There is a reason Labrador Retrievers are the most popular breed in the world. They are intelligent, trusting, even-tempered, outgoing, and kind. Yours is probably no different. He’s everything you expected and more. One thing that quite surprised you though is how much energy he has. You take him out for a walk each day, but he still spends the rest of the day bounding around the house. However, you have an idea to drain his energy--you want to train him to swim. You have ponds and lakes around, so it’s a no-brainer.
Training him to swim will be good for both you and him. It will give you an effective way to tire him out before work, ensuring he spends his day napping, rather than chewing your carpets. It’s also fantastic exercise for him, keeping him lean and strong, plus potentially preventing injuries later on in life.
Training a Labrador Retriever to swim is relatively straightforward. They are brave and many naturally love water. However, your task is to gradually build up his confidence. To do that, you will need to start shallow and work your way up to diving into the sea. Training will also depend on finding the right incentive. Like most dogs, Labrador Retrievers go weak at the knees for anything they can eat. So, the right tasty motivator will play a crucial role.
If he’s a puppy, he should be reckless and keen to please. This means you could see results in just a week or so. If he’s older and more cautious, then you may need a while longer. It could take up to a month before he’s ready to fully brave the waves. Succeed and you’ll have the perfect foundation to teach him a number of water-related tricks.
Before you start working, you will need a few things. The first thing you will need is a pool or shallow pond to start training in. If your Labrador Retriever is a small puppy, you can even start training in the bathtub.
You will then need a generous supply of treats or his favorite food broken into small pieces. A tennis ball and a clicker will also be required for one of the methods.
Once you have all that, just bring patience and a swim suit, then work can begin!