When dogs are in the water, you may notice them doing a dog paddle with heads above water and paws pushing up towards the surface. Some breeds, like labradors, are natural swimmers but don't assume your dog can swim even if they are known natural swimmer. However, other species like bulldogs or chihuahuas, require patience and training to learn this skill. Below is our guide for helping your dogs and puppies become efficient swimmers.

Pick a safe area to teach a dog how to swim

Ideally, a quiet peaceful area with minimal or no distractions does the trick. A natural habitat like a gradually inclined shoreline or shallow lake is ideal. Place close attention to the weather, rips and waves in the water, depth and if there are any underwater plants their legs may get caught on. Also, note that many beaches and national parks don't allow dogs, so researching locations before swimming will go a long way.

Pack the essentials, especially a life jacket

Remember to pack treats and toys to reinforce positive behaviours. These can help encourage your dog to go into the water. Bring a towel or dog robe to dry them after swimming too. 

We also firmly recommend always bringing a life jacket for your dog. This ensures they stay afloat during the training process. It can be overwhelming at first, and they may panic causing them to lose their focus in swimming.