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Dog Swimming in the Thames

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Wednesday 7 October 2009 3.57pm
Does anyone know if it's safe to let a dog swim in the river? Lots of people let them run around when the tides out but this mad thing doesn't just paddle, she swims with just her head above water. I'm worried the currents will take her. I called Port of London and a nice woman put me through to a man who sort of answered my question but talked about Gravesend. The woman did say she's had distressed calls from people about they're dogs so I won't be letting her do it but thought I'd ask anyway.
Wednesday 7 October 2009 4.13pm
Put her in around Tower Bridge and pick her up near Gravesend about an hour later.....job done!
Wednesday 7 October 2009 7.00pm
When our boxer was about a year old stephen took him for a walk to tower bridge, went down near the custom house and let her enter the water, she immediately begun to swim to the middle of the river, a nearby boat went out and got her. thankfully he was okay...stephen only done it once....
Wednesday 7 October 2009 7.00pm
My labrador has enjoyed his daily dip for the last sevenb years.

He swims out to fetch objects I throw, always careful to avoid currents, and he does comeback if I call.

At high tide he'll immerse himself on the steps at tower Bridge, Globe and Bermondsey Wall.
Wednesday 7 October 2009 7.05pm
Obviously Labs, have more common sense than boxers!
Wednesday 7 October 2009 9.26pm
Now that's interesting. She's a lab cross (with something unknown but bigger, stronger and houndy). She mostly looks lab and is obsessed with water. She also swims back when told.
Wednesday 7 October 2009 10.22pm
It seems to depend on the common sense of the individual dog.
You could get yours a harness and one of those long leads on a reel so you can reel her in if she goes out too far until you're sure she's on top of it.
Thursday 8 October 2009 7.08am
Is the Thames clean enough to swim in?
Thursday 8 October 2009 8.39am
There are 2 questions in one here: 1)Can they swim in the river and 2)is it a good idea.
1) its been said already that some breeds and individual dogs are better than others at physically swimming and having the sense to avoid dangerous currents.
2) As with swimming in any canal or river, dogs may pick up infections, take in water and probably wont smell at their best afterwards either!

If it was my dog, I would test it out on a safe stretch of non-tital or low tide and see how they get on. You can build up if they like it and are capable. Training them near to the shore on an extendable lead can work in the early stages, but be careful as they can easily get entangled. Standing higher up than the water level works best. If theres any doubt that they might get into trouble, personally I wouldnt risk their safety or that of those who might have to rescue them. This is purely from a long-term dog owners perspective.
Thursday 8 October 2009 3.58pm
Zoe wrote:
Is the Thames clean enough to swim in?
I know some sewage still goes into it but the Thames is still a pretty clean river. I'm sure it's cleaner than the sea.
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