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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 1 year old male has only been to the river twice and only stood in the shallow area. Today, I took him to a saltwater pool and had a life vest on him. He just won't get in. I want to teach him to swim so we can go swimming this summer at the lake and pool but it's so difficult to even get him in the water. I threw his favorite toys in but that didn't work.
how did you get your dog to jump in the pool?
 

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I started with a lake. Threw a toy inches into the water enough to get his feet wet. As he got comfortable went a bit farther and farther. Then the whole family went in the water and dog decided he must follow. Next to his nose swimming is his favorite.
 

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Jump in yourself, find a toy they like bring it with you.. if they seem interested but are just hesitant, put a lead on and get on with it bring them in. Both my dogs were weary of water, no I can’t get them out
 

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Charlie (DOB 11/24/20)
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Same as Apex, Charlie loves toys, so I took him to shallow creeks and streams first, tossing toys in further and further til he would go grab them and the water was all the way up to his chest. Then one day I just took him to small pool in the creek, just deep enough for him to swim, and tossed a bumper in, he took to it no problem, although he did have to realize you still have to paddle after you grab the toy🤣 with time he's gotten better and better and now it's his favorite
 

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Sutter Cain (dog), Jori (cat), Skeeter (cat)
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When Sutter Cain was a few months old, I used popcorn chicken for treats. Then I waded out into water too deep for his feet to touch and made him swim to me for his treats. He doesn't like to go deeper if he can help it, but he can. Unfortunatly we lost access to the water while he was still young so I haven't been able to train him more than those two or three days. But he wades just fine.
 

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Becca really enjoyed the shallow part of the pond, but freaked about swimming last year. She is just over 1.5 years old this summer and luring her out into the deep part when we were on floats was so much easier. She loves it now. Maybe as he gets a bit older he'll learn to love. Try a lifejacket, it may give him confidence.
Water Water resources Plant Sky Natural environment
 
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Nadja- AKA the BooRoo
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I actually didn’t teach Nads how to swim, a golden retriever puppy did. They had a play date when they were both around 10-12 weeks old. He taught her how to play in the water and now she loves it.
 

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I chucked a chuck it ball on a rope into the beginning of the ocean water line to make it a fun game also I went into the ocean myself to show it is safe and swam around also she had a life jacket on the first time, but after 3 visits to the beach and having the chuck it ball on a rope going into the ocean our gsd is more calm now she has fun with the water but I think she enjoys digging the sand more instead of swimming in the ocean. We actually wanted to take her to a special puppy designed swimming pool school to teach her to swim but due to covid lockdown restrictions in Australia the puppy pool wasn’t allowed to operate puppy swim classes only work on dogs that needed rehab. So if you have a proper dog classes swimming pool in your area that’s a good starting point. Also just make it a fun game and show yours safe in the water by swimming as well build that relationship and trust with your gsd make it fun you’ll be fine. I say don’t force the gsd into the water I keep thinking of a poor gsd made to swim for a movie breaks my heart to watch this video and no one from that movie production helped that poor gsd 'A DOG'S PURPOSE' TERRIFIED GERMAN SHEPHERD FORCED INTO TURBULENT WATER
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I started with a lake. Threw a toy inches into the water enough to get his feet wet. As he got comfortable went a bit farther and farther. Then the whole family went in the water and dog decided he must follow. Next to his nose swimming is his favorite.
I'm thinking that's the best way for now since he's okay with getting his paws wet at the river. Thanks!
 

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Fern GSD 5yrs, Chloe the Cat
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A family friend of mine got their GSD to swim by competing with their lab. They have a big pond in their yard and now their GSD is a seeking missile if any toys get into the lake. It ruined any drive to swim for the lab though!
 

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Got another dog to show him 😄
THIS. Dogs are way better teachers for each other with this kind of skill than we could ever hope to be.

FOMO is a powerful motivator for dogs. They really don't want to be left out when the other dogs are having fun fetching a ball in the water. When you combine dog FOMO and fetch with a ball-crazy dog, they'll learn to swim by mimickry effortlessly, and they'll have fun doing it.
 

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I've said this before but most GSD I've known are either really into the water or not at all. Don't force it and also, be careful what you wish for. I had a female that knew exactly when it was 1/2 to be leaving the lake and would always go for a swim. Wet dog smell in the car of three hours is beautiful......
 
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