Teach Your Dog To Swim

On a hot day there is no better way to cool down then going for a swim, even for your dog.

It is important to remember that not all dogs instinctively know how to swim and some are actually scared of or don’t like the water. Here are a few tips to help teach your dog how to swim, enjoy the water and most importantly to stay safe.

* Introduce your dog to water when they are young. The earlier you get them comfortable with the water the better.

* Never force or pull your dog into the water, this is likely to scare them more. You can coax them by using their favourite toy or calling them in.

* Always keep them in close reach, especially when starting. When they are initially learning keeping them on a lead is safest.

* Start with a small amount of shallow water. A wading pool or clam shell is a good starting point and you can gradually increase the water depth.

* Starting in a creek, dam, calm water beach or somewhere they are able to walk into the water can be less daunting than a swimming pool as they know they can touch the bottom.

* If swimming in a pool ensure that your dog can safely get out. Sometimes a ramp like the Skamper Ramp are helpful and easier to use than stairs.

* Take your time teaching them to swim, doing it over several days if they are hesitant.

* The swimming action of paddling the feet generally comes naturally, although often needs practice, when a dog is in the water and can’t touch the bottom. If they need help learning this you can hold the dog around their middle and balance on them against your body while gently moving their legs in a paddling movement.

* Remember, safety first when it comes to letting your dog swim. Always supervise them, never let them swim alone. Ensure that they are close enough to hear you and that you can reach them if needed. Make sure the water is safe, clean, free of debris and not in an area with a strong current. The vet-n-pet DIRECT Help Centre has a great article on Water Safety Tips For Dogs to remind everyone how to keep your dog safe around water.

* And remember to have fun!!

Until next time,
Bec

Bec

Author: Bec

From a very young age Bec has always had a great love and appreciation for all animals. She has a Certificate in Veterinary Nursing and a Degree in Applied Science Animal Studies, which have been put to good use over the years working in various animal industries. Bec lives on a horse stud and has cared for an endless number of horses throughout all stages of their lives including breeding, foaling, spelling, racing and retirement. Bec is the proud mum of two gorgeous little girls, a beautiful Cocker Spaniel, two chickens and many horses including two Clydesdales, lots of Thoroughbreds and a cheeky little pony.

2 Replies to “Teach Your Dog To Swim

  1. Love your blog! But this article is not detail.
    Can you write more detail follow step by step and photos.
    because I want to teach my puppy swim, do you have any advice for me ?

    1. Hi Marina,
      Thank you for the feedback, I’m glad you like the blog.
      I’m sorry I don’t have anything more detailed for you at this stage. My advise would be to follow the suggested steps in the article. Swimming in general comes naturally once a dog is in water deep enough that they can’t touch the bottom, their feet will start paddling. If your pup is having trouble paddling hold them on your hip and move their legs/feet back and forth in a paddling style. Always start in shallow water that they can get in and out easily by themselves so they do not get scared. And lots of positive talk and rewards.
      Good luck!
      Bec

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