Lab won't swim

5/16/15 @ 9:08 AM
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MallardAbuse
MallardAbuse
USER since 11/18/04
My lab pup doesn't want to swim. He goes in the water without hesitation and we have done a lot of retrieving in shallow water. He just won't go deeper than he can touch bottom. Any advice is appreciated.
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Displaying 1 to 10 of 13 Posts
6/23/15 @ 3:40 PM
Shad
Shad
USER since 8/27/01
That a Boy! Hug that hound and enjoy!!

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6/22/15 @ 7:44 PM
MallardAbuse
MallardAbuse
USER since 11/18/04
UPDATE!!! I have a swimmer. Thank you everyone for the pointers.

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6/15/15 @ 4:37 PM
huntfish
huntfish
USER since 6/16/03
Have the dog fetch a tennis ball or something he would die for to retrieve. In the house/outside so it knows that it is their play toy with you. Create enthusiasm to go get it and praise the dog after back from retrieve. Trust me, after time, the dog will go through anything to get that ball.

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6/15/15 @ 6:34 AM
Shad
Shad
USER since 8/27/01
Sounds like he is doing wonderful, let him gain confidence slowly and he should be fine. Try swimming out with him, I have done that and it has worked. Slowly walk out with him at your side, then slide onto your knees and continue going out with him. If he stops, go to him and encourage him to come out with you. Try a few times and if it doesn't work, stop and try another day. If it does not work, end the water work on a positive note, toss a bumper in the shallow where he will retrieve, praise him and call it a day! Hope this helps, take care, good luck and hug that hound!!

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6/5/15 @ 6:39 PM
MallardAbuse
MallardAbuse
USER since 11/18/04
UPDATE: I carried him out about chest deep and he swam back to shore perfectly about ten times. He still won't swim out on his own though. Pretty frustrating.

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6/2/15 @ 5:49 AM
In Pursuit
In Pursuit
USER since 1/30/14
Just give it time. Keep retrieving a little deeper. It will come.

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5/21/15 @ 10:02 AM
the_dude
the_dude
USER since 1/10/03
What denesox said. If your dog has been on live birds, a wing clip in the water is usually more than the can take. Neither worked for my American WATER Spaniel. What finally worked was carrying him into waist deep water on me, facing shore, and gently setting him in. One time and the light bulb went on. He is a swimming fool now!

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5/20/15 @ 5:18 PM
denesox
denesox
USER since 2/1/06
A hot day will be a big help, we should get one here by August...lol. Work the dog a bit, then after the dog is warmed up, go to the lake and play fetch in the water. Start throwing along a beach, almost parallel so at first its running through the water, and gradually move your throws from the shore to deeper water. Gradually enough that the first few throws to deeper water only involve a quick paddle and grab...in no time you'll be chucking it to the middle.

Having another dog along that enjoys swimming would also be of help, as the competition will increase the drive to get the toy or whatever you throw.

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5/20/15 @ 12:24 PM
Shad
Shad
USER since 8/27/01
Relax, she's a pup. Give her time to enjoy the water and she will figure it out. Also, go in the water with her, make it fun and she will be fine and soon she will be a swimming fool! Just remember the sight when she figures out how to swim, that is priceless! Good Luck!

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5/17/15 @ 6:50 PM
NorthwoodsLabs
NorthwoodsLabs
USER since 1/7/13
a few ideas:

i've heard that big water can be intimidating for some pups so if you are not already i'd take him to a smaller pond, river with slow moving current, or a narrow channel in a lake. you can use cheetos to encourage him, just throw them out a little further each time and wade in with your dog. also, having a dog along that is an experienced swimmer and excited about the water may also give pup more confidence.

do not rush it and force him into deeper water, the dog has to make the decision for himself.

Edited on 5/17/15 6:52 PM
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Displaying 1 to 10 of 13 Posts