This summer, you may try to take your dog swimming for the first time; however your dog might not feel his “inner water dog” right away. Not all dogs take to swimming, but here are some tips to make swimming enjoyable for a dog that may be apprehensive:
–start in a shallow creek, or pond where the dog can still touch the bottom for awhile
–another great place to begin is on the shallow side of a pool
—never force a dog to get into the water
Always praise your dog for initial interest in the water. Start by calmly going in yourself to show your dog it is ok. This is an excellent bonding exercise that encourages your dog to have trust and confidence within you. 🙂
While swimming, please make sure the dog has an exit strategy and knows where it can leave the pool/water safely. There are products you can buy for your pool to give your dog a clear spot to exit. I’ve heard way too many horror stories of dogs drowning because the dog didn’t know where to get out.
–consider a life vest to build confidence (this is a great safety precaution too)
—sometimes the visualization of a fellow doggie friend jumping into the water and enjoying himself is enough to have a fearful dog join in on the fun, so try inviting some swimming buddies in on your adventure
—use highly motivated toys, treats, and praise around the water (anything you know that the dog values highly)
Some Benefits of Swimming:
swimming is excellent exercise, the resistance of water builds strength in the dog, swimming helps the dog stay cool, it strengthens joints, it is perfect exercise for dogs with arthritis, hip dysplasia, and it is great confidence building workout!!
Have more questions? Feel free to email us. Oh, and please send us your pictures of you and your dog swimming this summer! Enjoy!
Post by: Laura Neiheisel