Have you thought of taking your puppy on a swimming trip? Do you think he’ll like being in the water? Can he swim? Should you teach him? Absolutely!!! Contrary to common belief, dogs aren’t natural swimmers. They need to be taught how to swim. Before you go and throw him in the water, here are a few things you need to know about teaching a puppy to swim.

teach your dog to swim

Consider the Breed

Consider your pup’s breed. Not all breeds can swim. There are breeds that require a lot of supervision when in water. Breeds like Pugs, Boxers, Bulldogs, and Dachshunds aren’t very good swimmers. They’ll have difficulty breathing and will easily drown.

There are breeds that like being in the water and actually adore swimming. Examples of these are the Spaniels, Retrievers, Labradors, and Setters. If your puppy belongs to any of these, you won’t have a hard time teaching him to swim.

Genius Dog 300 x 250 - Animated

You have to note that if your puppy is not comfortable with going in the water and is scared of it, do not force him. It will only stress out your pup, and cause you frustration.

Swimming Lessons

When teaching your puppy to swim you have to start with getting your puppy accustomed to water. If he like water, then good. You can start with a kiddie pool that’s filled only up to your puppy’s joints. Toss his favorite toy in, play fetch with him but keep the toy within the pool. You can also try getting in the water with your pup. That should make him a lot more comfortable being in the water.

Once he’s comfortable you can add a little more water. Work your way up as your puppy gets more comfortable with the depth of the water. Soon enough you’ll be able to take him swimming on a bigger pool, the beach, or a lake.

You can make your puppy wear a life vest or swimmies. If you have a pup that’s comfortable with water but can’t swim at all, you can make him wear a life vest every time you go swimming. It will make him more confident while swimming, and it’s also for his safety. If you have a pup that’s comfortable being in the water and can swim, you can still use life vest of swimmies, but can remove it later on.

Get in the water with your pup. If he’s swimming for the first time he may need to see you being comfortable and having fun in the water. It should boost his confidence and feel more secure since you are in the water as well.

It will also help if you have a friend or a neighbor whose puppy is already good at swimming. Puppies’ will copy what other puppies and dogs do. Plus it will give his confidence a bit of a boost seeing that another pup is swimming as well.

Have Fun

Make swimming a fun activity for him. The goal is to make him comfortable and confident while in the water. Once he’s confident he’ll be swimming sooner than you know.

I know you’re eager to teach your pup to swim. Just a WARNING, do NOT throw your puppy in the pool or lake thinking that’ll teach him to swim faster. On the contrary it will make him fear water. And it’s no fun for him. Be gentle and just have fun without stressing out your pup.


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Thomas Love grew up with five dogs throughout his childhood. He loves them to death and has not met one he didn't like. His first dog Duchess was always with him from his earliest memories until his last day of school in eighth grade. That day Thomas will never forget.


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