When it comes to water, there is a tremendous difference between different dogs. Some breeds of dogs are much better suited to swimming than others but there is also a difference between individual dogs. Some dogs are afraid of water and others love it.
In this video, Doggy Dan is showing how he is gently getting a scared dog used to water. It does not take long until the puppy is happily playing in the water with other dogs. The other dogs is what is tempting the puppy to get in the water. The exitement and desire to play with them is what makes him overcome his fear. If you don’t have any other dogs around you then you can simply get in the water yourself. Just go in where it is not too deep and call your dog to come to you. A toy could be a useful to tempt him with.
Find a calm body of water like a pond or a lake. Preferably one which offers easy access to shallow water.Avoid any place with turbulent water such as the surf in the sea or strong currents in a river.
The important thing is not to put any pressure on your dog but to let him come to the water by himself. Forcing or putting pressure on him will only scare him and make it harder to get him to enjoy the water.
Dogs naturally begin to paddle with their paws when they are put in the water so they learn swimming all by themselfes (unlike us humans who usually need swimming lessons. so it is more a question of getting your dog used to water and make him enjoy it instead of fearing it.
Some breeds of dogs are natural swimmers and love water already from the start (though young puppies still need to discover it gently). Retreiving breeds such as the Curly Coated Retriever, the Golden Retriever and the Labrador are dogs which are usually keen on going in the water. These dogs are used for fetching birds during hunting and going in the water is natural for them.
Other dogs who are also keen on swimming is the Poodle, Irish Water Spaniel and The New Foundland. New Foundland puppies has even been known to swim in their water bowls. They absolutely love the water and has a thick fur which offers great protection from the cold. The New Foundland are being used as a rescue dog and has saved the lives of many people.
These are but a few breeds who loves water. There are of course many others as well. Most dogs can learn to enjoy water but some are not as well suited to water. Usually dogs with a large head and and torso and short legs are not suited for swimming and care should be taken when these dogs are in or near the water. The Bulldog, dachshound and Bassets are examples of these. A bulldog will most likely sink like a stone if you put it in the water so better keep him away from it. A lifevest for dogs would be a good investment if you have a dog poorly suited to swimming. They come in all sizes to fit different dogs and are not expensive.
To summarize, this whole exercise is about having fun. It is about making your dog or puppy enjoy the water and to go for a play. So take it very gently and let him/her discover the water on his/her own. You being there with a toy and ready to play will make her enthusiastic about swimming and if there are other dogs around to play with it will make it even easier. Just be patient and don’t give up if your dog does not like the water right away. It might take a little more time in some cases.
What are your experiences with your dog and swimming? I would be happy to hear from you. Please leave your comments and suggestions below. If you like this article don’t forget to share it on social media by clicking on one of the buttons on the left side of this page.
All the best