How young can a puppy be introduced to water? I know you should only let him do it for short sessions when he is young but how young can I start?
Also, I know they aren't suppose to jog or run until about 6 months or so... does the same go for swimming?
My experiences.....my opinions....
The first GSD pup I had, I blew it big time....I spent a lot of time at the lake, skiing the course....figured the pup could hang out on the platform...bad decision...pup thought she could walk on water....stepped right off the platform and down she went...I was a millisecond away from going in after her but up she pops...needless to say, it took months to get her somewhat comfortable with swimming but never became what it could have been due to my screw up with her indoctrination.
My current shep frigging loves the water and swimming....I learned from my mistake. Bought one of those kiddy pools they sell at Home Depot, Menards, Toy R Us..etc...they are dirt cheap. After a few sessions with lawn sprinklers...which all my sheps have completely loved, terrorized and destroyed....I put the hose in the pool, which the dog was fascinated with of course and filled the kiddy pool up...threw in a few of her toys and voila'....I now have a dog named Jacques Cousteau. First time to the lake, no aversions whatsoever..started slow..in the shallows mainly and having her fetch my sandals ( they float )..soon enough she is acting like a lab...loving the water. Oh, one thing some of my friends find odd about Kaia is she will put her head underwater to retrieve items and it is a first for me...never had a dog do that before.
Anyway, I put a premium on a dog being comfortable around water since I spend a lot of time enjoying lakes and rivers and want my pooch there with me...and comfortable. I also put a big emphasis on indoctrinations for pups as I have learned my lessons. So, I don't believe there is a time which is better than any other time to get them swimming, I just suggest the process is one which does not create any undue stress on the pup....letting them test the waters on their own without being goaded would be my approach. Of course as their protector, one is always thinking one step ahead of the pup to prevent any bad experiences....except me the first time around.
Nothing like a GSD that LOVES swimming.