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Are Irish setters natural swimmers? We have a boat and cannot wait to take him for a swim on the lake. What is the best way to introduce them to swimming. We do have a life jacket for him.

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Hi Jennifer,

for some reason I thought swimming came natual to dogs till we took my friends Newfoundland for a swim and he sunk like a stone. I think I would try him where you can help him if he has trouble before the lake, unless it has a genle slope you can go in with him. My boy is like a duck loves the water.

cheers Rosie

I always took mine to my Dad's lake ....let them wade in on their own.  They would play around the edges at first and then get brave enough to take a dog paddle out into the lake.  Be careful swimming with them yourself at first until you establish a routine as mine would swim out to me and try to climb up on me...fine if I could stand up but not a good thing in deep water.  Life jacket for dogs really good idea for any boating or deepwater swimming. Floating frisbee is a lot of fun for them once they decide water is fun to play in....wear Red out before you take him on a boat ride. Sounds like Red landed on his feet the day you all walked into his world!:)

I have two natural swimmers here, one who panics and tries to swim "up" instead of forward, and one who won't even get her prissy, princess feet wet...

Mine all love water but really prefer a paddle and a splash  to having a proper swim.A friend used to have an Irish that swam under water.I didn't believe it so he took me to a local lake,the dog dived in then dived to the bottom of the lake,totally immersed for a couple of minutes and resurfaced  carrying a stick from the bottom of the lake in her mouth. She did this a few times.I was astounded!

Maybe all dogs can swim...I'm not sure... but whether they all like it is another thing :) 

I have two English Setters aged 7 & 9. One absolutely loves the water: rivers, lakes , sea...doesn't matter, even if it's freezing and a little rough, he just dives on in but the oldest one,Legolas  who has never had a bad experience with water just doesn't like it. He barely gets his paws wet at the beach, runs from waves and may wade in a mere few inches in still water. My puppy Irish is 10 months old & has had a few brief trips to the beach with his older 'brothers' and a young Cocker friend that also adores the water. His behaviour towards the water so far is a bit like Lego's but that may change as he's still very young. I haven't pushed the issue & want him to exprience it all at his own pace. If he likes it, great if not ah well.

I hope it turns out that your boy will enjoy the water as the boat trips sound great, you'll have lots of fun together !!

Best of luck with the swimming !

I only have one who swims very well and he started off swimming 'upwards'. He eventually followed the labrador in chasing the ball and now is a better swimmer than her. It is great excersise for them so if you can get him to swim that would be great.

Pitanga was a natural from the first time she saw water and just swam like a duck from day one. She does small fetcher under the water, but does not go too deep.

Romã never really liked water, and one day she sliped and fell into our lake. She tryed to go up so I had to get her out. I thoug I would never convince her to get a paw in the water ever again, but to my great surprise, the moment I got her out, she turned around and went right back in!!!

She is an amazing swimmer, and a scary one really! She goes in and has 20 minutes of swimimg just like that - don't bother to call her, she is in her own world - unless you are in our little boat, then she is glad to follow you around the lake, and if you stop, she goes next to you to get a cuddle, and then goes of on her own!

Mine loves the water also.  He will swim to retrieve tennis balls and once nearly drowned trying to swim out to go after some ducks.  I have to watch him that he doesn't go out to far because he looses all sense of swimming and flounders when he sees the ducks at the other end of the lake.  He seems to try to run in the water to get at them.  Luckily they aren't around often so we can just relax and have a good time.  It gets so hot in the summer it is the only way to tire him out since he won't do much field running in the heat.





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