I have a Rottweiller puppy called Xena and she has grown from 1kg to over 25kg in a matter of months. Before Xena I have had two other Rottweillers and neither of them liked water much to start with and both actually started loathing water as they got older. One day my big 40+kg dog was crying on one side of a creek because she was scared of stepping into the 10cm of water. That was something I never wanted to repeat so I was determined Xena was going to be a confident swimmer.
From the day I got Xena at two months old she was very obviously already a water dog – dancing in and out of a paddling pool, jumping into the bath (even if it wasn’t hers) and running around playing in the rain. That was enough of an incentive to pursue ‘real swimming’ but I don’t have a pool and my only water choices were icy cold rivers or someone’s pool. The other reason for me was because I have had two arthritic dogs and I wanted to let Xena grow into her bones before I started exercising her by walking or running. I had researched Jane before and although I hadn’t contacted her then I was familiar with what she was offering and decided that I would book Xena for a swim.
One extremely straight-forward conversation later we were booked to go swimming!
Jane starts with a floatation jacket so your puppy floats and lets the dog determine the pace of the swim. If like Xena, your dog just wants to leap into the water after a bit of coaxing then things start pretty quickly. My pup has been leaping in, playing around, jumping out for a shake and walk around, and then races back for another leap into the pool since her second session. Sometimes she does this with so much force we should be paying more to Jane for the water she has to put back in the pool after our visit.
I saw the other side of this confidence last night when Xena really didn’t want to go back in again – she was tired and she had decided it was shower time so went and stood in the shower. Jane will not force the issue and I am sure that if Xena really decided against swimming Jane would either change her mind again or build her confidence up again.
When your dog is swimming they will be encouraged to ‘rest’ and get their breath back during the swim. It is at this time that Jane settles them again and she supports them if they are too little to stand on the ramp with their heads out of the water. Or as Xena does now, drapes herself around Jane for cuddles and kisses until Jane will let her swim again. Xena smashes the water until Jane lets her free – my pup isn’t subtle and is already incredibly strong but Jane still manages to call the shots.
Xena has graduated to a harness – there is no floatation in the harness at all, just a handle for Jane if Xena needs a bit of encouragement to stay heads up. The first session in a harness was amusing – my pup figured out quite quickly that actually she could NOT swim yet! While she is swimming Jane is either right beside her or convincing her to follow her in the other direction. Xena will swim happily away from Jane with the floaty on but with the harness she is still learning and sticks pretty close. Jane is your dogs safety net in the water and the trust because of that is pretty incredible. Jane is a dog lover. I trust her implicitly with Xena and it is an awesome feeling to see your dog having so much fun that she is showering the person who is making that possible with sloppy kisses.
As soon as we start driving up Jane’s road I get kisses from my pup – she knows where she is going and is damn near bursting with excitement because of it. Then once we get there Jane gets the kisses while I get to watch the fun. If you want to really teach your dog how to swim, or if you want your pup to have some safe exercise on growing bones – go see Jane Its fun!