This is what we did today. Rocks had his first real swimming lesson with his "swim instructor Greg", it was at our veterinarian's office, they have a small pool (not that pool <---), which can be used to exercise dogs that have joint issues, weight issues, etc. Well, let me first say that Rocks has always loved to "swim" this first picture sadly shows the only way he's ever swam before. We'd fill up his little kiddie pool and he'd swish the water around, stick his head under for a second and lay in it. Then of course we'd spray the hose for him in the yard and he'd run and chase the water stream or jump and leap to get it. Always fun (there were some great pictures to share there but I couldn't find them on the pc). We didn't take him to a lake in Omaha because we were worried about the blue-green algae issue they had in the area. (A dog could swim in a lake and in half an hour be dead from ingesting the blue-green algae). Here's what we really did today. At first, Rocks was nervous because he doesn't like heights or stairs etc. I think he noticed the bottom of the pool was about 4' away. But he was interested because we told him that he was going to go swimming and he was excited. See the curious, dry and slightly nervous dog. (I apologize for the bad videography and audio. You get to hear Rick and I talk in a high pitched crazy voice. ha ha!)
He was really shaking at first, we were starting to doubt that he would want to do it. But we decided to keep trying and by the second or third try you could see that although he was nervous in the water he had a grin afterwards on the ramp. Like he was proud of himself! We'd coax him back out and after about his 6th lap he was going in pretty much on his own.
You can see on this video he really didn't quite get it yet.
Greg did a great job supporting him when he needed it and soon enough Rocks figured that if he used his back legs and didn't try to lift his front feet out of the water that he didn't splash as much. His last two laps he was jumping in on his own and even made a double lap of the pool on his last time in.
(We weren't allowed to go in the water -clinic policy. Not all dogs are born natural swimmers, so we hear, and ours is no Lab or Portugese Water Dog. But at least now he knows how to swim a little bit. We don't expect him to sign up for swim meets any time soon.