We adopted Stoney, a yellow lab, three and a half years ago. As I have well documented he is part of our family.
Yet Stoney had one weird flaw. (beyond his love of humping middle school girls legs.) He hates the water. Most lab owners can’t keep their dogs out of the water and I couldn’t get mine in.
Since we now lives just 15 minutes from the ocean I have gotten used to taking him to Ocean Beach dog beach every week for something I call, Beach Therapy.
I did some reading this winter and learned the trick to getting reluctant dogs to swim. It involves lots of praise and play.. Two things Stoney really likes!
About 4 weeks ago I got him to play in very shallow water. He came home wet and I knew he had a good time. Today, the water was a lot warmer and the tide was way, way out. Long story short, I was able to throw the ball into the water and he would go get it.
He is still reluctant about bigger waves and doing more than wading up to his chest… but you could see instinct begin to take over. He even did that characteristic hop labs do to hurdle through water.
Congrats Stoney, you did it.
Now if only he could read.