When Shale first came home from her breeder I thought for sure she would be a water loving dog. After all her favorite game both inside and outside of the house was splashing and digging in her water bowl. While it was really cute at first it was messy and luckily she outgrew this game pretty quickly.
After a great winter exploring and hiking the warm weather returned I was promptly tossed a favorite water toy into one of the nice ponds on one of our walks only to find that Shale was a champion wader but would not swim. At that point I was lucky to get her to go up to her elbows in the water let alone over her head. I have to admit I was surprised and perplexed. In the pool she was a pretty comfortable swimmer though not a big fan of getting into the pool. She needed a little lift by way of her life jacket’s handle to get her in the water but once she was in – she seemed focused on her swimming. Toy of choice in the pool was an orange “boat bumper” that had belonged to Meg. For those who knew Meg, you can probably guess her toy of choice - a Frisbee (that bumper really never got any use before Shale came along).
I tried all summer to get Shale to swim. Tried coaxing, going in the water with her, bribing her with favorite toys tossed just beyond her reach, every trick I could think that might resolve this fear of swimming outside. I certainly knew she could swim. She demonstrated that in the Good Dog Aquatic pool and a few times outside when she accidentally went in and had to swim.
Shale is still a little cautious entering the water where there is an immediate drop over her head. However, with gradual slopes where she is able to have her footing and walk out a bit before swimming she is doing fabulously! I’m so glad she has embraced swimming and I’m sure this is going to continue to be an activity she greatly enjoys.
Happy dog paddling!