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Swimming Training Question

August 8th, 2005, 11:17 AM
Parker and Hazel both swim really well - but Parker seems to have a problem. When he is swimming, he will try to dunk Hazel if she is anywhere close to him. Most of the time, when we are asking them to fetch the water trainer, we only let one swim at a time. This last weekend, my son's SharPei (Lexi) was trying to swim and Parker jumped in the water and dunked her. The water wasn't very deep, but it was still above Lexi's head. When he let her up, she came up under his chest, so she was still underwater. None of the dogs swim unsupervised, so I was able to grab Lexi out from under Parker quickly. She was scared, but unharmed. I doubt if she'll ever try to swim again. :(

My question is - how do I get Parker over this? I thought at first that he wasn't confident in his own swimming skills and was actually trying to hold himself up by putting his paws on Hazel's back. He is a very strong swimmer, although not as graceful as he could be. After this weekend however, I am thinking that he has some other reason for dunking the other dogs. Hazel swims much faster than Parker, so he isn't normally close enough to her to dunk anymore, but I don't want him doing that to a person or any other dogs while in the water. Any ideas?

August 8th, 2005, 12:25 PM
I'd use a long rope on him. Can you stand on a warf or something so you're higher up? Because if you can, it'll be easier to not get tangled up, but I think the only thing you can do is correct him with a leash.

August 8th, 2005, 02:35 PM
I think I would be really worried that the leash would tangle on something. There are lots of underwater weeds (and some that are not underwater) in our lake - especially this year. Are you saying that I would pull back on the leash if he got close to dunking Hazel? I would worry that I would make him go under or something and I don't want swimming to have any negative feelings attached for him. I would like to try to train both Parker and Hazel to take their Water Rescue Dog trials - but I'm thinking that Parker would fail if he dunks the victim instead of rescuing them! :D

I think if I understood why he does it then I'd be able to come up with the solution. Otherwise, I will probably just have to make him swim alone.

August 8th, 2005, 03:09 PM
No, I don't think him dunking would have a negative impact- I think if he is really thinking "I'm gonna dunk her, heh heh heh" then that's what would have the bad connotation. Like "what the hey? Every time I try to dunk her, I get dunked!"

If something bad happens as he's entering the water, then you will certainly have an issue with him being scared of the water...

August 9th, 2005, 09:11 AM
To me this sounds like play to Parker.

What I suggest you do is get a hold of the Water Rescue Dog Trials in your area and talk to them about it.Even better,if you know where they are being held,go watch.And this way you can talk to the owners.I am sure they would be glad to help you. :)

Try the Newfoundland Dog Club in your area.

August 9th, 2005, 11:30 AM
Well, the Newf Dog club that services my area is a 6 hour drive away. :( It looks like they are having water tests on 9/17-18 but I don't know if we'll be able to go. I've looked at the website for both the national club and the regional club, but I can't find anything that says whether an altered dog can compete. I hope that it doesn't matter, since Parker has already been neutered. Of course, that would just mean he couldn't get certified - not that we couldn't train him for it. Does anyone happen to know if he would still be eligible to compete??

August 10th, 2005, 12:45 AM
Your dog can be altered for this.Just like altered dogs can compete in agility,flyball,retrieving,lure coursing,obedience,shutzhund,sledding.I can go on...LOL.

It's just the Show Ring that the dogs are not altered.

August 10th, 2005, 11:06 AM
Cool - Thanks! I couldn't find anywhere that said if it was allowed or not.

August 10th, 2005, 11:19 AM
Your Welcome..... :)

If you constantly work with Pareker,I'm sure he will be fine.

Maybe what you can do is be in the water with them.Once Parker tries to dunk Hazel,say to him,"Parker quit it" or "Parker stop it"..Like I said,to me it seems like play to him.He needs to learn no dunking in the water..LOL

Yukon tried this with Tron when they were pups.I just gave him the "stop it" command.After a few times he smartened up.

You are the one who needs to stop him from doing this... :)

August 10th, 2005, 11:29 AM
Prin suggested that I tie a rope on him and dunk him when he tries it - but our lake doesn't have any docks to stand on - and it's got lots of weeds for the rope to tangle in so I'm kind of leary of trying that, although I would try it if I can't find another way to break him of dunking. I like the idea of swimming with them so that if he does it, I can push his paw away and tell him no. And it would be a bonus for me to get some exercise! Parker can save me if I start to drown because I'm so out of shape! :p

We've been holding Parker back so that Hazel can retrieve the dummy and then we hold Hazel back so that Parker can go get it. But I know that part of the water tests involve swimming with the handler and if the dog interferes with the handler swimming, they are disqualified.