What's the best way to get a dog to enjoy going in small creeks to fetch toys? I have been working on the slow approach, just getting the toy closer and closer to the edge and then in the water a bit. Maui will get it but not if too much of him has to go in the water (basically toes only). Also, he will go in a little with me not even there (when Riley, my sisters dog takes him down to the water..yes they go alone because they roam free when outside and the property is huge).

Then, in our swimming pool (which is above ground and 34 feet in diameter) he has no problem having me hold him with all but his ears and face in the water. He doesn't even try to swim for the most part because he knows he is safe in my arms (we just float around and he's calm the whole time). A few times though, he got too close to the pool edge and fell in. Whenever he does this, he swims back to the ladder or to me and I get him out again or hold him for awhile and put him out to dry off.

Since he does this, I know he can swim. So, how do I get him to go in the creek farther than two inches and fetch a toy or at least walk beside me? We have a creek on our property so I want him to be able to feel very comfortable with it (not just ok with it). Thanks for any advice!
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What's the best way to get a dog to enjoy going in small creeks to fetch toys?()

1. Find a part of the creek with a gradually sloping bank and throwthings your dog normally retrieves on land (e.g., his toys) into the water. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Be sure to praise him when he does. Close to shore at first, then a little further out each time.
2. Get in the creek yourself and call him to you. Repeat. Repeat.Repeat. Be sure to use a "happy voice" and praise him when he does. Close to shore at first, then a little further out each time.
3. Keep using another dog (hopefully he is already very comfortable inthe creek) to lure your dog into the creek, too. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. This way might work the quickest, if it's the right dog, and the dog already loves to retrieve "things" from the water.
4. Be patient. "Comfortable-ness" in water can take some time with somedogs.
Or...you can trade your dog in on a Lab, and then try to keep him out of the water.
Yeah, go ahead. I dare you.

Handsome Jack Morrison
*gently remove the detonator to send me e-mail
You can't make this stuff up:
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=19000
then a little further out each time.

Feel free to try it a little farther out, too.
Jeez.
(Take that, Quilt Lady!)
Or...you can trade your dog in on a Lab, and then try to keep him out of the water.

LOL! Or any retriever breed.. my choice!

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
What's the best way to get a dog to enjoy going in small creeks to fetch toys? I have been ... want him to be able to feel very comfortable with it (not just ok with it). Thanks for any advice!

Get in yourself. When our BC, Scully, was a puppy she learned to enjoy swimming by following the kids into the creek. There was no pressure or coersion. They all played in the shallows for a while, then the kids went in up to their necks. Scully whined, paced, then swam out to the kids. We have to keep an eye on her because as long as somebody's in the water, she stays with them, swimming circles around them or sort of treading water, and she'll do it until she's exhausted.

When we got Zane, our male BC, he swam because Scully did. They also learned to enjoy clambering up onto floating foam rubber mats for a rest. I was impressed. *I* can hardly climb onto one of those mats from deep water without a bunch of flailing and splashing, and sometimes tipping over. They just climb right up onto them, with no help from anybody.And when we added a JRT to the household, Cooper followed the BCs into the water. He's actually got the funniest swimming strategy. He'll try to race the BCs out to a thrown tennis ball, but can't keep up after the first few yards. He keeps going, though, until Zane grabs the ball. As the big dog starts to head back to shore, Cooper also turns and heads landward, paddling slowly and glancing over his shoulder frequently like a surfer angling for the perfect wave.

As Zane begins to pass him, he gives a surge of effort and sort of tucks in alongside Zane's flank so he can draft in Zane's wake. When he's getting tired, he'll turn his head and hook his chin over Zane's back so that he gets a short tow. He looks like a tugboat steering a freighter to dock. Or like some sort of pilot fish escorting an orca.
Kathleen
Or...you can trade your dog in on a Lab, and then try to keep him out of the water.

LOL! Or any retriever breed.. my choice!

