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living in massachusetts the water is cold up until about may. Wondering the correct time and a good place to train my pup (6months old now) how to swim. How should I go about training him....life vest....leash....etc... Much appreciated!!!
 

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We have a pool, but we teach them to swim by putting them in. They already have the instinct to swim, they just have to learn how to get out.
 

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I was wondering the same thing. Fiona doesn't realize she knows how to swim, she just panics the 2 times she has fallen in water and I had to help her out. I think I will take her to the beach and just walk into the water with her.


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If they don't pick it up immediately (i.e. just splash right in), it's probably more because they're not very secure with the situation than because they don't know how.

Echo HATED the water, but slowly over time he became ok with wading in (for a long time, he wouldn't go any deeper than he could walk, he looked pretty silly trying to walk through chest-deep water). Eventually, with enough coaxing from me in the water (the ONLY way he'd go any deeper) and me being all exciting and "catching" him when he got to me, he started to actually swim. Now, he's a swimming fiend. Even this time of year (I live on Cape Cod-- I totally understand how cold the water is!), he'll swim around on his own attacking clumps of seaweed if I let him. The key to getting him to decide it was ok seemed to be being in the water with him.

Try seeing if he'll do it on his own- toss a stick or ball a little ways in. If he's not really feeling it, I'd suggest waiting until it's warm enough for you to go in with him. I think fresh water is helpful too- Echo wasn't too psyched about wave action initially.
 

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Your pup will have a natural instinct to swim. The key is to introduce your pup to water so that it enjoys it and wants to swim.
 

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I agree with Lilie. Your first task is to make water something pleasant. Angus had a bad experience with water as a pup and hates it to this day. Freyja stated off her water obsession by trying to catch leaves in puddles. As she grew more confident she began wading in. One day she jumped into a pond after a stick and realized the water was deeper than she thought. After a moment of panic she swam out and got the stick. Just be prepared to go in after your pup if they have trouble. I was not thrilled with Freyja's choice of a pond in March, halfway through a hike, as her first swim.
 

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It is easy if the dog likes balls. Find a place with a gentle slope and gradually toss a toy in further and further from the shore - well that is how I did it. Just take your time and always make sure it is fun.

The first attempts can be clumsy as the dog tend to forget it has back legs, the rear sinks and the front goes up and splashes but they figure it out right quick.
 

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Yesterday I took Naera up to Wahconah falls in Berkshire county (Mass.) and she jumped right into the water. Thankfully I just plucked her out by the harness. It was so unexpected. I don't think you'll have any issues once it warms up a bit :) ImageUploadedByPG Free1366122731.853985.jpg


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Attach the ball to a flirt pole so you can better aim and not lose the ball if pup decides it is too scary to go in any deeper.
regarding temperatures I had a Malinois who would break through a thin layer of ice. I always wondered how she could stand that cold water on her tummy.
 
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