Whilst travelling around Australia we knew there would be areas where it would not be safe for our Dogs to swim. Areas anywhere upwards from Cairns, all the way over through the Northern Territory and across to The Kimberley where it’s not the Shark to be worried about but the Crocodile. Our Dogs, especially our Border Collie Ziggy, loves the water and has no hesitations in jumping right in – and why should she? She’s in the water at the beach almost every day and so has learnt to trust it.
We wanted to feel safe and confident that if our Dogs weren’t on a lead and around water they wouldn’t just jump right in, so we began training them. Already being obedient Dogs, we knew that if we gave the command to “STOP” they would, but we wanted to give them a command that would tell them it’s ok to enter the water.
Training took place every time we were around water and it started at the beach. Every time the Dogs were in the water I would say “GO FOR A SWIM” then reward them with a treat or a pat. After many sessions in the water I then started with the Dogs on dry land and gave the command “GO FOR A SWIM”. The method is so simple and can even be used to get your Dog to go to the toilet on command – just replace and state the command when your Dog is urinating e.g. “GO TO THE TOILET” and don’t forget to reward!
Watch Ziggy demonstrating the swim command.
This post is dedicated to the life of Balthazar. Remember him here.