Teaching a Staffy to swim....

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Teaching a Staffy to swim....

Post by Maudie17 on Sun May 14 2017, 11:22

Has anyone successfully taught a Staffy to swim, and if so how? Have a new Staffy pup. My previous Staffy was generally petrified of water and would never go further than his ankles in the ocean. I believe it is something to do with their build/musculature that makes them naturally averse - wondering if there is a way to teach them to overcome that natural disinclination?
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Re: Teaching a Staffy to swim....

Post by Jenc on Sun May 14 2017, 20:31

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Re: Teaching a Staffy to swim....

Post by Jenc on Sun May 14 2017, 20:35

Hi from me & Katy Smile I never thought Katy would take to water as when she was a pup she wouldn't go through a puddle!! We either had to walk round or me carry her over Rolling Eyes I took her to the beach & she changed completely, splashing in the water & learnt to swim by herself Smile


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Re: Teaching a Staffy to swim....

Post by -Ian- on Sun May 14 2017, 21:46

Hi & Welcome to the Forum from Flo and me Big Grin

I think it's all about confidence really, if you can take your pup to somewhere like a stream with varying water levels and let it play naturally you should see whether it takes to water or not in its own way, the last thing you want to do is drop it in at the deep end so to say.

Alternatively I guess there must be places like hydrotherapy centres that can let you try with a buoyancy vest i dont know


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Re: Teaching a Staffy to swim....

Post by LizP on Mon May 15 2017, 08:14

Hi from me and mine

Like this you mean?  Laughing  



Chaos wouldn't even walk in a puddle to start off with (nor would Millie). As Ian says, gradual confidence building is the way to go. A big puddle or a very shallow, slow moving stream is the best starting point, something that they're only getting their feet wet. Often, if you walk in it first it can help them see it's ok, and encourage them in with a favourite toy and/or treats. Never pick them up to force it or you'll actually create more fear.

As with all fear/worry training, set tiny hurdles to start off with (building confidence) and only move on to something a little harder when that first step can be achieved easily. Be prepared for backwards steps - it happens, especially if they have a worry - you might need to go back to something easier to rebuild confidence again before you more forwards.

As you go to different environments, bear in mind that some things can be more worrying than others. We have a lot of muddy areas round here, and deep mud can feel very insecure underfoot. Waves can be worrying, as can beaches where it gets deeper quickly.

Some dogs, especially natural water dogs such as labs and newfies, take to it without training but many, many breeds have to be taught how to swim. I don't think it's a physical thing, more that they don't know they can swim and don't know if it's safe.



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Re: Teaching a Staffy to swim....

Post by I❤dogs on Mon May 15 2017, 10:10

My puppy is still at the not walking in puddles stage lol. He hates rain too. My Jack Russell will go in streams but not bigger areas of water
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Re: Teaching a Staffy to swim....

Post by Rachel33 on Mon May 15 2017, 18:24

Bug hated water when I adopted her, she would walk around puddles and wouldn't even entertain a paddle! I regularly walked her by a river but she would never go in - one sunny day I was chatting to a friend and throwing sticks into a river and she just went in and collected one! She was so awful at swimming at first bless her Laughing so much splashing! But she learnt naturally over time and I always kept a long line attached to her harness in case she got into trouble. Now, you can't keep her out of the water! She goes charging into the sea and the rivers on Dartmoor and comes swimming in the sea with us in the summer! I would advise to make it fun and don't push it!


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Re: Teaching a Staffy to swim....

Post by Jnestie84 on Mon May 15 2017, 21:15

Welcome to the forum. That's a Great photo Liz. Gus hasnt managed a swim yet but loves going into the river looking for stones. He puts his head right in under the water. I'm sure he will have a swim once he is ready.
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