Dogs And Water - How To Teach Your Dog To Swim

by Pool Builders on 11-25-2010 in Articles

Dog owners often assume their companions were able to swim from birth, but it is not so. Just like children, dogs must learn to interact with the water and swim. Some learn faster, others slower, depending on the individuality and breed.

Some breeds even in their name have inclination to swim, for example, "Portuguese water dog." There are dogs that really are born with this skill and you do not need much persuasion to make them work to get into the water. In fact it is difficult to be kept them out of the water. In this category are registered and Labrador, Golden Retriever, Newfoundland and other breeds in this category. On the other hand there are breeds of dogs that do not know swim or should be taught swim because it is not in their genetic behavior. Pug, Dachshund, and other breeds with short legs and short muzzle, also dogs with short tail, are more difficult to steer in water. But regardless of breed any dog can be taught to swim.

The following tips may be applied to both adult dogs as juniors, but remember that a young dog will learn faster than the old one.

The first step is to choose a quiet place for the first lesson. This place needs to be quiet so be sure you are alone with your dog, so he can not be distracted by extraneous stimuli. A private pool, lake or sea is ideal. Water should have an easy access and have progressive deep. At the pool the dog must be guided to the place where he can get out. The steps described below takes place in sea place, but are equally applicable to any place.

Turn it all into a play, caress the dog and talk to him with a cheerful tone, so he can be relaxed. Enter for a little in water and make him come after you so the paws are wet. Do not force him to come into the water. Whenever he touches water, praise him and rewarded him. Begin to walk on shore, through water up to ankles, at the left side, if the dog was used to execute commands on the left side of the master or otherwise use the right side. A trained dog will always move to where the owner gives orders or awards. Stand with the hand toward the water, it will forces him to enter the water. When you see that he is already used to water, it's time to handle more water, perhaps even to swim and not feel the ground under the paws. And now you can let him swim, but still play with him and stay close. If a breed has difficulties in swimming, it would be nice to put on him a life jacket, for adding more confidence. Keep the leash and stand next to him. When the dogs don't feel the ground they start to pedal to stay on the surface. But not all succeed at first trying, so you have to step in and sustain his legs and bottom. Place one hand under the belly and the other above the tail and praise him, which will stimulate him to swim.

If you notice that he rushes in panic then push him toward shore because you do not want to terrorize him and to turn first experience to something scary, that he will watch out in the future. And remember if you train puppies or dogs with heavy coats or those with short legs and snout muzzle then shorten the sessions because they can get tired faster.

A dog will not be able to learn to swim from the first lesson, so you'll probably have to repeat the experience several days. Finally the dog will swim. Of great help in this process will be another dog already able to swim. Be careful not that the dog don't swallow too much water, and do not use any words like "No" during the lesson because the dog will think of he does something wrong and you will ruin everything you've built before. When the dog comes out of water, rinse the fur because the pool or sea water is harmful to skin.

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