Puppy swimming

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Puppy swimming

Postby Talking point » Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:55 pm

Looking for good tips and tricks to not only get a new pup swimming, but to start right so the pup loves the water.
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Re: Puppy swimming

Postby Sooty42 » Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:17 pm

Patience, don’t rush it. I exposed my puppy to all types of small water. Mud puddles, small streams, small ponds, and bath tub (it was winter, so I didn’t want him to always be in cold water). Lots of stuff that was shallow, he could walk through it and usually his belly wouldn’t even get wet. When he was very young I was constantly giving him praise and treats while in the water. Slowly his confidence grew and by spring he was swimming in a pond all on his own. Once he had the confidence I exposed him to as many different swimming locations as I could before his NA test. We did short retrieves with his dummy or tennis ball at all these locations. The swimming portion was the only thing I had complete confidence in at his NA test (he didn’t disappoint). Make it fun and their instincts to swim will come out in time.
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Re: Puppy swimming

Postby Fun Dog » Sun Aug 23, 2020 11:44 pm

I like to start with shallow streams. The puppy will follow you across. When you want to introduce swimming water, be prepared to go in with them.
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Re: Puppy swimming

Postby Dmog » Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:43 am

Gradually bottom wade out and toss Cheetos puffs starting neck deep to swimming depth. If bird drive is high toss birds in the water. Once pup is swimming and is showing bird drive you can improve swimming efficiency by doing a duck chase. Pull flight feathers on a duck and toss it out letting the pup chase. This tends to level out their swimming form and the gain confidence in the water. Take pup out with other dogs that swim. Start exposure early. I started my PP at 10 wks and had to go slow with her as she did not like the cold and she was a fall pup. Took Cheetos, swimming pools, other dogs swimming, and finally duck chases to get her efficient and comfortable. This took about 5 months due to the winter break in exposure and her coat to come in. My Griff was a winter pup and he started at 12 weeks by following me out spring fishing with my waders in colder water than the fall pup. He took to the water like a fish and cold didn't bother him. As his coat came in he just became more resilient in the water but negatively effective the max upland hunting temperature.
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Re: Puppy swimming

Postby JTracyII » Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:57 pm

Talking Point,

Congrats on your pup. I just wanted to let you know that I wrote a blog post on the V-Dog Blog on my website outlining different ways to introduce your pup to water/swimming. if you want to visit I think you will find it helpful. www.crosstimbergundogs.com

It is free of charge, so I'm not trying to sell you anything. :D

I plan to periodically write various posts/articles for the V-Dog Blog about the various aspects of training a dog for hunting/NAVHDA testing. Hope you and others find it helpful.

Jack
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Cross Timber's Above and Beyond, NA I, 110 pts.
https://crosstimbergundogs.com/
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Re: Puppy swimming

Postby Densa44 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:11 pm

Put on the leash and wade out with him slowly, when his front feet are in the air he is walking on the bottom. When he is actually swimming keep moving and stay be side him, he was born knowing how to swim, you are trying to build his confidence. Take your time and stay out there 5 to 10 minutes. He will learn that it is easy and he almost floats.

Do not use a heated pool!
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Re: Puppy swimming

Postby Willie T » Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:39 pm

I introduce all my pups to birds very young and progress to fetch with birds. My backyard ends in a big pond. While playing fetch with an amped up puppy and birds, one will go in the pond in swimming water where the pup has a running start. Building an association with the pups love of birds and water has never failed to produce a pup that loves the water and has a stylish entry. Using the love of birds and a logical progression is powerful.
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Re: Puppy swimming

Postby Talking point » Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:58 pm

Thanks for the tips, it is going to be hot all week here. Water work starts tonight!
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Re: Puppy swimming

Postby Kiger2 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:12 pm

Talking point.
I start the pups in a kids little pool. Couple of inches of water. find a favorite toy and toss in. If you do this in winter keep the water warm if you can or the bathtub.
The goal of this is for pup to have a grand time playing and splashing. raise water level as pup gains confidence. As water gets deeper throw a toy in that will sink to encourage putting head under. Since this is in your yard you can get pup lots of exposure. you can even work on obedience and retrieving. Have pup stay and throw the object in the pool and release for the retrieve. When pup has associated retrieving with water, then take him to bigger water. Then you can go with Jtracy process.

If pup isn't comfortable in the kiddie pool, why take them to swimming water?

I like Willie T's process, but he has years of experience. I would just be careful with birds and pups as we dont want any bad habits to develop. It MAY actually take birds for some dogs.

One thing to mention is that lots of pups struggle to swim. Ive got an 8 month old lab in for training. I started him off in the pool and it was clear he had no fear of water. His issue was he couldn't swim properly. Trying to keep hi head pop he was just flailing. He would get the bumper but it was ugly. I got a big stick so that when he got it in his mouth he couldn't lift his head and his butt came up. He was trying so hard to go fast he couldn't get it right. The stick really helped and after a couple of sessions he finally figured out he could move much faster with his head down.

Most puppies doing need a any of this stuff. But we dont which ones do. So play it safe. Have fun.
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Re: Puppy swimming

Postby JTracyII » Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:04 pm

Kiger,

I like the idea of a kiddie pool. I could see some benefits and May use it some time. I usually have the entire litter swimming by 6 wks together, so usually with this exposure I’ve not really needed the pool. I can see how it could encourage confidence putting head under for retrieves when you can have such control of water depth and slowly increase water depth.
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Re: Puppy swimming

Postby Birddogz » Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:19 am

On a hot day, take a pup for a jaunt, and end it near a cool pond, creek, or lake that is free of current and wave activity.
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