Teaching your Dog to Swim

Helping Your Dog Make a Splash

Posted Sep 16, 2016 in Dog Tips

Summer may be coming to a close, but the heat is not. If you’re going for a dip in the pool, you might want to have your dog join. It can be really fun for you and your dog to enjoy swimming together! You can teach your dog a few lessons before you hit the water. Here are some tips to helping your dog be the best doggie paddler out there!

Know Your Breed

Some breeds of dogs are natural swimmers…and some are not. Bulldogs cannot swim at all and will sink if thrown in! Do your research and figure out what’s best for your dog.


If your dog is smaller, lightweight, or has short legs, they should wear a life jacket or vest. Be sure to keep them on a leash at first in case you need to help them or pull them in. Only remove the leash when they are very confident and can swim back right when you call.


Never leave your dog alone in the water. Not even just for a second!

Start Off Easy

Begin with just letting your dog experience the water in a shallow area. If they don’t seem interested, try throwing a toy. Keep walking out further till they’re paddling to float. You can use your arm to support they’re stomach at first.

Notice Body Language

If your dog seems panicked or is struggling to paddle, go back to shallow area and try again.

Be Positive

During the process and after your swim, be sure you always use a very positive tone and maybe reward your dog with a treat. This will help it be a positive experience in their mind.

Swimming can be a great way to bond with your dog and cool down, just make sure you’re always watching your dog! Happy splashing!

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