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Old 03-21-2011, 09:05 AM
 
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Hi I have a 4 month old pit bull puppy and I started taking her to the dog park, they have a pond and i want her to swim but I didnt know if this was something she has to do on her own or if I can coax her into it. I know she hates baths so I dont think shes a water dog.

Ive never trained a dog before so excuse me if this is a dumb question.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
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If you want the dog to love the water, never force them into it. Do you have an item that the dog is crazy for? (mine is a tennis ball) Run around like a fool getting the dog excited about playing with the (tennis ball). Once the dog is sufficiently wound up and apeshush, run full speed into the water. At least 60% of the time the dog will follow you and never have an issue with swimming after that.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Wherever I am
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I would let her figure it out on her own. Some dogs just aren't all that into it. I have one dog that LOVES the water, and a pit mix who will only play in the water when his other pittie buddy is around. He won't go into the water with his "sister" even. He might get a foot or two in, but as for swimming...unless his bud's around, forget it! If you really want to encourage her to swim a bit, try using one of her favorite toys, and tossing it into the water (not too far in), and see if she's willing to go for it. If she does, try increasing the distance little by little, and maybe she'll grow to love it!
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Remember that the most dense a dog is, the more difficult it will be for them to keep afloat and swim naturally.

But dogs already know how to swim...it's amazing, really.

Our older dog will never go near the water. It's just not her and we're never going to convince her.

Our younger dog, however, is an avid swimmer.

They are both essentially the same breed (old = rough collie and young = smooth collie). But every dog has its own personality and likes/dislikes.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Just b/c your dog doesn't like baths doesn't mean that it will not enjoy swimming. I don't know any dog that "likes" baths but, IMHE, most enjoy swimming, especially if they learned from a young age.

That said, the best way to teach them to swim is:

1) start them when they're young
2) try to find a spot where you can go in as well, preferably first so that the dog can/will follow
3) don't ever force or coax the dog, especially a puppy

As others have pointed out, toys can be great for getting dogs into the water, but that's usually after they've already learned and feel comfortable in the water. However, it is going to be very difficult of you don't take the plunge with your pup, especially at first. In fact, it's much safer to do it that way anyway, so that you are there if your pup is struggling or has trouble or simply needs reassurance and a dry body to cling to.

Last edited by StarlaJane; 03-21-2011 at 10:15 AM..
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:55 AM
 
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Throwing a favorite toy into the water is a good way to get them in. I used a tennis ball also as a way to get my female GSD to get her into the water. In fact I used her tennis ball for just about everything including training since she was very ball crazy. My male GSD was just the opposite, I could of thrown a raw steak in the water and he still wouldn't go in.

As far as not liking baths, I don't think one has anything to do with the other, my EB hates baths. but doesn't have a problem going into any water.
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:21 AM
 
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these all sound like good ideas, I just was told not to let her swim in pnds until she has all of her shots...so until then i may try to get her to like water by playing with the hose on hot days.....i think that may help
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:28 AM
 
Location: San Diego
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I have two English Bulldogs that love the water. They go into the pool and ocean on a regular basis. One just runs through the water and goes up to his chest and the other will jump into the pool or ocean and swim out to retrieve his toys. We just took them to the beach all the time and they became very used to water. Now we live in a house with an inground pool, so they are in heaven. It's always funny to see people's reaction of an EB swimming without a life vest...they can be excellent swimmers if given the chance to do so.

I should also mention mine both love baths and will go into the bathtub willingly and sit there because they love it so much. So much for not being a water-loving breed! Take your dog out near water, esp. when other dogs are out. My Bulldog ran into the ocean the first time after some guy threw a ball for his dog. That's how we learned he knew how to swim.
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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thanks MAK802 Im going to try the toy thing...ive never gotten her a ball but she loves those tug of war things...ill go to the dollar store tonight and get some tennis balls
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:54 AM
 
Location: San Diego
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Yea, try to get her obsessed with the tennis ball out of the water first. That's what we did and now if we throw it into the pool/ocean, he can't live with himself if he doesn't dive in to retrieve it. Works every time!

Here's a video of one of mine, going out to retrieve a toy:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTUZ8YcwQ_w
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