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Discussion Starter #1
So I have a 15 week old puppy and as of late I have been trying to acclimate him to our swimming pool. I will pick him up and cradle him like a child and slowly walk into the pool stopping at different depths until his head is above water. He does fine when I'm holding him but then I let him go he swims to the ledge and holds in for dear life. I'm obviously right behind the whole time so there is no danger. I then will cradle him again and let him get out and give him a treat.

The whole reason for me to do this is to try and get him to like the water so one day we can play fetch in the pool and he will get a good core workout. As soon as he gets out he just runs around the pool and starts playing.

I just wonder if what I'm doing is the right way to acclimate him to the water or is there a better way. I assume as he gets older he will develop more muscle and more confidence but right now he is a ball of flopping paws in the water.
 

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Get him a kiddie pool.
Fill it with a bit of water. Throw a toy in there, so that he will go after it and get used to having his feet wet. Gradually increase the amount of water in the kiddie pool. This will get him used to the water.
When you're ready to have him swim, put him on a long lead and guide him around. Watch out for thrashing claws. Do not ask if I ever got scratched. :crazy:

Don't force him.
Have fun!
 

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I've never brought a dog in a pool that way. We work on getting them on the step first. Riley is 22 weeks and has not been in the pool. Except for once when he fell in. We will work with him when it warms up.

I have an older male who is swimming now. He loves it. The female doesn't care for swimming, but we do put her in a few times during the summer to ensure she still remembers how to get out.

The main reason we get them in the pool is to teach them how to get out. I'm really hoping Riley likes to swim though.
 

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It took quite a while to get Elsa used to our pool. We just kept taking her in, used treats to teach her that the pool,was a good thing, calmly talked to her and reinforced what a good girl she was, etc. However, what we did FIRST was to get her used to a kiddie pool. She loved it. Just a bit of water and a fav toy...she was in heaven. Then we gradually went on to the big pool. Eventually she did get in by herself and swim. It took time but she got there. It's important to make sure that each experience with the pool is positive. DO NOT force the pup before they are ready. It could backfire. Just like other training, can't rush it. Good luck!!


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That was cute.

"We got a jumper!"
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I guess I can try the kiddie pool idea. I just hate buying items like that because you use it a few times and than it's worthless. I guess if I want my puppy to like swimming I'm gonna have to try.
 

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My GSD never liked my pool, but was fine in lakes.

One day he fell in trying to retrieve his Kong. Luckily I was already in the pool cleaning it, because he definitely sank.
 

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I guess I can try the kiddie pool idea. I just hate buying items like that because you use it a few times and than it's worthless. I guess if I want my puppy to like swimming I'm gonna have to try.
This weekend! we have a big pool too but he is way to scared.



We will take it slowly. I also saw that he is not swimming with back legs, front only and lots of splashing!
 

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He's young...don't force him. If you keep doing this he might hate the water when he gets older and nothing will get him to go in.

Just wait and let him do it by himself. My boy didn't see a pool until he was about a year old. He did just fine in lakes, and he went in after things (like a ball). Now he's a very good swimmer and will go into anything with water. We never had to force or acclimate him to anything. I don't think he realizes the difference except that one has stairs and the other doesn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think I will try the kiddie pool method. As soon as I get him out of the pool and I stay in he runs all over and follows me wherever I swim and barks. I think he just wants to be by his daddy. I do believe he would jump in if he had the confidence but he hasn't grown into his body yet. So until then we will take baby steps.
 

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He might just not know what to do in the pool. I'm not sure if many dogs swim just for fun- they're usually chasing something or playing with each other or cooling off. So you take him in, he swims, he goes to the edge because he doesn't know what else to do with himself!

I got a kiddie pool when my girl was a pup, and she learned to get toys out of it and just be comfortable in the water. We don't have a full-size pool, but she does great in rivers and lakes. I still have the kiddie pool. It functions as a giant water dish and cooling off area in the summer. And one weekend when our air conditioner broke, I dragged it into the basement where the dogs were, filled it with water, and felt that they were in a bit less danger from the heat. ;)
 

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I now swim in the big pool and Zeus splashes in his kiddie pool =) haha
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well I originally introduced him to the pool so if he ever fell in he could go to the safe areas like the steps or the sitting area in the deep end in which he can stand in. I have since tried to entice him with his tennis ball and also reward him with treats for being in the pool. I don't have a big yard because of the pool and I can't afford a fence right now so that's why I'm really hoping he will learn to enjoy the pool so he can get a good core workout by playing fetch. When he gets his rabies shots I guess I will start taking him to the pet beach to help the process.
 

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I think they feel so small when they are in the pool that it is overwhelming. Zeus knows where the steps are and swims well, but he seams so scared, we won't push it. He can watch us have fun and I know someday he will jump in!
 
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