Katinka's 1st Swim Lesson. Epic Fail.

So I had been wanting to take Katinka swimming for awhile now but couldn't because:
a) We lived at places that only had neighborhood pools
b) Didn't have a lake that we dare jump in
c) Didn't have time in college at BYU with school and work

Now we have a lake option and more time!
So after a few hours of playing tennis with Kevin a few weekends ago,
July 9, 2011,
the day after the big 
more HERE
I was dying to jump in the lake with Katinka!!!
Luckily we got a hand me down doggy life vest from my parent's previous pup Kita
Learn about Kita HERE
As you can see Katinka seems to be panting.
Honestly, I think she knew something was coming.
She was almost hyperventilating if dogs can do that? Not. Even. Kidding.
She tried to run off the dock so I had my dad hold her, and here he has her hanging from the vest lol.

This was a big day.
I had a lot of visions about how I wanted it to play out...
I was hoping she would LOVE swimming and would swim around the lake having fun!
Aren't dogs supposed to like it? Although she hates when I give her baths.
SO, Here we are about to go in.
I am so prepared with a life vest. Haha.
Don't judge. I am a horrible swimmer but I want to make sure I am there for my little Katinka!!!
Also don't judge how white I am. I am white. I get it, haha. And yes, I know it is summer!
So I slowly go down the steps from the dock in the lake and it is kind of cold.
Then someone hands Katinka to me and I hold her. I let her go and see if she can paddle.
Let's say she had PANIC in her eyes and was frantically swimming for her life!
It was the most traumatic thing ever! I let her swim around for a bit but I knew she was not relaxed at all. Kevin told me to grab her so I did. She sure hung on to me tightly and her claws did come out!
I was hoping she would get used to the water and relax but she didn't.

Really, I knew the moment I saw her face and HER EYES that she was so scared.
She literally looked at me with those cute puppy eyes like "I'm drowning!!!"
Look at that little face!
Anyways, so we hung out just floating and she held on to me super tight and then decided to get out.
Here we are getting out of the lake and you can tell by her facial expression (yes dogs have them too!!!) that she is uncomfortable and frightened!
So after the previous night and the bonfire and now the swimming experience, I'm kind of bummed because Katinka doesn't like bonfires or swimming. I want her to enjoy that stuff!!!
Anyways, she was such a little trooper and maybe I can bring her in the lake here and there and maybe she will get used to it? Or maybe her legs are too short so she feels like she is drowning!?
So that was her first swim and it is safe to say it was a failure because she thought she was drowning.

Thoughts, tips, advice anyone? 
How do you get a puppy to like swimming? :)


  1. Awww! Cypress was scared of the water for a long time (we got her at 7 months old and I honestly don't think she'd ever seen it before).

    It took months and years, but what we did was start throwing rocks in the water...at first right at the shore and slowly further and further out. Now she'll swim around chasing rocks but she doesn't really like the water unless you're throwing rocks, but she is a lot more comfortable with it. She's still scared out of her wits of the ocean, though, because the water moves more.

    Good luck little chihuahua beast!

  2. Awwww this made me giggle, shes sooo cute ! My last dog that died look like her except it was a boy, i miss him heaps! His name was rusty, but he always hated water, he never liked having a bath. No idea why. Sorry cant help you out there :( Hopefully she gets use to it :)

  3. hahaha! Aw!! My old puppy hated water too. :P She HATED it. So Katinka's not alone. :) I love that doggy life vest. So cute!

  4. Ha that's so cute. I've taken Chloe in a lake before and she kind of runs in and stays near the shore going in and out. Then she runs out and digs her face in sand lol
    I try and throw a stick in the water when she sometimes seems stand-offish about going in. A dog can't resist a stick :)

  5. Hahaha! I just love those pictures of her! Oh so sad! My parents had a boxer that wouldn't even go near water. When she passed they got 2 more boxers (brother and sister...no kids at home anymore so they got 2 to play with eachother!) and the first time we took them to the lake they jumped right off the boat and almost didn't come back up! It was the scariest thing ever! Haha they don't really like the water either :)

  6. first, i canNOT believe they make life jackets for dogs! second, some dogs are bred to like water and some are not. My pup LOVES swimming and loves taking a bath. But Katinka may never like it. The best is to try to take her to it a lot, so she may get used to it. But also if she likes fetching maybe you could throw a toy in the water for her to get?

    Also, where in Wyoming are you going? Are you full out camping?

  7. This had me laughing so hard! Katinka looks adorable in her doggy life vest! We have a little shihtzu and he hasn't been swimming yet either! Hopefully he likes it! My husband and I were in Rexburg for too long haha! We are DC bound right now though!

  8. I want to kiss whoever came up with a puppy life jacket- cutest thing EVER! My parents dogs are around water all the time and still dont like it...sorry I have no advice!

  9. I have never seen a dog hate water that much before...poor puppy!

  10. Ashley, you are too cute to do that! I love it! Cute dog! We had a good time last night! We'll have to get together again, maybe with the husbands sometime too :)

  11. I love dog stories! They are the funnest things to have around!

  12. hahaha this is the cutest/funniest thing ever--my dog plays in a little kiddie pool-she can stand in it, but she plays with her little ball in it, she loves it when it's hot outside--i haven't got to put her in a big pool yet, i'm interested to see if she'll like it! but maybe you can try that? baby steps? ha

  13. No tips, but your story cracked me up. Your dog is adorable in the life jacket. And I have some marvelously white legs myself. :)

  14. i llove the doggie vest!! sooooo cute!!!

    jenna duty


  15. so my parents have basset hounds (that I consider my step-pets) and my huz and I got them to like the water. the easy one was the second dog, cause when he saw hir friend playing in the water, he wanted to too. So that's my first recommendation, have any doggie friends who already like to swim?

    For the first dog we tried just plopping the dog down in the water, but that didn't go over so well. So what I did was coax her in a few inches of water at a time (i was in the water, if she would wade in to me I would praise her a lot, give treats if you have it) that worked wonders!

  16. Oh.My.Gosh! This is precious. Poor girl... she doesn't like swimming. I don't have any advice, because I always grew up with dogs that loved the lake where we lived. They were however breeds that were meant to love the water... like retrievers or labs. I don't know of many small dogs that do like the water... maybe if you can get her in water where she can touch the bottom and go in on her own she might not be so scared..?

  17. i swear, katinka in her life vest is the cutest thing I have ever seen! haha!