Swimming can be an exciting, but also a daunting activity for pups of any age and breed. We wanted to talk about ways that you can encourage a strong swimmer, but also make sure your fur friend enjoys swimming. With summer in full swing lets find ways to make it a wonderful season with your best pal.
Start them out young.
There is a period between 5 and12 weeks where your puppy begins to learn what is safe and what is dangerous. At this age your puppy is like a sponge and what they are introduced to helps mold them. Most people won’t have their puppies until they are 8 to 12 weeks old because that is about the time they are ready to leave their mom. Don't worry! 12 weeks isn't too old to train your doggo to love water. Before you take your pup to the water be sure they are up to date on their vaccinations. It would also be wise to keep them out of areas that are frequented by many dogs because this could increase the chance of catching an illness.
Start with shallow calm water
Start out by picking a spot that is shallow and calm. A quick moving river or a body of water with a steep drop off would not be ideal for a beginner swimmer. You should enter the water first showing them that it is a positive experience. Coax them out to the water by using a happy voice. You can even use treats to incentivize them to start wading out. Once they make their way out to the water then you can show them how to get out of the water. If your pup is still scared of the water it might be best to start in your backyard with a kiddie pool.
Bring a buddy.
Sometimes it helps your dog to see other dogs swimming. It shows them the water isn’t scary. Make sure that this swim buddy is a dog you know, that they are friendly, and up to date on their shots. Try bringing fun water toys that the pups can enjoy in the water, even a stick can go a long way. If they still seem a little hesitant or aren’t a strong swimmer try a life jacket on for size. There are many life jacket choices in different sizes available at nearly any pet shop. This will help them gain confidence in the water without the strain and worry of paddling.
What has helped your dog enjoy water?