How to Teach Your Dog to Enjoy Swimming

swimming cocker

Swimming is a great summertime activity that both you and your dog can enjoy. However, not all dogs are natural swimmers, and your dog may require some time before he learns to enjoy swimming. You can help to introduce your dog to swimming using these steps below.

Introduce Your Dog When He’s Young

If possible, introduce your dog to the water when he’s young. Establishing swimming as a fun and enjoyable activity when your dog is young can help him to enjoy the activity for all of his life. Older dogs can still be successfully introduced to swimming, so don’t worry if your dog is older. But if you have a young dog, then make introducing him to the water a priority.

Start With Quiet Water

Bringing your dog to a busy beach and asking him to step into the water for the first time can be overwhelming for your pet. Instead, start with quiet, still water in a situation without too many distractions. You can set up a kiddie pool in the privacy of your backyard, or can bring your dog to a quiet spot at a pond for his first introduction to swimming.

Bring Along a Floating Toy

It’s a great idea to bring a floating toy or ball along with you from home. Choose a toy that your dog likes to play with, and let him play with it when you get to the pond. This can help your dog to relax in the new environment, and gradually you can start throwing the toy into the water so that your dog associates swimming with an enjoyable activity.

Make Introductions Slowly

One important factor in teaching your dog to enjoy swimming is to slowly introduce him to the water and to swimming. You never want to force your dog into the water, or to throw him into the water so that he is forced to swim. This will only create a negative association with water, and may make your dog hate swimming. Instead, be patient. Some dogs may require multiple visits to the water before they get the confidence to go in.

Accept Your Dog’s Preferences

You can do everything right to set your dog up for swimming success, and he still may never take to the water. Just like humans, every dog is an individual, and some dogs just don’t want to swim. If you’ve given this your best effort and your dog just doesn’t enjoy the water, then it may be time to move on to another activity that your dog truly enjoys.

After your dog goes swimming, he may be a bit stinky. Be sure to call and make a reservation with Bed & Biscuit Austin – we’ll happily bathe your dog and have him smelling great again.

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