Most dogs are great swimmers and love nothing better than doing it for pure pleasure. However, some dogs are more careful around the water, or even afraid of water. In some cases, it could be because their only experience with water up to that point has been a bath.
In other cases, it might be fear of something new. But the good news is that with some training and patience, you can turn any dog into a water loving swimmer. Therefore try to avoid big mistakes when introducing your dog to the water.
Here are 4 easy steps to make your dog love water:
#1 Make bath time fun and memorable
When your dog has a hard time accepting the water, you can use bath time as water training. Since bath time is an instance where water and dog must meet, it’s important to make it fun and memorable. Use warm water (not burning warm) on a low pressure setting to make the water comfortable for your pup. Use treats and lots of praise so your dog knows he or she is doing a fantastic job and that water leads to extra love and treats.
#2 Start with a kiddie pool
Even though your pup starts to enjoy bath time, it doesn’t mean that he is ready for the beach or for a big pool. Start out slow and easy by introducing him to a kiddie pool. Kiddie pools are inexpensive and are perfect for coaxing dogs into water. You can start off by filling pools ankle high, tossing in a few toys, and starting a game of fetch. With time, increase the water level. Soon your dog will love to splash in the kiddie pool on his own.
#3 Jump in the water with your dog
Be a good pet parent and lead the way. Dogs can easily get over their fears if we help them as much as we can. In this case by showing them, physically, that water is OK. By jumping in the water with your dog you can show him/her that there is nothing to be afraid of. “Look, I’m fine and so will you be.” Dogs trust us, but only if we lead them.
#4 Invite a water loving friend
Take along a water loving dog, or a couple of water loving dogs. Seeing other dogs run and jump into the water can help your dog see that it is fun and not frightening. Allowing your dog to observe their body language will help your dog engage in the water activity without thinking too much. Your dog will quickly see there is nothing to fear. All he sees is wagging tails and dogs having a load of fun.
As you can see, teaching a dog to enjoy water is pretty much the same as teaching anyone else to enjoy water. With the right amount of patience and persistence you can easily make your dog love water. You already know those 7 breeds that absolutely love the water?