How Do I Keep Wolfie From Going Nuts With The Pool

It is getting warmer now (South Florida, what a stretch!) and we are spending more time in the pool.  If we keep Wolfie inside, he jumps at the glass door.  If we let him out, he barks all around the pool or jumps in on top of us and just drives us nuts!  What can we do?


All Wolfie is doing is copying what you are doing.  You run out the back door, all excited about getting in the pool.  You jump in the pool, splash, scream, and have a great time.  If you leave Wolfie inside, he simply wants to get out to have fun too.  If he is outside, he wants to be a part of the action.  You haven't directed Wolfie to do anything different.

What you must do is to direct his actions in a direction you desire when you are in the pool.  The process is called socialization and it is accomplished through providing him the appropriate direction while you are in the pool in a consistent and repetitive manner.  Here is what I suggest:

  1. You need to build standard activities for Wolfie when you are outside and not in the pool.  The best activities I suggest are the fetch games.  This will get Wolfie excited to run after things that are directed away from you.  He then needs to return them to you and surrender them to you in a calm and respectful manner.
  2. Now, you are ready to get in the pool.  Enter the pool without going crazy.  Have a family member bring Wolfie out on a leash and sit by the pool.  Be sure to have some toys for Wolfie and even some treats so that he has something to do while you are in the pool.  Slowly swim around (without going crazy) and have the family member with Wolfie to redirect his attention back to them and the toys whenever Wolfie gets a little to distracted with your actions in the pool.
  3. As Wolfie stays calm with you in the pool while you are calm, slowly increase your activity while the family member with Wolfie continues to redirect his attention back to them and the toys if Wolfie becomes a little too excited.
  4. Once this is accomplished, allow Wolfie to wander freely with the leash.  If he starts to get too distracted with your pool actions, have the family member who "had the leash" reacquire the leash and redirect him.
  5. Once Wolfie is calm with you in the pool, you can begin to interact with him in a mutually "fun way".  Remember "Step One" where you worked on fetch games?  Now, let's do that with Wolfie.  The one difference is that you are throwing the toys for Wolfie while you are in the pool.  You direct Wolfie to return them to you at the side of the pool where you can throw the toys again.  
You now have a way to play with Wolfie in a consistent manner that he will understand.  You have shown him how to be with you while you are out in the pool and you have also shown him how you will play with him while you are in the pool where he doesn't have to jump in on top of you.

Please note that this training tip does not address keeping Wolfie safe while he is in the pool.  Please look for other articles in this blog to cover that issue.  For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

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