Raised on Sydney’s northern beaches with many a weekend on the sandy shores of Culburra, my dogs have never been shy of the water. In fact, my GSP Jaxson is a devoted fisher and sting ray stalker.

And even though I’m less encouraging of the latter, there’s something so brilliantly majestic about Jaxson in water. As a strong swimmer who uses all 4 legs (and his tail as a propeller), Jax glides through the water elegantly with considered strokes observing the tides and rocky shallows below.

He could will away hours in the water all by himself. He doesn’t need a ball, stick or even a chum, he’s just content ot swim and explore. So, is there a winning recipe to raising a water dog? Ducks lured our gun dog in as a pup at our local dog-friendly lagoon, but here’s some tips that helped us in the early days.

  1. Start young, make it fun – seek calm tranquil waters with easy access in and out.
  2. Get wet, show them how it’s done – most will follow you in, they won’t like being left on the shore. If you can, bring along a water-loving dog pal who they can copy and learn from.
  3. Make it part of your daily/weekly routine – this will help desensitise your dog and build familiarisation, both are key to progress!
  4. Don’t rush or force them in – this is new and screams sensory overload. Start small and let them find their own affinity with the water. Your patience will build confident considered swimmers.

Wishing you beautiful beach days with your dogs… hopefully in Culburra at The Beach House,


The Beach House Culburra Pet Friendly Holiday

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