Friday training talk -- swimming at Alaska K9 Aquatics

AnchorageJune 14, 2013 

Alaska K9 Aquatics has life jackets for all-size dogs.

BY MIKE LEWIS — adn.com/dogblog

I fell in love with Alaska K9 Aquatics this week. The large indoor pool at 549 W. International Airport Road (behind Alyeska Canine Trainers) is a great year-round opportunity for dogs to swim, and it was the perfect next stage in Eddie's rehabilitation from leg surgery. Check out the video below.

Eddie posed a challenge for owners Martina and Bruce Richardson -- he'd never really swam before and he's 9 years old. Toss in the fact that Yorkies aren't Labs and tend to be cautious, and you can see why I wasn't overly optimistic about the chances that he could get much from the experience.

But Martina and Bruce know their stuff. Martina hopped into the water with him and treated him with kid gloves. She must have played with him for 15 minutes before asking him to swim. When I think of some of my past dogs -- even Labs -- who didn't embrace swimming, I now see why. There's a way to make the experience fun from the beginning.

Eddie may never be a dog who will dive in a lake and fetch any stick he can find, but I'm confident he can enjoy the pool and get the exercise he needs.

How about your dogs? Do they like to swim? Did you have to teach them how to do it, or did they pick it up on their own?

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