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Sooooo it is HOT HOT HOT. We have an inground pool that I would love my 2 yr old boy to learn to use. My 7 yr old female goes in for a dip when asked...she will retrieve a ball or just "swim with mommy". My 2 yr old will not be coaxed in at all...and we have tried. Any suggestions on how to get him in without terrifying him? He can be a real weenie sometimes....
 

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How about taking them to a lake with a shallow area? He could gradually go into the water with much play, and it would not be a sudden drop off like the pool.
 

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Yes a quiet lake or bay is a good way to get dog used to swimming in water. I would go in and they would follow or I would play fetch in the water. I like the chuck it bumpers. I kept a really long 16 foot or longer thin lead the first few times to make sure they did not swim out to far. Some dogs just like water and others just don’t. You can also set up a large baby pool throw some balls in there to get used to water if he is not.
 

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Sometimes our dogs are nervous because they don't know that they can swim. As soon as their feet leave bottom they panic a bit. If you are at a lake with a shallow slope, make sure you stay calm and happy when they first find that it is doggy paddle or sink.

In a pool, I'd try shallow steps if you have them. I took my smaller mixed breed into the pool by carrying her. I wanted her to know where the stair were if she ever fell in. She swam like a champ and had no problem figuring out how to leave the pool. She didn't enjoy it even though we all knew she could handle it. She didn't mind getting her feet wet after a while but swimming just never appealed to her.
 

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My girl swam for the first time because she wanted to stay with me. She rolled a very expensive ball into a lake. I was watching it float away. Very tight budget back then. I decided to swim out and get it back. She was not going to be left behind or so she thought and so she swam out with me.

Every dog since then has followed the other dog. My boy I put a life jacket on one time at the lake with her when He was a pup. He had never swum before.
He leaped in over his head after her with no idea what would happen and went under. The floatie made him pop back up very fast and kept him up while he figured it out and he paddled himself back to shore. I think it would have scared him much more if he had not had the jacket on.

He is now a professional dock diver LOL. No floatie needed! Now I make HER wear the floatie for dock diving or swimming because she is old and she does not know it or act it and it makes me feel better her wearing one.

My old male was not the best swimmer. He just looked tippy. My other two GSDs swim like otters. But the old guy... not reassuring to watch him. We took him to a lake up here and he did not even want to try. I put the life jacket on him and he could tell he was more secure and then he did enjoy paddling around and it didn't freak me out to watch him either. I make them wear then at the lake if the water is choppy or we go on a boat
 

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My girl swam for the first time because she wanted to stay with me. She rolled a very expensive ball into a lake. I was watching it float away. Very tight budget back then. I decided to swim out and get it back. She was not going to be left behind or so she thought and so she swam out with me.

Every dog since then has followed the other dog. My boy I put a life jacket on one time at the lake with her when He was a pup. He had never swum before.
He leaped in over his head after her with no idea what would happen and went under. The floatie made him pop back up very fast and kept him up while he figured it out and he paddled himself back to shore. I think it would have scared him much more if he had not had the jacket on.

He is now a professional dock diver LOL. No floatie needed! Now I make HER wear the floatie for dock diving or swimming because she is old and she does not know it or act it and it makes me feel better her wearing one.

My old male was not the best swimmer. He just looked tippy. My other two GSDs swim like otters. But the old guy... not reassuring to watch him. We took him to a lake up here and he did not even want to try. I put the life jacket on him and he could tell he was more secure and then he did enjoy paddling around and it didn't freak me out to watch him either. I make them wear then at the lake if the water is choppy or we go on a boat
Shadow chased a duck into a very fast moving river, apparently expecting to walk on top as it appeared the duck was. The look on her face was priceless! Of course it was only funny because I had a rope on her. She does not like water anymore and was further convinced of it's untrustworthiness by me luring her to walk on the rocks and then stepping into the belly deep pool on the other side.
 

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I went to Big Bear Lake last week for 4 days, because I wanted to take my boy out to nature AND to teach him how to swim. My dogs before him were a dalmatian, a corgi and a golden, I was still living my parents who had a pool so they were all good swimmers, plus their breeds are indeed water dogs. Correct me if I am wrong, but GSDs are not water breed.

Initially I brought him twice to a dog beach. He ran and ran at the beach but as soon as the wave comes in, he avoided it at all costs. Won't even retrieve his ball. So I put a harness on him and took him with me further in the water, to teach him how to swim. Although he was paddling, he didn't enjoy it and he was paddling JUST to get out of the water.

So I decided to take him to Big Bear lake. That day there was barely anyone but me, my sister, and my dog. He was so happy and so excited to be running around at the fake beach/lake, I have never seen him so happy and free! I started throwing sticks and tennis ball into the shallow water (there was no waves, just the wind blowing the water). He hesitated as first, but then we encourage him so much that he finally retrieved the sticks/ball. Spent 2 hours there, by the time we were gonna leave, he was able to swam ALLLLL THE WAY TO THE MIDDLE of the lake confidently! No hesitation!

And I tell you this: I swam a little to the middle, pretended to drown and shouting 'Help! Help!' and calling his name, he barked and panicked like crazy at the beach pacing around, and then FINALLY he swam alllll the way up to me! And I held on to him while I he brought me back to shore!

I couldn't be prouder. HE couldn't be prouder of himself. It was the best day.

I think that with dogs who don't naturally just like water from the 1st moment, teach him how to swim, how rewarding swimming is, build his confidence! That's all they need; confidence.
 
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