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snopes
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quote:
Q: I recently heard someone talking about a dog that could go underwater and fetch things off the bottom. Is this possible? I bet this is just an urban legend. Dogs can't swim underwater, can they?

A: Don't bet the bank on this one, because there really are dogs that can go underwater to fetch things off the bottom. A while back, I went to Del Valle Reservoir near Livermore for a water trial exercise put on by the Newfoundland Club of Northern California.

The competition included various events where these giant dogs rescued stranded boaters and swimmers. Newfies are trained to swim out and give help to swimmers in danger. And they can literally tow a small boat to shore if needed.

One of the competitions included going under water to fetch an object off the lake bottom. Granted, these dogs didn't dive down and swim underwater. But they did completely submerge their heads in ankle deep water and found a "planted" object and brought it up to their owner/trainer. It was a thrill to see these magnificent beasts perform for us.


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tagurit
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My cousin threw a rock his chocolate lab brought to him, in his mouth, into the lake and the dog went in after it. He brought back a rock. Not the same rock, granted, but he swam out, dove down and got a rock off the bottom and brought it back. How deep was the water? Maybe three feet.

We were all surprised the first time he did it but now it's become an occasional game.

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xtargeeter
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I had a Dalmatian/Lab cross that would dive to the bottom of a 10' deep swimming pool and retrieve the pool cleaner that was sweeping the bottom of the pool.
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geminilee
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I have seen a video of a dog fetching something from the bottom of a swimming pool, on one of the "Funniest Video" shows, possible the one on Animal Planet. I don't see why you would think dogs couldn't swim underwater, if they can swim in the first place.
ET clarify.

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Troberg
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I've even seen a dog on TV that loved scuba diving. The owner was a hobby diver, and the dog had swam with him at the surface and tried to dive with him. Eventually, the owner made a scuba device with an air bottle on the back and a big bubble helmet. The dog absolutely loved it, it was literally jumping with joy when it saw the equipment, and it loved trying to chase fish.

It was not exactly an efficient underwater swimmer, but it got around.

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Xia
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Many dogs will dive underwater to fetch things. It's not that unusual... I've seen it several times on Animal Planet and know a couple people whose dogs will dive in swimming pools.

Not quite diving, but I just love this photo of my Golden "dunking" so I had to share it. (yes, those are fish) [Razz]

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Spamamander in a pear tree
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LOL here fishie fishie. I love Goldens. [Smile]

My stepfather's dog (Moose is gone from us now) was a half Lab/ half German shepherd that looked like a giant black lab. Whenever we went camping and got settled to our site, he would run down to the river and stick his head underwater to get big rounded rocks and haul them back to the campsite to make the fire ring. It was uncanny, he knew to get them. Remarkable dog.

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
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I used to show the top-rated Curly-Coated Retriever in the nation for a while. He loved to dive to retriever. Funny thing was, he didn't like to be bathed. Solution? Have him retrieve in water, sud him up, and send him back in to wash off.

That was one darned smart dog. After show-ring retirement, he went to Miami where he became a drug sniffer....

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inkiemouse
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My concern is that if the dogs are fetching underwater, they would have to have their eyes open, yes?

Wouldn't the salt water from the ocean or the chlorine from the pool harm their eyes?

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Seraphina
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quote:
Originally posted by inkiemouse:
My concern is that if the dogs are fetching underwater, they would have to have their eyes open, yes?

Wouldn't the salt water from the ocean or the chlorine from the pool harm their eyes?

Chlorine in a pool bothers my eyes, but sea water does not. I had a Borzoi who swam in the sea and would fetch objects like rocks of very sodden pieces of wood that sank to the bottom, and she always brought back the right thing. I wondered how she knew as she could not smell under water, so i am sure she would dive with her eyes open.
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bjohn13
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quote:
Originally posted by inkiemouse:
My concern is that if the dogs are fetching underwater, they would have to have their eyes open, yes?

Wouldn't the salt water from the ocean or the chlorine from the pool harm their eyes?

The thing that concerns me is, wouldn't they inhale a bunch of water trying to sniff around?

I'm serious when I ask. When I was a kid, one of the others in our camp ground had a terrier mutt that would fetch rocks out of the lake. It was absolutely astounded. We marked the rocks with a Sharpie, and the dog never bring back the wrong one. If it couldn't find the right one, it would stay in the lake looking for it until you called it to shore, which is what usually happened. It also sometimes brought back a rock we had thrown on a previous attempt. However, the dog brought back the right rock enough times to convince me that it knew what it was doing. We did this for hours, and I was convinced that the dog was having a blast.

I'm guessing the deepest the water ever was was 3-4 feet, but the dog only stood a foot tall. I asked his owner how he could find the rock, and the owner replied that it was with his sense of smell.

I assume that a dog doesn't need his eyes when he's underwater. However, if he can smell when he's underwater without inhaling water, then I think most people seriously underestimate how keen a dog's sense of smell really is.

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NeeCD
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My family used to have a black lab who wouldn't swim. He would walk along the bottom of the lake until he got under his floating toy, jump up and grab it, then walk back to the shore. It was pretty funny.

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Xia
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quote:
Originally posted by bjohn13:

I assume that a dog doesn't need his eyes when he's underwater. However, if he can smell when he's underwater without inhaling water, then I think most people seriously underestimate how keen a dog's sense of smell really is.

Dogs can smell things that are under the water when the dog is above and tell where things are that way, so this may have been how he was scenting the objects. He may have possibly been finding them by sight as well, I know some dogs do use their eyes underwater. They cannot sniff without inhaling water though, and I don't think they would try it.

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Gutter Monkey
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Youtube comes through with the goods!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPbGYrDggHo

Confirmed. Dogs can swim underwater.

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
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quote:
Originally posted by Gutter Monkey:
Youtube comes through with the goods!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPbGYrDggHo

Confirmed. Dogs can swim underwater.

Cool!

Are you coming over to the new board, Gutter Monkey? This place is about to self destruct.

P.S. We all had to do new registrations. Be sure to sign in with your screen name, because we don't have the option to change them ourselves.

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