Saturday, March 6, 2010

Teaching a puppy to swim

Teaching a puppy to swim is always amusing. I just introduced a Portuguese water dog puppy to the water last week. He's a baby - just old enough to have all his shots.

Now, you have to remember, the only Porties I've ever seen at the pool have been either unwilling to swim or scared for some reason. And, of course, this little guy was no exception.

Day 1: Pretty scared of the water, just spent most of our time just hanging in the water, reassuring him that everything was ok, and tried swimming only twice.
The swimming was REALLY SPLASHY! He was trying to walk on the water instead of swim in it! :)

Fortunately, his mom is really interested in having him swim, so she brought him back the next day!

Day 2: Adjusting to me and the pool. He started jumping off my legs towards his mom... He's willing to brave the water to get there! The splashing is hilarious - and trying to get him to not splash is unsuccessful so far. He's so cute though - a little soaked mop when he gets to the stairs or I pick him up.

They're coming back next weekend!

Day 3:
He had mom and dad there today! He's literally grown 4 pounds since last week. I can't imagine that this is going to be very coordinated until his body stops sprouting - but we can keep trying! We tried a few new things like having mom on one end of the pool and dad on the other. He started understanding that he was supposed to swim to the stairs instead of the side of the pool!
Still a splash-o-rama! And, still trying to walk on water. He's really figuring it out though.

Puppies are so cute!

Day 4:

What a breakthrough! I don't know why we didn't think of it before, but we got some toys out today - and wow! What a difference. He started sticking his head into the water then pawing at the toys. The PlanetDog (TM) toys float but then sink if the dog touches them - so he was trying to get it and the ball kept on sinking. But, he's a persistent little guy!

Then, I carried him out to swim and threw the ball in front of him and HE GRABBED IT!

It was like a lightbulb turned on - THIS is what I'm supposed to do, I'm supposed to get the toy and bring it back! He's only 21 pounds and was carrying a full sized bumper back already...

Still splashy, but certainly not scared anymore.... Since he's still growing, his hind end still sinks a bit - so we have some floatation around his belly -- but I'm sure he'll grow into it soon...Can't wait to see him next week.