Dog training 101: Swimming


If you have had trouble getting your dog to swim, dog trainer Jim Closson of A Better Pet in Boise, Idaho has some tips. “You just don’t throw them in the water. That will scare the heck out of them,” Closson said.

He recommended:

—Start off with playing with the dog’s favorite toy or bumper in an empty kids’ pool. Let them jump in to retrieve the toy.

—Add a little water and get them used to jumping in the ankle-deep water for the toy.

—Keep adding a little water to get them used to the water and splashes.

—If you know someone with a home pool, take them there and work obedience training around the pool and get them used to being around water until it isn’t an issue. Don’t let them in the pool.

—Then take them to a small pond and while working them on heel, throw the bummer out in the pond. Make sure a line is attached to it. Put it close to shore and each time the dog goes in shallow water to get it, throw it out just a little further.

—Another way to try to get the dog used to water is to put on your waders and carry the pup out into the water. Have someone on shore to call the dog.

—Put the pup in the water pointed toward shore while the other person is calling. Do this several times until the dog feels comfortable in the water.

Respond: —MCT