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Thorn

Swimming Lessons needed

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Hi folks,

My Weimaraner was retrieving today and I introduced her to water...LOL..here we go.

She wasn't scared but she worked very hard, at first she had trouble keeping her feet down and swim.

She was pounding the water with her front feet so I was wondering if there were some pointers anyone can throw our way.

Thanks in advance.

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Almost all dog's will do the front paw paddle boat thing until they realiize they can't crawl up on top of the water. Give it some time, it'll come.

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Thanks,

I only started her out at 10 yards to get some interest started.

I make her sit/stay and then I give a retrieve command. I'm being enthusiastic the whole time. She bounds off into the water and looses sight of the stick because she makes so much splashing.

But she hasn't left that stick yet. It was her first time so definantly more practice. I'm going to get a duck dummy and start with that pretty soon.

I put a goose decoy out there, she was bringing the stick back and bumped the decoy and made it move...LOL she was wondering if it was edible I bet. She dropped the stick at first and started sniffing the decoy.

Any pointers are definatly welcome and needed.

Thanks again!

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This is not abnormal. It sounds like you are doing the right stuff. Patience is the key. Remember, in the dogs mind it's all about having fun.

I've had dogs that I actually had to get in the water with and go swimming.

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OK,

I just wanted to know if there are any bad habbits I should try to avoid.

She's a quick learner

4 years old, very athletic and talented if ya know what I mean.

I have noticed she slows down her energy after getting out of the water. But heck, I can only imagine a dogs coat holds water as well as repelling it so they might feel like a ton of bricks.

One thing I started to notice as well, is she'll look at me when she's in the water if she can't find the stick. She kinda circles around a bit so I gave her a "BACK" command if it's beyond her, and then if she goes in the right direction I'm telling her good girl.

Should I train her out of the water on those types of commands first? These seem to me like they're going to be the most difficult part of training.

I do expect her to be fluid and run her game smoothly so I know training patiently is vital for success. We'll both take it one step at a time. She has her individual personality and I am catering to that first and foremost.

Should I get a vest for her?

Heck I could keep bugging everybody here...LOL, sorry.

I may need to check out some literature or videos, as I hate intruding.

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My E Setter was the same way his first few attempts. He eventually figured it out it just took some time. He just learned last year and this year he looked like his old self for his first few swims before he remembered how to do it. It is very entertaining to watch them figure it out.

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Use a larger white dummy for water retrieving it rides higher in the water, is easy for them to see and when they get it in their mouth their front feet hit it and tend to go down and stay under water. They learn quickly after a few retrieves to keep their feet underwater on the way out to the dummy.

Warning on retrieving sticks, had a very good black lab in training that was blind in one eye because his owner accidentally hit him in the eye while retrieving a stick. Blind in one eye and this Lab still won gamefair trials several years in a row.

Tink

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I guess that lab learned a lesson to pay attention,,,well, it shows He's a champ now..LOL...ouch

Great Advice Tink,

also if the dummy gets koocked under then they have another real life element to train them. As I've seen hunting videos of fowl going under and popping back up, so in training the dog will be getting ready for it.

I had her in the pond the other day and found a leech on her as soon as she came out.

I need to find a better place for her I guess. All of this is new to me. Is that common for summer in all areas, or do I need to find another spot?

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Use a larger white dummy for water retrieving it rides higher in the water, is easy for them to see and when they get it in their mouth their front feet hit it and tend to go down and stay under water. They learn quickly after a few retrieves to keep their feet underwater on the way out to the dummy.

My dog has the water retrieve down pretty well. If he loses the large dummy a quick hand signal he's usually on it. Now i have been working with him using boards 8x8 painted black. These are near impossible to see even in relatively calm water. I want him to gain trust in my directions on blind retrieves. He's been doing good and gets a little better every day.

It sure is funny watching them try to swim the first few times.

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Man you guys are awesome!

I would so like to go see some competions or heck...anything involving Dogs. Cool stuff!

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Master Nationals in Virginia sometime this summer. Best of the best at that level. Quarantee you'll shake your head at some of the things these dogs do.

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Thorn,

With my Lab, he learned by having another dog swim and he wanted to do it too. Basically to try to get the dummy before the other dog got it. The same with dock jumping. I am in Isanti as well, so if you want to take the dogs swimming sometime let me know.

"hooks"

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At what age would you introduce a pup to water. My pup is 8 weeks old, seems a little young to me to let her take the plunge so I haven't let her jump in yet. She looks like she wants to though.

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She might be a bit young but it cant hurt to let her play in some calm ankle deep water. Just stay close like you would a 3 year old kid. At 16 weeks she will be 3 times the size. Waves can be very intimitidating and you dont want a bad expirence to make it hard to get her accustomed to it. I was shooting over my dog at 10 weeks so I kinda see it as the same thing the sooner the better just take it slow.

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One thing that I did with my gsp is put chest waders on and go out in the water with the dog. she would come out there with me and be pounding her feet on the top of the water around me. I started holding pressure down on her head till her feet stayed under the water. worked great and now she swims like a normal dog...lol

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At what age would you introduce a pup to water. My pup is 8 weeks old, seems a little young to me to let her take the plunge so I haven't let her jump in yet. She looks like she wants to though.

Jay, I started my current lab in the water at 9 weeks. To get her to swim we walked to the end of the dock and I held her over the water with her paws in. Almost immediately all four legs began a crawling motion. I set her in and off she went. The next week she was jumping. I guees if your pup is showing interest then introduce them.

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