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Old 01-06-2013, 10:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I know that right now is the time to get Gucci "trained" with things. I want to be able to take her to the lake and places like that to, HOPEFULLY, swim. Since it is the middle of winter and too cold to take her to any water, do I stick her in a bathtub or something??? At this point, she thinks the bathtub is for just baths, so I can't imagine she's going to feel too much like "playing" in there.
By the time it is winter, she'll be 10 months old. WOn't that be too late to expect her to learn to like it??
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Um..... I am not sure that would help anything if she will have to swim in a lake. A bath tub is too much unlike a lake. A bath can be warm, a lake is cold. She can see to the bottom in a bath, in lakes she can't, a bath is really confined.... a lake is not.

You can try it if you want... Hold a life vest handle and let her swim. But some dogs don't like baths, and so they associate the tub with that - and she may associate swimming with that if she doesn't like her baths. Gus went through a phase of hating baths. But he has always loved swimming.

For now I'd play with some toys that can be used in the water - the small chuckit balls (the rubber ones), a wet wubba, etc.

I would also get her a life vest. Since it's a lake, not a pool, she definitely needs a vest.

When it is warm enough, I would take her to the lake with her vest on and just play on the edge. Let her sniff it and do what she wants, but don't try to get her into the water right away...unless she does.

The slowly work up to throwing the fun toy into the very shallow part (so she just has to get her legs wet, not swim.

Work up to farther out... it could help if one of you gets in the water with her after awhile and the other is on the shore... Give her a high reward treat while holding her in the water (not deep) and then let her swim to the shore.

It may take awhile. And she may only want to splash in the shallows, rather than a full swim.

And just so you know - swimming can't really be "trained". Gucci will like the water or she won't. Even if you have to wait 4-5 months.

I introduced Grace to the pool at a young age. She swam great... did well, no issues. But after awhile I noticed she prefers not to swim. So we let her sunbathe while Gus and I are in the pool.When I do take her in, she will do a couple lengths and then she wants out. So she isn't much of a water dog. Not like Gus

And also know that if Gucci goes in the lake - she will need a bath. Dogs and lake water.... pee-ew
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Just a word of caution.....be sure to keep Gucci in a puppy cut if you plan on letting her swim. I've heard a few tragic stories of Maltese in long coats drowning. The weight of their hair pulls them down.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Um..... I am not sure that would help anything if she will have to swim in a lake. A bath tub is too much unlike a lake. A bath can be warm, a lake is cold. She can see to the bottom in a bath, in lakes she can't, a bath is really confined.... a lake is not.

You can try it if you want... Hold a life vest handle and let her swim. But some dogs don't like baths, and so they associate the tub with that - and she may associate swimming with that if she doesn't like her baths. Gus went through a phase of hating baths. But he has always loved swimming.

For now I'd play with some toys that can be used in the water - the small chuckit balls (the rubber ones), a wet wubba, etc.

I would also get her a life vest. Since it's a lake, not a pool, she definitely needs a vest.

When it is warm enough, I would take her to the lake with her vest on and just play on the edge. Let her sniff it and do what she wants, but don't try to get her into the water right away...unless she does.

The slowly work up to throwing the fun toy into the very shallow part (so she just has to get her legs wet, not swim.

Work up to farther out... it could help if one of you gets in the water with her after awhile and the other is on the shore... Give her a high reward treat while holding her in the water (not deep) and then let her swim to the shore.

It may take awhile. And she may only want to splash in the shallows, rather than a full swim.

And just so you know - swimming can't really be "trained". Gucci will like the water or she won't. Even if you have to wait 4-5 months.

