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Thread: Puppy paddling???

  1. #21
    Senior Member crackerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Maddox View Post
    I really don’t think I can fix her. Not sure what or when it happened. She swam just fine from 4-7 week old.
    If you've got access to any technical ponds - uniform depth - take the pup into the water with you and throw short retrieves so that she can go from a swimming start but won't have to go very far to get them. Keep moving around the pond making these short throws with as little excitement and as nonchalantly as possible.

    Having seen this "mis-swim" in other pups (not mine), I'm inclined to believe the experienced people on this thread telling you to a) address it now and/or b) the pup may not come out of it.

    MG

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  3. #22
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    I have one that just turned 2, and she has the potential to bow up and puppy paddle on occasion when excited, or nervous. She did this as a pup and went to a FT pro at 6 months old and I was hoping the issue would take care of itself with more time in the water. It It has gotten better with age and reps, and went from a continuous splash to occasionally, but it does seem to impact her performance. Personally, it really bothers me, mainly because what good is a water dog that can't swim...even the average duck fetcher needs to be a proficient swimmer. I wish I would've tried remedying it much earlier and/or realized the lasting impacts it could have on her performance.

  4. #23
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    My pup that just turned 1 last week was exactly like you described. Big difference between freaking in the water and being frantic and can't get there fast enough. Mine finally smoothed out during swim by. She still did it on the first couple sends the first week but by week 2 she was good. Now doing water doubles with no issures. Longer swim helped as well.

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  6. #24
    Senior Member Ted Shih's Avatar
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    I think that poor swimming - whatever the reason - if unaddressed, becomes a bad habit. And just like other bad habits, curing is much harder than preventing.
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  7. #25
    Senior Member ErinsEdge's Avatar
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    IMHO these are 2 different swimming problems according to my experience. The dog who can't swim because it was never taken to water when he was young and literally doesn't know how to swim, and the dog who can swim but is trying to get there faster and his brain is telling him to run in water. The latter has been swimming since young, and knows how to swim, but when he can't get there fast enough, he splashes, kind of looking like freaking. Make sure you get those puppies swimming if you want to do field work and that goes for exposing to feathers also before a year.
    Nancy P



    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

  8. #26
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    I have a 3 year old pup out of Ford ( Sweeties Easy Rider) , I've had and trained 4 pups out of this same litter none of the others have swam like like this pup, he's a big powerful hard charging pup, he made it through the derby with points , he's doing well in the qual and will run his first Open next month. As stated above the eratic puppy paddling comes into play on really exciting marks , a very experinced dog person explained it this way " he knows where the bird is and he's trying to stay well above the water to see it or keep it in view " this make sense because on the very complicated marks or the makrs that force him to concentrate he'll slow down and swim normally. I too thought he'd out grow the puppy paddling but has not , but the puppy paddling does not effect his ability to stay the line on 300 yard plus water marks or his water honesty. That said I'm still hoping with age he levels out but with all the issues these little athletes can have I'll take this over some of the alternatives. .

    Regards and good luck with your little prospect.
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  9. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Maddox View Post
    I own a fantastic 15 week old pup that can flat arse mark...on land!!!
    Her breeder introduced her to water at 4 1/2 weeks. Swam like a fish!!! At 9 weeks old I started to slowly reintroduce her to the water. Instant puppy paddling. Several times I’ve tried to get her back to leveling out and swim properly. She’d level out once she had a bumper in her mouth. Other than that. Head straight up, butt down, and puppy paddle.
    Today my wife suggested putting her in a small doggie life jacket to see if she’d use her back legs and level out.
    I took her into the pool and slightly lifted on the back of the jacket and she swam nicely to my wife several times.
    When she swims towards me she puppy paddles.

    ANY THOUGHTS?!?!?!

    I have a dog that puppy paddled with the best of them. I tried everything, weights, life jackets, it was terrible. He would swim back with a bumper fine, but the way to the mark was ridiculous. Finally I decided to just make him swim, and swim, and swim. The first two trips to the pond were not successful, I don't think I worked him long enough or far enough. The third time, he picked up about 8 long water marks (had help throwing this time, approximately 60 yard swims) and on the ninth when he went out for the mark, he swam. I had finally made him tired enough to use everything. From then on he was good, with an occasional lifting of the head when looking for a mark. Even now at 5 when he turns in the water sometimes he will do a little puppy paddle kick turn. One person suggested getting a kayak and making him swim behind it, that probably would have worked also, they just need to get tired enough to use everything. Hope this helps!

  10. #28
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    “She levels out after she had the bumper in her mouth”

    IMHO take the excitement out of swimming. Stop water marks and teach “ water obedience” ie. remote recalls across a narrow canal after ff recall with bumper then graduate to lining to pile across water (no throwing)
    As she matures and learns to swim calmly with purpose this will settle her down and her going out will look like her return.

    Tim
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  11. #29
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    What i have done in the past is let the dog go into the water on it's own. When it was having problems doing water retrieves i just reversed the retrieve. That is i waded into the water not very deep held onto the dog and my wife would toss a bumper on land then i would release it and the urge to retrieve did take away from the puppy paddle. It may take a few days or less as the land retrieve was very good with the dog that i did it with and it sounds like your dog is the same. Hope this helps you.

  12. #30
    Senior Member David Maddox's Avatar
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    You guys are awesome!!!
    Thanks for your suggestions and support. I truly appreciate you all.
    David
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