac- a big river) so he does have the gradual getting deeper thing. I would never put this poor dog in anything more then a wadding pool- he would have a heart attack. I think I might have to break down and go in with him (normally I stand at the edge and throw the ball out into the water to get- but if I throw it too far it's bye bye ball. D.O.G. is kind of a nervous dog in general so in that aspect it doesn't surprise me that he is scared to swim. But on the other hand he loves being in the water so you would think he would be more adventurous.
 

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Rowen was the same at first too, he didn't want anything to do with the deeper water but loved to wade in where he could stand. We also took him to the Potomac! We found a nice little beach that had very clear water and was very shallow a little distance away from Belle Haven Marina (if you know where that is) and I started to tease Rowen with a stick. I gradually walked just a few feet out and started to throw the stick into the water a few feet at a time for him and eventually he was so excited he just kept getting deeper and deeper! Also, if you actually go to Belle Haven Marina, they have a nice little calm cove with a green mat as the beach area where they like to launch boats and the dogs that go there love playing in the water there. I was launching our boat and Rowen started to swim away! Also, if you take your puppy with some of his puppy friends who love the water or chasing tennis balls, the puppy tends to chase his friends into the water. Shallow creeks are good also to get him used to the water. I don't know if you live in Virginia or Maryland, but in Clifton there's a nice hiking area you can go with your dogs along Bull Run (the park is called Hemlock Overlook) and in the parts of Bull Run where there's not as much of a current (usually there are tiny beaches where you can stand) the dogs love to wade/swim around.
 

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We took Annabelle shopping tonite and got her a lifejacket tonite. If the weather is good Monday am we are gonna take her out for a spin in Daddy's fishing boat,
Daddy is fishing in the am and is gonna check out the islands on the lake and see if he can find one without a lot of campers, if he does, we will go for a spin Monday am to an island and see if Miss Annabelle wants to go for a swim :)
 

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in the creek max does fine and peanut too.
in the pool, well let's say we just bought them life vests. Though peanut does love to hang out on the raft and float
 
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