You might have a dog that can’t get past a pond, lake, or pool without diving in or a dog that maintains a safe distance from any water bodies. Dogs are natural swimmers as they say but this is not the plain truth that applies to each dog. This really depends on the breed your dog belongs to and several other things. But the question still remains, can all dogs swim?
Regardless of swimming ability, all dogs should be given a chance to enjoy the water. Be it just wetting paws and splashing water in the kiddie pool or swimming in your backyard pool. Due to bad experiences in the water, some dogs develop a lifelong fear. So, before you let your dog enjoy being in or around water bodies, make sure you do enough for their safety. We will talk about everything swimming and safety of them in this article.
Should Your Dog Swim?
Not all dogs can swim. The reason is some dogs have breed-specific physical attributes that make it quite tough keeping their heads out of the water and paddle. Dogs with square faces have a hard time keeping their nose above the surface of the water compared to the dogs with narrowed and longer muzzles.
Dogs with longer backs and shorter legs, in other words, disproportionated legs and body cannot naturally swim. For example, dachshunds. Here are some other dog breeds who are not natural swimmers: Pug, Boxer, Bulldog, Basset hound, English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Pekingese, etc. However, you should look up for your dog’s breed online before you venture to teach them swimming.
You’ll able to understand why certain breeds are a swimmer and some are not when you think about the breed’s traditional purpose. Swimmer dog breeds were meant to do water jobs like different retriever breeds. They generally used to retrieve hunted birds for their masters from water bodies.
Water breed dogs can manifest swimming just by seeing water bodies. But for other dogs, swimming flawlessly is a big deal. Well, most dogs can swim with a life jacket on and a few swimming lessons. But that doesn’t warrant your dog to swim in large water bodies without any safety. Conclusively, all dogs should be given a chance to enjoy the water and not forced to swim.
Let me blurt out the fact: Your dog needs a life jacket when he is around a large water body irrespective of the breed. Well, why should your swimmer dog wear a life jacket? It comes with a D ring on the top of it so that you can attach the leash to it. When you’re in unknown waters, your dog won’t be allowed to go farther from you and will be safe. Flowing water, sudden depth changes, abnormal sea waves in unknown water places can put your dog’s life in danger.
It is also important to keep in mind that, a drowning dog would develop a lifetime fear. So, a life jacket is crucial when your dog is traveling on a cruise, boat, or around larger water bodies. The buoyancy force would help your dog to keep himself above the water and leash will help you to have control over your buddy if your pooch decides to chase something and dive in the water.
Even the most confident dogs panic when they get into trouble in the water. A dog loves to chase his toy in the water or other dog. Sometimes they don’t realize the surface has changed and they panic because they can’t feel the ground anymore. A life jacket would help them to stay calm if this is the situation.
Never leave your dog unattended even for half a minute. Even if that is your swimming pool in your backyard. If your dog injures himself while swimming or passes out in the middle of the water somehow, you need to be there to help him. For unknown and natural water bodies, it is even more dangerous to leave your canine pal unattended.
Show Them The Way Out
When you’re giving your dog swimming lessons, show them how to get in the pool and out. Command your dog to follow you into the pool and when you’re done with the swimming session, get out of the pool from the same spot every time. Reinforce this habit of following you the way in and out of the pool with verbal praise and treats.
This is important because if at all your dog gets a chance to escape your house and decides to go to a pool by himself, he at least should know the way out of the pool.
I hope you’ve realized not all dogs are natural and good swimmers but they should be given a chance to be around water. Some water and swimmer dog breeds can easily swim in the water while on the other hand, some dogs do not have physical attributes favorable for swimming. Those dogs can swim with the help of a life jacket but they shouldn’t be forced to if they don’t want to.