You love taking him out for walks. He charges through fields, leaping through grass and giving chase to any birds he meets on the way. He’s full of energy, he’s playful, and he’s usually pretty brave. However, get to the edge of a pond and your dog goes rigid. Something about the water terrifies him, which is a great shame. Where you live there are numerous lakes and ponds that are perfect for doggie dipping. Not to mention you live near the coast, so you frequently take him to walk along the beach.
Training him to play with water will show him a world of fun. You want to see him plunging into the water in search of the ball you’ve just thrown for him. There’s also the fact that swimming is fantastic exercise for dogs. It helps keep muscles lean and strong, hopefully staving off illnesses and problems later on in life.
Training a dog to play with water can be straightforward, but if they are scared of the blue, then it can also be pretty challenging. Your main task is to slowly build up his confidence. To do that, you may have to show him how it’s done (that’s right, don’t think you can avoid getting wet). You’ll also need to find the right incentive. Food will send most dogs weak at the knees. So, if you can incorporate some tasty treats into training you’ll soon find he’s diving in head first.
If he’s a puppy, he should be eager to please and energetic. This means you could see results in just a few days. If he’s older and more cautious than he was in his youth, then you may need a while longer. You may need a couple of weeks to get him playing around. Succeed and you’ll have a fantastic way to tire him out, so he spends his evenings napping peacefully.
Before you set to work you’ll need a few bits. Break his favorite food into small pieces, or stock up on some treats. You’ll also need a couple of toys that can get wet. A tennis ball is often a good choice.
You’ll need to set aside 15 minutes every other day for training. Of course, you will also need access to water. You can start with a bath and then work your way up to pools, ponds, lakes and finally, the sea.
The only other things you’ll need are a bathing suit, patience, and an optimistic attitude. Once you have all that, work can begin!