You’re one of the lucky ones who get to live near an ocean. When you take your dog out for a walk it’s along the beach with a spectacular view. While other dogs splash around in the water though, yours is somewhat fearful of the cascading waves. You’ve tried encouraging him in before but with no luck. Alternatively, you go away on holiday for the week. You go somewhere with gorgeous weather and stunning beaches. You take your canine buddy with you, but no matter what you do, his paws stay dry.
If you can train him to swim in the ocean though, you’ll have a fantastic way to exercise him. Swimming is great for dogs' limbs, muscles and joints, keeping them healthy and fit into old age. Not to mention it will tire them out and leave them napping in the afternoons.
Training your dog to swim is surprisingly straightforward. The trick is to incentivize him to take the plunge. Once he knows what you want him to do and realizes there is a tasty treat waiting for him when he comes back out, he’ll take to ocean swimming like a duck to water. Be warned: you need to be prepared to get wet too!
If he’s a puppy, he’ll be keen to please and full of energy and confidence. Training him to swim in the ocean could take just a few days. If he’s getting on a bit and not quite the athlete he once was, it may take a couple of weeks before he’s confident in the water. Get it right though and you’ll be able to keep him fit and a healthy weight. Dogs burn far more calories swimming than they do running, especially when you throw in the battle against the tide.
Before you become a synchronized swimming duo, you’ll need a few bits. A bathing suit will be required, (for you, not the dog). You’ll also need his favorite food broken into small pieces or some delicious treats. Some toys to play with in the water and, of course, an ocean to practice in will also be needed. Be sure to choose an area where dogs are permitted in the water and that is safe for your dog's size and ability. Also, pack plenty of fresh water so your dog isn't tempted to drink seawater, which can be dangerous for his health.
For one of the methods, a pond or swimming pool will come in handy to build up his confidence before he dives into the big ocean. Apart from that, just bring a proactive attitude and you’re ready to dive in!