Some people feel almost “cheated” if their gundog is in the least reluctant to leap into the first water that it sees We have a total of nine dogs and bitches - and their general attitude towards swimming is almost as varied as nine humans - from “no chance” to “try and get me out” - and that seems to change with age - and the weather. The really most important thing to avoid, is to allow your puppy to have a “bad experience” - whether it be at home, or in the car - or anywhere else. A dog’s “intelligence / memory bank” is made up of life-lasting impressions gained as a puppy. If a puppy were to have a “fright” with water, it could well end up being “water-shy” for the rest of it’s life - which would be a shame!
We introduce a puppy to water at about 14 weeks using a childs rigid plastic paddling pool, 3/4 filled with fresh clean water, which gives it the choice of either drinking it, or trying to paddle it out of the pool. It’s great fun, and a good way to keep cool! From 14 weeks through to about 14 months, it’s a case of treating your dog like a young child ....