This is a video of sweet Murphee the Golden Retriever when he is 10 weeks old. His full name is Murphee Journey Mill. Nice to have a middle name for a dog.
It’s easy to tell that Murphee is a very well loved dog in this family. He is out on a boating adventure with his family. Mom is already in the water, encouraging Murphee to join her. Murphee hesitates for only a few seconds. This must be the water dog in her. There is a belief that all Golden Retrievers swim. However, Pamela in Something Wagging discovers for herself that this is not the case. Here’s what she found.
Do ALL Retrievers like to swim?
She polls every Golden Retriever owner she comes across informally about this topic and finds that maybe 75% of Golden Retrievers enjoy swimming. The rest may know how to swim, but not necessarily fond of it. These 25% may prefer to not get wet above their belly.
Some learn to swim later in life. In fact, some would not swim as a puppy, but when they are four or five or six years old, they decide that it’s time to swim.
I remember reading about how some people teach their puppies to swim. Maybe the same principle can be used for Golden Retrievers who’d rather stay on land. The key is to offer a positive experience, especially a first experience. Don’t push them beyond their comfort level. Honor their own comfort zone. Make the experience short and sweet so they will consider coming back for more.
Start in the shallow end where their feet can touch the ground and feel sure. It’s best to do it in warm water so it feels pleasant. Encourage them with praise. When they get into the water, praise them, and quickly show them how to exit. Keep practicing this until they feel confident in the water, then go to the next step. And it doesn’t have to all happen in the same day either.
Article source: Pamela in Something Wagging