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Amurphy26 04-21-2014 04:56 PM

Open water swimming with my GSD
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Today we braved the cool Scottish spring temperatures and did our first open water swim in the atlantic. It was great and we now have two shattered dogs. Does anyone else swim in the sea with their dogs? So far we've mostly just played in the water with the dogs but I want to start swimming regularly with Breagha (my GSD). Does anyone else do this and if so, how long and how far do you go? I'm thinking of starting with just 5 minutes as it's quite cold and I don't want to tire her out.Attachment 202457

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martemchik 04-21-2014 05:03 PM

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My boy swims in Lake Michigan. Not sure about salt water but I'm sure its not that bad for dogs, and I would just recommend hosing the dog off after each swim.

They can swim pretty well, and they get better the more you do it. I don't let him go that far, usually he just swims in to fetch a ball and then comes back out. I've been on a smaller lake and also a pool, and my boy actually floats without kicking his legs so he doesn't get tired if he's just in one spot. They can swim pretty fast too, I'm a fairly good swimmer (used to be a lifeguard) and my boy easily kept up with me when I was swimming freestyle.

VTGirlT 04-21-2014 05:09 PM

Aw looks like fun! I'm jealous!!

Amurphy26 04-21-2014 05:25 PM

It was a lot of fun. Today was only her second time swimming with us and she didn't understand it at all to begin with. She couldn't seem to work out why we were in the water with her. It didn't take her long to relax and enjoy it.😄

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Thorny 04-21-2014 07:38 PM

How come you get a wetsuit and she doesn't?

I'm half joking but half serious. If you don't truly feel the temp of the water can you really judge how long is too long out in the cold? I've spent years in the ocean surfing and cold water will sap your energy fast. You've got to be real careful as your dog will push themselves beyond their limits to please mom and could wind up in real trouble with open water swimming. A good gulp of ocean water could lead to vomiting which could lead to drowning when one can't float and rest.

On the plus side, I can't imagine a better way to exercise an active dog than what you are doing. I bet she sleeps like a rock after a good cold water swim.

NancyJ 04-21-2014 07:41 PM

That is pretty cool.....swallowing salt water can be very bad as mentioned. May want to consider a life jacket designed to help keep the head up (some life jackets can mess with their "stroke")

Amurphy26 04-22-2014 02:44 AM

We don't wear gloves or boots with the wetsuit so it gives us a good idea of the water temp but with that being said we were thinking about a jacket for her. Our old collie had an insulation jacket (the type gundogs wear) for swimming in the winter but we didn't think it would be necessary for Breagha in the spring/summer but I think we will get her one. I'm not too concerned about her swallowing salt water, she takes in a lot less when swimming with us than when she's fetching her ball through the waves.

I'm thinking we'll stick to 5 mins swimming and build up from there and I'll try and keep an eye on her during and after. After yesterday's swim she was ready for another walk within an hour of her swim! There's no tiring this dog!

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SunCzarina 04-22-2014 07:39 PM

They only have to puke once or twice off salt water to know if they can or can't handle it. Otto drinks the brackish water of northern Narragansett Bay and never gets sick. LOL it's much cleaner than it use to be thanks the save the Bay.

SuperG 04-22-2014 07:50 PM

Great pic and good for you!

Have to imagine it's quality for the both of you.

Can't give any suggestions but I do know how much my GSD pup loved the lakes last summer and it is my promise to her that we will spend more time swimming this summer....


Thewretched 04-22-2014 08:02 PM

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Attachment 203057Attachment 203065

This is the life jacket we use, they recently came out with them, and they have a nice bar that keeps her head above water, we swim in our salt water pool, and she can swim for 2 hours with us with that on

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