The Doberman puppies in this video are in their first swimming lesson. Not a backyard swimming pool in someone’s house, but one specifically for puppies learning to swim. The water level ranges from getting their paws wet to not being able to waist deep for a human. They are supervised the whole time.
The puppies are introduced to the water by starting at the end where they barely get their paws wet. They can go at their own pace in getting into the water on their own. No pressure. This way, they don’t associate any negative experience with water. Purely a voluntary activity. And when they do decide to go to the deeper end, a human is there to make sure they feel safe, and have a person to swim toward. They are also encouraged to swim toward shallow water so their experience is brief and pleasant.
How to introduce your puppy to swimming
The Association of Professional Dog Trainers offers some tips on how to provide a pleasant and safe experience when introducing your puppies to water. You can hold your puppy close to you as you walk into the water. Then have him swim back to the exit point quickly, so it’s short and sweet. Remember to praise them a lot for their courage.
Inexperienced dog swimmers only use their front paws, so they get tired easily. It is possible to teach them how to use their hind legs as well, so they use their energy more efficiently, and won’t tire as quickly. Keep an eye on your dog. If you see them getting fatigued, call them so they will exit the pool. Even more experienced dog swimmers can get tired. If you see their end starting to sink, that’s a sign that he’s getting tired. You can read more safety tips for dog swimmers in this article. If you have experience of your dog learning to swim, feel free to share your comment on the bottom of this page.
Article source: The Association of Professional Dog Trainers