Unlike Mielikki, Sky, who is now ten months old, is not interested in following any objects thrown into the pond. He is a natural retriever on land, but in the water he completely loses interest in retrieving. We will have to work on this, but for now we just want him to swim.
Last year when our S-litter was young, our pond was overflowing because of the storm Irene. It was a mess for a long time so Sky and Summer never got to swim when they were young. This summer when we brought Sky to the pond he was curious but quite cautious. Our mild encouragement was all that he needed. He does not jump into the pond like some other dogs do, but he slowly walks into the water. It seems that he is very visual in the pond and gets fascinated by what he can see at the bottom or on the surface. For example, the reflections of light get his attention. Also he puts his nose into the water and blows bubbles of air, which again he watches attentively.
It is interesting how every dog is different. Most of our dogs love to swim, with two exceptions. Tommy is not crazy about it, but with some encouragement and praise he'll do it. Bella, now a year old, does not want to come even near the pond. Yet, her dam Mae is a very good swimmer. I hope that she is just going through adolescence, and with time will get to enjoy the pond. It is a lot of fun for the dogs and us, and in summer swimming provides excellent exercise when it gets too hot to run rabbits.