Dogs know how to swim The answer that comes to mind and for everyone is one and only one: “Of course they know how to swim!”. If we were to rely on popular beliefs about our four-legged friends, we would have no doubts: all dogs know how to swim.
Yet this is not the case: no dog is the same as another and among the countless aspects in which they surprise there is also swimming. The fact is that swimming does not exist among the innate abilities of dogs, intended as a species (for this reason the capital C).
Before studying the subject I noticed it by observing our Oban. As a child, he must have been 4-5 months old, and fallen into a pond and I had to pull him out of weight because the instant it took me to realize that he had fallen into the water, he showed he did not know how to behave.
I thought it depended on the age and I did not investigate further, but the question reappeared the following summer when, chasing the ball, he fell into the pool. To my immense surprise, he was going straight down like a stone, head included. Luckily he was wearing a harness, so I was able to catch him and drag him out of the water.
The following year the same scene: taken by the enthusiasm of chasing a ball and fell into the pool, and even on that occasion I had to throw myself to retrieve it because it was going down like a brick. Curiously, despite being very fearful and with an iron memory for all negative experiences, Oban is not afraid of water. He can’t swim, he never learned, but where he finds water he touches and always happy to enter.

  • Dogs are not born knowing how to swim
  • There are breeds predisposed to swimming
  • Each dog is an individual in itself
  • Dogs in the water

Dogs are not born knowing how to swim
Unlike what we think, dogs are not born knowing how to swim. Many of them when they come into contact with water naturally hint at the movement to stay afloat (hence the dog style of humans) but for many of them it is not even enough to keep them afloat and, if there are those who can to keep their heads above the water, many have no idea how to move in the water. There are breeds predisposed to swimming There are breeds that are naturally predisposed to swimming.Webbed paws are an indication that the Labrador, Flat Coated, Retriever, Nova Scotia Tolling Duck Retriever, Golden Retriever, or Newfoundland among others are genetically prone to swimming but that doesn’t necessarily mean all or all Labradors Newfoundlands feel the attraction of water. It can happen that you have a Labrador that doesn’t swim or a Newfoundland that doesn’t even come close to water, and so with other webbed breeds.
On the opposite side of the aquatic scale there should be brachycephalic breeds – for example the French bulldogs or bulldogs – and those with short legs – just think of the dachshunds – which due to their physical characteristics theoretically have greater difficulty in moving in the water. But even among them there are cases, even numerous, of great swimmers, sometimes even divers. Each dog is an individual in itself
There are no guarantees that belonging to a ‘swimming breed’ will make a dog a lover of water: we remember that every dog ​​is an individual in itself , and the weight of individuality is such that ‘and those who, like Mark Bekoff, argue that talking about breed characteristics is outdated.
Add to this that, as with everything in life, there is also taste. Regardless of their ability to swim or not, there are dogs who love water and dogs who don’t love it at all. The former, including Oban, do not go into high water but have a lot of fun where they touch. Dogs in the water
Dogs that like water can be taught to swim if they show interest. The teaching and the approach are gradual, require a long leash, patience and that the exercise is always done in maximum safety .
The same goes for dogs that generally go into the water. Highly recommended is the use of a life jacketad hoc for dogs that go to the lake, the sea, the swimming pool or in any case where the water is high. It is essential always and in any case, never to lose sight of the dog that is in the water and to be ready to intervene to take him out in case of need .
After the experience in water, the dog must be dried and, if in the sea, and therefore in contact with sand and salt water, it must be carefully rinsed with fresh water.
The use of a life jacket for dogs that go into the water is recommended

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