Teach Your Dog How To Swim

Swimming with your dog can be incredibly fun. It also tires out hyperactive hounds and increases the connection between you and your pooch. Dogs are natural swimmers, but making your canine comfortable with jumping into water takes effort. Here are some tips to help make splashing alongside your canine as enjoyable as possible.

dogs swimming

Pick a Swim Spot

Lakes are perfect locations for dog swimming introductions. Run parallel with the shore until your pet is comfortable with the concept of getting in. Pools are great, too, but make sure you start off in the shallow end. If you desire privacy and convenience when teaching your dog to swim, have a spot installed in your backyard. Expert pool builders in Charleston have the skills and knowledge necessary to build one that precisely suits your canine’s needs.

Start Slowly

Take it easy when beginning. Start by fitting your dog with a life jacket created specifically for man’s best friend. Choose a vest that has a handle on the back, as this feature makes pulling your pet out during emergencies a swift and simple maneuver. Never toss your dog in the water. Instead, pick up your tail-wagger and slowly enter, gradually moving forward.

Stay Close By

Being present is critical to increasing your dog’s comfort level. Keep your pet happy by remaining near. Find a pool that your dog can easily escape from and physically show your furry friend how to climb out. If this is a particular concern, locate a pool that has stairs built exclusively for dogs.

Provide Swimming Guidance

Dogs uncomfortable with swimming may panic. When this happens, they raise their front paws in an effort to get out, causing them to sink. In these instances, put one hand underneath your dog’s belly and the other over your animal’s front legs. Get rear legs into motion by tickling or stroking your fur baby’s hind paws.

Step Back

Once confidence begins building, move away and encourage your doggie to come toward you. It will become quickly apparent if panic starts. Should this happen, swoop in and revert back to earlier training until your companion calms down.

Have Fun

Encourage your dog to get into the water by providing incentives. Turn the experience into one yours looks forward to. There are plenty of games you can play, but fetch is the classic. Toss a toy in and watch Fido splash towards it. Start by throwing a Frisbee or other favorite squeaker into the shallow end and then gradually start hurling it further out.

Give Praise

Dogs respond to positive reinforcement. No matter how your swim session goes, provide words of encouragement and treats at the end of your time together. Doing this strengthens your furry friend’s desire to return for future swims.

Stay Safe

No matter where you choose to get wet, keep safety in mind. When visiting the ocean, watch for crashing waves and riptides. If taking a dip in a pool, stop your dog from consuming harmful, chlorine-filled water. Always keep an eye on your pet and watch for signs of exhaustion. Act the very moment you observe distress. Consider teaching your dog a verbal cue to return to land for when danger arises or it’s time to leave.

Wash Off

Pools have tons of chemicals and ponds are rife with algae and salt. Whether cooling off in a natural body of water or at a manmade spot, rinse and then towel off your canine before returning home. Take extra care to dry out ears, as leftover moisture can cause ear infections. Ask your veterinarian to recommend an ear cleaner appropriate for your breed.


There’s little better than taking your pup along with you when going for a swim, but dogs need assistance before they will happily submerge themselves in strange waters. Gradually introduce your barking buddy to the experience of joining you on wet excursions and increase the bond between y
Back to blog