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Caissie Canine Instruction: K9 Tips for Water Introduction

We begin this week’s “RUFF TAILS” featuring 2 beautiful canines a Rottweiler named Bobby and a Labradoodle named Benny.

Hi everyone, I am Bobby, I love to cuddle and love my treats. My family says I am a big suck.

Don’t forget me, I am Benny, and my family says I am rambunctious. I can get a “wee” bit jealous, therefore I am always right beside my mom. I am a momma’s boy. LOL.

Here we are together, we may play hard, but we love each other at the end of the day!!!

Welcome to Doggie Dialogue

Some dogs love the water, some do NOT. Some dogs are great swimmers, some dogs are swimming but look like they are drowning. NOT all dogs are natural swimmers.

Introducing your puppy or older dog to water is important to help reduce stress and fear, when your K9 comes across a pond, river, or lake at some point throughout their lives. Being prepared is always a good idea.

When introducing your dog to water we recommend starting your K9 off in warm, shallow water, close to the shore, where your pup can stand with all 4 paws on the bottom of the creek, river, or pond. We recommend keeping your dog on a leash when you do this.

Once your K9 is relaxed and comfortable with the first step, then you can introduce some floatable toys and some positive encouragement. Keep the toys close to you, as your K9 may just “walk” over to grab the toy at first.

Keeping your K9 on leash, try inching your floatable toy a little further to encourage your K9 to dog paddle. Practice a few times, then call it a day, as you don’t want to overwhelm your K9.

After many practice sessions on leash, if you have OUTSTANDING recall, you may take the leash off for a future swim.

Remember to be mindful of the swimming location, currents, depths, etc… before considering off leash. Do not allow your dog to swim in the town reservoirs, they can be dangerous, with different currents, and movement under the water.

Some breeds are natural excellent swimmers, such as Portuguese water dogs or Labrador Retrievers.

Dogs with short legs, such as Pugs and Chihuahuas, the likelihood that this breed are natural strong swimmers are much slimmer. However, it is still important to introduce them to water, and show them how to navigate it, even if just learning to float.

YOU going into the water with your dog will build your dog’s trust and confidence, knowing there is help if needed. You can hold your dog at first until they get a few dog paddles in. You may have to do this a few times to build up confidence in your K9.

If you have a timid dog, or if you’re worried yourself about your dog’s safety, you can have your dog wear a K9 floatation device (pet life jacket), therefore allowing your K9 to enjoy the water without fear.

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