You may have noticed that there are a lot of photos of our dogs enjoying themselves in or around water on this website.
I am told by almost every other ETT owner in the universe that their dogs hate water, with a passion. This is considered to be a breed trait, along with the love of sunbathing which every black and tan seems to share.
There are a handful of breeders and owners who, like us, report that their black and tans do enjoy swimming and splashing and playing in wet stuff. Surely there must be something suspicious happening if an ETT is contemplating getting their paws wet?
So I thought I would share our secret.
(this page is also by way of being some sort of disclaimer in case we ever stand accused of willfully misrepresenting the breed… so if you wouldn’t mind reading on it would be most appreciated…)
We live in Devon which is a very wet place – it rains a lot. We have the sea, and lovely rivers and lakes and lots of bogs on Dartmoor and Exmoor. Frankly, even if we wanted to keep our feet and our heads dry, we would struggle.
When we go on holiday we take our dogs and we like to places like Cornwall and Wales, and the Lake District and Scotland. Where it tends to be quite wet, what with all the rain and the lakes and the rivers and lochs and the sea of course.
Our dogs do like to lie in the sun, and dream of living somewhere hot and dry. They have heard stories about such places, passed down by their mother, and her mother before her. Their fathers and grandfathers have told of deserts and endless days of unbearable heat. Of ancestors from distant lands of Texas and of Australia.
But Our proud natives live in Devon. And they learn to enjoy the splashing if the water isn’t too cold or too rough. It helps if they see other dogs having fun, and if there is a reason to dive in – like a ball or another dog to chase – or a dead crab to discover. The more they try it the more they like it and the older they get the more they relax and trust that they might not melt on contact.
We give our puppies a shallow bucket of water to play in and they enjoy dropping toys in and fishing them out again. There is a small wildlife pond in our garden (which little pups can’t reach but they can see and smell) and the older dogs often play at ‘accidentally’ dropping floating toys into the pond which need to be retrieved – usually by a passing human because if we leave them to it the game ends with a wet trail of stinky weed and muddy footprints galloped through the house in a triumphant lap of honour.
ETT’s don’t like water. But their coats dry very quickly and mud doesn’t stick to them, so mostly we don’t mind.