Swimming

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Dekoz23's picture
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Joined: 2013-04-17

I have 2 1 yr old brothers from the same litter. They're amazing!! I also have a swimming pool and would love them to swim. Last summer they learned to get in the pool on the stairs. They rush for the edge whenever we let go, but they are comfortable enough sitting on the stair to cool off. I need them to learn to swim...the deep end is not their friends and it terrifies me that one of them will fall in when we're not out there. I need some tips on how to help them learn to swim!! Please help!! They're my babies, I've honestly thought about buying a child safety fence until they properly learn!

Kar-jinx's picture
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Joined: 2012-04-15

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The gate might be your best bet.  Even if they learn to properly swim, things happen, fatigue, panic, etc.  I never leave my dogs out in the yard unattended.  They are like children.  They don't understand "don't go in the pool unless we are here with you". Also it leaves opportunity for someone to harm them, (poison) or theft for a bait dog, or fight dog, or someone who just wants a Doberman but can't get one on their own.  They may steal yours.  

You may want to research same sex aggression which is a high probability among male Dobermans.  You might be rehoming one of them in the near future.   There is a lot of information on that subject here.  You can use the search feature to find out more. At one year old, it may not have surfaced yet.  Or one or both might already be displaying signs that this is forthcoming.  I knew nothing about this until joining this site.  Then I read about it here,  googled it and found many websites that speak about it.  There has to be something to this if this information is everywhere.  Reputable breeders will never ever sell 2 males to the same home or sell a male to someone who has a male of any breed already.  Mine seems to get along well with males that visit or when we are out visiting.  But he picks at his min pin brother from time to time and has to be monitored at all times, and crated when we go out for groceries, etc.  

Dekoz23's picture
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Joined: 2013-04-17

The research I've done has had a lot of positive notes on trying a life jacket. We have 2 long 11 ft plate glass windows in our living room overlooking the backyard. They are rarely out there by themselves. They've been chasing each other and one has slipped in. They are fine in the shallow end, they use the stairs to get out. The deep end is why I'm freaking out. 

 

We have two smaller dogs who are older..both 8 years old males.  They interact with them pretty well, our min pin can be the one to get crabby with the big boys. Our breeder warned us about them getting aggressive.  So far, they have been almost perfect.  One incident, but we were both out there to break it up. They are very sweet together, giving each other kisses and laying around on the couch.  

Tannaidhe's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-25

I've known a pair of brothers, and also a father/son pair, that got along well...  but I've also known many that became an issue...  Koko's breeder, for instance, has two males...  and they have to be kept strictly apart, rotating time in the house, the yard, and the kennel, or they go at each other.  Even if they can see each other, they will bark almost constantly.  However, this aggression does not show up until they hit full maturity...  somewhere between 1.5-2.5 yrs old.  So they may be (almost) perfectly sweet together now, and try to (literally) kill each other in another year and a half.  :-/  While it's possible it won't become a problem, you need to keep a close eye on it for the next year or two, and have a plan in place if it ends up becoming a problem.

DJ's Dad's picture
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Oh my...4 males, and two of them are sibling doberman males?  All I'm going to say that hasn't already been said is "stay alert".....your perfect situation COULD change drastically in the future. Not saying it will, but be prepared just in case.

Kim
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Same sex aggression aside, I would never, ever leave your dogs unattended near a pool. Not even with a gate or small fence.

My dog Dillon leaped a four foot fence, fell in the pool, and if I hadn't been right inside the back door, he would have drowned. I was hysterical, and cried for half an hour - I came so close to losing him. He never got to sit outside on the deck by himself again.

Joined: 2012-10-28

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Dont dogs know how to swim?

 I knew a pregnant English bulldog that could swim!

Tannaidhe's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-25

I always though dogs just instinctively knew how to swin too, principessa.  I've had many dogs, most would swim, some wouldn't, but all of them could as far as I'm aware, and I never taught a one of them how.

Dekoz23's picture
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Joined: 2013-04-17

We're definitely on the lookout. That one time freaked me out. It was all because of a kid on a bike was passing by the house. Axl went to bark at the bike(he hates bikes), and turned quickly and bit Bruce. We each grabbed one and separated and scolded(Bruce bit back!) 

 

We are replacing our wood fence with a concrete wall!  Our house has the bus stop on our corner and we don't want to freak out the kids too bad :)

Dekoz23's picture
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Joined: 2013-04-17

I thought all dogs could swim too!! I guess not though. They will paddle with their front paws, but then their back ends sink.  

 

My min pin is a fabulous swimmer and my mini dachshund is a good swimmer, but does log rolls because of his oddly shaped body..it's hilarious!!

