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How Do I Get My Dog To Like Water?

    How Do I Get My Dog To Like Water?

    Most dogs are excellent swimmers, and certain dog breeds are water lovers. On the other hand, some dogs are more cautious near water or even terrified of it. In certain situations, it can be because their primary interaction with water before that was bathing.

    In other situations, it could be a dread of the unfamiliar. The good news is that you can teach any dog to love the water and swim with a bit of perseverance and instruction. Consequently, when exposing your dog to the water, strive to avoid making significant mistakes.

    How Do I Get My Dog To Like Water?

    Many dogs enjoy the water and eventually develop excellent swimming skills. But first, you must carefully and favorably introduce your dog to the water to get them to that stage. This introduction should start when your dog is still a puppy, should solely involve positive reinforcement to increase your dog’s affinity for the water, and should incorporate specific safety measures to ensure your dog’s safety. If you start early and make the water enjoyable while closely monitoring its safety, your dog may become an accomplished swimmer sooner than you imagine.

    Preparing Your Dog

    Step 1: Train your dog to come when called.

    A dog must follow your instructions when submerged in water. In the water, a dog’s vision isn’t always transparent, so you must be sure that it will obey your command when called if you detect a hazard. It can lessen your anxiety during your swimming session and aid in ensuring its safety.

    You should still train a dog to come to you when you call it, even if it is leash-free during its initial swimming lessons. It’s unsafe for the dog to be dragged through the water with a leash, so avoid doing so.

    Step 2: Introduce your dog to water early. 

    Although it’s crucial to have a well-trained dog before taking it swimming, a dog should get acclimated to the water much sooner. Adjust your puppy to the water when it is approximately eight weeks old. It is typically the moment when you bring a puppy home from a good breeder.

    • A young puppy will find the adjustment to swimming much simpler if they are introduced to water at an early age.
    • When introducing your puppy to water, you should let it explore in only an inch or two of water, not anymore, while keeping a close eye on it.
    • You may also pique the attention of little puppies by letting them watch older dogs in the water. They will see from this that swimming is an essential human activity.

    Step 3: Make fun with water. 

    A shallow basin of water or a sprinkler set up in the yard for your dog to play in on a hot day can do the trick. Do everything within your power to create a favorable relationship with water from an early age.

    An unpleasant association with water may be one of the reasons why some dogs avoid it. Hence, encouraging your dog to be more interested in the water and less afraid of it from a young age is one of the most significant ways to introduce them to it securely.

    Step 4: Establish reasonable expectations. 

    Certain dogs are natural swimmers. They have been born swimmers since they effortlessly adapt to the water. Not all dogs are. A dog of a breed recognized for its swimming ability, like the Labrador retriever or the Portuguese water dog, is likely to develop into an exceptional swimmer. That being said, there is far less chance that your Chihuahua or Pug, which have extremely short legs and are not noted for their athleticism, will be an excellent swimmer.

    Even if your dog is unlikely to be an excellent swimmer, it’s still vital to introduce them to the water and ensure their ability to stay afloat. It is essential for their safety, and even though they are not very skilled at sailing, they might even like the water.

    Introducing Swimming To Your Dog

    Step 1: Start in very shallow, warm water.

    Your dog can begin receiving swimming instruction between two and five months old. It will have the stamina and strength required for its first swimming lessons at that age. You should avoid throwing a dog unfamiliar with the deep, cold water in and expect to swim by itself. As with people, you must teach the dog to swim gradually. You must instead let the dog go through a similar procedure.

    • Before you take your dog into deeper water, let it have plenty of time playing and enjoying itself in comfortable-temperature shallow water. It will help it form positive initial associations with water.
    • Enjoy some time playing your dog’s favorite game in shallow water. Whatever your dog enjoys doing, it could be as simple as running and sniffing or a game of fetch.
    • Certain canines have more swimming ability than others. Swimming abilities are also inherited from breed to breed, though this may depend on the particular dog.

    Step 2: Use a flotation device. 

