|Barked: Wed Sep 19, '07 6:17pm PST |
|Any Shelties here that swim??
I know that herding breeds are generally not too fond of the water, but I have heard of a few Shelties that just can't stay away from the water!
Gio has always been reluctant to wade in much past his "ankles", Romeo is a bit more willing and will bob for ice cubes or treats when dropped in his water bowl.
Well today Gio went to his first swimming lesson!! There is a canine aquatherapy center in the city here and I have been wanting to get Gio in for a while now. With his bad leg/back and now the added incoordination from his seizure meds, I'm reluctant to let him get too crazy running around in the backyard or offleash park. Swimming has always been a real ray of hope ... but I never got around to booking an appointment to go in. A few weekends ago I won a gift card for a free half hour swim in a raffle ... and today was the day!
I guess I had never really considered that there may be a reason that Shelties don't swim, and I always assumed that all dogs know how to swim, they just need practice to get really good at it ... Well, I now know that Gio avoids water because he honestly has no clue, and hand in hand with that, he definitely proves that not all dogs know how to swim! BOL
The instructor strapped a doggy life jacket on him and walked him into the pool down a bit of a ramp. He went willingly enough, and followed her right into the water. Then the lifejacket took over, he began to float, and once he realized that he wasn't going to sink like a stone, just sat there enjoying the warm water! BOL The instructor called him, and he just bobbed in the water ... no leg movements, no attempt at steering or paddling, just bobbed.
The only way she could get him to paddle and kick was to take the life jacket off ... he's just too smart! Why work when the jacket holds you up with no effort!?
Of course, after she took the jacket off he began kicking and paddling ... not very effectively, but enough to stay afloat and slowly maneuver around the pool. I had to keep walking from one side to the other, standing on the edge to encourage him to move forward. After 20 minutes or so he had really caught on ... still moving a little jerkily, but swimming none the less!
I tried to take some pictures, but only got 2 because I was too busy laughing at the uselessness of a Sheltie in the water. I posted the better of the two on Gio's page.
I'm hoping to take him back in a few weeks for another go at it. Maybe I will take Romeo as well as the center offers a deal for bringing in a second dog and sharing a time slot ... so I would book a half hour slot and let each dog swim for 15 minutes worth.
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