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Hi all! Phoebe is 11 months old and a great swimmer. The problem is whenever someone is swimming, she jumps either on them or attacks them, scratching them and biting at the splashes she creates. She won't swim back to the shore and continues to swim 'on' the person, which forces the person to have to swim back to the shore with Phoebe continuing to attack them. It is not enjoyable at all. When we hold her back (put her on a leash to ensure she doesn't jump into the water with the person swimming), she goes insane - barking and howling, crying, and pulling like crazy to get into the water. I have read other posts where the V. may be trying to 'retrieve' the human and have tried some of the suggestions to no avail. I've tried to calmly go into the water from the shore (not allowing her to jump from the dock) and I've tried to distract her with treats and toys. The human in the water is way more of a draw than any treat or toy (in fact, she's not interested in retrieving toys at all). Is this something she will grow out of as she matures? Any other suggestions for getting her to calm down? I don't mind her swimming with us if she was calm and not swimming ON us and scratching and biting. Thanks in advance!!
 

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There is nothing wrong with putting her on a check cord, leash, in the water.
Most of the time Finn, 10 months old, is in the water he has either a 25', or 50', check cord attached to the front of a harness. His is attached for a different reason.
Treat it just as if she were on the ground, and enforce, very gently, the recall command. It will take some work on your part.
 

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how is Phoebe on the ground with obedience?

i found that both of my boys when i started swimming with them, showed similar behavior what you described, so i was using the same obedience commands as on the ground when i wanted them to stop jumping on me, plus the usual motivator technic - replacing mom by a higher value item. for us, toys have worked very well, but if your pup likes to chase the bubbles (Bende does that too and screams while he is catching them, providing fun for everyone nearby) i would stand in knee height water and create bubbles and stop as soon as she comes too close (so basically at the first attempt of contact). that will teach her that the fun is over as soon as she physically contacts you, same way as teaching them that if they creep up to a bird it will fly away. also there are certain toys which are heavy enough to create a big splash if you throw them with the right move into the water, that may help increasing her toy drive in the water.

so 2 things: obedience and motivator technic is what has worked for me, none of my water crazy boys jump on me anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks very much! Phoebe is good with obedience on the ground, so I'll work with using a leash/cord while she's in the water. I also like the suggestion about stopping splashing when she gets close. All of this behaviour only started a couple of weeks ago so hopefully with some training and work on my part, she will settle down so we can swim with her. She will sit in the canoe and on a SUP, so I know she can do it. Thanks for the suggestions!
 
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