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Tuesday Training Byte: Fun in the Mud Puddle

Today was another one of those days with a heavy downpour in a couple of hours. When this happens, we end up with a nice sized "frog pond" in the front pasture that is about 20 inches deep in the center. With young pups, getting them used to water will require you to either put on some tall rain boots or waders or a pair of shorts. Get your pup's waterproof toy or bumper and play with your dog along side of the pond. Every time the puppy goes out and grabs the toy shout lots of praise and encouragement. Gradually, wade into the shallow water and encourage the pup to come to you to get their toy, or toss it just where they have to step in to get it. If the pup is a bit reluctant, don't go for too much and end up scaring them. Letting them chase you just along the edge builds their confidence. Sometimes on more timid pups, this is a good ending time for the fun session. If my pup seems willing to go for more, I may step farther into the mud hole or throw the bumper in a bit deeper water. Keep it short and fun and end while the dog is still eager. It may also help to bring out a more seasoned dog that will go right into the water and this will encourage the pup to give it a try. Some dogs take naturally to water, while others do not. Exposing them as a puppy in a fun way is easier that trying to get an older dog in that has never experienced it. Before you know it, you can stand on the dry ground and let your puppy retrieve the toy from the water. Happy Wading!

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