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Old 08-30-2010, 12:24 AM
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Ok, not sure if this should go in the general section or here. But how in the world do I go about teaching Ivan how to swim? They had dock diving in the next town over this past weekend. So I took Ivan. I took him up and down the ramp a few times, let him swim. He was swimming not the greatest but still swimming. So I took him up onto the dock and the dork jumped right in. But PANICKED when his head went under. I thought I was going to have to jump in and save him. He defiantly has more heart than brains at times. When we where getting ready to leave, he ran back up the out ramp to go back in the pool.
So how would I go about teaching him to swim? Because if they come back around I'd like to take him to another event.
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:01 AM
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Practice? I'm guessing you don't have a pool at home? Is there a lake nearby or do you have a friend who might let you use their pool? You could keep an eye on the community pools in your area that are closing for the season. Around here, at least, a lot of them have 'doggy dip' days where they open the pool to dogs (after it's closed to people). We've been to two and there's another one coming up the first week in Sept. (Don't know if we'll get to that one, it would be a forty five minute drive.)

You're ahead of me with Riley - he likes water but has yet to get up the nerve to actually leap into water over his head...
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:30 PM
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He already knows how to swim. He's afraid to jump off the dock. Take him to a similar location, playing fetch by tossing the toy from the dock to the beach, then from the beach to the dock. On the beach, get him to fetch the toy from water that is knee high, then tummy high, then over his head. As long as he is comfortable going in over his head you can go to step two.

From the dog, play fetch again, tossing the ball into the shallow water, then deeper and deeper. Now that he knows what to expect he should be more confident.
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:33 PM
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Get him a life jacket. MP's cockers aren't the best of swimmers. Cider was a panicky sort in the water. After time with a life jacket she now swims very powerfully and confidently.

Some dogs never do like their head going under, so let him decide if this is a sport for him.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
Get him a life jacket. MP's cockers aren't the best of swimmers. Cider was a panicky sort in the water. After time with a life jacket she now swims very powerfully and confidently.

Some dogs never do like their head going under, so let him decide if this is a sport for him.
I will check into getting him a life jacket. I think if he could learn to swim he would enjoy it.
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:21 PM
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Cider was a panicker.. Couldn't swim only could thrash.. Really hated it. Got her a life jacket.. With a ball you could coerce her in off a shore.. Been 4 years having a life jacket I think. This summer she learned to get in the pond by herself and swim a little bit. At the river she will get in with or without it and swim out to us. I prefer with it as then there is no issue of her tiring. Once out I'll hold her in the water to give her breaks. Now she sometimes doesn't want to go back to shore even when tired..

I doubt she's jump in off a dock.. but that is just her. Smudge is havign a similar panick issue. I hope after time in a life jacket he progresses too.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:04 PM
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I'd be interested to know - did you let him jump off the dock again after his first jump/panic? If he wanted to go back up and jump, maybe he's trying to show you he's learned from the first jump and he's ready to try again?

Was this his first time in water?

Do you have a pool? I would try having two people in the water. One hold the dog, the other stand a few feet away. Call the dog and have the other person just place his/her arms around the dog so if needed he/she could grab him. Sort of like the game played when teaching a recall, y'know?
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:56 AM
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I'd be interested to know - did you let him jump off the dock again after his first jump/panic? I'm ashamed to say no I didn't let him jump off the dock again. I was worried that he would freak again. If he wanted to go back up and jump, maybe he's trying to show you he's learned from the first jump and he's ready to try again? Him jumping off the dock wasn't the problem it was him not knowing how to swim. LOl

Was this his first time in water? It wasn't his first time in water, but he doesn't have the experience swimming in deep water. Most of his water experience was/has been in maybe 8 to 12 inches of water.

Do you have a pool? No we don't. I would try having two people in the water. One hold the dog, the other stand a few feet away. Call the dog and have the other person just place his/her arms around the dog so if needed he/she could grab him. Sort of like the game played when teaching a recall, y'know?
Tomorrow, the daughter and I are going to take him to the local lake and see if we can't work on him swimming. Defiantly going to put his harness on him so that I can help support him. But I will defiantly be looking for a life jacket for him.
I've just never had a dog that couldn't swim. Even my water hating dog can swim. I think part of Ivans problem when it comes to swimming is when he splashes, he starts biting at the water playing in it and gets distracted from what hes supposed to be doing.
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:16 AM
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Also so you know your dog can compete with life jackets on. So if that is the only way he will jump in thats ok.
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