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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Doodle family!
I need your ideas and expertise! We [Doodles included] will be going to our summer house next week, and I'm nervous about being right on the lake because they have never swam before. I want their swimming
introduction to be positive and happy - but I'm not sure how to do it. :?
We also have a boat :cry: [my husbands idea] and want the Doodles to enjoy it with us.[ I don't really 'love' boating, and I hope they don't
pick-up on my feelings.]
Help!!! I need ideas for Doodle boating and swimming :!: :!: :!:
Thanks
Julee [Reagan&Lincoln]
 

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we have a life jacket for Dexter. We bought it at Petsmart the brand ia outward hound. We have it on him now in the swimming pool since he's just learning to swim.
 

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If you just start playing by the water, I'm sure they'll get the idea that it's fun. Cinnamon jumped off the dock when we were just standing on it wondering what she would do, then she jumped and the rest is history. she loves to jump off the dock, it's a game to her. (See "Dock Diving Doodle" in the story section of this forum)

Cinnamon also loves to go boating with Dad, but we live on a small lake so if she did jump off the boat (she hasn't yet) she could easily swim to shore. If we were on a bigger lake or a river, we would have a life preserver.

We had a G. Shepherd once that we taught to climb the ladder on the side of the boat. He had a life preserver and he knew that we couldn't jump off the boat before his was on. Bigger lake, different boat, and a lot bigger dog!!
 

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we got kumo at 10 weeks old in may 2006, and wanted to get him swimming as soon as possible after that as part of the socialization process. at around 13 weeks we took a trip to the lake michigan beach, and while he was curious about the water he also seemed a little scared by it and didn't want to go out farther than his feet could touch by himself. all that changed when we went out in the water too -- he came swimming along with us, and has loved the water ever since!

here's a picture of baby kumo from that day at lake michigan, trying to figure out how to swim (there was a lot of flailing at first!):



and, one of him in northern wisconsin, taken in august of last year -- just a few months later:



-em
 

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those photos are so cute.

Unfortunately Dexter is very much afraid to jump in. I wish we could have gotten him swimming younger, but it wasn't possible (we got him late last Sept). Once he's in he loves swimming, but he literally curls his toes around the top step of the pool - we tried treats but that didn't work either.
 

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PetSmart has a great (made by OutwardHound) bright orange life jacket with a big velcro band around the belly, reflective stripes and handle for hauling the pup back on board if needed. We have them on both our lake boat and ocean boat and make them wear them whenever in the water for safety (better to be seen by other boaters and from the shore. Plus, even the best swimmers can get tired after a long day of play, fetch, swimming....[i
mg]
Here is Ike enjoying Lake Mead
[/img]

And Pepper at the end of a long day swimming and chasing Ike!!
 

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What a great time we have taking our guide dog pups in training to Lake Mead houseboating yearly!! Ikey Doodle (now a Canine Support Team partner) swam his butt off!!!Love that picture of him just standing so proudly in the lake w/ nothing around!!! And Pepper we decided looks like Rick James when wet!!! She was only 6 months at the time of the photo and would just run after the master, Ike!! Thanks form enjoying them!!! I know I do!! Especially when my baby is no longer with me and out working.....:(
 

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yup that's the outward hound one we have too :) we really like it and dex doesn't mind it at all! the handle is quite useful when you want to have some control over them in the water too.
 

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wow here i was wondering what kind of life vest to get for Max and peanut for the creek and when we take our boat out soon.

Going to petsmart this week...thanks!!!!

and GREAT PICS!!!
 

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We have never used a lifevest for our dogs when they were in our boat, but since they were Danes they always stayed on board and there was never an issue. Maybe with a labradoodle I'll have to rethink that policy. My granddaughter always wears a lifevest in the boat even though she's an excellent swimmer. In fact, the house rule is that kids have to wear a lifejacket any time they go out on the dock, although at ten with good water skills maybe it's time to relax that requirement.

I also never used a dog harness for the car; I do have a cover to protect the seat from dog claws on leather upholstery, but at this point unless there's a human passenger who can hold her, Chouette travels in her crate. Once she's old enough to understand not to distract the driver it would be nice not to have to use that, though!

Leslie
 

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Even when Chouette is older, always use a harness or crate her. If you would have to stop suddenly or were in an accident you don't want her flying out of the car or into the dash. :cry: You can't hold on to a child or a dog if you were in an accident. It just doesn't work like that.
 

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Becky you are so right!! i never used a harnass till i had MAX.

and just a few months ago some idiot ran a red light across 4 lanes of traffiic. Luckily i was going UNDER the speed limit, had hit my brakes so hard and waited for what i thought was the inevitable. LUCKILY i managed to miss hitting the other car, Max and I were safe but we were shook up.

If i didn't have the harnass on him he'd been thrown just by the force of hitting my brakes hard and had skid a bit on some snow. and I always put Max in the backseat now, never the front anymore
 

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Annemarie, glad you're safe. I've not had such a close call with Cinnamon in the car, but it's nice to know she is safe when it does happen. And with all the crazy drivers paying more attention to their cell phones than the road, it pays to be cautious.
 

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yeah we have a car harnass in addition to our life jacket :) Sometimes I laugh that Dex has more safety equipment than some children :)

We have the EZ Rider harnass and it works great. We had him in a crate in the car until he outgrew it (4-5 mos). He really likes the harnass...he was fine in it for our 9 hr drive to NC.
 

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Thanks, Leslie! I'll see if Petsmart carries it or the equivalent, and also whether it would fit her now and in the future. The crate's kind of hot in this weather, even with the car a/c on.

Glad you dodged the bullet, Annmarie! You're right, drivers are so distracted these days. And we have another issue: the main highway which we enter off our lane to get anywhere is also a prime artery to the shore. Out-of-state cars seem to think we have no right to use the road, so they often cowboy around and lean on their horns when we join them from our feeder street. It's worse this year than ever before. I wish I had an LED sign in the back of my car that I could switch on that says, "I live here, these are my roads, I pay the taxes for them and you're a guest. Act like one!"

Leslie
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the great ideas ! I'm starting to get excited for the first swim :D I had to go to 6 Petsmarts to find 2 XL life vests!
[both are 100+ LBS]
The search took time, [ and lots of gas :shock: ] but worth it :!: :D I
already feel more secure about boating with them. My family couldn't stop laughing when the Doodle kids wore the vests for the first time. :lol:
Both were confused - but reacted differently. Reagan acted like we put
a thousand pounds on her - and she could no longer stand up from the
extreme weight. :shock: She crawled around like an army commando
for 20 minutes - refusing to walk normally until we snapped her out of it with the promise of a greenie. :? Lincoln's reaction was totally opposite Linc instantly jumped up, but in the process caught his reflection in the
foyer mirror - and froze! He didn't move or make a sound - just stood
looking at himself. :shock: Suddenly, he started to bark in a bizarre
high pitch - he leaped to the mirror, and attempted to hump his reflection. :? When we all started to laugh, Lincoln gave up on his
reflection, and we all became targets of his affection. :shock:
If life vests are this entertaining on dry land, I can't wait to see what happens in water!
Julee
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi
I think I got a few of Reagan, but I was to shocked with Lincoln - and
afraid to move! I took them with my new camera so it's a crap shoot if
they will turn out. Now I have to master the scanner too. Sometimes
I hate technology!
Julee
 
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