What do you do about a dog that won't swim?
Do you just let him/her be and accept they don't like to swim or don't know how or do you attempt to teach them somehow?
Our Airedale Terrier really doesn't like the water, despite the fact that Airedales were originally bred to hunt water rats (they have some Otter Hound ancestry). She doesn't even like to walk through puddles!
We live on the coast and go to the beach pretty much on a daily basis. At first we tried to encourage her in, but she really doesn't want to, so we have left it. If it's very hot she will stand in a stream, but that's as far as it goes. She does accept us bathing her, fortunately - we do it outside with a watering can and a lot of treats!
nothing. Swimming or liking water is innate in the breed of some dogs. I don't know if you can train a dog who doesn't like water to change their mind but maybe it is possible.
You can force a dog into the water (similar to what Cesar Milan did to the Great Danes in an episode of the Dog Whisperer-you can download it on eMule and might find it on Youtube but I do not remember the name of the episode) but do you really want to? It is not always about breed;my dog loves to swim in a pool, the river, or the ocean, but her brother does not.
If it really matters to you, you can use a method called "flooding", in which the dog is forced to face his fears (it is like throwing a little kid in the deep end of the pool). Is it really that much of an issue?
It's a myth that all dogs know how to swim. They have to learn to swim. Because of this, all dogs that are going to be near water must wear life jackets. Even dogs who are fantastic swimmers need the life jackets. If something happened and they were forced to swim for a length of time, just like a human, they can get tired and drown. This is very common even among great dog swimmers.
There are plenty of great life jackets available for purchase on line or in pet super stores.
As for a dog who doesn't like water, IMO, don't force them to swim. If they don't like it, so what? Not all dogs like water, just like not all people like water. Love them for who they are.
As for it being a "breed" thing, this isn't always true either. I know dogs in my breed (shelties) who love water, although the breed is known for not being a water loving breed. My personal shelties hate water. That's OK. I let them be themselves.
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