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

Not all dogs can swim, and some dogs panic and drown, those that instinctively swim when they fall in are swimming out of pure survival instinct and paddle their feet in order to try and reach something solid under their feet which must be terrifying to the dog to be trying so hard and find nothing under their feet; but then the dogs that LOVE to swim are hard to keep out of the water, my friend with 4 rotties one of her rotties will go out to potty and come barreling back to the house at break neck speed and jump in one end of her pool and swim to the other end and then out then zoom into the house must be quite the sight, and yet another of the rotties a male from the same rescue as my Ben is terrified of the water and accidentally fell in and her husband had to dive in and save him, over time her husband has taught this rottie to swim so that if he does fall in again he at least can swim and not drown the other two swim when they want

And 4 males 2 sibling wow that will most likely get volatile I hope you are not leaving them alone together when you go out.

Dekoz23's picture
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Joined: 2013-04-17

Like I said earlier, NO I DON'T. I understand that males can become aggressive towards each other, I find it odd, when asking a question about swimming, the topic gets turned into supervision and aggression in males. I've owned only male dogs my entire life. I thought this site was supposed to be helpful!?!?!

Tannaidhe's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-25

There's no need to get hostile.  :(  We are only trying to be helpful.  Dobermans are not like most dogs in this respect, and it's something that is seen here with unfortunate frequency - people get two males with no idea of the same-sex aggression dobies can develop, think that since they're fine as puppies they always will be, then end up with an injured or dead dog when they reach maturity.

 

As I said before, I've never had a dog that didn't know how to swim...  I suppose you could do much as they do with young children - get in the water and help support them until they flail around enough to quit panicking and get the idea...

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

Sorry Deko i did not re-read all the posts before responding I had read them before but did not remember the answer to leaving them alone, like tanna said no need to get upset, all caps is yelling so sorry that you felt i wasn't paying attention just making a comment that if you had not considered it you might want to look into it......we are all here to help....and in re-reading your posts there is no mention of leaving the dogs alone in the home while you are out, just a mention of them not being out at the pool alone, that's what i was going on - I was referring to male/male aggression when left in the home alone while the owner is out for errands, not by the pool ....hope that clarifies my statements

Clydesdalefan's picture
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Joined: 2018-10-15

I know it's an old thread but...

I teach all my Dobermans to swim.  I find that on the whole they aren't naturals at swimming.  Fortunately we can teach them to do anything, and it seems the worse they are when they start the stronger swimmer they end up.  They are "thinking" about swimming and then do it so much better.  Here is a clip of a new dog learning.  He is doing everything wrong, hind legs on the bottom, uncertainty of the water, trying to walk/jump.  

https://youtu.be/YIUubvI_PN0

He's already learned to pull the rope with his mouth and hold / release.  He wears no harness or leash or floatation. I pull him with the rope into the deep water, leading him by the mouth. As his rear sinks and his forelegs thrash, I pull him faster to bring him in the right body position. I pull him fully around me in very deep water then let him return to the shore with the rope. As he swims away I move behind him pushing up on his rear end from underneath. I command him "butt up" with every tiny push.  Later, when i see him failing, I can just speak "butt up" and he will bring his hindquarters to the surface on his own. This brings his forepaws back into the water for effective strokes. I repeat with different toys, hold him out in the water, release him, call him back.

Here he is 6 weeks later in a Much larger lake.

https://youtu.be/gRXBd6CNJt4

Small waves no more than 1 foot swells.

In the next clip (starting at 2:40) you'll see him in 5 to 6 foot beach break ... swimming.

https://youtu.be/_vjbctuCeO0?t=161

at 2:40 you'll see him retrieve in high waves and after that is some footage of me holding him up in large waves to get used to the waves hitting us.

Last clip is a long set of swims and retrieves and call outs into medium waves. 30" break and roll.

https://youtu.be/4LaSmu9A3X4

You can see he knows how to handle climbing the waves (still working on diving through the giant ones) can be handled while swimming, will retrieve, release in the water and retrieve farther.  He started out weak in the water, unable to stay afloat in anything over 4 feet deep, just a thrasher.  Now he's a comfortable in high waves, any depth. Will goto call of person in the water and swim with or retrieve human or toy from human.  Can retrieve from bottom (toy only (7'max)) and will swim with other dogs without pushing them down or being pushed down.  I don't say that our Dobermans are a natural swimmer breed; just that they are so trainable that it doesn't matter.  They love to do what you want to do :)

There are several videos on that channel of him swimming. He started at 8 months(ish) and the last video is of him at 12 months old.  I've started them as old as 9 years with no real problems.  I always feel safer when they can swim so if they fall into a situation, they just shrug it off and swim away as easily as if they were walking.

Anyway, I've blathered on long enough. More videos on that channel.  Have fun teaching them.. well.. "anything" ;)