When we left off swimming with Sheba and Luke last fall, Luke had a little mishap in the water and didn’t want to go back in swimming again (you can read more about that in this post: “Shifting Gears: From Swimming to #DogWalkingWeek“). He was proving to be a very strong and fast swimmer, even showing Sheba up, so we were disappointed this had happened.
So this year my plan was to take him by himself and let him get back in the water slowly. I decided to try our favorite place, a beautiful little pond only a 10 minute drive from our house. The water is so clean there. Normally we have a spot off of the rail trail where we’ll go, but this year the ticks have been so horrendous I wanted to find a place with a little less brush so we could avoid getting covered with them. I decided to try the boat launch there, which is very nice and open and often very quiet. No one was there so I was able to let Luke explore the short shoreline and rocks, and walk in the water along there as well as right out the cement boat launch.
He seemed a bit timid at times, but at one point he saw a bobber out in the water, and I think he wanted to go after it! I kept him on the short leash for this time though so he could only go up to his belly or so. Hopefully this next week we can get him back there with the longer leash and see if he’ll swim out. We’ll continue to take it slowly, letting him set the pace, and keep him by himself for a while until he gets more self assured. I think he will be OK in time, and I can’t wait to see him out there swimming again. I think it’s another thing that could help build his confidence.
By the way, Sheba got her own swimming outing with Dad last week too down at the river. I want to get both Luke and Sheba collars for swimming this year, and I’d like to be able to get something that’s personalized so they’ll have ID on them when swimming. Does anyone have any suggestions for good waterproof collars that can be personalized?
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Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady says
Aw Luke it’s great to see you playing in the water again. I can imagine it would have been super scary to take on so much water. I wouldn’t wanna go back in either!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says
I’m so jealous! We don’t have any place nearby that we can take the girls swimming. The river at our local park is always dirty; and I wouldn’t be comfortable letting the girls even taste it. Callie got sick from it one time when she was really young so I won’t ever take that chance again.
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
Good job Luke and good for you keeping a leash on and taking it slow.
I bet he gets right back in when given the chance. They have short memories.
2 Brown Dawgs says
I bet Luke will be out swimming in no time. Sometimes it just takes practice.
The Island Cats says
We bet it won’t be long before Luke is back in the water again.
Pamela | Something Wagging This Way Comes says
Glad to see you’re working with Luke to get his swimming mojo back.
We’ve had great luck lately with Honey in the Choptank river which has a muddy bottom. I’m starting to wonder if some of her hesitance back in Ithaca was related to the fact that the creeks we swam in had lot of rocks that shifted under her feet.
For that reason, the boat ramp was probably a good idea for Luke. They’re usually slippery but paw pads are awfully good stickers.
I never would have thought of the rocks, and I bet that could make a big difference.
The boat ramp is at least smooth and gradual, so I thought that might be good for him too. The other place I took him dropped off pretty quickly after just a couple of feet.
Tenacious Little Terrier says
I’ve heard good things about biothane collars for swimming.
Dolly the Doxie says
I think Luke will be ready to swim again for sure! Not me of course. Remember my collar and engraved tag? We got them at flyingdogcollars.com and they have waterproof ones. Mom is still planning on getting me one. Love Dolly
I had to go back and look to refresh my memory, and yes, I love those collars you got! I just looked at the waterproof ones and they look great too. I’ll let you know if we end up getting those…I’m looking at a couple other suggestions too.
Hopefully Luke will be back to swimming by the time I get them! Thanks, Dolly!
Glad to hear that Luke’s starting to embrace the water again! Barley never wants to go farther than her toes, but she’s been very upset that I haven’t let her in the lake after reading an e. coli report recently. Good luck getting him to become more comfortable going farther out!
Groovy Goldendoodles says
Happy to hear he’s back in the water again. Love the area where you took him. The Boys and I are starting to hike a bit and visit all the beauty this wonderful country has to offer (at least in this area) we’re having a blast too!
I just read your post this morning (still need to go back to leave a comment), and it looks like you found a wonderful place too!
Dog ID’s has waterproof, engraved collars. https://www.dogids.com/product/soft-grip-collars/ I can’t vouch for them as I don’t have one myself, but they look decent (although pricey).
I’d like to find a nice, clean, low population place for Delilah to swim, she loves it so. When Sampson was just over a year old we rented a house in Florida with a built in pool. At that time he was use to lakes and rivers and just stepping in and you guessed it, first time out he stepped in the water and it really startled him. We didn’t force it, but we did encourage and finally one day my brother-in-law got him in the pool and he was okay with it. Still cautious but did okay. By the end of the two weeks he would sun himself, then plop in the pool, do a lap and climb back out.
I think you’re on the right track with taking it slow and letting Luke set the pace.
Thanks for the info about dogids – they were at BlogPaws and now I wish I’d talked to them more! 🙂
We are lucky to live in an area with lots of lakes, ponds, and rivers. But it’s not always easy to find a quiet place that the dogs can swim.
I would love to have a swimming pool, but I can see where that would be a whole different experience.
I think the Lab in Luke will take over and he’ll get back to swimming in time. Our Lab mix Maggie was completely nuts for it, we couldn’t keep her out of the water. Back then we camped and boated so she had a lot more opportunities for it though.
That water looks so inviting. I don’t like swimming but I could make an exception.
M. K. Clinton says
I’m sure that uke will be fine and swimming soon. We don’t have anywhere to swim so I don’t know a collar to recommend. Have fun!
Two French Bulldogs says
Looks like you are slowly liking that water again. So refreshing
Lily & Edward
That water looks wonderful. Torrey will only get her feet in the water, even when it’s really hot. I have got her swim in the river in Wyoming a couple times, only because she had to follow me.
The only time our beagle Kobi ever swam was when he fell out of our boat! Thank goodness he was a strong swimmer, but he never liked it!
easy rider says
Luke I’m sure you will swim like that Flipper-guy after a while…. you are a super brave and very clever pup:o)
I saw specally collars for all waterlovers at bellomania ( http://bellomania.com/en/neoprene-collars.html) but it’s better to visit this site with a margarita, they have wild prices :o)
I’m going to pour a glass of wine and check them out now. 🙂
Forcing us never works out, it is always best to let us do it in our own time. I’m sure he will be back to swimming in no time!
Pam and Sam says
Slowly but surely I bet he’ll be swimming before the summer is over! Getting his “feet wet” is a great first step!