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Water Safety Training Tips for Your Dog

June 15, 2015

The dog days of summer are right around the corner. Is your inquisitive canine ready for beating the heat? By that, I mean is your dog (and you!) water safety ready?

As a professional dog trainer, I often meet people who assume all dogs possess an innate ability to swim. Not true! Particularly the brachycephalic (short-snout) breed.

To ensure the best-est wettest possible summer ever, here are some water safety tips and reminders.

  • Make sure your dog knows how to swim. If you’re not sure, accompany it into a pool, lake, or ocean, and you’ll know soon enough. Don’t force the dog into the water.

    Water Safety photo

    It’s important that dogs know how and where to enter and exit pools. Teach them where the steps are.

  • Even if your dog is used to swimming in one location or type of water, it’s still a good idea to introduce her/him to new places as if you are teaching for the first time.
  • Be mindful of water conditions your dog can’t judge, such as a pool’s chlorine level, temperature, and high surf. You may want to test the waters first.
  • Rinse your dog after swimming, no matter what the water condition. Take the time to rinse properly. Wipe down the ears and other areas that may be sensitive. And, what a perfect time to check for ticks.
  • Teach your dog how to get in and OUT of the water. Make sure they have easy access to an escape route, especially in a pool or coming onto a boat.
  • For dogs learning how to swim, consider using a life-vest to help them stay afloat and get comfortable in the water. Keep in mind it’s always important to gauge you dog’s comfort level and to use caution by not pushing beyond their threshold. Gone are the old days of being thrown into the deep end to learn to swim.
  • If a dog knows how to swim, its owner should, too. If something should happen, the owner will need to help and avoid to bad situations.

No matter what your summer plans are, here’s to a season of fun in the sun and paw-raising times.

Last one in the pool is a rotten egg!

Wanna share pics and videos of your inquisitive canine? We invite you to post on our Facebook page.


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