The road to the private pond is washed out from the flood, so yesterday we took the drive out to Two Rivers State Recreation Area for a swim.  The sign said “no pets allowed” on the beach, but I had driven nearly an hour to get to a 50 ft. by 10 ft. area of sand on a 1 acre pond (yes, lame), so I was willing to take the risk.

I started off by letting the pups hang out with the kids in the very shallow water.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon puppies

Checking out the water with the girls

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon puppies

Checking out the water and Caleb

The next step was to have Cordelia take a pup out into the water and get it wet, the same way I did a week or so ago in the kiddie pool.  It has to be all positive, with lots of praise and encouragement.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon puppies

Male 2.1 gets wet

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon puppies

Alpha Female gets wet

Finally, I took them out one at a time into a little bit deeper water.  I petted the pup, got it wet, then set it into the water, holding on to its torso with its legs hanging free into the water.  When I saw its legs start to make dog paddle motions, I let it go to swim!

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Puppies

Male 2.1 swimming

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon puppies

Alpha Female swimming

Both during and after their little swims, I lavished praised on them.  It was not my ideal introduction to water, but it was what I had available at the time and seemed to be a positive experience for the pups.  Luckily, I should have access to the private pond back for next year’s litter (barring any floods).

Right now, I’m focused on getting these little pups some sort of new experience every day.  It doesn’t have to be for a very long period of time, but just something to keep those little brains active and curious.