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Swimming Lab?

April 16th, 2010, 09:02 PM

I have a 9 month old Golden Lab who is crazy about swimming! The first time he saw the ocean in ran in and started swimming right away. The problem is that he swims out into open ocean and doesn't even look back at the shore, he literally will swim to Vietnam which is about 40km from the shore where we live, if I didn't go in after him and bring him back. Once I bring him back to the shore he is kicking and screaming saying let me back in the water. Ive tried swimming with him and turning him in a different direction other than straight out into open ocean but all he does is straighten out and head for the high seas. Ive tried throwing a ball the water and sea if he will bring it back as he does this fine on land, but he swims past the ball and keeps going. He will swim for so long where he eventually swallows salt water and gets diarrhea. So recently I decided to take him to a lake as it's calmer and and fresh water is better than salt water to drink, but he swam so far out in the lake trying towards and island about 2km where I had to strip down to my boxers and swim after him, while it was amusing for a crowd of Chinese people watching me do this but exhausting for me. I think Slurpy was meant to be a fish not a dog but I just wish he would listen to me and come back to shore. I fear that when I go camping and turn my head for a bit he will be miles out in the ocean or lake. Any advice and help would be much appreciative to this peculiar situation?

April 16th, 2010, 09:16 PM
Have you tried any kind of floaty treats like small pieces of hot dogs? :shrug: Maybe using floaty treats along with securing him to a leash may help Slurpy steer closer to shore. :shrug:

I wish my Springer Spaniel water dog who has webbed feet knew how to swim! :frustrated:

Gail P
April 17th, 2010, 06:54 AM
How is his recall on land? That might be the first thing to start working on. And to keep him from swimming too far away you can attach a long line to his collar. I'd suggest using some kind of lightweight floating rope that will stay on the surface of the water so he doesn't get his legs tangled in it. A heavier rope that becomes waterlogged could be dangerous if it got wrapped around his legs or snagged on anything underwater.

When starting to do goose control work with my dogs I used 50' floating long lines to make sure that the dogs would come back to me when swimming, I didn't want them to keep swimming downstream after the geese, or way out into a lake. If they got to the end of the rope I would give it a light tug and a command to return and they would start swimming back to shore.

April 17th, 2010, 07:40 AM
I also use a 50 foot line while Brina swims

April 22nd, 2010, 03:06 PM
Wow, this is rather odd! I can just see his little swimming body getting farther and farther in the distance as you start to think "....he's not stopping, hey, HE'S NOT STOPPING!!!" You have to be a pretty strong swimmer yourself to go get him - impressive.

I think the floating long line sounds like a good idea. You could even walk along the shore line and try to get him to swim along the shore.

Does he play well with other dogs? He might follow their lead if they only swim a certain distance away and then back again.

I would also work on letting him swim for short times and distances, have him come back to shore and then do it again. Make the coming and going into the water part of the game so that he doesn't think that coming back to you stops the fun.

Good luck.