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Can all dogs swim or do they need to learn?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by alyson, May 8, 2010.


  1. alyson

    alyson PetForums Junior

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    Sorry if this is a daft question :eek: My pup is 6 months and loves splashing about in a nearby pond (I always have her on a lead) If I let her off and she were to go out of her depth would she be able to swim?
     
  2. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    Most dogs swim naturally. I had a sheltie that couldnt swim and was more or less blind in one eye and a bit stupid as she was continually falling in the river and having to be rescued. Once she fell in a big stream by a bridge where the collies were chasing sticks. She was swept away and got into a whirlpool and my OH had to jump in and rescue her. She was an exception though, never known another dog that couldnt swim.
     
  3. ArwenLune

    ArwenLune PetForums Senior

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    I've always thought that the basic movement of paddling is instinct, but that they do learn to get better and more effective. I'm sure there are exceptions though!

    If you pick dogs out of the water while swimming, most of them will keep making swimming motions in the air. Super cute :)

    YouTube - Dog Swimming in Air
     
  4. leashedForLife

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    dogs (+ cats, too) can all swim, but with age + practice, the young-uns get better at it ;)

    dogs are however, NEGATIVELY * BUOYANT - so build-up their endurance for swimming.
    if they get over-tired + quit swimming, *unlike humans they cannot float - they Sink! *
    so for dogs swimming around a boat, etc, or in FAST water, surf, etc, a life-jacket is not a stoopid idea -
    especially if the dog in Q is young, or aged, or SMALL + may chill!, or in poor physique.

    English-Bulldogs and other front-heavy toad-like breeds, with heavy chests + petite butts,
    are poor swimmers!
    they should really wear a life-jacket in water of any depth over 6-inches -
    if they quit moving, their butt comes up and HEAD goes down! :eek6: take no chances... Boston-(bull-and)Terriers, Frenchies, + similar.
    if the water has heavy or even moderate-surf, any down-beach currents, fast-water, FORGET it -
    ponds, pools, shallow sloping beaches, sure! :thumbsup: just be alert, don;t leave them solo.

    swimming is terrific as aerobics for dogs of any age - its load-free, so easy on aged or poor joints; the water prevents over-heating
    + keeps them comfy, and every 10-mins in the water is 30-mins running on dry-land! :thumbup:

    its terrific for weight-loss, adding muscle, and just plain fun. :)
     
  5. Acacia86

    Acacia86 PetForums VIP

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    Horses can swim too :thumbup: in fact a lot of our domestic pets can swim!

    Swimming is a great way of exercise! It takes all pressure of joints so is great for arthritic dogs etc :thumbup:
     
  6. leashedForLife

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    here are a coupla videos -
    YouTube - Diana zwemmen
    this is a KEYHOLE lap-pool with a long ramp to enter/exit -
    notice that Diana enters quite eagerly, she is very accustomed, and after her swim,
    her handler has a bit or trouble keeping her calm - i think she needs another session ;)


    How NOT To Introduce a Horse to Swimming :thumbdown:
    YouTube - Horse Swimming in Pool
    watch the VOLUME - the pump + elevator are loud!
    this Standardbred mare (traditionally harness-horses, either trotters or pacers) is exercised in a pool with a drop-floor -
    *but* she is not accustomed to this, its her 1st-time; notice how she is tied -
    theres a LINE tied into her tail, which would not be comfortable, to keep her straight-ahead in the middle of the pool;
    there are cross-ties on her halter, *and* a lead-line to a pool-side handler -
    who never once speaks to the poor thing when she gets scared - useless $#%@! twit,
    comforting + encouraging is part of what good horse-folks do with their voices, hands + presence. :thumbdown:

    she never does really settle into the water + stride-out; she keeps lifting her forehand + half-rearing in the water.
    :nonod: its a shame, they stand like lumps + never give her the least encouragement or support, like a coupla rocks :rolleyes:
    just staring at her uselessly.

    when the slotted-floor lifts her + the water drains, U can see that she never really weight-bears fully
    on her left-rear - but they never explain if this is for therapy, exercise, cool-out, or what. :confused:
    she is also obviously still frightened - look at her respiration + body-parl. :(
    theres nothing wrong with the video - but some explanatory notes would really help.
    they have disabled comments, so ya can;t even ask Qs.


    heres an underwater-treadmill, swim-pool + hydro-jet therapy -
    with a ramp at BOTH ends, nice design -
    YouTube - Equine Water Therapy
    this horse is quite savvy - look at his respiration + manner, in the water + walking-out.


