Advice on teaching dogs to Swim! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Advice on teaching dogs to Swim!

Looking for advice on teaching dogs to swim. We have a cabin on a lake so this summer our now 10 month old GSD will be spending a lot of time up there and we really want to teach him to swim. The last time he had an opportunity to swim was when he was only about 4-5 months and he would walk in to his chest in the water for the stick but wouldn't go deeper.

Any advice would be very very helpful.

Thanks!!!
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 05:31 PM
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I don't think you need to worry about teaching him to swim. It's pretty much an instinct with many animals. You might just want to find something that gives him more incentive to go into the deeper parts where he isn't just wading.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Locknload View Post
I don't think you need to worry about teaching him to swim. It's pretty much an instinct with many animals. You might just want to find something that gives him more incentive to go into the deeper parts where he isn't just wading.
YES! Like JUMP IN YOURSELF!!!

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 05:42 PM
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Throw ball in water just out of reach.

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 05:55 PM
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Some dogs like to swim more than others. My lab will not swim, at all. Try getting him nice and hot and then go in together. Stay close to shore and let him go at his own pace for comfort. He should get it, most GSD like to swim.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 06:17 PM
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Throw ball in water just out of reach.
A word of advice - if the dog really doesn't want to swim, or isn't REALLY ball motivated, be prepared to sacrafice your ball to the lake unless you swim out after it.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 06:21 PM
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Step 1: Load your pup in the boat and steer towards deep water.

Step 2: Once in deep water, pick up your pup and toss him in.

Step 3: He swims back to the boat.

Step 4: Lots of praise and treats!

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the advice!! He is VERY ball motivated so I'm hoping that will work.

I have heard mixed things on throwing them in though, some people say go for it others say you can scar them from the water by doing that.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 06:25 PM
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Jake's first time was with a friend and a lab pup that is the same age....he was so into playing and biting her last summer that he just went right in after her and next thing he knew he was swimming. The lab puppy was of course retrieving a water toy......

Fast forward to know at one yrs old....I have to spell S W I M because if I say it or he sees any other the water toys he goes CRAZY! I have another friend who's GSD only will get in chest deep.....so it really does depend on the dog. I keep Jake on a really long ski rope line and probably will this Spring because he isn't the best fetcher..(sigh)

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 06:27 PM
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Thanks so much for the advice!! He is VERY ball motivated so I'm hoping that will work.

I have heard mixed things on throwing them in though, some people say go for it others say you can scar them from the water by doing that.
It worked for my Akira....she is ball OBSCESSED. The dog will do anything for a ball, 24/7. She used to only wade in water but I finally started using a jolly ball in a small pond, then worked our way up to bigger lakes, and now she loves water and runs right in to swim, but still prefers fetch. I typically use sticks now though, whatever I can find near the swimming spot.
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