Teaching my dogs to enjoy — or at least tolerate — the water
In the dewy morning, our Jasper will stand on the deck looking down at the grass. It presents a great puzzlement: how to go potty without getting his feet wet.
Tucker will run through the wet grass, in pursuit of whatever small animal or bird presents a chaseable opportunity. Then he’ll realize his paws are moist.
Neither dog likes getting any part of his body wet.
Lilah nose the pool is fun
Lilah thinks the boys are ridiculous drama queens. In summer’s heat, you’ll find her splashing through the kiddie pool I set out. She’ll prance around in a circle — always counter clockwise, I’ve noticed — sticking her snout under the water and blowing bubbles through her nose.
Teaching my dogs to enjoy the water
Every year, I attempt to get Jasper and Tucker to try the pool. Just walking in it the way Lilah does can help cool off a hot dog. Plus, conquering a fear or a dislike can instill confidence in a dog.
And maybe it would make it easier for me to wipe paws during Mud Season.
Last year, Jasper made progress once he figured out that he gets treats for standing in the pool. For Tucker, it’s rarely worth it. He proved the point when his beloved ball landed in the pool. (I didn’t do it on purpose. Really. Though I did grab a camera once I realized what happened. I thought the video of the dog trying to retrieve the ball without getting his feet wet was hilarious. Tucker, not so much.)
This summer, as usual, Lilah jumped right in.
Jasper didn’t seem to mind. I’m guessing he remembered the treats from last year.
He even stayed in the pool long enough for me to take a photo. Progress!
The bravery of his brother must have inspired Tucker. Or maybe it was peer pressure, seeing Jasper and Lilah in the pool. Or perhaps he wanted some of the treats they were getting.
Because this happened.
Immediately followed by this.
It took all summer, but I finally got all 3 dogs in the kiddie pool. Just in time for fall.
Have you helped your pets learn to do something new that they were nervous about at first?
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- Text from Dog: Pool safety is important
- Photo: The boys have to be bribed to get into the pool
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