I see that there's a group here for swimming Corgis.  Do Corgis (Cardi's, in particular) normally enjoy the water?  My Molly has typically avoided water like it would melt her!  She hates the rain, walks around puddles, won't join in with other dogs playing in the water if she has dry land to stand on...  But just lately I've started taking the boat out to a sand bar on the Wisconsin River to swim and play, and there are a lot of other dog parents (mostly labs) that take their families out there, too.  Molly seems to be warming up to it, but I worry about how safe she can be.  Should I be worried if she starts following the labs into deeper water?  I'm thinking I should get a life jacket for her.

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Hi Cassandra, yes some Cardis swim very well, their tail acts like a rudder, I find them less "panicky" compared to Pems. In my opinion it comes down to how the corgis were introduced to the water, Vienna had early introduction as a pup from the breeder, Mocha on the other hand was traumatized from his first bath. You'll want to start out slow on leash, walk parallel along the shoreline, have yummy treats in your fanny pack and give him lots of praise. Never dunk him in the deep end. A life jacket will help YOU to retrieve them from the water, if you have swam with dogs before, you know they tend to swim very close to you, if he was in distress and needed a rest, you can get scratches on your chest or back. I was a WSI in college, most lifeguard were not taught how to perform Canine CPR, go to your local red cross and take a class, you can also purchase their DVD online.
Thank you! It never occurred to me to look for a canine CPR course, I'm definitely going to check that out. That's one more thing that will make me feel better.
Casey (my 1 year old Cardi) was the same way for the first year of her life. She hated everything wet, the rain, puddles, and wouldn't step foot in water. Even if other dogs went in, she would stand at the edge and pace back and forth, wanting to play with them but refusing to actually go in.

Turns out, it's mostly the splashing she doesn't like. On her first birthday, we went down to the biggest dog park here in Edmonton, which is located on the river and has a nice beach area for dogs to go in and swim. The first time we went over, there were two labs and two springer spaniels jumping and splashing around in the water, and Casey did her usual pace back and forth along the edge without going in. The second time we went over (about an hour later) there was a bulldog standing, doing nothing in the water. He was quite short, probably 2-3 inches taller than Casey, and just stood there in mid-water. Well, that was it, in Casey went. She happily waded up to her chest in the water with the bull-dog, but if you threw a rock in the water and the bull-dog jumped for it and splashed, she would immediately get out. She hasn't gone much further than chest-deep at this point in time, but I think slowly introducing it and making it a positive experience is best. And perhaps finding out what it is specifically they like/dislike about the water...as I said, I didn't realize it was the splashing that Casey didn't like until we found a dog in water that wasn't splashing. Then she went in no problem. It's likely that the splashing around of larger dogs made it difficult to determine how deep the water was, causing her to avoid it.

As long as she’s comfortable and confident, that’s the most important thing. Just stay close by in case she tires or panics.
I would also add that it might be helpful if, starting from a calm shore-line, you waded in yourself a bit and encouraged her to come in slowly. If she can see how deep it is on you, she might be more inclined to go in.

Casey won't wander too far from me when she's in the water, so she hasn't really had an opportunity to full-out swim (someday I'll wear shorts/sandals and go in with her, but that day hasn't arrived yet).
Both my Pems love water. One swims like a fish, the other prefers to wade in. Early intros are important if you want a swimming dog, and even owners of hunting-bred retrievers make sure to get puppies early, positive experiences to water because even some hunting-line pups are terrified of water til they get used to it.

Sam has good suggestions for getting a water-fearful dog acclimated to water. As for a life-jacket, it depends on the circumstance (depth of water, whether you'll be in the water with the dog or not, etc). If I was in a boat, I'd want a life-jacket for my dogs. For swimming from shore, I do without if the water is calm and the shoreline easily accessible.
Guinness, our 3 yr old Pem, likes to play in the water, but hates to swim. If we throw a stick in a lake, he'll wait for the waves to bring it back to him. He'll walk out far enough that his front legs are still touching the ground, but his back ones float up and "frog-leg" out behind him. We took him and Finn, our 10 week old Pem, out canoeing a couple weeks ago. 10 minutes into the trip, Finn flung himself off the side of the canoe, much to my surprise, and swam his little heart out. I had him on a leash and had a hold of it the whole time. He loves to swim as well as play on the shore.

We've had Guinness swim to shore from water that's not very deep before, but he doesn't seem to balance well. He tips to one side and dunks one side of his head in. He is a little fat though, so I wonder if that has something to do with it. He's perfectly content to be in the canoe or play on the shore.
Both our Pems are good swimmers and love the lake. We moved to the lake when they were 2 and 3. They both jumped in and never looked back. They always have lifejackets on, makes us feel better because our oldest has a broken tired button. He swims until he can hardly paddle. Many times we have to make him get out and rest.
Y'all are great! I can't beleive I haven't found this site before. Great advice all around, and I love to hear the different stories! While I really do love all dogs, all sizes, all personalities, I think there's nothing better than a Corgi now that I have Molly.

I wish Molly and I were near enough to join in some of the playdates I see posted. Molly's only met one other Corgi - a Pem - since she came home from the breeder, but it was like she recognized Fennel as a kindred spirit at first site. I've never seen her click with another like that. We really miss meeting Fennel at the dog park.
It is funny you mentioned "kindred spirit". Our rescue Tenby hates other dogs big or small, more fear than aggression. He has the motto get them before they get me. He is fine with his brother and other corgi's. Even corgi's we have met at highway rest stops and other odd places. He seems to know a corgi and is happy to see them. Any dog other than a corgi we get barking and "let me at them" attitude. They must know their kind!


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