You like swimming and have a great buddy for a swim? Well, you might have the most fun-loving and enjoyable partner with you.
The best thing in hot summer is cooling off your sweaty dreams in your local swimming pool. If your swimming pool or nearby beach or lake is pet-friendly, then it’s the right time to take your pet for swimming.
As a friend and a pet owner, you should always encourage your dog for a good swim. But remember that not every dog is a born swimmer. Make sure you take proper precautions while teaching your pup a good swim. Try to understand how they behave in and around the pool.
Here are a few tips for training your dog to swim :
Make sure your dog wears a life jacket.
Once you are ready to teach a swimming lesson to your dog, then put a life jacket on him and gently get them in the water. Make sure you train your dog in shallow water as he or she will gain the confidence to swim.
Few breeds, such as the bulldog, a pug will sink to the bottom of the pool if he or she is not wearing a life jacket. Try to be very patient while training your puppy as he or she doesn’t have fins to swim.
No Distractions while teaching.
If you try to teach your dog to swim in a waterpark, don’t! Generally, pets need to be taught to swim in a calm and clean place. Like a closed pet-friendly swimming club where pets are allowed or a nearby pond back to your house.
It will help them to gain confidence as well as they will be focused on their activity. Try to stay away from them as they will self-learn and help them as and when needed.
Start Shallow, not high!
The most important part of the training session is to teach your pet to swim in shallow waters. If you directly throw the ball in the high waters, it will sink deep down.
As we said earlier, not all dogs are good swimmers, your pup might not get the depth of the water and might sink in the high waters, which can result in hydrophobia. It might be a traumatic situation for animals, which will hamper your dream of having a swim buddy.
Don’t Unleash the leash!
Keep your dog on a leash all the time to have full control, and you will be aware of his on-goings. The leash will also make sure that your dog is out of danger, and you know where he is going.
Don’t unleash him unless he is a Micheal Phelps of dogs and can come back to you whenever called. Give him confidence, yet keep him under a leash of control.
He needs a bodyguard.
Never ever leave your pet unattended in the water. When he or she is in the water, you are their personal bodyguard. Try to help them whenever required.
Put him in the water, Don’t throw!
Everyone has a fear of something, and if it is generated through some extensive activity, then it becomes even more traumatic.
The same goes for animals, throwing them in the water directly will hamper their confidence to swim, and they will hesitate to try again. Be gentle while taking your pet to a swim and make sure he or she is comfortable while swimming in the water.
Baby steps at a time.
Don’t be in a hurry to teach your dog a full-length course of swimming. On the first day of the lessons, take your dog to shallow water, leash them up, and try to walk with them in the pool.
Make sure your dog gets used to wet paws & fur. After a few mins of walk make him come out of the water so that he or she can understand the process that if he or she is tired or overwhelmed by the water, then they can come out of the pool or the water.
If your pet is scared of going into the water on his own, make sure you take them in the water using your own hands and try to feel them safe & secure.
Use positive voice calls and sounds and boost their confidence. Try to understand your pet’s body language as it will give you a hint about your pet’s behavior in the water. This will help you determine whether they are ready for high water or not.
Once your pup tries to float or paddles, help him with one arm support so that he or she can have confidence for a good swim. Also, try to play with your dog so that he can understand the movements in the water.
Throw a ball at a mere distance so that he or she can try to swim on their own to get the ball back to you. As we all say, self-learning is the best learning. If you think that your dog is restless, then make sure to get him or her in the shallow waters and make them feel comfortable.
Post swim rituals are lifesavers!
Train your pooch and show them the right way to come out of the pool or water pond. This will help them find their way out the next time. And that will give them a confidence boost.
Appreciation is the best policy!
Make sure after a successful lesson, give your buddy a lot of verbal as well as physical praise so that he or she can gain enough confidence and positive vibe for the next round.
Give your dog a final rinse and clean him nicely. You can also give them a nice quick doggy treat to motivate them for a long time. Teaching your pet to swim, the time spent together will also help you bond and build trust with your canine companion.
Finally, we reached the end. I hope you have learnt to be a good swim instructor and teach your dog a good swim lesson. With consistent practice, your boi will become a great swimmer and will swim alongside you. If you liked this article, then don’t forget to share it with somebody you care. And finally, best of luck for the swimming adventure.