Teaching Your Dog To Swim (5 Tips)

Teaching your dog to swim is an essential skill especially when it comes to family outdoor fun this summer. Most dogs are natural born swimmers, and some just need a little bit of training to get them comfortable swimming at the lake or in your pool. We’re going to break down the 5 best ways to teach your dog to swim.

When teaching your dog to swim, you have to treat them like children. You never force them in the water, or throw them in. The “sink or swim” method of training will backfire with a dog as it will a human. You have to make the dog comfortable with water first. Here’s how you’re going to get your dog to love going in the pool.

Teaching Your Dog To Swim Will Be Easy Using these 5 Tips

Teaching Dog to Swim

Keep in mind that not all dogs will love the water. Most breeds meant for land (Jack Russels, Boxers, Bulldogs – those dogs with stocky builds) may have a tough go of it. But with proper training they’ll get the hang of the “dog paddle”.

  1. Have fun with your dog near the water. This is important to acclimate them to running into the surf. Throw their favourite toy close to the waters edge and let them get their paws wet. Every once in a while throw the toy just a little further out.
  2. Using a leash. This is for a lake setting or beach. Go into the surf with your dog and simply walk through the water. Simply walk the dog into the water just until their paws are wet. No further and simply go for a stroll. The objective here is to get them used to surf style water.
  3. Get them a life jacket. Dogs in boats should wear a life jacket, especially out in deep water, or even your pool. The extra buoyancy but give them the extra confidence they’ll need to learn to swim. Eventually, you’ll need to train them without the life jacket as you wouldn’t want to give the dog a false sense of security when not wearing it in the water.
  4. Teach your dog where it’s safe to be at your pool. Keep something near the steps or the low end where they can get out of the pool if they feel scared or tired. Giving the dog a visual queue of the safe place in the pool will help them get out. Don’t forget to heap tons of praise on your dog when they
  5. Praise. Always praise your dog when getting in and out of the water. Walk into the water with your dog talking with them and walk back out. This lets them know they too can walk in and out of the water. Keep praising their actions as they go in and out of the water.

Keep in mind you need to keep this fun for your dog. Learning to swim can be a great time to bond with your dog, so keep it playful. But also keep in mind you need to play it safe. Be sure to monitor if they are getting physically tired while swimming. Take some breaks and have fun at the water!