Labradors and swimming
by Alf Ford
(Johannesburg, South Africa)
I purchased a 14 week old labrador recently, he is now 17 weeks old.
At what age do they develop a love of water and start swimming.
My son put him on the steps of our swimming pool, the water came up to his tummy. He did not enjoy it
Labradors are normally natural swimmers and all of the labradors I have encountered love water. However, this is not necessarily always the case.
When they first come into contact with water your lab might be a bit unsure and this is perfectly natural. Just give him time to get used to it. If there is a shallow part in your pool, this would be perfect as it would give him time to just splash about on his own terms and get used to it.
Never throw a young pup in and hope he starts swimming, as this will just scare him. The way your son has started introducing him is exactly the right way to start the process.
Once your labrador is used to the water, just take him in a little deeper, always stay with him so that he can see that you are right there.
Once he is comfortable in water and becomes a little more confident he will go out deeper on his own accord.
It is also important for your lab to know exactly where he can get out safely from, especially if ever is by the pool unattended. So from the beginning show him where he needs to get out of.