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Thread: can all dogs swim?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    near Sydney NSW

    Default can all dogs swim?

    Misha avoids water like the plague! Doesn't matter if it's still water or ocean, she doesn't want to know.
    I haven't actively encouraged her to go in but she is full grown now and it seems a shame that she doesn't take advantage of cooling off in water now that summer is almost here.

    So my question is, if I take her into a pool with me will she automatically know how to swim?
    I don't want to frighten her and I thought I'd take her in where she can still feel the bottom to start with and progress from there.

    Any suggestions? Or are there dogs who never take to the water?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    Well we are dealing with two non-swimming newfies at present LOL.........Our Lukey and our friends Maggie

    My hubby is very good at giving dogs the confidence to swim. We have to actually encourage some dogs to enter the water to start Water rescue training. there are even some labs and golden retrievers wh were fearful of water.

    Do not do it quick and it is better to start in low water. We take the dogs in on-lead and allow them to relax in our arms. mike will take them out Deeper and deeper and initially support all the swimming. We also have the dogs wear life vests......In Water rescue work this is to help when they tow people in. Nad in teaching dogs water confidence it gives them that little more comfort at first.

    I do think all dogs can swim in quiet no current water. But some do flail quite badly and have hardly any action with their back legs and scrabble with their front legs. By holing them and allowing them to use their back legs they get the hang of it.

    Never frighten them, or you get a dog like our Lukey..........wrecked for water rescue work and only confident swimming with us, but you never know one day maybe.

    Always be reliable and do not allow the dog to be hassled by other dogs or people, whilst you are doing this. We reward highly when they make it back to shore after their first swim. And most do get to love it, at least in calm waters

    This is maggie doing her first swim at the age of two after only a few lessons...She was in a hurry to get back to her owner on dry land. My Katy was on lifeguard duty, she never hassles other dogs whilst they swim and we think it helps the other dogs to see another dog in the water, calmly
    Last edited by newfsie; 10-21-2012 at 07:28 PM.
    Pets are forever

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    I've been trying to teach dex to be ok in water, I started by teaching him to fish for objects he likes in shallow water, like feathers. Once he was enthusiastically doing that I encouraged him to put his feet in to reach the objects. I gave him treats while in the water and he seems to be fine in shallow water now, an inch or two deep. I put him in deep water for the first time today and he did really well. It was really hot here so I thought I'd see how he went in the duck bath, he swam 2 laps and got dried off and had a roll on the grass and got the bonus of getting cooled down he also seems to like the hose and tries to bite the water stream. He's getting better with it, just taking it slow and rewarding progress.

    Good luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    some dogs sink. My brother's dog - an SBT - swims like a submarine - completely sinks under - after taking a flying leap into the water.

    My dog loves the water. When she was little we went to the beach and I held her while she swum but she didn't need any help. Now - she's fine even in surf - she's learned to stand up on her back legs to get over dog sized breaking waves. And she can put her whole head underwater to retrieve things. And blow bubbles. Again - she's done this since small.

    When she was very little - it was very hot - heatwaves - and I exercised her / us by using the water jet from the garden hose for her to chase around. She still likes doing this. Makes hosing off tarps a bit exciting.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    melbourne australia


    Ive met several dogs that are frightened of water, and refuse to swim.
    I have never owned a pup that i havent taught to swim. But i have had that training obliterated in one of our dogs by my son, spraying our 6 month rottie with hose pipe. Feared water for his entire life post this incident of 'fun'.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011


    My Whippets hate water, they have a lack of body fat so are not very boyant (sp?). But they can do it, I do feel that they would tire quickly.

    On the other hand my Saluki loves water so much that we have shown him where the exit is to the swim spa in case he gets in there, even though it's rare that the covers are off when nobody is in there. Never thought I'd see a desert dog love water and have a good swimming style but he does.

    Our Gordon Setter is a natural water baby and we struggle to keep her out of all water, she has a lovely swimming style.

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