For those of you who need more than just wading your dog into water to get them to swim, you require more help in the process. These additional dog training tips should help you with teaching your dog to swim.
Have a friend come over with a dog that swims and take the dog into the pool. This will show your dog that other dogs swim and that it’s fun! Learning from watching others is common in dogs, and the experience of others usually gives them confidence to try something themselves.
Try going deeper and deeper into a gradually declining pool, offering them treats as you go. Go back about one foot every time they accept the treat, and increase the number of treats they get for going deeper into the pool. This process may not happen all at once, but try it a few times a week if they seem uncomfortable at first. once they get far enough to the point where they have to swim, significantly up the treat number. Temptation should dominate fear when treats are in the picture!
Try putting your hands under your dogs stomach and pulling him in the pool deeper. Move them slowly, but show them that they are safe. Don’t let them squirm away when you get too deep because then they are forced to swim. When they are deep enough to swim stay there for a few seconds. If your dog is uncomfortable doing this, repeat the process every other day until they are comfortable in water. When you get to the deepest part of the pool, see if they are comfortable having you let go. When you think they’re ready to swim, slowly let go. You’re dog should be able to handle it from here, but follow them to make sure they’re okay. You may want to wear goggles because lots of dogs are big splashers!
Contact our Florida dog training center with any questions.