Any dog can learn to love the water and swim (although some may need the assistance of a life vest). Swimming safely alongside their human (or at a distance) is the foundation for Canine Water Work and a fun new sport called Canine Water Sports (CWS). Not only is this a great way to actively spend time with your canine pal –it also opens a whole new aquatic environment for your dog to utilize their magnificent senses as well as build their confidence and enhance your relationship. In fact, being in the water with your dog, you can be literally eye-to-eye or shoulder-to-shoulder, bringing a fresh awareness to your connection.
Today’s interview is with Erica Etchason, an award-winning Canine Water Sports instructor who teaches at a number of indoor dog pools on the East Coast and trains with CWS Founder, Debora Lee Riley Miller. Find out how to introduce a dog to water in a safe way that invites their playfulness and joy and how you can get started in this all-breed, all-dog sport which can include learning a variety of skills of your choice: Team Swimming (think “AguaAgility”), Submersion-Work (diving for lost gear), Delivery-Work (distance retrieving), Tow-Work (to rescue a stranded boater), Nautical Nosework and Boatwork. Watersports training water cultivates teamwork based on trust, respect and cooperation in a completely leash-free environment. “Let the Splash be with you!”