Monday, April 20, 2009

Swimming lessons for Sky

As mentioned before, Sky doesn't swim. She never seems to mind getting into the water as long as her paws are firmly on the mud. We have been trying to think of ways to get her to swim. I know much of the dog paddle is instinct, but I think it good that she try that out before an accidental splash makes it a necessity.

So we came up with a plan. We needed something in the water enticing enough to get her in over her head. The answer was her rubber ball. Sky will retrieve a ball for hours.

The first toss of the ball was close enough that she could keep the paws on the mud.

Second toss was a bit further. She starts out after the ball.

Then we get the 'look'. "You do realize that is a bit far, don't you?"

Look who is swimming back with his stick.

No problem, Cody can handle the stick and the ball.

Another toss of the ball with a bit more success. I really think she is swimming.

She grabs the ball and puts her whole body into the effort.

The turn for the dry land. Look at the bite on that ball.

At this point I think she has her back legs sinking to the bottom.

She gives herself a big push off.

And splashes down.

Mud is under foot! Can dogs grin? I think she is grinning.

Success! Look at the water flying off the wagging tail.

Maybe some competition with big brother will provide a bit of motivation for Sky. We throw a ball way out into the pond for Cody, and one a bit closer for Sky. And it seems to have worked. Sky is swimming.

Going for the grab.

A little submarine action.

The turn for home with eyes shut tight and a death bite on the ball.

Here's Cody snagging the ball. He's a bit smoother, but then he has been doing it for years.

The turn.

Headed back to the bank. Cody is smooth.

Over all Sky's swimming lesson worked out pretty good. We will try again on the next warm day. I do think she likes splashing in the shallow water better.

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