Some dog breeds, like the Labrador, are excellent swimmers. However, it is rarer to see a Chihuahua jump in the waves. Whether you are by the sea, a pond, a lake or a river, you ask yourself: is it possible to teach a dog to swim? How to proceed ? Do all dogs have this ability? Answers.
Swimming: a faculty that does not concern all dogs
Before you start learning to swim with your dog, there is an important point to come back to. Although some breeds are very comfortable in the water, no dog can swim naturally. To have a benchmark, here are the 10 dog breeds that appreciate water the most.
- The Golden Retriever,
- The English Setter,
- The Irish Setter,
- The Cocker Spaniel,
- The Jack Russel,
- The Border Collie,
- The Barbet,
- The Poodle,
While some dogs love to play in the water and swim, others are scared. It is possible that your dog will be fit to swim from his first swim. This little miracle comes simply from his instinct for survival. In the vast majority of cases, you will need to teach your dog to swim.
There are different categories of dogs:
- those who will learn to swim easily, even naturally,
- those for whom in-depth learning is required,
- those who do not have the physical capacity.
Who are the dogs that cannot swim? Among them, there are all the brachycephalic breeds, in other words dogs with a crushed muzzle such as the French Bulldog, the English Bulldog or the Pug. Dogs that have small legs like the Dachshund and Basset Hound are also affected. Generally speaking, it is found that large dogs have more ability to swim than small ones.
It should be noted that some dogs, which have the ability to swim, do not like water. And some dogs that can’t swim may enjoy having their paws in the water. In any case, do not force your pet to swim. If you fear for its safety, opt for the life jacket. This device is available for dogs of all sizes!
Teaching your dog to swim: mistakes to avoid
Before advising you on learning to swim with your dog, let’s take a look at the mistakes to avoid. Indeed, certain methods can endanger your animal or generate significant stress.
You should never push or throw your dog in the water. This act which seems logical to some people is one of the worst because your dog can die. He can drown or be the victim of a hydrocution if the temperature difference is too great. Even if he survives, he may have a panic attack and lash out at you once he returns to dry land.
In the same vein, you should not force a dog to go into the water if he is afraid. You risk jeopardizing the relationship of trust that unites you. Again, your dog can be aggressive and hurt you.
How do I teach my dog to swim?
To teach your dog to swim, you first need to know more about his relationship to water. How does your pet behave when you give it a bath? Is he serene when he is near the water? If your dog loves water, learning will be easier and above all faster.
Getting to know the water is the first step in learning to swim. To do this, find a play area near the water and just have fun. You will quickly see that he does not hesitate to approach the water, even to put his feet in it, or on the contrary that he does not approach it.
Here are some steps to follow when teaching your dog to swim.
- Consider taking treats and toys your dog likes.
- Play near water, without pressure. You don’t have to try to get into the water on day one.
- Find a quiet place where the water is shallow and see if your dog ventures there. It must have “paw”.
- Go into the water and call your dog.
- If he comes in the water, reward him with treats.
- Don’t force your dog to stay in the water!
- If he wishes to stay, then you can venture into the deeper waters.
- Stay next to your dog when he starts swimming. Encourage him!
Over the course of the sessions, your dog will be more confident. He’ll go into the water on his own and enjoy picking up any toys or sticks you throw. It is important to realize that a dog gets tired quickly. Sessions should be short. Also, if you find that your dog is tired, take him out of the water.
It may be interesting to do sessions in the water with a swimming dog. Dogs act a lot by mimicry and by wanting to be like its fellow creature, it will swim!