Or herding breeds, at least in my experience.
The only dog that I had to teach to swim was Murphy, but that was in salt water. After she figured it out, I couldn't keep her out of the water. Murphy taught Rocky to swim (or at least encouraged him by going in first) in the river. Since Rocky was only 8 weeks old, I went in with him - he couldn't keep up with the river until he was somewhat older.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
What's the best way to get a dog to enjoy going in small creeks to fetch toys?

() 1. Find a part of the creek with a gradually sloping bank and throw things your dog normally retrieves ... in on a Lab, and then try to keep him out of the water. Yeah, go ahead. I dare you.

Four years ago when we introduced Pablo the Smoothie to the joys of swimming, we used method #2 and went into the deep water, at least up to our chests. Pablo - a collie in touch with his inner Lassie - was horrified and went into the deep water to herd us back to shore. He seemed to consider it his duty and accompanied us into the deep stuff every time. At first he did that anxious fast paddling but in time he became quite comfortable and relaxed. The other important factor was that we went swimming at the end of blazing hot days and you could almost see the dawning realization on Pablo's face that, just maybe, this swimming thing was OK.

This summer we've taken Lucy to the local swimming holes but method #2 didn't work at all (no inner Lassie in this collie). Methods #1 & 3 didn't work either. So I've been carrying her in (thank goodness she's a petite little girl) to about waist deep water, holding her in place and letting her swim to shore accompanied by accolades to her tremendous bravery. Praise works great with Lucy - she's a vain silly girl. I could imagine that this method could backfire (make the dog scared of water) and perhaps even hurt the dog's trust in his owner but it's working well with Lucy.

Chris and her swimming smoothies
Pablo & Lucy
()
you could almost see the dawning realization on Pablo's face that, just maybe, this swimming thing was OK.

That "Eureka!" moment is a joy to behold, isn't it?
This summer we've taken Lucy to the local swimming holes but method #2 didn't work at all (no inner Lassie in this collie). Methods #1 & 3 didn't work either.

I bet they would have, had you been a little more patient.

With some dogs, it can take weeks to get over the hump.
So I've been carrying her in (thank goodness she's a petite little girl) to about waist deep water, holding her ... dog scared of water) and perhaps even hurt the dog's trust in his owner but it's working well with Lucy.

You know your dog better than anyone else, so if that's what's working, by all means keep doing it.
But...now that she's got a little taste of swimming, you might want to try Numbers 1, 2, or 3 again where she can progress, more or less, at her own pace.
It's much easier to avoid a fear of water than it is to cure it once it gets a foothold.

Handsome Jack Morrison
*gently remove the detonator to send me e-mail
You can't make this stuff up:
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=19000
What's the best way to get a dog to enjoy going in small creeks to fetch toys?

() 1. Find a part of the creek with a gradually sloping bank and throw things your dog normally retrieves ... Be sure to praise him when he does. Close to shore at first, then a little further out each time.

that's pretty much what I have been doing, though I forget the treats so the reward is usually just praise. next time, I will definately take treats becuase Maui loves them and they definately motivate him.
2. Get in the creek yourself and call him to you. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Be sure to use a "happy voice" and praise him when he does. Close to shore at first, then a little further out each time.

when I am in he usually stays as close as he can without being in the water! I will try more with treats though!
3. Keep using another dog (hopefully he is already very comfortable in the creek) to lure your dog into the ... might work the quickest, if it's the right dog, and the dog already loves to retrieve "things" from the water.

the other dog doesn't live here anymore and that's what slowed our progress the most. however, he will be visiting for a week or so and I plan to use that to my advantage!
4. Be patient. "Comfortable-ness" in water can take some time with some dogs. Or...you can trade your dog in on a Lab, and then try to keep him out of the water.

I love Maui and having a small dog but my next dog will definately be a dog that loves fetch, retrievals and water since those are some of my favorite games/activities.
Yeah, go ahead. I dare you.

yeah, my brother has a golden and the dog would sooner drowned than come out of the water without the toy he went in for. My brother often has to go in and drab the dog out if the stick floats away and the ball sinks.

anyway, thanks for all the great advice. I will try them all out and see what happens.
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