Can all dogs swim

It is summer and once again, families accompanied by their dogs are making a beeline to the nearest swimming hole. Swimming is one of the favorite family activities when the weather turns hot. As people would always want to have the dog around, the pet will be seen accompanying the family to the beach to swimming pools and to other swimming locations.

Sadly, many dogs have died because their owners are not aware of the fact that not all dogs can swim. The notion that all dogs can swim was associated with the dog paddle swimming stroke that was named after the dog’s ability to swim. The fact is not all dogs have the ability to swim. While some dogs have a natural fear of water, others are physically unable to swim.

Swimming is a good form of work out especially for dogs weighed down with health concerns. The belief that all dogs can swim is a baseless notion. Although some dogs would take to water like ducks others would sink to the bottom like a sack of stones. It is an owner’s job to introduce the pet to the water and to ensure that the experience will be a pleasurable one for the pet.

Some owners would brutally teach the dog to swim by throwing the pet into the water or by jumping into the water while holding the pet. Even a small dog would be hard to manage if it is frantically trying to get on dry land. Dog experts tell us that it would be best to teach the dog how to swim while it is still a puppy as similar to obedience training, the dog has not yet formed definite ideas about its environment. A technique used by some owners is to take an older swimming dog along as the older dog’s pleasurable activity in the water is hoped to entice the non-swimmer to try the water.

Generally, dogs are curious animals. When the dog sees another enjoying the water, the fear of the unknown will be forgotten and in no time the non swimming dog will be seen enjoying the water as well. Dogs form a strong bond with their master. Because of this strong bond, an owner can call the pet and urge it to come into the water. Once the dog has tested the water with its paws, the next move is to urge the dog to go farther into the water. Use toys and treats as positive reinforcements to encourage the dog to swim. The dog may have taken to the water like a pro but be wise to the fact that your pet is not yet a strong swimmer thus supervision will still be necessary.

Still wonder how dogs swim? Find out more about this and dog first aid at Sarah’s Dogs.

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