A boxer is not a natural when it comes to swimming. As mentioned in my article on best dog products for Boxers, they do not have webbed feet which hinders their ability to swim effectively. If you want your boxer to gain this ability, prepare to put in some effort! Have no fear though, here is a list of things you can use to teach a boxer to swim.
Boxer puppies socialization
If you have a boxer puppy, start them off by letting them be familiar with water. You can do so by bring them to small puddles of water or use your hose. The point is to let them being comfortable with water even before doing any formal swimming lessons. This is for boxer puppies. If your boxer is already an adult, he is already past the socialization which means we need to use other methods to get it to the water.
Preparations – Buy best dog life jacket for boxers
Before getting into the water, take all precautions including buying a boxer dog life jacket. If you do not know what is a good, try the Kyjen outward life jacket. This is the one that save my dog’s life so I personally it will work perfectly. Its best feature is being able to keep the dog afloat while not making it uncomfortable. The sitching is also very solid such that it wouldn’t fall apart when it is needed the most. Being able to stay afloat is important because a boxer will not attempt to swim at all. The dog life jacket needs to keep it afloat for it not to drown.
If you are looking for the best box dog life jacket, try this. You can see the prices at Amazon here.
Boxer dogs swimming plan
Below is a step by step swimming plan to teach your boxer to swim. You skip some of the steps if the problem does not relate to your dog.
- Incentivize them to get into the water: This is probably one of the hardest thing to do as boxer doesn’t like water. One trick is to use his favourite toy to get it into the water. If this doesn’t work, try bringing it with other dogs who can swim. It is important to do this a few times as boxers will not take to the water on your first attempt. Until they are comfortable, you can forget about teaching them to swim.
- Train them to get in and out of water: Once they are happy with being in water, the next step is to teach them the mechanics of getting in and more importantly out of water. You will be surprised at how difficult it is for them to get onto the shore for the first few times. To help them, you can first use a dog ramp for swimming pools. Once they know how to get out using the ramp, you can then remove it and see if they can do it without. During this period, you should not be bother with teaching them to swim.
- Swimming: Once the getting in and out is handled, it is time to finally move on to the actual swimming lessons. The first time it is swimming, you should support your pet’s chest area with your arms underneath it and let its legs do the paddling. Because of your support, the boxer will not feel that it is drowning in water. Let the dog splash around for a while in this mode until the legs start to move efficiently. Also, check that it is keeping its head above water. At this stage, you will be at the shallow end of the pool and not moving around.
- Moving around: After your boxer has mastered the correct way to paddle, start to move it around the pool with your support still there. Repeat this as many times as needed until you sense that he is 100% confident of swimming.
- Letting go: At this stage, it is time to let go and see if your boxer is swimming well. If not, support it further until it gains total confidence to swim by itself.
Teaching a boxer to swim is a difficult but not impossible task. Make sure all safety precautions are taken (such as having a dog life jacket) and ensure you follow the important steps.