How Can I Teach My Dog To Love The Water?

Is It Possible To Teach My Dog To Love The Water?

Swimming is an excellent opportunity for owners to both cool down and encourage healthy exercise for dog owners.  Dogs are naturally great swimmers, but some aren’t as keen to water right out of the gate as others.  It might appear strange to some dog owners, but they shouldn’t panic or force anything.  All it takes is a little patience and determination.

If your dog is apprehensive towards water, you can try these tips to introduce them slowly and get them loving it in little time.

Start Small

If you have the ability to introduce your dog to water with a kiddie pool, you’ll greatly increase your chances of getting your dog into a full-sized pool or body of water.  Start by playing fetch by the pool, have your kids and/or yourself stepping in and out of the pool.  Then, start trying to bait your dog to take a dip by tossing the toy into the water.

Even if your dog only sticks their face in the water to snatch the toy out is good progress.  You can also try using treats to see if they will jump all the way in.

Graduating

Take your dog to a below-ground pool with a shallow section or to a beach/lake shore to start getting them used to being in the water.  The water should be calm, and so should you!  Continue the game of fetch and try not to get frustrated if your dog doesn’t want to go beyond leg-deep.  Always give treats when your dog progresses to a deeper part of the water.

You should consider incorporating a life jacket for smaller dogs that bob a lot in the water.  It can add a layer of confidence to encourage them to swim.

If you can find someone with a dog that already loves swimming, this can have a profound effect on how quickly and willingly your dog will get into the water.

Enjoy the Moment

Once you’ve successfully introduced your dog to swimming, keep things exciting and interesting by incorporating water games like paddleboarding, dock diving, pool fetch, and more.  Pool inflatables are a dog’s best friends, too.

If you find yourself hitting a brick wall on training your dog to love water, don’t hesitate to call a professional trainer or ask a friend to help, sometimes your dog can get anxiety from all the pressure on them—dogs can tell when you’re disappointed, frustrated, or stressed by an activity.

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