Karen B. London
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Dogs Who Love Water
They’ll jump in any puddle
Marley enjoys the only water our yard had to offer

While dog sitting for the adorable Marley, I learned that I share an unexpected trait with him: Marley loves water. I found this endearing and it made me feel close to him because I’m the same way. I grew up in LA within sight of the ocean. (If we leaned a certain way in our driveway and the neighbor’s Magnolia tree blew just right, we could see the ocean. We enjoyed joking that our house had an ocean view.) I've always loved the beach, tidepooling, scuba diving, windsurfing, the pool, lakes, streams, ponds and any other type of water. I even love to splash on puddles in the rain when no other water option is available to me.

It seems Marley is the same way. He’ll jump into any puddle. We took him into the backyard, and after surveying his temporary playground, he headed right for a two-person sled that had fallen from our shed and filled with rainwater in the previous night’s storms. He stood there in the chilly water looking very pleased. I knew at once we were kindred spirits.

On subsequent walks, we both enjoyed sloshing through the water in the gutter and stomping in the few puddles that remained. I suspect that Marley, like me, would gravitate towards any body of water no matter the size or the temperature. While I find this charming, I could also imagine it to be inconvenient at times.

Does anyone else have any tales to tell of a dog who seems drawn to water of all kinds, whether it’s the neighbor’s pool, the sprinkler in the garden, or even an upturned trash bin lid?


Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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Submitted by Carol | August 1 2011 |

My dog, Boomer, (RIP) LOVED to play and swim in water. However, once in, he would refuse to come out. Once he swam out into the local lake after the ducks and would not come back. I tried wading in, jeans and all, but he ignored me and kept swimming. The crowd of fishermen on the shore had a great time whooping and shouting encouragement.

Submitted by JerryM | August 1 2011 |

Our 11 year old Sheltie/Aussie mutt, Patchy, loves the water. Particularly he loves people to toss rocks into the water, and he'll dive in to chase them. He'll even dunk his head under the water to find rocks of his own, and them carry them ashore. From there, he'll wait for another rock to be tossed.

Submitted by Bill | August 2 2011 |

When my dog , Caesar, was still a puppy we took him to the lake for the first time. He saw the ducks on the lake and wanted to join them. He jumped in and would not listen to me. He swan after them for so long I was starting to worry he would go to far out and not make it back but finally after 45 minutes he did come back in. That was back when he was still young, he is 6 1/2 years now and he still loves the water but listens much better now.

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