For many dog owners, the notion of trying to teach a dog to swim may seem surprising but it’s not as difficult as you may imagine.
It is thought that certain breeds of dogs are born natural swimmers such as Poodles and Retrievers. While other such as Pugs and Greyhounds may require some lessons to learn how to swim.
However, even if your dog is a Retriever or Poodle do not assume that your dog will intuitively know how to swim. Swimming lessons for dogs can teach your dog to swim, so you both have a fantastic time together swimming.
Water Safety Tips for Dogs
An important aspect regarding water safety for dogs is to make sure, before your dog has access to a body of water that you teach your dog how to swim. It is up to the owner to make sure their pet stays safe.
Water safety for dogs is extremely important if you frequent places that have water or own a home with a pool. Dogs can be naturally attracted to water, even if they do not know how to swim.
Another aspect of water safety includes making sure your dog is not left unsupervised around water even after they have learned how to swim. Teaching your dog to swim will keep them safe when they are near any body of water.
When you teach your dog to swim, you are providing the best type of water safety for your dog, but be just as vigilant with your dog around water as you are your children.
Keeping it Positive
Teaching a dog to swim should always be a positive experience for your dog. Make sure to choose a time when your dog appears to be interested and try to ensure there are no distractions.
Positive reinforcement goes a long way in keeping your dog motivated while trying to teach them how to swim. Learning how to swim should be enjoyable and fun.
Swimming is great workout and conditioning exercise but more importantly, it is enjoyable. The more fun a dog has learning how to swim the more they will want to do it.
However if your dog does not like the water it can be a very stressful experience for them. Teaching your dog to swim should be like any other interaction you have with your dog, communication and training.
How to Teach a Dog to Swim
One of the best ways to teach a dog to swim is to get in the water with them. This will make your dog feel comfortable when they enter the water and build up their confidence.
When beginning lessons to teach a dog to swim, it is best to start out at a pool or lake where you can enter the water with your dog. If your dog is nervous about this new adventure, they will be more self-assured with you standing beside them.
If you have a small dog, you can carry them in the water with you. If you can hold your dog above the water, you will likely see their paws begin to paddle even before they hit the water, because dogs have an instinct to do the doggie paddle.
Walking with them will allow you to build your dog’s confidence in this manner, before letting them go. A great tip is to bring a favorite toy for encouragement.
Once your dog starts to feel comfortable in the water you can teach your dog to swim by throwing the toy for them to fetch. Starting with very short distances at first, toss the toy and encourage the dog to swim over to it.
If they truly want the toy, they will start to learn how to swim by paddling their way over to the toy to retrieve it. Again remembering not to toss it too far, because you want them to be successful and to realize you want them to come back to you.
Additionally, bringing another dog along that knows how to swim will also encourage your dog to try. In addition, dog swim vests are helpful, as well as floatation devices.
Normally, dog swim vests have handles making it convenient to guide them in the water or lift your dog easily out of the water if necessary.
It will not take long and your dog will be paddling around enjoying the water.
Swimming Options for Dogs
A dog swimming pool is similar to a regular swimming pool except that swimming pools for dogs have special features making them perfect for refreshing dips in the backyard.
A dog pool is an excellent way for your dog to get exercise, have some fun and cool off on a hot day. There are a number of different types of pools for dogs and some owners even install in-ground dog pools.
If you are not comfortable teaching your dog to swim on your own there are swimming lessons for dogs available. Dog swimming lessons introduce your dog to water and teach your dog how to swim, as well as how to get into the pool.
Hydrotherapy for dogs has numerous benefits and is becoming more widely recognized for pets. This type of swimming for dogs is very therapeutic and can be used as fitness routine.
Exercising in warm water increases circulation and aids in alleviating swelling, stiffness and pain. Hydrotherapy can aid in the rehabilitation of many injuries, accelerate recovery after surgery and slow the progression of degenerative conditions.
What’s Next… After You Teach a Dog to Swim
Make sure to rinse your dog off after swimming and to dry out their ears. In addition, check your dogs eyes for irritation, especially if swimming in a chlorinated pool as they may need to be rinsed.
Watch out for signs of exhaustion and overexertion. After your dog learns how to swim, they may become easily fatigued, because swimming is a physically strenuous exercise.
The majority of dogs love to swim. After, you teach a dog to swim the only problem left is how to get your dog out of the water when it is time to go!