Can All Dogs Swim?
You have probably heard that all dogs can swim and that our furry friends are natural swimmers. However, this is not the case.
Generally, we can differentiate three types of dogs when it comes to swimming.
Dogs That Absolutely Love The Water
These are dogs that were bred to retrieve waterfowl. Therefore, it in their genes to love the water and lowe to swim. Some of them even have the word water in their name.
Some of the most proficient swimmers in the dog world are:
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Labrador Retriever
- Spanish Water Dog
- Newfoundland Dog
- Golden Retriever
- Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Dogs That Aren’t Natural Swimmers, But Still Can Learn
Some dog breeds such as German Shepherds, Huskies, Great Danes, etc, aren’t natural swimmers, but they can learn to swim and enjoy the water.
Dogs That Can’t Swim?
On the other hand, we have dogs that are unable to swim due to physiological factors. Generally, dog breeds that have an extremely short snout or a flat face are not suited for swimming.
Due to their short snouts and flat faces, water easily gets up to their noses, which can cause drowning. Also, dogs with long bodies and short legs can’t swim efficiently and can’t stay afloat.
These are the most popular non-swimmers of the dog world:
How To Teach Your Dog To Swim?
The most important thing when teaching your dog to swim is to gradually introduce your dog to the water. Some dog owners simply take their dog and throw it into the water. This is completely wrong as it comes as a big shock to the dog, who may even develop a fear of water.
Firstly, every dog, regardless of breed, needs a lifejacket when it first learns to swim. We will discuss why lifejacket is so important, further down in the article.
Training should start with small, gradual steps. First, try to get your dog to step in the shallow water. Even if the dog just dips his toes in the water, encourage and praise your furry friend and reward him with treats.
Ideally, you should also enter the water to provide the sense of safety your dog needs. Remember, keep your dog on a leash during these first steps, so you have more control and can react faster if something goes wrong.
Gradually, try to get your dog to go further and further into the water. You can move deeper and call him to come to you. Or if your dog loves to play a game of fetch, toss a frisbee or some other toy into the water. Each turn slightly increases the distance your dog needs to swim to reach the toy.
Remember, teaching your dog to swim is not something you will do in one day in one session. If you want to properly introduce your dog to the water, you will divide these steps into several sessions across several days.
Also, puppies tend to learn faster than adult dogs, so it’s best to teach your dog to swim while he is still young.
Why Is Dog Lifejacket So Important?
A lifejacket is simply a must-have for dogs, especially when they first learn to swim. A lifejacket makes your dog feel safe in the water and makes it easier for him to pedal through the water with his front and rear paws.
Dogs that run into the water for the first time can panic, lose their orientation or gulp water and even drown. Therefore, it is crucial that dogs have a high-quality, properly fitting lifejacket. It’s also important that the lifejacket has a handle to help you easily lift your dog out of the water.
People Also Ask
Can dogs drown?
Yes, dogs can drown. Our furry friends can get exhausted or panic in the water, which can cause drowning.
Can dogs swim underwater?
Yes, dogs can swim underwater. In fact, some dogs absolutely love to swim underwater.
Is it safe to let the dog swim in my pool?
Generally, pool water, saltwater or chlorine, is safe for your dog. However, some pool chemicals are known to cause skin irritation in dogs.