Saturday, June 7, 2014

Swimming at Creekside Canines

I've always wondered if my dog, Buster, would enjoy swimming. So when I found out there were local doggy swim lessons I was ALL over it.

We went to Creekside Canines in Kernersville. You can rent the pool for $10/half hr. But first you have to take a $25/dog swimming safety class or a $50/half hr private swim lesson. I opted to book a private swim lesson and split the cost with a friend.

Both of our dogs had to wear a life jacket.
What have you gotten me into, Mom?
Then the instructor helps your dog build confidence, focusing on entrances and exits on the pool steps. The dog that went with us is part lab and has been swimming before. He only needed a little coaxing to get off the steps and then he was like a fish swimming around, having a blast.

Buster wasn't so sure.

I brought his high-value treats (baked chicken & sausage & scrambled eggs) and we slowly coaxed him into the pool.

2 paws in!

All 4 paws in!
Once we got him all in, we pulled him in a little. When his feet left those steps he just went down, his little head went under and I was very thankful for that life jacket. I put my hands underneath him to hold him up and at first he didn't do anything. Then he started doggy paddling and we got him to around a little bit.

But the point of the lesson is to build confidence so we quickly brought him back to the steps so he could understand that there is an easy exit.

After that, he just wanted to sit at the pool steps and get treats. His swimming buddy was jumping in, splashing around and having a blast. In the end, we got him to put his two paws back in and we ended on a good note.

"I know what happens when I put all my paws in....2 paws in is all you're getting now, Mom!"
The instructor said he had potential, since we were able to get his 2 paws in again. She suggested we try a lake or river so he could easily walk in and out. We had done that once before, but I couldn't let him go out very far because of the current and I wasn't prepared to swim with him.

I'm going to purchase a life jacket and then we're gonna find a natural body of water to practice our swimming together.

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