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Nara loves the water, but she's never really gone swimming. I've always wondered what would happen if I took her to the end of a pier and dropped her into the water. Would she naturally know what to do? I obviously wouldn't want to drown my dog, which is why I yet to try this. I've tried to get her out to the deeper water from the shore, but as soon as it drops off, she turns around and comes back to the shallow area. I've tried to trick her with fetch, but nothing seems to work. Is this something certain breeds or individual dogs automatically know how to do? Or do you have to ease them into it and train them how to swim? Just curious.
 

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Mine have all been natural swimmers, but I have had to coax some into the water the first time. Cassidy loved to swim, but she was really bad at it, lol! She always looked on the verge of drowning, with her head held way high and her front legs slapping the water.

Dena would wade out up to her belly as a puppy, but she wouldn't go further for awhile. I think she was about 8 months old the first time she actually swam - we'd toss the ball a little bit further each time until finally she had to swim a few strokes to get it, and then there was no stopping her. She was a great swimmer, she'd glide through the water like a fish, with nary a splash.

Keefer followed Dena and was swimming the first time he was in water deep enough to swim in. He was swimming a few months younger than she was her first time. Halo was around deep water at least once and maybe twice before she would do more than splash around in the shallows, but once she did it the first time, she was fearless. She might have been even younger than Keefer was, and she's the only dog we've had that jumped off a dock into a swimming pool at a dock diving event the first time she'd ever even seen a dock or a pool!

Personally, I'd never just toss a dog in, I like starting off a beach, preferably without waves. Keefer and Halo will both swim in the ocean now, but they learned in the bay, where currents are gentle.
 

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Dogs instinctively know how to swim. They don't know that they know. Fiona fell into a pool and walked into a lake deeper than she thought. Both times she panicked, but didn't realize she was swimming. I had to help her out. So I am planning on walking her into the water at the beach and showing her she can swim.
Don't force it. Just keep giving opportunities.


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If you dropped her in she'd swim - not well but she'd most likely be ok - and terrified. Don't throw her in!!!!
We had a friend of my other half come to our house with his kelpie and we took them all up to the pond for a swim - his dog had never been swimming but mine love it, so he just grabbed her and tossed her in - poor thing went right under water :( I got into a huge fight with him over it.

I have let all mine make their way to swimming slowly, Hex jumped in first time we went and swam - but he gave himself such a fright doing that, he wouldn't swim again for at least 3 month. He just liked to play around the edges.
We just kept tossing toys in for him so he could walk out and get them. Eventually he decided he was brave enough to have another swim to reach a bumper hat had floated that little bit further :D - now he doesn't blink and swims and swims and swims :D It's hard to get him out of the water.
Mojo I encouraged more, she learnt to swim during summer so we went in the water and that made her quite confident :)
The main thing is don't force them and don't let them get frightened. And really important if you teach swimming in a pool you NEED to teach them where the steps are or get a scamper ramp!!!!!!!
 

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I wouldn't drop them in, you'd just end up scaring them.
A friend of mine tried that with his Golden Retriever. They had a (in ground) pool in their yard and he picked the dog up and dropped him in the pool once... After that the dog wouldn't ever even go near the pool, let alone get in.


Mine have all been natural swimmers, but I have had to coax some into the water the first time. Cassidy loved to swim, but she was really bad at it, lol! She always looked on the verge of drowning, with her head held way high and her front legs slapping the water.
My terrier used to do that. I think it was because he had a wide front and narrower back end, like a bulldog type build but not as extreme, so my guess was he tended to tip forward in the water and so lifted his feet way high out of the water to compensate and keep his head above water. He would splash like crazy and get tired faster because of it, until I bought him a life jacket and then he began to swim normally, no splashing.
 

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I can't imagine how u would teach them to swim, would you have to actually swim like adog moving your arms reallly fast and sipping the water at the same time lol
 

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I think it's natural unless you have a pug, those sink like a rock.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If a mod stops by, can you edit my title to "Did you..." please!? I didn't realize the typo and now it's too late.

Thanks for all of the replies.

And yeah, I would never just throw her in deep water. I was just getting to the point where I thought that might be the only way to get her into water that's over her head. She doesn't seem to want to volunteer herself. I haven't been in a situation where I could get in the water with her, so that might be the trick. I'm aiming to live in colder climates when we move next (this September), so I may never have the chance. O well. If I end up living someplace warm, I'll just get in with her and get her to join me.
 

