Swimming lessons

The great thing about getting a summer puppy is that the water temperature is ideal for introducing pups to water. I had a baby pool out back when the litter came down from NC.  I watched for the pup(s) most drawn to the water. Purple girl jumped right in and pink(Reagan)played around the edges of the pool.

Our first lesson took place at Sheree’s in ground swimming pool. She lets her goldens swim in her pool and even does some water therapy for injured k9s.   We started with me in the shallow end and Reagan with Sheree at the steps. I called her to me and Sheree gently placed her hand under her belly and a 1 stroke swim had her to me with lots of praise and treats. I let her float with my hands supporting her like a raft and we headed for the steps. We repeated this a few times and quit. She seemed comfortable and eager to be with me.

We made a second visit to Sheree’s and within minutes she was swimming strongly and confidently to me. There was no fear, no vertical swimming, and  no sinking. She swam like an otter.  Until she finished her lepto vaccines, I was careful to avoid murky waters. Leptospirosis is a microorganism found in water supplies that may be visited by cattle or wildlife who may use the water as their “toilet”.

Today she is already swimming for marks  through lily pads up, over peninsulas, and past decoys with confidence As we approach cooler weather, I am cautious putting her  in cold water and avoiding water work if the temperature drops in the evenings. She has a great water attitude and I don’t want to do anything to discourage her enthusiasm. I see a lot of  grandma Disney is my new little girl.

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2 Responses to Swimming lessons

  1. Linda says:

    Do you suggest this kind of water introduction for all puppies?

    • Dr. Kiley says:

      A rule of thumb by retriever trainer Mike Lardy is to wait until water temps are at least 60 degrees before putting a pup in the water . We want them to enjoy water so cold water introductions may be an unpleasant experience. I recommend introducing pups in a slow flowing creek or a pond that has a gradual depth change so pup doesn’t get in and immediately have his feet go out from under him. By getting in the water with the pup, we can instill confidence and aid the pup in a short swim(1-2 strokes to the shore).

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