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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

South Umpqua River

South Umpqua River, Oregon 
&  Dog Water Safety

Being new to Southern Oregon I asked my cousin to show me some good swimming spots for the dogs, while I was thinking of finding some fun new local haunts he had a different idea in mind - the ultimate swimming spot!

Always together.
South Umpqua Falls is a gorgeous natural rock water slide, while that sounds rather painful it's actually fun! People bring their inner-tubes and other floaty devices and go sliding!
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Photo Credit: G. Price
However like most amazing things, it's been discovered by the masses.  The falls - although gorgeous were PACKED with seasonal swimmers and families camping nearby, between all the people, dogs, and kids I knew it would be to stressful for Ziva. While we've been working really hard on her reactivity towards other dogs, and she's been doing great and making lots of new doggy friends this would not have been a good environment to put her into. #SettingUpForSuccess

So we backtracked down the Umpqua River and kept our eyes open for our own private swimming spot.

We found a gorgeous spot!! It was a bit of a hike down from the road where we parked, but it was only thigh high at it's deepest point which was the perfect depth for some doggy swimming. 

Safety First!
  • Wear a lifejacket! It's a myth that all dogs just "know" how to swim. Normally when we go swimming I bring Ziva's life jacket, she's not a very strong swimmer. Swimming myths and Dog Life Jacket Review HERE. We brought the life jacket "just in case", however on this occasion we didn't end up needing it but I'd rather be safe than sorry!
  • How Fast is The Water? It seems like a no brainer, but seriously don't let your pup get caught in a nasty current. 

  • Sunscreen for humans and dogs alike. The top of Dante's nose burns so I like to give him sunscreen to prevent the skin from burning. Something to keep in mind. Zinc oxide is toxic to dogs! Most human sunscreen contains zinc oxide, so make sure you have a pet safe sunscreen for your pooch! Their are many different ones available so take your pick, we don't have a favorite yet they all seem to work just fine.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings.
    • Is this a favorite fishing spot? Look for fishing line and the occasional hook that gets left behind, see any broken glass/dead fish? Find a new spot.
  • Toxic algae blooms in the water?  This is something we have to pay attention to, so know where you are swimming.
  • Ethics of Hiking Off-Leash.  Most importantly, if you do not have a SOLID recall. And I mean SOLID. Don't do it! They make 100 foot nylon lead lines if you need one for your pup. The last thing you want is your dog taking off because they see a year or other small creature like a squirrel. If you're in an area where you are potentially going to be seeing other people then please leash up for courtesy's sake. Not all people like dogs (some people are scared of dogs), not all dogs are friendly, and having a reactive dog the worst thing that can happen is an off-leash dog running up to us.  Ethics of Hiking With Dogs HERE.  All it takes is regular practice and training (Recall Training Games HERE), if you are a regular reader you may remember Jack. He was the perfect example of a dog who shouldn't be off-leash, he was a huge runaway risk and a bolter. In fact he got away from us a couple times while we were fostering him - one time I chased him all the way to the highway barefooted! That story HERE.   So please be careful/thoughtful of others when making the decision to allow your dog off-leash.
"Let's go!!" ~ Ziva

The rapids weren't too strong and dumped into a deep spot that then shallowed out to knee depth so I didn't have to worry about the dogs getting swept downstream. It was gorgeous and the weather was perfect!

Ziva wasn't too sure at first.

But she quickly got the hang of it!

Dante of course, loves the water and had a blast!!

"That darn brother, always splashing me!"  ~ Ziva


  1. Wow! Gorgeous area! I wish we had some good clean swimming spots for my dogs! You're very fortunate

  2. Great post and wonderful photos. Yes, we doggies love playing in the water!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley


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