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I agree with Anney - but also, don't panic if she doesn't love it right away. Shala was very cautious around the lake at 16 weeks. We only got one chance for her to experience the beach after final vaccines to try before it got too cold here. The next real opportunity she had, she was nearly one year old. She followed her pal in, swam, and was a total pro. She lives to swim now.

Definitely just have fun. Throw in a little bumper - make sure you can reach it if she doesn't go in. Huge praise and enthusiasm.
 

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First Golden
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Discussion Starter #23
Y'all are the best! Thank you for the "push"! We had a great time at the lake this morning. Still not swimming exactly, but definitely comfortable and happy. Wasn't crazy about getting her nose in to retrieve, but did retrieve her plastic, collapsible water bowl since it has a lip and she didn't have to get her nose in the water. Baby steps. We'll go every morning. I need to recruit someone to go with me. Or borrow someone's water dog. I appreciate y'all.
 

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What methods do you use to introduce a pup to swimming? I have a bench bred pup (10 wks) and will train towards JH a bit later. I just wanted to teach her as quick as possible. Thanks.
Put on some shorts, fill your pocket with treats, and wade into the body of water and bribe him with the treats, going a little deeper each time until he has to swim to get to them. Now self respecting golden will not go swimming for a treat.
 

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I agree with GDGLI. Creeks or large puddles first. Let them play and have fun. Don't make it a "thing" to go swimming. Just another place to explore. A lake can be an overwhelming experience.

If you have a show bred dog, consider trimming the fluff on the under side of the ears to help the ear canal dry easily. Also ear wash is good to use and let them shake it out. But baby puppies don't usually get that wet.

Make it fun and easy. Wadding will work. Some pups are into water quickly. Some are slower about wanting to swim. I spent an hour at the park one day trying to get an adult golden retriever to swim. I had my waders and all the dog's toys. It didn't work. The dog wouldn't even get her feet wet. So go with the flow and have fun.
 

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Kate
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Teeny tiny add on to what people are telling you....

Unless your dog is swimming in a great lake or the ocean or you are boating out into deep water.... there's no reason to put a life jacket on a golden retriever.

I would not force a dog out into the water... but I'd give every opportunity for them to swim. If you have friends with retrievers - see if you can tag with them to take the dogs swimming. If not, get in the water. Start practicing retrieves to encourage them to get into the water and go out to fetch. Usually the retrieve drive gets them going out there.

My youngest guy started swimming in lakes and ponds by the time he was 12 weeks old. This was icy water - middle of December. Whenever we had a thaw, the dogs were going out and getting into the water.

Usually by the time they are 4-5 months old, they are totally into the water thing and you are going to have a tough time keeping them out of water. Any water.

If your other dog(s) is/are herding breeds - they probably are not going to be much help. I know. We have a collie. :)

*** I do rinse my dogs off at least after they've gone swimming. I can't stand the pond/lake smell. And they do sleep on my bed. They get a bath every week anyway, so it just rolls into the timing. Whether we use a dryer or not... I've never had a hotspot with any of my dogs.
 

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First Golden
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Discussion Starter #27
Today will be Day 3. The biggest problem is ME. I'm too goal oriented and set too many timelines. Ugh! I will go today with The objective of having fun and enjoying the journey. My daughter has volunteered to go with me. She will sit in a plastic chair (she has CP and is wheelchair bound) a little deeper in the water. The puppy adores her. I hope she will go further in with my daughter's help. If not we'll both swim to see if we could entice her to go in.

Yes, Kate. My other dog is an Old English. She hates the water, dock, boat, shoreline, rain, puddles...I leave her home. Don't want her to teach Gidget to fear the water.

Yes, Stacey she is bench bred and a ball of fur. Will definitely thin around ear canal. Hadn't occured to me. TY for the encouragement and for reminding me to have fun.

I've been hosing her off and towel drying. By the time we're home she is completely dry.

I had a trainer lined up to help with JH. She was hesitant once she heard that I didn't get a field bred pup. She said IF she retrieves and IF she swims she will work with her. Pressure, pressure. The trainer has a great record so I won't give up on her just yet.
 

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My pups have always gone right in with the older dogs. So if can find a puppy-friendly adult dog that loves water to team up with that would be very helpful. I wouldn't take them into the water. Let them do it themselves. And pups pick up on your anxiety or worry - so think fun, happy, play, lots of praise, treats... all good things! And retrievers tend to automatically go in after something thrown - a stick, toy that floats, bumper. Don't throw it too far, just a little toss to start with. Good luck! Pretty soon you'll have the problem I have - they don't want to come out and go home :)
 

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First Golden
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Discussion Starter #29
She swam!! We were almost ready to call it for the day and she swam out towards the lake (away from the shore) 3 times! Mind you only 6 ft out or so...She did it to be near my daughter. She's taking full credit.

At the risk of sounding like I'm at the Academy Awards...
Thank you Shelby, Carolina Mom, Anney, Lynn C, Yaichi's mom, gdgli, Sweet Girl, mattg 1, Stacey, Kate and Jane!! Woohoo!
I'll video tape our star tomorrow and post (if I figure out how).

The JH is a possibility. Whew! Not bad for our first 14 days together.
 

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First Golden
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Discussion Starter #30
Thank you for your concern. She is able to walk in or out on her own. Since the time spent at the lake is solely about her right now, my full concentration is on her. I am never more than a few inches away. Thankfully since everyone posting gave me support and encouragement I was able to let her natural instincts kick in and she swam. Now that she knows that she can do it, it will just take practice while building her interest, confidence and strength. I am fortunate to have the choice between two trainers. One has an amazing track record with Hunt Titles, but works mostly with field bred dogs. Now that she retrieves on land and swims all that I need to teach her is to retrieve fun objects and bumpers and the first trainer will take her on.
Thank you for your post

Dee
 

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She swam!! We were almost ready to call it for the day and she swam out towards the lake (away from the shore) 3 times! Mind you only 6 ft out or so...She did it to be near my daughter. She's taking full credit.

At the risk of sounding like I'm at the Academy Awards...
Thank you Shelby, Carolina Mom, Anney, Lynn C, Yaichi's mom, gdgli, Sweet Girl, mattg 1, Stacey, Kate and Jane!! Woohoo!
I'll video tape our star tomorrow and post (if I figure out how).

The JH is a possibility. Whew! Not bad for our first 14 days together.
Whoot whoot! That's great news. Most retrievers do love swimming. They just need to figure out how to do it, and then they're off! Have fun!
 

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Y'all are truly amazing. Makes me teary eyed. TY. Sweet Girl, if she ever gets in that fountain, I will post a pic. Y'all are to blame, really....:0)
Shelby, truly. Thank you.
Hahahaha! I will happily take part of the blame! :smile2:

Training for JH is very fun - you guys will love it. And I bet you won't want to stop there...
 
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