Does your dog love the water? or do they run the other way?
Water Dog Tips

| | Life With Your Dog


Haley’s family’s continuing saga of getting her into the water.

A Golden Doodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever (bred to retrieve shot waterfowl and a breed having an instinctive love of water) and a poodle (whose name originates from words meaning “to splash about” and English derivatives of “puddle”, again another “gun” dog used for retrieving, especially since its webbed feet make it an agile swimmer).  So naturally you’d expect that with two breeds having the same predispositions, its combined genetics would pretty much guarantee they’re going to love the water!

Well, like every human, dogs also have their own personalities that sometimes contradict the stereotypical. Our Golden doodle doesn’t know she’s supposed to love swimming. She retains the later traits of her ancestors i.e. bred for companionship and status!

A few months after we brought her home, we were excited about bringing her on a family camping trip.  When we took her to the dog park to swim in the lake, she desperately tried to stay away from the inevitable, a family swim.  She paddled her little legs as fast as she could back to the shore, frantically trying to figure out a way to get up on the deck.  Even now, 6 years later, when we take her out to the lake, or to a friend’s backyard pool, we have a hard time keeping her in the water.  Her first instinct is to swim towards the dock, or boat, or land.

BUT, we did discover that she loves creeks! Now this type of water is something that we can’t keep her away from.  As soon as we get within 100 feet of a creek, she tears off, splashing and paddling around in the water, chasing after floating sticks, like she’s having the best of times.  Lakes-no way, that’s a nightmare. Creeks-yes, that’s the best time of all.

Go figure!  Story contributed by Hayley’s mom Alisa.

Water dog tips that could help Hayley and other dogs like her

Try getting in the water with your dog

Dogs love to be with you all the time and they trust you. Perhaps by going in the water with your dog this will help your dog get over their fears by showing them it’s OK to proceed into the water. Talk to them “Look Hayley I’m in the water, I’m fine and so will you be!” By leading with examples your dog will trust what you are doing.

Show your dog how fun the water can be

Always make jumping and splashing in a body of water fun for your dog and you. We have many water toys that our dogs love to play with. Start in a shallow end of a pool, creek or lake and begin to play with them with lots of praise. Show your dog how much fun it is playing in the water. As your dog gets more comfortable playing in the water, increase the water level and the amount of time in the water.

Bring a doggie friend who loves water to help your dog overcome their fears

When you have a social dog, they can’t but help themselves wanting to play with another dog. One of the best ways for dogs to feel confident and comfortable around water is by having seasoned water-loving dogs around it.  By allowing your dog to observe the other dogs body language (i.e. tails wagging) they will see there is nothing to fear since all the dogs are having a water-load of fun.


If you have a dog that isn’t quite happy jumping in the water or having its bath. Let us know we would be happy to write a post on your four-legged friend as well!

Photo Credit: Alisa Hayley's Owner


As a life-long dog parent and enthusiast, I can’t get enough of all things doggie! My love of dogs and passion to educate and share solutions with other dog owners, is essentially how this site came to be. With the help of my three dogs I will provide engaging ‘tails’ and real life-lessons learned on dog ownership.

Leave a Reply