I introduced Grace to the pool at a young age. She swam great... did well, no issues. But after awhile I noticed she prefers not to swim. So we let her sunbathe while Gus and I are in the pool.When I do take her in, she will do a couple lengths and then she wants out. So she isn't much of a water dog. Not like Gus

And also know that if Gucci goes in the lake - she will need a bath. Dogs and lake water.... pee-ew
Thanks for all the good info!!! I will just try that, I'm sure SHE thanks you for saving her from the bathtub
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Just a word of caution.....be sure to keep Gucci in a puppy cut if you plan on letting her swim. I've heard a few tragic stories of Maltese in long coats drowning. The weight of their hair pulls them down.
Wow!!! I never even thought about that. She's most likely going to STAY in a puppy cut, but did they drown even with a life jacket on?? That's scary!
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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So maltese can swim? I remember Cindy (Gustave's breeder) asking me if we had a pool and if we did she wanted it completely blocked off so Gustave couldn't get in there.

I always thought that meant maltese couldn't swim. Now I am thinking she was just making sure a 12week puppy doesn't end up in the pool all by himself.


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Old 01-06-2013, 11:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Malts can swim.... Grace goes in without her vest sometimes. She can do a full length

For a puppy - yes it is dangerous. My aunt brought her 8 week old Jack Russel puppy over and didn't watch him... He walked right into the pool and sank. Had to jump in to get him. He is okay, thankfully we were all out there. But yes - puppies you have to supervise. We didn't let Gus go outside alone until he was 6 months and we knew he would stay clear of the pool.

Now with Grace we have hawks, etc that she is bait...so she is never outside alone.

If an older puppy or dog is not used to water, though - it can be dangerous. If they don't know how to get out of the pool they will get exhausted. I got Grace into the pool enough so she knows where the steps are. She automatically swims that way no matter where I let her go.

And both Gus and Grace have been trained not to get into the pool or near the edge (we have a different color tile surrounding the pool) unless someone says it is okay. Honestly - Gus has never gotten in without permission and he absolutely LOVES swimming.

Grace isn't a big fan of the water, so she stays back, anyway.

In a lake you run the risk of them swimming out and not coming back. Which is why I said a vest is essential if you are doing lake swimming.

You won't want a full coat if swimming anyway.... just too hard to manage.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My Yorkie, Cayce, was at least a year old when we first put him in the pool. One of my kids did it and he swam straight to me (approximately 3 feet away and in the shallow end). When he got to me, he about climbed up to the top of my head because he was either scared or just didn't like it. We never did get him to like swimming, but we really didn't try very hard either because it was maybe only once a year he was put in the pool. That was fine with me because I felt that if he didn't like it, there was less chance he would get in on his own and possibly drown. Still, I never took my eye off of him while we had him out there. Like a toddler or small child, it's dangerous when you get to feeling too comfortable that they either know how to swim or won't go in by themselves. That's when the most accidents happen, I think - when you let your guard down. He loved to be out there with us though and sit by my feet under the shade whenever we were out there by the pool. We never did take him out on the boat at the lake. We did take him to the beach and he loved it under the shade of the pop-up tent, laying on a towel. He did not like the water there either though.

Growing up, we always thought all dogs could swim. But we learned the hard way that they can't. My sister had always wanted a bulldog and finally got one when she was in high school. One day, she and my brothers were in the pool and let the puppy run around while they were out there. Well, the puppy fell in and sunk. I was at work at the time and my sister called, frantically asking what to do. I left work and flew home, praying the whole way for the puppy and even though I didn't know CPR at the time, I'd planned on doing it with the puppy. Sadly, the puppy had already died by the time I got there. Of course, bulldogs have heavier heads, making it harder for them to do things like swim. Still, I learned then that it's a myth all dogs know automatically how to swim.

It makes sense about the puppy cut. I have long hair myself and alway pull it up into a ponytail when in the water because it gets in the way.

If we do ever take Leila to the lake, she will be wearing a life vest the whole time. Also, if I take her out by the pool and she's still the little dare devil she is now, she'll be wearing one then too. I might just put one on her anyway, just in case.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Oh, and don't forget the sunscreen!
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Roo is a great swimmer. But he hates baths and loves lakes. Just be sure to keep the dog on a good harness and long line when out on the water.
Soda can swim even when in coat, but we only let him in the pool and only right by us. I'm sure it depends on the dog's swimming ability and the amount of coat.
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