How To Teach Your Dog To Swim

How To Teach Your Dog To Swim

Jun 13, 2016Emily Wallace


Know in advance that you will be going into the pool with your dog, and have another person there to help you. If possible, make that person a friend with a water-loving dog, who may actually teach your dog to swim before you ever get your feet wet!

  1. Sit on the top step and lure your dog over to you with her favorite toy or treat (cut-up hot dogs work wonders here). Use a leash to guide her onto the step if necessary.

  2. Once she’s comfortable there, wrap both arms gently under her belly and slowly guide her into the water.

  3. Bring her just a few feet (about a meter) from the steps, position her facing directly toward them, and let her paddle toward the steps, keeping your arms in position for guidance.

  4. Have your helper waiting at the top of the steps to grab her collar if needed to guide her out. Then, heap on the praise, wait a few moments, and repeat the process, this time taking her further from the steps.

  5.  Keep the lesson short unless the dog seems interested in continuing. Otherwise, schedule another lesson within the next few days, and repeat until she has the hang of it, gradually increasing the distance each time. Make it fun by using fetching toys, treats, and lots of praise.


      Excerpt from The Safe Dog Handbook by Melanie Monteiro

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