There are some things that dogs instinctively know how to do. Barking, growling, and body language, are all instincts that come naturally to dogs. Swimming however, is not something that all dogs naturally know how to do.
Since not all dogs know how to swim, it is imperative to make sure that before you take your dog swimming that you ensure that they know how to swim. Sprinks has gathered some tips to help you teach your dog how to swim.
When choosing a spot to teach your dog how to swim, consider the location. You do not want to bring your dog to an overly crowded, noisy place. Adding crowding and noise to an unfamiliar activity may confuse or frighten your dog.
Watch out for hot sand, broken shells, other other debris that may damage your dog’s paw pads. Hot sand has the ability to burn Fido’s paws, while shells, barnacles, and jagged rocks can potentially cut your dog.
Before teaching your dog how to swim, it is important to familiarize them with water. You can do this by gently leading your dog into shallow water. Allow your pooch’s paws to become familiar with the water before bringing them in a little deeper. If your dog is skeptical about the water, you may use a leash to guide them in.
Consider putting your dog in a floatation device. Some types of dogs do not fair as well in the water as others. Heavy bodied dogs are less buoyant which makes it harder for them to stay afloat. Swimming is also more difficult for dogs with longer bodies and shorter legs such as the basset hound. Using a flotation device will keep your dog afloat and can make swimming easier.
Physically support your dog while they are in the water. You can do this by holding onto your dog’s belly as well as their rear end. Your dog should then start to paddle instinctively. Once your dog has gotten a hold of paddling, you may remove your hands and your dog will instinctively begin to swim towards the shore. Repeat this as necessary until your dog is comfortable getting in the water on his own.
Show your dog the appropriate way to exit the pool. You can do this by getting in and out of the pool with your dog. Do this several times to ensure that they understand how to reach the steps.
Do NOT leave your dog in the water unattended. Doing so can lead to injuries, or even worse, death.
Have fun and encourage your dog! Teaching your dog to swim should be a fun experience for both you AND your dog.