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If they seem to want to , I would start them right away, too. I wouldn't force a scared pup. I'd let them be around and get curious on their own til they can't stand not giving it a try. But for the willing - hold them in the water if there is no shallow wading ability at the beginning. These are water dogs - they usually love it, and learn to swim very quickly (especially if there is another dog there who is swimming around).
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