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Dogs are a man’s best friend. Granted that you may think that because a retriever is bred for fetching things that he would automatically take to water but that’s not the case every time. Some retrievers are scared of water and that can make it hard to teach him to swim.
How to introduce puppy to water
The first thing that you must remember is that your dog must be trained or must be obedient enough or at least, possess the basic obedient skills before you take him to the waterfront. He needs to know that there is nothing to be afraid of, so take him to the waterfront and make him stand in shallow water. It is a good idea to introduce him to water from a young age. And as he grows up, he becomes more comfortable with getting into water and even diving into the same to fetch items.
You need to train your dog to come to you when you call out to him, so that when he is in water, he can come towards you once he hears your summons. Rather than pull the leash, it is safer this way. You can introduce your pup to water when he is just eight weeks old. And once you get him used to water, transitioning from a walk along the shores to a fully fledged swim should not take that long.
Granted that your golden retriever may be afraid of water on the first try, and that’s why you need him to get used to the sensation of water and swimming in the same. Once he starts to feel comfortable, he is more likely to jump into the water and swim to his heart’s desire.
If you have a dog that is very afraid of the water, an alternate approach would be that you start out by first finding a unpopulated place with calm and shallow water. Get your dog used to the sight of the ocean or lake by walking your puppy on the beach. Try to get close to the water and encourage your puppy to get her paws wet. When the puppy is comfortable, you can start steering your dog towards more deeper waters.
Do not throw your dogs off the pier or into the deep end: if your pup has still not learnt to swim properly, then he can end up drowning.
Invest in a flotation device for dogs: This is a good idea and a nice move, you can invest in a flotation device that helps keep your pup afloat as she tries out the basics of swimming.
Bring a buddy: Introducing another dog that loves swimming may well be the trick that will get your retriever into the water.
Swimming pools: These are often the best location to start training your pup.
Slow introduction: chances are that your pup is somewhat terrified of water. Given this you may want to help calm down your retriever, talk in soothing tones and introduce her slowly to water.
Go swimming with your dog: Remember that she’s bonded with you and looks up to you for cues. So you need to lead by example, so get into the water slowly and start paddling. Then coax your dog gently to try out the same as well. You can also use a flotation device so that in the event of anything going wrong, he has a safety net.
Rewards: One of the most effective ways to train your dog is to offer him a reward after praising him for acceptable behavior.