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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 21 month old Chessie female has developed a swimming problem in which, upon her water entry, within the first few swimming strokes she starts fading to the right. She does this even though it seems as though she has an excellent line on the bumper or can even see it in the water. Even on marks that I set up in which the closest land is on her left and open water is to her right, she still takes about a 20 degree angle out to open sea, so I know its not just a land cheating problem.
She will eventually work her way left again, but in a scenario where a mark is thrown on an opposite shore only 50 yards away, she will come out of the water at least 20 yards right of the mark, although she will still usually find it because she "knows" she needs to hunt back to the left. Even when I know she can see the bumper its like watching her run a crescent-moon shaped line to get to it.
I have found no apparent injury or physical problem, and she runs straight lines on land marks and while handling. She is through her first three junior legs, but I fear this problem will prevent her from successfully competing in senior or master
. I've spoke with a few trainers and no one has seemed to ever even hear of this, much less know a way to possibly fix it. My next step might be to seek a vet's opinion, but thought I'd try checking here first in case anyone has experienced this before and recognized it as a possible dog "habit" or some other oddball thing. Thanks for any help.
 

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So her left leg may be stronger.
Go to Lowe's plumbing dept and buy a few feet of the split foam insulation used on water pipes. Cut a piece say 6" long or so and tape it to her left leg to create drag and make it harder to swim with that leg.
Other leg should pick up the slack and maybe have her swimming straight.
Experiment with it and find what works.
 

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Another possibility is she may have an eye problem like a scratched cornea. Have her eyes checked for any vision problems.

Ross
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Have you had her hips and elbows x-rayed?
No, I was planning on waiting until she was 2 before I had that done. Also, I don't see any problems or favoring of one leg or another in her gait . And obviously I'm not a veterinarian, but I would also tend to think that a cornea scratch would lead to problems in her land retrieves as well. It's very perplexing to watch her hit the water, then turn right every time no matter what.
 

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Check her eyes. Keep in mind how much lower her perspective is when she is swimming than when she is running. Years ago I had a littermate to Terrible Tom Tips whose right eye's vision was bad and he ran and swam so that he could keep his left eye locked on the bird. Have a veterinarian eliminate any physiological problems.
 
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