Teach A Dog How To Swim
There’s no better feeling than dipping into cool water on a warm day for a refreshing time, and as always the best trick for having a great time is taking your dog along too! No matter what the breed, dogs provide the affection and energy to turn any activity into an incredibly rewarding experience. But what if your pup is a bit shy of the water? Here are a few tips to teach a dog how to swim safely and comfortably so they’ll be paddling right beside you in no time.
Aren’t Dogs Natural Swimmers?
As opposed to popular myths, not all dogs are natural instinctive swimmers. Although some breeds have the inherent genetic ability, some breeds are simply not suited for an aqueous adventure. Among the best swimmers are Golden Retrievers, Irish setters, English setters and the Newfoundland Spaniel. On the other end of the spectrum lie most of the smaller breeds. Pugs, Chihuahuas or any other short-legged or short-snouted dog will have a hard time learning how to swim. Their smaller build means they run out of energy more quickly and fall into fatigue.
Most often also have a hard time keeping their snout above the water and this can be a very dangerous situation to expose your dog too. Apart from these, most dogs of large to medium build can be taught how to swim with comparative ease as long as you take good care of providing a healthy and enriching learning experience to your dog.
What’s The Best Way to Start?
To help your pup become comfortable in the water, the best place to start is in a shallow pool that the dog can stand in. This means that the dog can easily support themselves if they need to and can swim when they want as well. For smaller breeds and pups, it’s a great idea to introduce your pup to a lifesaver jacket. Not only does this provide a very necessary layer of safety, but it also lets your pup become comfortable with the harness at an early stage.
Points To Keep In Mind:
- Always use a jacket that fits your dog snugly, but is easy to put on and take off.
- Make sure that the jacket allows sufficient free movement for the pup.
- Make sure that the pup isn’t at risk of falling or sliding out of the jacket if it’s too loose.
- It’s also a good idea to keep a pool noodle at hand to give your pup a spot to rest if they get tired.
- Always be attentive to your dog, if you feel they’re getting tired, it’s better to end the learning session.
Small Steps, Big Progress
Short periods of safe and comfortable exposure lets your dog become familiar with the environment of the water and lets their instincts kick in little by little. It’s necessary to create a positive association for the pup to avoid any fear building up in their minds.
When you feel that the pup has spent a sufficient amount of time in the pool and can handle themselves, you could take them to the beach for a test run.
Always remember to keep your pup on a leash while on the beach to avoid any misadventures. It’s also a good idea to remain in the shallow region for the first few times to get your dog used to the waves and currents of the water.
With time, attention, training and lots of love, your little pup will be paddling next to your surfboard in no time. All it takes is a bit of attention towards the safety and security to teach a dog how to swim resulting in the best and most enjoyable experience for them and you both!