Teaching Nessie to Swim

Winston Salem, North Carolina
August 17, 2017 6:31pm CST
My summer kayaking adventures were a little late to get off the ground this year. I didn’t get to spend any significant time out on the water until last week when my daughter and I decided to take our junior canine on an adventure. Since then we’ve been out on the lake several times, and with each trip Nessie has gotten a little more comfortable with the water. Many years ago, when my children were small, we introduced them to swimming by hanging out at our neighbour’s pool and making sure the little ones were able to play safely in the water. As they gained experience they became more confident and each one mastered the art of keeping him or herself afloat before the age of three. They didn’t necessarily swim a recognizable stroke, but they were quite capable of getting across the swimming pool (at that age the shallow end and the deep end were equally beyond their depth). Teaching the dog to swim has been much the same. Last week she was not entirely sure she liked water. When she accidentally fell into the water she paddled valiantly to keep her head above water, but was very releived when we were quick to assist her back onto the kayak. In the days she’s gotten much better at keeping her footing on the boat, and when we’ve taken a break to sit on the shore and paddle in the shallows she’s slowly built up the courage first to wade in paw deep water, then to splash up to her chest, and finally, in the last couple of days, she has decided that she can go wherever we go. She tires out pretty quickly when the water is beyond her depth, but she loves to splash and paddle with her people. And always, just like we did with our children, we watch her closely for any signs of distress.
13 people like this
13 responses
• United States
17 Aug 17
A beautiful picture there Joanne. Nessie will be a great swimmer! This place is lovely where it is with the water there. I love the water!
2 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
18 Aug 17
Thanks! I'm quite pleased with how the photo turned out, I actually had my phone in a sandwich baggie to keep it dry and I wasn't sure how well taking pictures through the plastic film would work!
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Aug 17
@Platespinner Well it sure is lovely..it took me there that picture.Thanks for sharing it with us.
1 person likes this
@Hannihar (39939)
29 Sep
I never took my dog to water when I had her and my cat I had before the one I have now never liked water except to drink. That is a good way to teach her how to swim. My Sophie that I have now would probably like water.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
1 Oct
Our dog is a golden so she's a natural water dog.
@Hannihar (39939)
2 Oct
@Platespinner Mrs J/'Emmett, so she is a golden retriever? I love those dogs. My dog was a lab-husky, but, she never went in the water. She loved playing in the snow when we had it.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
2 Oct
@Hannihar She's a mostly pure golden (just no papers).
• United States
20 Aug 17
It looks like a wonderful place to be!
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
22 Aug 17
We're blessed to have a gorgeous lake so close to home. The water is ridiculously warm this time of year, but that's the only downside.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Aug 17
@Platespinner It's just nice to be able to get wet.
1 person likes this
@poehere (17680)
• French Polynesia
18 Aug 17
This is wonderful. We take our dogs to the lagoon each weekend and they love to swim. The big dog chases coconuts thrown in the water. It is so funny to watch.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
22 Aug 17
She likes to chase her ball in the water at the moment.
@poehere (17680)
• French Polynesia
22 Aug 17
@Platespinner This is excellent. We don't have a problem in Tahiti with our dogs. Every week we take them swimming at the beach. Good luck and have fun.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (42516)
• Germany
12 Oct
I thought dogs loved to get into the water without being coaxed.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
13 Oct
Some dogs do, but Nessie is a bit of a chicken. Right now she's terrified of her shadow, the vacuum cleaner, and empty buckets.
@silvermist (20096)
• India
20 Aug 17
That photo was nicely captured.Like the kids,Nessie too would be an expert.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
22 Aug 17
She doesn't recognize yet that she has limitations so we have to watch her pretty closely. She loves to swim with her people at the moment!
• Philippines
19 Aug 17
I hope she ends up enjoying her time in the water, my dog hates water too but he needs the bathe.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
22 Aug 17
She doesn't mind a bath and she now LOVES to swim!
@Juliaacv (32278)
• Canada
18 Aug 17
She looks awfully content here.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
22 Aug 17
In that picture she was still a little cautious. Not anymore!
1 person likes this
@TheSojourner (17310)
• United States
18 Aug 17
How fun. I love the photo!!
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
22 Aug 17
Thanks, Coral!
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (69054)
• Roseburg, Oregon
17 Aug 17
Before you know it the dog will be swimming and enjoying it.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
18 Aug 17
She already is swimming and enjoying it. We kayaked out to a small island this morning so we were able to let her off the leash--she had a blast!
@Tampa_girl7 (25846)
• United States
21 Aug 17
Our dog loves to play in water. nice picture
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
21 Aug 17
She really disliked water at first and didn't even want to get her paws wet, now we have to watch her like a hawk because she doesn't just swim out to us, she wants to keep going out into the lake--silly dog!
1 person likes this
@Tampa_girl7 (25846)
• United States
21 Aug 17
@Platespinner I had a cat that would walk into the shower stall when I showered if I wasn't careful. He loved water
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
22 Aug 17
@Tampa_girl7 we have one that likes to walk around the edge of the tub, but dislikes getting wet. She's only fallen in once.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (170143)
• Switzerland
18 Aug 17
What a nice photo and a beautiful setting. I am sure that Nessie will love the water more and more. You are right to keep an eye on her, she feels she is safe if you rush to help when she needs.
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
22 Aug 17
She has discovered that she is a water dog. All traces of fear are gone and she leaps right in.
@UncleJoe (10597)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
17 Aug 17
Nessie's breed are natural swimmers. She's just too young to understand that. By the time she's full grown it may be harder to keep here OUT of the water. It is such a thrill to have them come running up and shake right next to you.
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
18 Aug 17
I knew she was a natural swimmer (afterall she is equipped with webbed paws), but she wasn't too convinced the first few times she got her feet wet. In fact the first time we had her in the water she didn't even know how to shake herself yet.
1 person likes this