Golden Retrievers are known to be one of the most intelligent dog breeds but can golden retrievers swim? Now everyone can agree they are easy to spot from a distance, due to their exceptional looks.
They come with a complete package of cheerful temperament that makes it comfortable for them to be left around children. Golden retrievers are famous for being obedient dogs. Who are always in the mood to play, can be trained easily, and know their manners.
Making them the perfect family companion you need in your house. They are also known for their inclination with water, they just love to swim. That furthermore emphasizes on how they love to be outdoors and stay active around nature.
Where Their Attributes Come From
Golden Retrievers were originally bred to retrieve ducks and other prey animals for hunters. They belong to Scotland; their owners would hunt animals while these dogs would bring back the animals to their owners. They were the ideal hunting companion one could need for outdoor activities.
In most cases, they had to go through lakes and ponds to retrieve the preyed animal. Due to their dense coat that has been layered by another coat that is water repellent. Making it easier for them to swim in the water. Not just that, it also helps them to stay insulated in cold weather and after a swim in the water.
All these physical attributes have given them an upper hand when it comes to swimming and outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. It is said that their innate love for water is due to their forefathers who were flat-coated retrievers and water spaniels.
However, genetics do not always play a role in this. There are some Golden Retrievers who prefer to stay away from water and that is mostly due to their conditioning. Although the majority of them have an inclination with water. There are some who prefer to not get soaked in water.
It cannot be predicted beforehand whether the puppy is going to enjoy swimming once it has grown older or not. Since it all comes down to their upbringing and the environment, they have been raised in.
If the mother or the owner is gentle with introducing water to the puppies, they will be more likely to get fond of it. Given the fact that Golden Retrievers are easier to train. You will not face any issue with guiding yours towards the habit of swimming in case he/she fails to form the bond with water.
How Can Golden Retrievers Swim? How to Encourage Their Behavior and Habits
Golden retrievers are easier to train and are probably one of the most docile and intelligent dog breeds. Teaching them to swim will not be a very tough task especially if you are fond of swimming yourself. The best companion you can have for yourself in water is probably your golden retriever.
Not only will they keep you engaged within the pool, but they will also accompany you too beach walks as well or your favorite lake. Swimming is an effective exercise for them, especially if they start at a young age.
You must introduce them to water at a very young age and allow them to explore freely. You should encourage them but provide them with all the time they need to get accustomed to swimming. Whether they instinctively grasp the idea of swimming or not. You need not rush into the process and get carried away while teaching them.
Encouraging Them To Swim
To make the activity more interesting you can add their favorite toy in the water. But be ready to get it yourself in case they are unable to pull that off.
Start off by taking them to the shallow water along with treats that they like. The first time you truly do not know how they will react. When it comes to their safety, it is best to put on a dog life vest on them, to make the experience more comfortable without worries.
Ease them with treats, you might have to be persistent on this. They might take some time to familiarize themselves with the idea of water being safe for them.
Positive reinforcements are essential at all stages of the training. Without them, your Golden Retriever is not going to be able to associate positive memories with the experience and fall back into disliking the activity.
Another way to get them to like water is to get them into bathing. The process is similar to that of swimming except you will be trying it out in the tub this time. Using treats as an attraction, lure them into the tub and turn on the tap slowly. By gradually increasing the water pressure you will familiarize them with water at a subtle pace.
Other Factors to Consider While Managing Their Swimming Habit
If you are unable to take them to the beach, then there is always an option to get them a swimming pool. They do not have to be big. Just big enough for them to release their energy and affection towards the water.
They should know how to get out of the pool as that is a crucial part of the activity. Golden Retrievers love to be around water and in water. Whether it is the ocean or a river, a lake, or a personal swimming pool.
Their breed is fond of splashing around especially when temperatures go high, due to their thick coat. If you want to learn a lot more about your golden retriever, PDSA has a great guide on explaining a lot of things.
Reasons Why Your Golden Retriever Does Not Like Swimming
It is advised to understand the root causes of an action. No action is committed without a reason backing it. In most cases, Golden retrievers have not been familiarized with water in the first place. They are unsure of what will happen if they interact with it.
It can be more than that though; dogs are known to have good memories and they too can suffer from PTSD. This could be one of the reasons why your Golden Retriever is finding it hard to swim or touch the water.
It could be that they were thrown into the water as puppies or experienced close calls with drowning at some points. If you think that might be the case, then you need to be patient with them and tend to their trauma before you get into their training. Once that has been resolved, they might become more open to the idea of interacting with water.
One of the simplest reasons for disliking water can be due to how it feels. Just like humans, Golden Retriever who are considered to be an intelligent breed; can dislike certain sensations and feelings. Although it might not be the same for all. Some dogs simply do not like their coat getting wet or dislike the feeling of water touching their skin.
All Dogs Have Different Personalities
Above all, it is essential to understand that animals have their own individual personalities. One might not be like the other, they too come in different shades when it comes to their behavior and preferences. Depending on that, you will be required to approach your Golden Retriever accordingly.
Understand what their patterns are and what influences them. Through this, you will be able to assist them in gaining certain habits and dropping some too.
We have an article that you may find helpful regarding training. A few basic dog training tips to help you further. These may help you learn how to train your dog.