You’ve got an unusual dog who actually doesn’t mind getting a wash in the bathtub. But while he stands and lets you give him a deep cleanse, he’s not so keen on actually swimming. You’ve tried your best to get him into doggie paddle but he’s somewhat reluctant. Even when you encourage him to chase the rubber duck, he’s not interested. It’s a shame really, especially if you’ve got nice ponds, lakes, or even a beach nearby. Swimming is fantastic exercise for dogs and getting him to swim in a bathtub is a great starting point.
Training him to swim in the bathtub will be great for him, even if he doesn’t know it yet. It’s the perfect launch pad for mastering the basics before he dives into your pool headfirst this summer. Swimming also works the muscles and joints in a healthy way, which may stave off conditions like arthritis later on in life.
Thankfully, training him to swim in the bathtub is definitely achievable. The main thing you need to do is find something to motivate him. Something delicious and smelly usually does the trick with dogs. If not, a favorite toy may get him swimming lengths. The other part of training is gradually building up his confidence. He’ll look to you as the owner to support him throughout training. If he’s a puppy, he should be brave and full of energy. This means you could have him swimming in just a few days. If he’s old and always been wary around water, you may need a couple of weeks before you see results.
In the event your dog isn't already a fan of baths, training him to swim in the bathtub will make washing him a straightforward and relaxing experience. There’ll be no more leaping out of the water because he’s terrified and floods your whole bathroom.
Before swimming lessons begin you’ll need to check you have a few things. A nice big bathtub is the first essential. The bigger the better, but any size will do, especially if your dog is small. You’ll need some mouth-watering treats or his favorite food to incentivize him.
Toys (that can get wet) will also be required. You’ll also need your bathing suit. Dogs learn from their owners so don’t think you can avoid getting wet! Apart from that, you just need patience and 20 minutes to commit to training every other day.
With all of those things accounted for, it’s time to put down the bath mat and grab your soon-to-be-diving dog!
my dog is overweight and she’s very small she needs to lose about 3-4 pounds to be a healthy weight and i’ve heard that swimming is good plus she doesn’t hate water
Hi there! You can attempt to put her in the tub. It may not be deep enough though to trigger her swimming instinct. You can always try with a kid pool also. Dogs will swim if the water is deep enough. If she can stand up, even if the water is a bit over her head, it probably isn't deep enough to swim in.
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My little girl is overweight (my fault)3-4lbs. I'm pretty sure her back legs bother her. What should I do to make her back legs get stronger?
Hello Francesca, I recommend speaking with your vet about any exercise and diet needs pup has. Helping pup loose the weight should help her legs. Most forms of exercise that your vet feels are safe for her can also help build muscle, such as walking, shorter day hiking once she is in better shape, swimming (very good for those with joint issues and soreness - be sure to use a doggie lifejacket or support her in the water right now), any dog sports that are moderate pace without too much jumping and involve movement - hide and seek training games, treat hiding games (hiding her daily meal kibble for her to seek out). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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