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How to Train Your Dog to Swim

One of the best ways to stay cool in the summer is to hit the water, but why should you have all the fun? Plenty of dogs are natural swimmers, and the water is also a great way for them to beat the heat and to wear themselves out. If your dog is not a natural water breed, you can help train them to love the water with a few quick tips.

You’re getting in the water, too

If your dog doesn’t naturally make a mad dash for the water, you better believe you’re going to go in with them. Dogs look to their owners for confirmation, leadership, and safety, and they will most likely need you to go in first before they take the plunge. Pack your swim trunks.

Don’t trick them and make sure they have an easy exit

If you want your dog to naturally enjoy swimming, they need to ease into the situation. Throwing them in the water or otherwise tricking them into jumping into the deep end will make them associate water with panic or fear, and they will be less likely to want to do it in the future. Stay close when they are first entering; some dogs are poor swimmers and do not naturally float on the surface, so you may need to provide physical support alongside moral support when they are first getting the hang of things. Your dog will also be less likely to panic if they have view of you at all times and of an easy exit: shoot for zero depth entry or a shoreline, especially one that is directly opposite of where they enter the water. That way they won’t have to turn around in order to easily get to dry land.

Pack plenty of incentive for your dog to hop in, and bring rewards for afterwards

There are swim-training treats that float on the surface of the water, and plenty of toys are also designed to take in the pool or lake. Also, another way to get your dog interested in the water is by bringing a few of their poochy friends who already love hitting the waves. Seeing other dogs safely enjoying the water will make your dog much more likely to jump in themselves. Even if they only test things and aren’t sure they are ready to hop in yet, make sure to pack plenty of rewards for when you are done. They will get the hang of it eventually, and learning a new skill is tough work!

Remember, not all dogs take to the water naturally! You will need to stay close at hand, and, just like people, dogs should wear a floatation device at all times near water unless they are under close, direct supervision. Make sure you have a supply of a stain and odor eliminator like Bio-nihilator on hand for when you’re finished: you don’t want odors or accidents making your house smell unbearable. Check us out at to find out more about our product today.

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