FROM WATER-SHY TO WATER-LOVER - SWIM TRAINING FOR DOGS

All dogs can swim - but

Basically, the statement "All dogs can swim" is not wrong. Nevertheless, not every dog goes into the water and not every dog is a talented swimmer. Many dogs are downright afraid of water and even avoid playing on the shore. On the other hand, it does not mean that a dog that loves to swim generally loves everything about water. These "water-shy water-lovers" jump into every lake, but give puddles a wide berth, hardly want to go outside when it rains and hate being bathed.

The movements involved in swimming are in every dog's blood. It is part of the survival instinct. Many dogs already start paddling when you hold them above the water surface. Nevertheless, there are also dogs that are not good swimmers or do not like water.

Bad swimmers are mainly short-nosed breeds with a heavy build or short legs. These include bulldogs or basset hounds, for example.

How to get your dog used to water:

The Water

A still body of water without currents or waves should be chosen for training. Wide sandbanks that lead very slowly into deeper water are ideal. In this way, the dog can be gradually accustomed to the deeper water and does not lose contact with the bottom immediately. In addition, he can leave the water on his own if necessary.

To prevent your dog from  panic, the training should rather be done in small sections. Let your dog m feel comfortable in shallow water before attempting to go into deeper water where your dog can no longer stand.

Life jacket for your dog

For dogs that are particularly fearful, life jackets specially designed for dogs provide a sense of security. Life jackets can also help dogs that are not good swimmers and, for example, only paddle with their front legs, so that the rear end does not sink. In boat harbours, life jackets are also used to fish dogs out of the water by the back loop if they have jumped off the boat or jetty.

Motivation

Now the most important thing is to find the appropriate motivation for the dog. There must be an incentive why they should leave the safe land and get into the water.

Our irresistible Chicken Hamburgers with Pumpkin, Carrot & Sweet Potato will convince even the most water-shy dog to take a plunge. If the dog is very influenced by its owner, it can help to get into the water yourself so that the dog follows. A fellow dog that likes to swim can also make the dog want to get into the water to play.

Many dogs love to play fetch. Throwing a toy into the water encourages the dog to run after it. Waterproof, floating food bags usually offer the greatest motivation.



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