Duncan who?, I hear you say! Well, Duncan Goodhew and I were at the same school, we developed similar hairstyles(!), the only difference was that he went on to win Olympic Gold in breast stroke at the Moscow 1980 olympics!
What’s that got to do with dogs? Well, yesterday I had the real joy of teaching another 2 dogs to swim! The first was a 19 week old Vizsla and later in the day, a 20 month old labrador that had been reluctant to swim.
With careful preparation, using a combination of persuasion, temptation, stooge dogs, encouragement, water dummies and me in a pair of East German waders, we cracked it. And to see the relief and joy on the owners’ faces as their dogs went out of their depth for the first time and started to love doing what comes naturally made this training lark worth while.
Touch wood (or water), we’ve never failed to get a dog swimming after one lesson thanks to the techniques I have picked up over the years from others. I feel a bit of a fraud really, because this is all about tapping into natural instincts and allowing dogs to overcome their fears. It’s not rocket science.
Now there’s a thought for my next project ……