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Our dog, Kefi, is almost 2, and a mixed breed, miniature schnauzer/chihuahua (+5 other "DNA's") who loves to play with water! She loved to catch water from the hose and loves to try and catch/drink water when we splash her while we are in the pool. She has even stepped onto the first step on her own, as part of our "game" and even likes to splash with her two front paws.

However, it stops there. If we try to bring her into the pool, she goes into fool panic mode. She does swim like a fish and can usually find the steps very quickly, climbs out, and gives us the "evil eye!"

For this summer (2014), after hearing some info on Animal Planet, I purchased a swimming "vest" for her. It was explained that some dogs, even though they can swim, fear sinking and that the vest would allow her to feel the buoyancy and feel better. Unfortunately, we got the "stink eye" again!

Any other ideas out there?

Thanks!
 

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If she doesn't like it, I wouldn't make her go there. It's probably the fact that she is in deep water with access to only one exit that freaks her out. Not really like she can swim over to any old side and just leap out onto dry land. And every time you put her into the pool when she isn't keen, you reinforce that fear in her.

Maybe she would appreciate a kiddie pool a little better? Or a kid's water sprinkler like a crazy daisy?

There's no reason for her to be in the pool if she doesn't like it. I can't imagine that the chlorine would be too good for her skin either, as dogs have more sensitive skin than us under all that fur.
 

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If she doesn't want to go into the pool, don't make her. Try a kiddie pool or sprinkler and see if she likes that.
 
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I agree with Kelly about those wild crazy kids sprinklers!! I'm sure the dog would have more fun just chasing after the water and getting splashed, than being forced into a big body of water that scares her. She's probably so tiny that the pool feels like an ocean to her!

(Please post a video if you get the crazy sprinkler: I love seeing does having fun in those things!! lol)

:D
 

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Many dogs are afraid of swimming pools. I'd not force her to get in it. Just because we think a dog would enjoy something we enjoy is no reason to force them. If you were afraid of scary movies would you appreciate being forced to watch one?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Anybody Need a Doggie Vest?

Thank you all very much for your replies and insight! Everything you said made sense.

It was not that we wanted to make her swim, rather, that she would want to swim because of how much fun she has with water.

So, I think we'll make a trip to Wal-Mart this weekend and pick-up a kiddie pool and perhaps, even a sprinkler, as well. I'll post a couple of pics once she's settled in to whatever she truly enjoys.

Again, many thanks!

ssg978
 

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Even for dogs who love to swim in lakes and rivers, a pool can be something else entirely. The water is clearer, and that can be really scary. To them, it's totally different and many dogs need to adjust to that. Or... Not. A lot of dock diving dogs have trouble adjusting from body of water to pool, and then an indoor pool is a whole 'nother beast. It all looks different and feels different to them.

If she likes swimming in bodies of water, then she may just need some encouragement to realize that going in the pool is safe and the same thing. Then again... Some dogs just don't like to swim, and that's okay too.

Keep it a positive experience and keep it fun. And if she just doesn't want to or like to swim, be okay with that.
 

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My feelings exactly @beretw, believe it or not the worst dog I've dealt with was a lab who actively swims in lakes the ocean and a home pool. Went to my friends indoor pool for hydrotherapy and came unglued. It took three one hour sessions to get him to actually swim, since then you can barely get the collar off before he's diving in the pool.
 

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Getting and teaching him how to use a ramp might make it less scary as well. It's not exactly easy for dogs to find people steps in pools, nor is it as easy for them to use.
 
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