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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm throwing this out and looking for opinions/thoughts. Is it possible to use some form of scent detection as a motivator to get my boy to go willingly into a pool? And if so, how would you set it up?

My guy is willing to swim out to me when on a shore line. me and a stick/ball but primarily me were the motivators. But after getting to me, he turns back to shore. Pools are a different story. I botched up the intro of pools when he was younger so there is that and we no longer have one to work him through it.

I know I'm probably over thinking this but if I can combine his favorite thing to do and get him in that drive at the pools ramp, I'm thinking that he will be less hesitant to get in. They do use balls, toys and treats, and do allow the owner to get in if nothing works.

His appt is Tues and I'm just thinking of ways to motivate him and put him in a good mindset to get him in and to keep him swimming rather than wanting to get back out. Initially, the therapist will work with him to help get him in and I believe I will be at the outside walls encouraging him.

I don't want to botch up his hunt drive or training either. Is this idea feasible? Has anyone ever used scent/hunt drive as a motivator.
 

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It would probably make him for comfortable if you were in the pool initially if you want him to be more comfortable in the pool versus just going in. His drive with a ball or scent work may push him past and uneasiness or it may not depending on discomfort level. Since you are competing in trials I would ask your nose work instructor. Once he is accustomed to going in the pool maybe try starting off doing “find it “games first hiding a ball or something else with a different search command so as not to interfere with your noseworks if he is accustomed to the “find it “game. If that works out well go onto nose works. You would need to be in the pool to reward though. I think it is a good idea it will keep him focused on a task and keep him in the pool longer swimming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your thoughts as it helps figure out how it could be implemented if needed. I can do "find it" games as they are basically the same but he knows the difference between that and "search" since find it means items or human, search is for the three odors used in NW only so I don't think I would muck anything up. Ill see what the therapist has to say and also run it by my instructor.

Thanks Jenny.
 
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