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Dog afraid of water after bad experience

I have a 1 Year old Chocolate lab, when he was 4 months old I tried to introduce him to the water. He went in with an older lab of mine but the moment he got in deep enough to cover his head he began thrashing only his front legs attempting to swim. To this day he cannot swim at all, he tries to retrieve dummies I throw in the water but he just cannot swim. Can you tell me how I can teach him to swim.

You have a very big problem here. I have trained dogs with the same problem. There are a few things you can try. You can buy a life preserver jacket for the dog and have her wear it. It will let her rise higher in the water and in some cases does help. You can try going into wading water and suporting the dog in the middle of his stomach this sometimes helps. I have seen people put weighted collars, using mesh fill with rocks to weigh the dog down in front which levels them. Often times this can help them swim. I have had a couple of dogs that did not learn to swim till they were over two years old. They would splash all the way out to the birds. This was caused by the excitement of wanting to get to the bird fast. Once they have the bird in their mounth they level out in the water and swim fine. Sometimes when a dogs tires it will level off and swim better.

In the worst case there are just some dogs tha tare not good water dogs and really never lear to swim.

Good Luck

Kim Moses
Hunters Marsh Kennels

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