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Old 07-03-2014, 06:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How do I teach my dog to use a pool?

It's 106 today. So after my meeting with the good ole professor I decided to try to get the pups to use the pool.

This is probably not the best way to go about it but I brought a ton of treats out, and coaxed Zeeva onto the steps inside the pool. Then I hoisted her off the steps and let her doggie paddle while I propped her up above the water. She naturally would turn toward the steps to get out of the pool which is good, right? We did this several times. Then I let her go and swim a short distance to the steps to get out. This is where she'd panic Then she wouldn't want to go back into the pool. I'm guessing she needs a doggie life jacket but I don't want to purchase one. I've faith that she can learn to enjoy using the pool without it. I can't wait to see her doggie cannon balling into the water.


With Smokey things were disastrous. I basically carried him into the water and at that point he panicked. Then he wouldn't let me near him to try to coax him or carry him in again


I need some suggestions as to how we can make this ordeal a more natural and fun one.

The thing that's freaking me out a bit is that we haven't had a walk in probably a month due to the heat, me being sick or out of town. And Zeeva has already put on 5lbs-7lbs. She's honestly a big fatty mess. I asked my husband the other day who our ugliest pet was and he (without hesitation) said Zeeva. It's funny to joke around about it but I need to get her weight under control somehow. I think swimming might be a good outlet if we can be guided a little.
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Go in the pool when she is hungry and give her the best treats possible when she is standing on the deck. Then gradually let her put one foot in the water to get a treat and build it up slowly. It has to be her idea to do this.Take your time. You need extra time to get her confidence in you back. A child might feel supported by holding them in deep water but most dogs freak out as you know. Unlike for children, "coaxing" is too close to "forcing", according to dogs.
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Started at a lake with a shallow boat dock, threw the ball into wading depth 4-5 times a little deeper each time, then out to swimming depth, she looked at me three or four times, kept telling her to get her ball, she looked at it for a while then stepped off and got it. Have had no problems with swimming ever since.
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeeva View Post
It's 106 today. So after my meeting with the good ole professor I decided to try to get the pups to use the pool.

This is probably not the best way to go about it but I brought a ton of treats out, and coaxed Zeeva onto the steps inside the pool. Then I hoisted her off the steps and let her doggie paddle while I propped her up above the water. She naturally would turn toward the steps to get out of the pool which is good, right? We did this several times. Then I let her go and swim a short distance to the steps to get out. This is where she'd panic Then she wouldn't want to go back into the pool. I'm guessing she needs a doggie life jacket but I don't want to purchase one. I've faith that she can learn to enjoy using the pool without it. I can't wait to see her doggie cannon balling into the water.


With Smokey things were disastrous. I basically carried him into the water and at that point he panicked. Then he wouldn't let me near him to try to coax him or carry him in again


I need some suggestions as to how we can make this ordeal a more natural and fun one.

The thing that's freaking me out a bit is that we haven't had a walk in probably a month due to the heat, me being sick or out of town. And Zeeva has already put on 5lbs-7lbs. She's honestly a big fatty mess. I asked my husband the other day who our ugliest pet was and he (without hesitation) said Zeeva. It's funny to joke around about it but I need to get her weight under control somehow. I think swimming might be a good outlet if we can be guided a little.

I know my girl likes it when she has a life jacket on, she will swim with us for a solid hour straight if she has her life jacket on, but with it off, it's quick 5min in 10min out bursts.

For her to like water we bought a "water fun" only toy, she only gets it when we were going to swim, throw it in the middle once she's hyped up, and let um go for it


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Old 07-03-2014, 09:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How about a ball? Does she like to fetch? I wish I had a pool, my goldens love to swim. I'm sure I could get thd GSD's in it to.
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
How about a ball? Does she like to fetch? I wish I had a pool, my goldens love to swim. I'm sure I could get thd GSD's in it to.
I can try but she has almost zero ball or toy drive when outside...tomorrow is another hot day!!!

Come here and swim with us! c:
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Zeeva, based on what you are describing, I would take your dogs to a lake where they can wade in before swimming to get them acclimated to water.

With my current dog, I introduced him to swimming on Lake Michigan... I just went in and started swimming away from shore, and, sure enough, Riley decided he wanted to follow. With my last dog, it was the same.

Both my last, and current dog, became avid water dogs... Riley beats most labs in speed to getting out to the ball I have thrown for him in the lake. Note: Anyone who knows dog beaches, knows that labs will try to poach any ball thrown in water. So, I am glad my dog always gets to "his" ball by out-swimming the labs : )

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Old 07-03-2014, 10:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah...I'm in the camp with the favorite fetch toy....slowly and surely....one stroke further away at a time. Too little is better than too much...guaranteed. I blew it with one of my shepherds, forcing the issue...never again. Maybe even enticing them by splashing the water coupled with a "what's that"...or a "get it". GSDs seem to cover the spectrum when it comes to water and I am lucky with my latest greatest pal...she loves the water. I got it right for once.


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Old 07-03-2014, 11:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Kaleb would play on the baja step. When we had the pool redone we had a "puppy ramp" put in so they have something to swim up. We have steps too. Anyway, Kaleb would play on the baja step and then he found the ramp. He was only 3 months old and when he went down the ramp he floated so he started swimming. We have not been able to keep him out of the pool since then.

Riley loved the baja step, but did not care for swimming. We had to put a puppy life vest on him at first. Then he could swim without it, but he did not care for swimming. We wanted to make sure he knew how to get out if he fell in.
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I did see Caesar do it on the "Dog Whisper" he basically forced the issue "but" they showed it in elapsed time he lead the dog into the pool with a leash, the dog more or less, gave up and stepped in the pool.

It's most likely pretty easy to screw that approach up, so just throwing it out there. If your dog won't play with toys that does make some things harder!
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