Others may have decided swimming is not for them if they have had a traumatic experience. When Gustav was a young lad, we were out on a winter walk in Michigan, USA. The snow had created an optical illusion, making a drift over a deep ditch extend out farther than the actual bank. The false edge collapsed under Gus, and a mini avalanche carried him into the frigid water below. He crashed through the thin layer of ice and swam by instinct, but couldn’t get a grip on the frozen bank.
I fashioned a makeshift lasso out of my other dog’s leash and managed to loop it around his head and a front paw to haul him to safety. We were very fortunate he didn’t get sick after such exposure! That being his first time swimming, he was never eager to repeat the experience. It took years of counter-conditioning, but Sir Gustav will now consent to wade up to his elbows.
My Collie used to like it. Then our other dog pushed her off a bridge. Now she just walks in the water. – Elina Jauhiainen