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Jazzy doesn't like swimming, I tried the coaxing and everything but she refuses. She CAN swim just doesn't like to so most of the time she stays on shore or just in the shallow water

Delgado is seriously part fish, I took him last year to the beach and he just followed me in and chugged away when his feet left bottom without hesitation. Funny thing is he dislikes baths so I figured he might balk but nope! :rolleyes:
 

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You can "teach "them to swim, but not like a human where you say move your arms this way your legs that way LOL

With Mojo we went in the water and just supported her under the belly so she didn't get the whole front feet slapping the water and splashing her in the face thing. The funny thing is even a young pup if you hold them over water will instinctively start to "paddle" with it's paws :) It's pretty cute :)

If she does like fetching try throwing toys in the water :) also a gently sloping edge is good :)
 

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I remember the first time mine went it the water. She was 2 months old and we went fishing with my husband. I found a ball and we started playing fetch. It was getting hot so my hubby decides to cool the pup off by placing her in the water near shore about half way(not her whole body) she freaked out so he put her back on shore. So at one point I threw the ball too far and it fell in the lake, so I went after it. Arexa started following me barking and whining and even though she was scared she went after me trying to "save" me, ever sense then whenever we go to the lake she tries to "save" her family she think we r drowning lol she swims and whines and when she gets to u she scratches you with her paws :) such a lifeguard :) here are some photos from last summer right when I got her ImageUploadedByPG Free1365083922.375345.jpg ImageUploadedByPG Free1365083931.391622.jpg


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Swimming comes natural to most dogs. Gypsy was about 3 months old when she fell into a neighbor's pool. I had told my dad that I would laugh if she fell in, sine she was looking at the water(which she extremely loves to play in); welll, a minute later she fell in. Gypsy immediately started to swim towards the side of the pool so she could get out. My dad got her out, but she was hesitant after that, so we kind of teased her get back in, but once she realized her feet were no longer touching the pool steps, Gypsy would come right back. I have no idea if she would be afraid of swimming or not, but we did try to make sure was not traumitized by her slip into the pool with the teasing.
 

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The very first time Hondo went for a swim we were at the lease. There is a large pond there. I had the dogs at the pond. Hondo calmly walked right in. Never hesitated. He'd slowly swim in a circle and come out. Then he'd walk in and do the same thing again. I started throwing a stick for him and he'd calmly swim to the stick and bring it back. It's as if he's taking a relaxing walk in the park.

I was so suprised that he liked it that we had a pond built at our place. He still does the same thing. Just slowly swims around the pond, comes out, walks back in and does it again.

My lacy is a speed boat. He leaps into the pond and swims as fast as he can, shore to shore. He'll race around the pond just to leap in from a higher point.

The only warning I'd give is if you've put your dog into a large body of water and they panic, they won't listen to you as you call them. They could swim away from you. Other than that, all dogs can swim. Some like it and some don't.
 

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Yeah not all dogs can swim. I've heard of people putting their dogs in water (or the dog jumping in) and just sinking... Some dogs cannot swim.
 

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our two swim like fishies. cody was about 4 months in these pics and i know it wasn't his 1st swim, but probably his 2nd or 3rd..
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the replies. It's too cold here in Oregon for me to go into the water with Nara. She's 5 now and has never gone in deep enough where she could swim on her own. We are moving in 5 months, but I'm not sure where we're going yet. If it's someplace with warmer water, do you think it's too late for her to figure out that she can swim? She loves water so much. I don't want her to be deprived of this activity that I'm sure she'll love once she's able to get over her fear of deeper water.
 

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My dog is slowly starting to swim. She likes to walk in the water but not go directly swimming. I've seen her go out of her dept by accident a few times and she had to end up swimming back.

Recently I've been trying to get her to go in after a floating ball. I start by throwing the ball close to the bank so she can retrieve it easily. Then gradually throw it further so she has to stretch sometimes to get it. The odd time she goes to far and floats and has to swim back.

Shes 2 now and we'll probably have more success in the next few months.

My other dog is like a fish.
 

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This is the only picture I have of Cassidy swimming, but you can see that's she was, um.....not so graceful in the water. :rofl:



Dena as a puppy, watching her ball float away:



It was a few months before she would swim, but she was really good at it. Here's a picture of Keefer swimming (for the first time?) - I love the look on his face, he followed her lead and went right in. You can see how comfortable Dena was in the water:



This was Halo's first time at the park at 15 weeks old, she just splashed around that day:





She was out there swimming around with Keefer a few weeks later, although much slower than him:



Then she got faster!

 

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Stella slowly eased into swimming. I think she surprised herself one day at the river. She wanted something on the other side and just swam across and back! We have an inground pool too. At first she just hung out by the steps. I used to coax her in, hold her belly and teach her to go to the stairs. She finally jumped in by herself when my 9 yr old grand daughter went under water. I guess Stella thought she needed help!!! By the end of the summer she was jumping in after toys. Can't wait to see how she does this year.

A friend of mine had a dog that would jump off the diving board and swim to the steps all day long!
 

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The first few times I took Avery to a pond; it was split one very shallow side and the other very deep, he would only go in the shallow side about elbow deep. Then one day it was really hot and he was really hot and he dove right into the deep side and had no problems. I didn't show him how to swim he just naturally knew what to do. Maybe it will take her time too.


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