This week we went back to Well-Dogs Hydrotherapy for Guinness’ second swim. He was much happier and stood to be showered then went straight into the pool without a harness. He remembered how to get in and out and was happily fetching his ball.
I wanted to work on Guinness’ fitness and he has a slightly wonky pelvis and therefore a weaker side, so Lorna taught me how to get him to swim around me. This is a lot like agility commands of sending the dog around a wing or around an object, or like heelwork to music getting the dog to go around you. The only difference is that they’re swimming!
At first if I was holding the ball he wasn’t sure about swimming out and if I didn’t let him have it quickly enough he would swim back to the side and stand there with an untrusting look in his eye. He’s a weird collie remember. But we took it one step at a time and with small increases he was soon swimming out around me and then I’d throw the ball to the other end and he’d go get it. Guinness soon learnt a clever trick; as he swam past me to fetch the ball he would kick me in the chest and push off from me! Nice one dog. But he only managed this twice before I started to dodge out of his way once he’d got round me.
We also put the jet on and had him swimming through and against a current, although he wasn’t as sure about this. We just did a few times and then went back to circles. Then he went back to doing some normal retrieves.
I was so super pleased with this session and it was great to be working on fitness exercises! I was really happy how we did for our first session but it’s even better to be able to do more with him. He swam for a good 30 minutes with breaks of standing at the side to drop the ball and then going back in.
Also it was a much better form of exercise on a hot day.