Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The water addict

I caught an episode of Dog Whisperer recently where Cesar Millan uses a kiddie pool as a positive reward for a fearful Labrador Retriever.
Which reminds me — to those of you who oppose Cesar Millan, I understand, but consider how far this guy has come over the years. He always had the right idea, I think, but lacked some formal education. In more and more episodes now, I am seeing him using positive reward methods with dogs and that shouldn’t go unnoticed by all you behaviorists. He’s listening to all of you!
Anyhow, the episode reminded me of my own dog and his addiction to water. Lately, he hasn’t had any real opportunities to swim and for this, I am sorry.
But it’s just all the more reason for me to buy one of those plastic kiddie pools.
I’ve been wanting to do this for years; never got around to it.
The lab in Sensi makes him believe he’s part fish. Once he gets in the water, he doesn’t want to get out. He’ll swim around in circles if he has to. He doesn’t care, he just doesn’t ever want to leave the water.
This does not, however, mean that he likes a bath. So I’ve always been curious as to how he’d respond to a kiddie pool. It’s not deep enough or large enough for him to swim, but the lab on Cesar’s show was content to just lay down in the water. Cesar scooped handfuls of water over the dog’s coat and you could see the pleasure written all over the dog’s face as he smiled, ears back and relaxed and tail splashing around as it wagged against the water.
I hope to recreate this image for my dog.
I know the kiddie pool idea is an old one and I’d love to see photos or hear about your tales of your dog and kiddie pool.
In the meantime, follow this link and watch the second video down. It’s a video my coworker shot of these two small dogs pulling a “frog dog” (my term for legs extended backward while laying down) in a creek bed. They look so comfortable!

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