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If you have a pool, you understand the importance of teaching your dog how to jump in so he can go in on his own rather than falling in. Knowing how to get out is just as important. Dogs and pools are great fun. Some dogs are great swimmers and don't ever want to leave the pool, while other dogs just need to know pool safety. Teaching your dog to jump into a pool can not only be fun and exciting for you both but can also put your dog in a position inside the pool where he now has to learn how to get out. Some dogs are apprehensive when it comes to the unknown, especially pools. Water, the depth of water, and what could happen to them may leave your dog lingering on the edge, never experiencing the joy of swimming.
Some dogs have no fear and will just do everything you ask them to do. So you could stay in the water and say, “Fido, come,” and he'll just run to you whether it’s off a cliff into a pool of water or across the yard to end standing at your feet. If your dog is uncertain and has a fear of the unknown or a fear of water, you need actually to teach your dog to jump into the pool. One important thing to remember is not to force your dog to jump into the pool but instead coax him in. It may take time for some dogs, whereas other dogs will see your pool and jump right in and need to be coaxed out later. Training your dog to jump in the pool, though challenging, can also be fun.
You will need lots of patience if you have an apprehensive dog. A pool will also be required. Treats and a favorite toy will help coax and reward. A new enticing toy. and a second dog who loves to swim to encourage your dog might also be helpful as well.
The Jump In Method
Some dogs will follow exactly what their owners do. So stand at the edge have a conversation with your dog. Pet him, talk to him, say his name a lot, and jump into the pool.
If you have the kind of dog who doesn't immediately follow, you may have to say his name and encourage him from inside the pool.
Jump in again
Continue jumping in while standing next to your dog so he understands you are inviting him to do something fun that you are doing.
If your dog jumps in, give him a reward from in the pool. Either a treat or lots of verbal praise and rubs will if you do not have a treat.
Once your dog is in the pool, get him back out so he understands how to get out himself. Jump in again, repeating the steps above. Each time your dog is in the pool with you, play with him so he understands this is a fun thing to do.
Rinse and repeat
To get your dog used to jumping in the pool on his own, keep at it. Jump in with him as often as you can and play with him to encourage him to continue jumping on his own.
The Coax Method
You may need to introduce your dog to water by gently coaxing him into the pool.
If you have steps, start by coaxing your dog down them. If you need a leash to do this, put your dog on a leash and very gently encourage him down the steps. Try to remember not to force him or pull him in, because if he is scared and you force the issue he may never end up in the water.
Pool deck - small dog
If your dog is small, lift him up and set him outside the pool with the leash still on. If he is small enough for you to pick up from inside the pool, pick him up and put him back in the water with you. After doing this a couple of times, encourage him to jump in on his own.
Pool deck - large dog
If your dog is too large for you to lift outside of the pool, walk him back out the way you came in and jump in yourself, encouraging him to jump in next to you while he stands outside on the pool deck.
Repeat this several times, encouraging your dog to jump in on his own. Each time he is successful give him lots of love and praise.
The Toss a Toy Method
Pick your dog's all-time favorite toy.
Stand on the edge of the pool and toss the toy into the water.
Use the command 'fetch' or ask your dog to go get the toy. If your dog doesn't automatically jump in to chase after his toy, jump in and show him how it's done.
From the water, play with your dog’s toy and encourage him to come get it. If he doesn’t jump in, take the toy to him.
Get him excited
Play with your dog from the water using his toy. Don’t let him have the toy, but rather encourage him to come get the toy.
Keep practicing this and reward your dog with lots of love and praise once he jumps in.
Until your dog is comfortable jumping into the pool on his own, keep encouraging him using a favorite toy.
Once your dog is able to jump into the pool, be sure he knows how to get out.
By Stephanie Plummer
Published: 10/11/2017, edited: 01/08/2021
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