GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - It's summertime and everyone loves to go to the beach, including the family dog.

Kathryn Newman of Augusta Dog Training shows us how she taught Poppy to love going for a swim.

  • Puppies as young as 7 and 8 weeks can be taught to swim.
  • Wait until BOTH the air temperature and water are warm.
  • Never force a dog into the water and recognize that it may take several sessions before your dog is truly comfortable in the water.
  • Pick a swimming area that you can walk in and gradually gets deeper. Boat launches and beaches are ideal but check with local park rules.
  • Enter the water yourself to show your dog what you expect of them. Keep them on leash and under control. You don’t want them running away. For some dogs the leash provides a sense of security.
  • Wade in the water and remain in an area where your dog can touch the ground before encouraging them to venture out into deeper water. Remove the leash once your dog is comfortable and will stay with you.
  • Bring along an experienced dog who enjoys being in the water. Having another dog around will serve as a good role model for your young dog.
  • Now that your dog loves the water you can start to introduce the dock. Start near the beach so your dog becomes comfortable jumping off and getting up on the dock. Slowly work your way down the dock and tossing the toy out only a short distance. Teach your puppy to return to you be swimming back to shore so they can easily jump onto the dock.
  • Lastly, quit while your dog is still excited and thinks this is the best game ever!