Border Collie and Golden Retriever Activities

Dog Swimming

Merry in the Water

Taking the children swimming

When Foot and Mouth Disease broke out in England in early 2001, living in the country became a very mixed blessing. Our Border Collies and Golden Retrievers were used to running free over the paths, bridleways and fields and suddenly as the countryside closed up, they could only be exercised on the lanes, on the lead, even with a huge sandpit at home and plenty of room to play the "children" needed something more to keep them fit and happy. We decided to take them swimming, hydrotherapy is not only for invalided or injured dogs but for any dog who needs really stretching exercise and something to push the muscles to their limit. So we took the most active (and frustrated) of our friends and introduced them to swimming, the exercise made a real difference to their mental and physical well-being.

The key to swimming in a deep water pool (4' is deep), like everything else in life, is kindness confidence and a calm, safe, organised approach that leaves no room for surprises for dog or handler.

Merry enjoys having her lifejacket put fitted amid lots of fuss and attention!


and - very gently into the water



Just a little support and confidence to get started in a pool where her feet don't touch the ground.


Keeping her chin up but already at ease in the warm (35 degrees C) water


Merry has found her "sea legs" and is quite confident now without a life jacket

With the water jets on low pressure Merry has something to swim against and give her muscles extra work to do.


And out via the non-slip ramp

Left; in the dryer to be warm, dry and comfortable for her journey home.

Merry took to swimming like, well like... a dog to water!
Always eager to be at the centre of attention Merry loves the fuss and the challenge and goes all out against the flow (as usual). Always the athlete Merry was confident and keen from the first and thinks swimming comes a (fairly) close second to chasing helicopters

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