I had a puppy who did the puppy paddle. He would splash so hard with his front legs that you thought he was drowning. Once he got to the bumper and put it in his mouth he would flatten out in the water and swim normal. My grandfather who was helping me train this puppy told me that it was a head placement issue. He said the reason for the prolonged splashing was the puppy was holding it's head up trying to watch the bumper as it would swim. This caused the back legs to drop in the water. He showed me 2 methods that he used to address the issue. The first method was a strap weigh on the collar of the puppy to hold it's head down in the water. He only used this method as a last resort, because he was not comfortable adding the extra weight. His perferred method was a 2 person retrieve. He would have 2 people on opposite sides of a pond. One person would throw a bumper about 4 feet from the shore and let the puppy retrieve it. Once the puppy had the bumper the person on the opposite side of the pond would call to it in a very excited manner. The puppy would normally swim across the pond to the other person. Then the process would be repeated. The puppy learned to keep it's head down in the water and the splashing went away. In my instance it took about 3-4 retrieves a day for a week to solve the problem.