... show a gundog water, and it’ll jump in - yes - well - maybe - sometimes! ...
Some people feel almost “cheated” if their gundog is in the least reluctant to leap into the first water that it sees We have a total of nine dogs and bitches - and their general attitude towards swimming is almost as varied as nine humans - from “no chance” to “try and get me out” - and that seems to change with age - and the weather. The really most important thing to avoid, is to allow your puppy to have a “bad experience” - whether it be at home, or in the car - or anywhere else. A dog’s “intelligence / memory bank” is made up of life-lasting impressions gained as a puppy. If a puppy were to have a “fright” with water, it could well end up being “water-shy” for the rest of it’s life.
That'd be a great shame!
We introduce a puppy to water at about 14 weeks using a child's rigid
plastic paddling pool, 3/4 filled with fresh clean water, which gives it
the choice of either drinking it, or trying to paddle it out of the pool.
It’s great fun, and a good way to keep cool!
From 14 weeks through to about 14 months, it’s a case of treating your dog like a young child.
Don’t allow it to play on wet sand and heavy breaking surf - it’ll get thrown around, end up with bad hips - or drown.
Try to find a clean, quiet lake - or pond - or stream with “easy sloping” sides.
If you’re happy going into the water yourself, then do your duty as pack leader and put on a pair of boots and with loads of encouragement, show it the way.
Throw a tennis ball - very short distance - for it to swim out to and retrieve.
Don’t leave it unattended - it might get into difficulties.
Swimming is excellent exercise - but not too much too young.
Don’t forget to dry it off - particularly the ears and base of tail.