Yes, That's Correct. Not All Dogs Can Dog Paddle!

Yes, That's Correct. Not All Dogs Can Dog Paddle!

Most folks think that dogs are natural swimmers. This isn’t accurate. While some can paddle, not all of them can stay afloat for long or swim well.

These water-averse group include the short-muzzled breed or brachycephalic dogs, who have deep chests and short legs. These inhibit them from staying above water for long, and some experience breathing difficulty while swimming.

So, dogs can be classified into three in terms of swimming ability:

  1. Expert Swimmers. This type is characterized by webbed feet and abundant, water-resistant coats. Examples of which are the Lab and Portuguese Water Dog.
  2. Reluctant Swimmers. These dogs can be coached but aren’t as ecstatic about swimming as the first.
  3. Non-swimmers. These types are not physiologically built to paddle. Some of them have short legs such as the Dachshund or Basset Hound or are top-heavy and brachycephalic such as the Bulldog.

Other have fine hair or no coats, and, therefore, not protected against the cold. Perhaps, you may find exceptions, but, generally, these dogs do better on land than on water.

Train your dog to swim

If your dog is capable but reluctant, join him in the water. Start at the shallows and encourage him as he gains confidence. You can let him don a life jacket and entice him by throwing toys or treats. Mindfully avoid the waves to keep their experience positive and happy. Dogs that grow to love the water stand to benefit from this joint exercise!

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