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Discussion Starter #1
Ziggi is suppose to swim to help get some of his energy out (since he is limited on his movement until his leg gets better).  The vet recommended swimming but our guy sinks like a rock.  We want to get a life vest for him but not sure which one works best.  Anyone ever used one?  He is 82lbs.  As soon as I figure out how to post pictures I will!
 

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I know someone who has used water therapy for her boxer also..Let me ask her if she used a life jacket and if so, what kind
 

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Ok, I'm going to throw some questions at you.. Is the vet recomending Hydrotherapy? In other words are you going to a therapy session with a therapist attending, or did the vet just recomend swimming as a way to work that leg? Altho she doesn't recomend using a pool as it's supposed to be drying on their skin, my Buck was always in the pool & he had the glossiest coat...Hope this helps and if you need any other questions answered, feel free to ask...

I talked to my friend and here's what she had to say:

--If it's unstructured water therapy "like just take him swimming" kinda deal.....tell him to take him to a lake. I would avoid a "swimming pool" as the chlorine can be bad for their skin, and if injested that's a whole different story.

If he's a sinker, he can do a couple of things......
1) Get him used to just going in, like Rubi does...up to her neck, throw a stick, she'll go in. Once he's used to getting his feet wet, your friend can take him on lead, and get in the water with him. I need to do this with Rubi this summer, because I would love for her to actually "swim" instead of just standing there.

With both of them in the water, have him coax his baby out further. Hold on to him tight...once he realizes the floor isn't there anymore, he will freak out! Lots of praise, and just pull him in. Hold him up. He'll need to learn to use his back legs. Rubi doesn't when she swims, she thinks she can just walk, so when the "floor disappears" on her, that's when she panics. So, you want to be there, holding under their tummy, getting them to kick, then eventually they will learn to use those back legs to swim around.

2) You can also get a life jacket if you don't want to get in the water with them. But, this can be cumbersum if he's not used to the jacket AND the water. Try throwin 2 unknowns together, and you'll get a freaked out dog! So, best to get him used to one, then introduce the other. But, just b/c he has a life jacket, doesn't mean he will try to swim. You may still need to coax him out further, and get him used to floating, so he will use his back legs.---
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The vet recommended it for him to help him get some exercise since he isn't suppose to be running or playing.  He is going nuts being confined and is getting aggressive with our other dog.   This isn't for any therapy, more of a way for him to be able to expand some of his energy and not cause any more damage to his leg.  

His first experience with our pool was by falling in on accident.  It happened to be in the deep end and he of course went nuts trying to get out, nearly drowning me in the process.  We would never leave him in the pool unless we were in with him (life jacket or not).  

The main reason we wanted to use the pool is to keep his walking/movement down.  He gets very excited around other people and taking him to the lake would mean lots of pulling and jumping (still working with him on the leash).  We monitor our pool very closely and would make sure he was rinsed off after and frequent baths with mild soap to help keep the chlorine from becoming a problem.

Thanks for all the information!  We have always had females and finding out just how much fun the guys are!  :D
 

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Definitely, use your pool, by all means...Start off in the shallow end. Let him stand on the steps and get himself acclimated..You may have to pick him up to coax him out, as dogs do tend to freak if they can't touch bottom...Carry him out a little ways from the steps, turn yourself around, so you are facing the steps and kind of let go with a gentle push..Stay right there with him the whole time..Once he gets back to the steps, praise the heck out of him..Give him a treat, and do it again...I found that worked really well when we were teaching Buck..I kept floating toys in the pool also for him to play with and to go fetch..Make it fun and as long as you are in with him, he should do fine.....Keep the sessions short tho, cos it does tire them out a lot...
 

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and I thought I was the only one whos boxer couldnt swim! When Rocky was with us he sunk right to the bottom as well
 

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I might get a life jacket for Mia when she comes home... I don't know how well she's going to be able to swim if she does like it...  :D
 

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Flutterby, I'd give her a few weeks first and try not using one...Like my friend said, sometimes the life jacket is too much of a distraction..She may do fine without it, you never know  :) That will definitely be worth some pictures in any case
 

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Discussion Starter #9
samsonsmom\";p=\"10270 said:
Definitely, use your pool, by all means...Start off in the shallow end. Let him stand on the steps and get himself acclimated..You may have to pick him up to coax him out, as dogs do tend to freak if they can't touch bottom...Carry him out a little ways from the steps, turn yourself around, so you are facing the steps and kind of let go with a gentle push..Stay right there with him the whole time..Once he gets back to the steps, praise the heck out of him..Give him a treat, and do it again...I found that worked really well when we were teaching Buck..I kept floating toys in the pool also for him to play with and to go fetch..Make it fun and as long as you are in with him, he should do fine.....Keep the sessions short tho, cos it does tire them out a lot...
Thanks for the information.  We will try it that way and we do have walk in steps in the shallow end so that should help.  We also got a life jacket for him yesterday so will have that to use if needed.  

Also I don't know if I am responding correctly to a reply, do you hit the quote button or is there another way to respond?  Thanks!
 

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Use the "post reply" button right at the bottom of the page
 
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