    If you are concerned about its safety, ensure your dog doesn’t drown by fitting it with a life jacket. Canine flotation devices come in many designs and are intended to keep dogs safe as they enjoy the water. Typically, vest-style jackets fasten beneath the dog’s belly and around its chest.

    • You must obtain your dog an exact fit flotation device, just like you would for yourself. When your dog’s survival depends on fitting snugly, it’s crucial.
    • Whether your dog is having trouble in the water or you want to get it out, most canine flotation devices have a handle on the rear that makes it easier to get it out.
    • Another innovative method to let an elderly dog experiencing movement problems enjoy the water without worrying that they will tire out and drown is to fit them with a flotation device.

    Step 3: Enter the water with your dog. 

    Thinking you can order your dog to get in the water alone is unrealistic. Instead, it might require your encouragement and support to go ahead with it. Show a timid dog that you are there to support it by carrying it into the water. Lean on the dog and let it paddle its paws a few times while you stay there.

    • Before your dog feels at ease in deep water, you may need to take them into the water several times.
    • If the dog is afraid, cling to it securely and avoid forcing it to paddle by itself.
    • The dog can paddle with its front and back paws and yet have your support if you hold it around its waist.
    • Expect the dog to exert itself. Hold onto it to ensure that it doesn’t escape you in a panic attack, ideally using a flotation device or harness.

    Step 4: Allow the dog to swim to shore. 

    When a dog wants to get out of the water, please don’t make him stay in it. The dog will only become more fearful of the water due to this. Have it swim a short distance, nevertheless, to escape the water.

    Swimming a short distance to the coast is excellent practice for the dog. While it is swimming, pay great attention to it and make sure to assist it if it appears to be having difficulty.

    Having a friend on the beach who can summon the dog comes in handy. Your friend can call the dog to the shore and treat it if you are in the water, encouraging it to swim by itself.

    Step 5: Train for short periods. 

    Learning to swim may be quite taxing for a dog because it requires a whole new set of muscles and energy to stay afloat. You should pause or end the session if your dog appears exhausted or is panting a lot.

    The length of time your dog should spend swimming will vary based on how unique your dog is. When finishing your dog’s swimming lessons, observe him and err on caution.

    Building Your Dog’s Skill

    Step 1: Work your way up to larger bodies of water. 

    Even if a dog is prepared to doggy paddle, it might not be exceptionally comforting to venture into a vast body of water. Instead, persuade your dog to enter a more petite, deeper body of water, like a deep pond, and work your way up to a depth where your dog cannot touch the bottom.

    It is far simpler to be unable to touch the ground when you are near safety and the edge than to have a long way to swim if you get into difficulty.

    Step 2: Make swimming a regular part of life. 

    Your dog will become increasingly proficient at swimming as it practices, just like most other activities. Should you wish to train your dog to be an excellent swimmer, possibly for hunting purposes, or since you enjoy swimming frequently, you must consistently improve its swimming abilities.

    While teaching your dog to swim, make it a weekly ritual to take it swimming in a lake or river. Its talents will significantly increase with continuous practice.

    You should keep your dog out of the water during the winter, though, as they shouldn’t be swimming in icy water. A dog that drinks water that is excessively cold risks hypothermia and drowning from shock to its system.

    Step 3: Keep a close eye on the dog. 

    If your dog seems to be doing well in the water at first, don’t think that it doesn’t require attention. Whether your dog is a novice swimmer or an experienced one, they all need supervision when they swim.

    • Because it utilizes new muscles and engages in an activity that requires a lot of stamina, a dog that is new to the water is likely to tire out soon. It doesn’t take long for your dog to move from being content to getting into trouble, so you should be alert for this shift.
    • It’s crucial to maintain control over a dog while it’s learning to swim. It implies that while the dog is testing the waters, you should be holding onto it—ideally in a harness—so that you can rescue it if it gets into trouble.

    You’ll soon have prepared your dog for success in the water if you move softly, methodically, and never with force. Recall that it’s essential to adjust to your dog’s comfort level rather than your own when dealing with fear-based behavior. To ensure that you and your closest friend can enjoy swimming together for the rest of your friend’s life, it is far better to get it right by beginning slowly.

    Thank you for reading….

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