There’s more to teaching a dog how to swim than just throwing it in the water and waiting for instinct to kick into gear. When you want to empower your pet to enjoy the water as well as to be safe in it, you need to understand a few basics about how to teach your dog to swim.
How can you guide your pet to bravely face the water?
To help answer this question, here are a few key tips to remember when you want to teach your dog to swim:
- Know your breed. While some dog breeds (such as spaniels or retrievers) are natural swimmers, others may need more encouragement. Some animals have body types less suited to swimming. In these cases, you may want to take extra precautions when starting the swimming process. Research your breed and know what to expect.
- Provide a life jacket, if necessary. Some breeds of dogs (such as bulldogs) may be so unnatural in the water that a life jacket or another dog water product will be necessary.
- Start young. Puppies can learn to be comfortable with the water — sometimes even more easily than adult dogs. As soon as you bring your puppy home, start introducing it to water.
- Start slow. When introducing your dog to water, start small. Go in the shallow part of the water, and keep your pet on a leash as you step into the water with it. Space your first few sessions over a period of several days, rather than in a short 24- to 48-hour period.
- Ease into swimming. As your pet grows more and more comfortable in the water, gradually move it into slightly deeper water where it will need to paddle to stay afloat. Use your arms to provide support under your pet’s belly, if needed. You want your dog to get comfortable using all four legs to swim.
- Offer rewards. Here’s a great secret of how to get your dog to swim: offer treats. When it steps into the water and gets wet the first time, provide a treat. When it goes farther into the water, provide another. The first time you have a successful swimming session, reward your pooch. Use rewards to reinforce comfort with the new environment.
- Make it fun. Think of ways to make the learning process more fun: offer your dog a ball to retrieve or play a game together in the water.
- Be ready to dry your dog. When your dog gets out of the lake, river, pool or ocean, be ready to dry it quickly with a super-absorbent towel such as The Absorber. By managing your pup’s wet fur quickly and comfortably, you help it associate swimming with a positive experience.
Teaching your dog to swim can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially if you start on the right foot with the tips above. Take your time, give your dog lots of praise and enjoy the process. To learn more about the fast-drying, extra-absorbent power of The Absorber, place an order or contact Dog Lover’s Towel today!