It is the middle of July and summer is at its peak. With the sun out, your family decides to spend the day swimming in the pool. You and your kids are having fun jumping in the water. Your pet dog begins to freak out when he sees you doing this. He begins barking and jumping while you jump in as if you are not okay. Although it seems silly, it can be a behavioral trait that has meaning and is important to how your dog is wired. Understanding why your dog barks when you jump in the pool can be important to how you interact with him.
The Root of the Behavior
Most days, you will want to enjoy the pool without your dog barking at you or jumping in after you. Sometimes, it can be really irritating and frustrating. Yet, it is important to know that your dog is doing it for a good reason. Depending on the breed of dog that you have, your dog may absolutely love the water. If this is the case, your dog may be barking and jumping because he just wants to play in the water with you. You are your dog's leader and their companion. If they see you going in the pool to play, they are going to want to join in after you and barking is their way of communication. Yet, sometimes, your dog may be barking at you for other reasons. Your dog is your companion and you are his leader. He will be loyal to you at all costs. If he sees you jumping in the pool, it may feel threatening. Your dog can see that water can be a scary thing and if you are jumping into it, he may be worried about you. His bark is a form of communication to warn you and to get you to stop. Once you are in the water, your dog may stop barking and realize you are safe and know how to swim. If not, your dog may still feel like you are drowning or in danger. Depending on the reasoning of why your dog is barking at you when you go in the water, you will want to help him know that you are okay or allow him to play with you. If you don't want him barking at all, you will need to set proper boundaries for your dog. Most times, there isn't a major issue at hand, but if you feel like there is, it may be wise to check with your veterinarian to make sure this behavior is normal.
Encouraging the Behavior
If you love to go swimming and you do not want your dog barking and going crazy when you go in, you are not going to want to encourage this behavior in your dog. In fact, even if you love playing with your dog and swimming with him, it is still best to not encourage loud barking. You don't want to show your dog that you are in constant danger because they will never know when you are in actual danger. Due to this, it is best to encourage your dog and train them properly so they understand that you are safe and okay when you are jumping in the pool. You can tie them on a leash and show them. If you cannot get them to stop barking at you, you can consult with your veterinarian or you can keep them inside or away from the pool when you are swimming. Yet, the ultimate goal is for you to enjoy your time while you are swimming and allow your dog to enjoy their time in the sun, too. If your dog loves to swim, feel free to allow that, but try to keep the barking and fearful actions to a minimum so your dog knows everyone is safe, happy, and ready to have a good time.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If you feel like your dog's barking is an issue when you go swimming, it may be best to figure out why your dog is barking in the first place. If it is for play and you don't want your dog continously barking, it is recommended to help your dog adjust to playing with you in the pool. This could be through training, adjusting them to the water, or through spending time with them outside, even if you just put your feet in the pool water. This adjustment will not only help for play, but it will also help teach your dog that you are safe and are not going to drown or be harmed in any way by the water.
During the summertime, swimming in the pool is a popular activity that almost everyone loves. Sometimes, your dog will even join in on the fun. It is important to make sure your dog feels safe, secure, and welcomed throughout this playful activity. Yet, make sure your dog doesn't freak out that you are drowning. It may ruin the fun.
By a Golden Retriever lover Erika Seidel
Published: 02/21/2018, edited: 01/30/2020