When it comes to can poodles swim? There is a lot to learn about them. Poodles have been bred to be good swimmers; their survival instincts have been conditioned accordingly. They were initially considered water retrievers. The name clearly gives it away that this specific dog breed has the strong ability to maintain composure in water.
The paws and the coat of the Poodle have been bred to make them excellent swimmers. Whether or not, it was done intentionally is unknown. Poodles have webbed feet that make them better developed for swimming than most dogs.
They also have a moisture-resistant coat, single-layered but dense. Which makes them perfect for underwater or surface water activities.
They are also of a higher level of intellect which has managed to sharpen their natural prosperity in reaction to being immersed in water. They can be trained easily to control themselves and not panic in water bodies.
Also, despite of their popularity among the wealthy, mainly for their rather mature and refined mannerisms. The dog breed enjoys swimming and getting wet. This is mostly because their physical attributes are designed in a way that makes it easier for them to get the hang of swimming in a very short amount of time. Poodles are a very water-suitable breed.
Can Poodles swim? Why you should teach them
Teaching a pet dog to swim is quite necessary, regardless of the kind of region you live in. Yes, it is less likely for your dog to drown if you live in a desert locality. But you should not take that chance. If the opportunity ever arises your dog should be able to make it out of the water or at least float easily.
If you live in coastal regions or a house with even the smallest swimming pool, teach your dog how to swim.
Emphasis on the teaching part. If you do not teach them how to, it is more likely that much like a human who does not know how to swim, the dog will thrash around and eventually get tired and will resort to letting go, completely. The dog must know how to hover on the surface of the water body that they are in.
Swimming, apart from being a safety precaution, is also an excellent exercise for dogs with arthritis. In fact, it is the safest bet for the dogs in that specific condition. It keeps them healthy and acts as good physical therapy, it takes the pressure off the joints whilst allowing sufficient mobility.
It is also a very good routine for the dog to swim regularly if they are overweight and unhealthy. Letting your dog go in the swimming pool can be excellent practice for emergencies but at the same time, it can help work off the fat on their bodies.
It helps them burn calories in the best way possible. In some cases, letting the dog swim can also help in getting rid of any excess energy that the dog might have. It makes the dog agile and in the best condition. It also helps the performance of the dog in official situations.
The first step in making your dog used to water surfaces is exposing them to one. If you live in a coastal region where you have rivers and lakes present, take them out to walks near them, on occasion. If you want to train them properly and not just build up familiarity. You can do so in a routine behavior to make the dog active and ready for crisis situations.
Walking your dog to the beach, alone, can make your dog accustomed to the sound of water. This will help them, so that it does not panic, and likes the look of water.
Now, you don’t essentially need to make sure your Poodle goes into the water the first time you take them. The first time is usually for acquainting your dog with the surroundings. Making sure that when they actually start swimming, they will not be afraid of the way the water looks, feels, or sounds.
Your dog being scared of the water is not a good sign. It means you may have prematurely forced them into a wet situation that was out of their comfort zone. In some cases might instill a deep-rooted fear of water in your dog. Which is not a good thing in the long term. When teaching your dog anything you should take it as slowly as the dog needs.
Begin in Shallow Water
If you start by pushing your dog into the deep end, it is possible that your dog will never again want to venture into any similar conditions.
The best thing would be to start your dog off slow. You can do that by gently encouraging your dog to go into a much shallower water body. This will give your dog a sense of accomplishment. Which in turn will embed into their mind that they have some sort of control in this situation.
Shallow water, in this situation, can be described as wetness, but at the same time, your dog is on a solid surface. We are talking about puddle size water if necessary, or just covering their paws slightly.
Along with shallow water, make sure to keep your dog away from any currents and waves. This will upset the mental dynamics and throw them off completely. Making it impossible for you to get the dog to step into the water again.
Taking your dog into the shallow end, one step at a time, with your assistance throughout can act as a solid system of support. Encourage your dog to try and take risks and maybe go into the deep end by itself. In short, the deep end is not for beginners.
Coach Your Dog
Guide your dog and provide physical support. Do your best to be involved in each activity that your dog indulges in. Do not be afraid to get wet and sweaty, if you are putting your dog into the pool, be sure to jump right in with them. You should never just abandon him and leave him in the water assuming that the dog will learn on its own.
Also, by getting into the water with them, you will allow them to feel a lot more confident in their abilities. They will be able to follow your guidance better.
There is an easy way to get your dog to begin swimming. Place them in the more shallow end of the pool and you can start to walk backward into the more relatively deeper section of the pool. It is most likely that the dog’s natural instincts will kick in and get your dog moving around in the water.
What we are saying is your dog will try and follow you. So do not go too far away and make sure they are wearing a life vest. This should only be done once they have familiarity with the water and pool, this is not a beginner step. They need to be ok with being in shallow water first. Do not rush them.
If your dog is social and affectionate towards you, it is very expected that it will take you being around as a reward. It will want to spend time with you. This will help increase love for you while simultaneously enhancing your dog’s abilities in the water-related activities.
Take Help from Dry Land Experience
Patience is key in a situation like this. Do not expect your dog to instantaneously know every move and trick as soon as it steps foot in the water. Let things take their course.
Take help from experiences that you may have had on dry land with your pet. Conditioning is one of the best methods, on dry land or in water.
Treats and praises can be very useful when your dog does something right. Show affection through your actions as well. By ruffling your dog’s head or rubbing them under the chin, anything that makes them feel accomplished.
Tips for dogs who are less sociable can be to leave them in the company of other dogs who are comparatively better at swimming. Seeing someone similar to them in the water, enjoying, and unharmed will help bring up their self-assurance and make them a lot more confident in what they are about to do.
Avoid forcing your dog into a situation it does not want to be in or it will go into a state of panic. They might get permanently scared of the water. Always be ultra-cautious, use vests that are specifically made for dogs, this can help a lot.
When you get to the actual swimming part of the entire teaching process, make sure to keep the dog’s safety in your mind. The first and most important thing you can do is never leave your dog unsupervised. Make sure the dog knows where the slopes and ramps are and that they are used to them.
You can do this by marking the spot with a significant piece of cloth or a flag. What you can also do is teach the dog where the steps are by taking its paw and placing it on the right spot.
You need to keep the lessons short so as to not tire your dog out excessively and make it weak. You should also be able to retain control of your dog. Use a leash and collar to make the dog feel safe and avoid any panic.
Dogs are also prone to being sunburn around the nose and ears. Use the appropriate sunscreen for dogs and apply them to the specific areas to protect your dog’s skin.
Wait about two hours after feeding before you let your dog swim, to prevent any bloating.
Above all, make sure your dog stays healthy but remains within the boundaries of being comfortable and safe.