Water intro specifics?

Hello all. I am curious to see what everyone's experience has been with introducing their dogs to water? My Golden Retreiver puppy is 12 weeks tomorrow, and has done plenty of playing around along small creeks and ponds, but has yet to take the full plunge into actually "swimming". I have been pretty reluctant to let him spend too much time by the water up until the last week or so since it really started to warm up. I am hoping it will just kind of happen naturally as we walk sloughs and things with my older dog, but wanted to know what everyone else's own experience has been? Specifically, age, breed, and any issues you may have run into?

Happy Easter!
 

westksbowhunter

Well-known member
Put on some waders and have the pup follow you in. Your a team, that's how all intro's to new things should happen. When the pup comes in with you, toss a bumper out and make it fun.
 

david0311

Active member
Hello all. I am curious to see what everyone's experience has been with introducing their dogs to water? My Golden Retreiver puppy is 12 weeks tomorrow, and has done plenty of playing around along small creeks and ponds, but has yet to take the full plunge into actually "swimming". I have been pretty reluctant to let him spend too much time by the water up until the last week or so since it really started to warm up. I am hoping it will just kind of happen naturally as we walk sloughs and things with my older dog, but wanted to know what everyone else's own experience has been? Specifically, age, breed, and any issues you may have run into?

Happy Easter!
Don’t know where you live but have a pup about yours—
‘You got good advice from previous poster
I would add would I not even put mine in swimming water until water was at least 55-60 degrees warmer if possible jmo
 

Munster927

Active member
I agree with others. I'm not sure where your at (I'm guessing Iowa by the username but not sure) but don't rush too much into the water yet until it gets plenty warm. And I mean warm enough where you can stand in it comfortably for a few minutes with a pair of shorts on. You don't want to have pup scared of water because it's always "cold".

But have them play with the older dog in the water, if your older dog swims and retrieves in the water, toss that bumper out there for the older dog and see if pup will chase after him.

If it isn't happening, don't rush it too much or feel rushed. Try baby steps too. With my 2 year old Munsterlander who would not swim, made progress when I was out in a pond with her, I had my rubber boots on and got out about knee deep and I got her to come that far with some treats and her favorite toy. She would come out, feet came off the bottom, and she swam a circle until she could touch again. I considered that a win and finished for the day. Did that a few times, eventually she would swim a little more and farther.

The flood gates opened when I went swimming with her. I went out in the water, splashed around, called her name, showed her the bumper she liked, and she eventually came swimming out to me. Swam around and followed me for awhile. After that it just clicked, and she became a swimmer. Now I have a hard time keeping her out of the water haha I could probably throw her bumper across a lake and she'd swim after it.
 

cbr70

New member
Good advice on all the posts. It can vary for each dog though , one of mine just wouldn't get his feet off of the bottom. All of the walking
around with waders , tossing a bumper just out of reach and he would go up to his chin and stop. At 6 months old I thought that I had a
chow hound, what is a retriever that doesn't swim? Well one day he decided swimming was ok and then getting him out of the water was
the hard part
 

david0311

Active member
A gentle sloping bank and soft bottom are helpful. Quick drop offs can be a bit spooky the first time to a youngster
Sorry -I respectfully disagree.
I believe based on quite a few years experience (probably more than I care to admit)
‘But firmly believe that a gentle level entry ground to a firm hard/sandy gently sloping bottom is best JMO
If you experience varies-or past results-works for you I respect that as well
 
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