    this Greyhound had a spinal-injury 6-weeks ago -
    YouTube - Alan on the water treadmill
    this is his first session, walking on his own!, in the water-treadmill.
    he wobbles a bit; at first like the mare in the slat-floor pool, hes frightened - he lifts his front-feet so high,
    he brings a shaft of bubbles into the pool with each step - but soon he relaxes + walks more normally.
    *balance* is a struggle for him, and the --> hydro-pressure <-- helps to hold him upright, ;)
    without stress to his joints, chafing from a sling or harness, or other complications -
    the water-column is no-touch support for his body + legs.
    the forward-resistance helps build muscle, too.


    this tabby-cat was born with congenital-deformities of his rear-legs,
    and despite surgery still cannot walk - his vet suggested hydrotherapy -
    YouTube - Cat Water Treadmill
    he is now able to walk + run, he plays with his cat-housemate.
    [i am not sure WHY they do not use a target-stick to teach the poor boy which way to walk...
    its so simple, a little cream-cheese on a 2-ft long dowel, how hard is that? :p ]
    but these ladies *are* talking to him, encouraging him, and making it as pleasant as possible -
    except for no-treats :rolleyes: :p the way to a cats happiness in stressful circs is thru their belly. ;)
     
  7. Acacia86

    Acacia86 PetForums VIP

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    Some people have no clue at all LFL :frown: :frown:

    At least some stories have a good meaning :thumbup:
     
  8. Nicky10

    Nicky10 PetForums VIP

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    I think dogs can naturally swim or at least most of them but some of the breeds are really bad I think bassets should never be allowed to try. Maybe I read that wrong. There was an english bulldog that swam out 25m and rescued a bag of kittens one time so maybe they can but really badly. It's the best exercise for a lot of dogs good for dogs with joint and spinal problems because it's non-weight bearing. Now to talk Buster into even trying it
     
  9. hawksport

    hawksport Banned

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    Terry, I think I broke the record for tying one dog to a tree and stripping off in a public park while the other dog demonstrated its negative bouyancy in the middle of a lake a couple of years ago.
     
  10. Miss.PuddyCat

    Miss.PuddyCat PetForums VIP

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    I think all dogs can swim. Dutch our border collie HATED the water she would not step foot in it. The only time she ever dared to come in the water was when ever someone (me, brother, mom or dad) went swiming and went to far out for her comforte
     
  11. leashedForLife

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    friends of mine nearly had heart-attacks when their Engl-Bull puppy went bottom-up (and head-DOWN)
    in a lake, while they were having a picnic - she;d been playing with another puppy before she went swimming,
    and evidently got over-tired :eek: Hubby was in the water like a triathlon competitor, she was OK.

    i nearly had my own heart-failure when a Lab followed our canoe into the water of a lake, and 20-ft from shore,
    SHE * WENT * UNDER - we had a H*** of a time getting the canoe about, with 2 children + 2 adults, and only One
    experienced paddler -
    she went under 2 more times before we got to her, and i had to reach UNDER the water to grab her collar -
    i hauled her up like an anchor, and dragged her over the side limp as a cooked-noodle -
    thank God, she was just thoroughly cold, we went back to shore, i tied her securely in the sun,
    and in 20-mins U would never know anything had happened.
    but if we had not got there when we did, she;d have been 10-ft down in dark, cold water -
    i would never have found her, even if i dove in.

    i was so relieved she was all right - what a fright!
     
  12. shutterspeed

    shutterspeed PetForums Senior

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    My puppy started to swim at 4 months, (he's 5 months today :))
    My golden started swimming at 7 months when suddenly the water was deeper than she thought. My lab was one year. She swims very good, but she hardly ever goes in :confused:
    I see some dogs from time to time that don't have a clue, they make awkward movements and manage to stay above water, but I wouldn't call that swimming.
    I know of people that go to an indoor dog pool to teach dogs to swim. IMOHO this is a waste of money.
    Even cats swim, but they seldom do, but if they fall into a pond they will be able to get out.
    O yes, even Guinea Pigs can swim :D

    YouTube - Guinea Pig Swimming
     
  13. Daggre

    Daggre PetForums Member

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    Pretty sure all dogs can swim naturally...although I can imagine some breeds may have trouble (such as dachshunds xD)

    However I doubt your dog WILL go out her depth, it took us a while to get Star too. She loved water but would only splash in her depth, however we took her to the beach for the first time a couple of months ago and I guess because it was a gentle slop down, she fetched a stick out of her depth, ever since then she's been fine.
     
  14. lizzyboo

    lizzyboo PetForums VIP

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    i found out horses could swim while on holiday in antigua. thee i was lying on the beach soaking up the rays, when i almost had a heart attack cause swimming right past my eyes went a great big horse complete with rider on its back!!!!
     
  15. alyson

    alyson PetForums Junior

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    Many thanks for your replies,maybe when it gets warmer I'll let her go in the pond without her lead.
     
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