Teaching a dachshund how to swim can be a lot of fun. It is not too difficult (depending on the temperament of your dog), although the first time can be quite nerve wrecking for some. Here are some tips and tricks you can use if you want to learn how to teach a dachshund to swim.
Dachshund is not a natural swimmer
Believe or not, different breeds of dogs take to swimming differently. There are some breeds who takes to water very naturally without much help and these include Portuguese Water Dog and other breeds with the word “water” in their name. Certain breed such as the collie have characteristics such as having a thick fur to act as rudders when they are in water.
Dachshunds, unfortunately do not fall into either category. In fact, their short legs is actually a deterrence to a dachshund when it come to getting into water and learning how to swim. Hence, as a dachshund dog owner, be prepare to spend some time teaching your dog how to swim!
Getting into the pool
For first timers, I strongly suggest that you start your dachshund in the pool, rather than a lake or the sea. It is much safer and also less intimating to your dog. Once there, this is what you need to do to get started:
- Hold your dog and slowly lower it in the pool such that only his legs are touching the water.
- See how its legs is reacting. If it start to paddle, good!
- If not, repeat this steps as many times as needed to get the legs going.
The purpose of this training is to let your dachshund develop the habit of paddling its legs the moment it touches water. Very useful skill.
How to teach a dachshund to paddle
Once your dachshund has been trained to start paddling the moment its legs touch water, it is time to go to the next step. Since it is a small dog, the best way is for you to be in the water with it and do the following:
- Cradle the stomach of the dog as you lower it into the water
- Observe how your dachshund is paddling. The common mistake is that it will only use its front legs to paddle. This is not ideal as it takes too much energy and tires your dog out needlessly
- If your dog is not moving its rear legs, you need to hold her rear a bit higher to get them to move. At this time, you are still cradling its stomach
- Once both sets of legs are moving, gently release it to the water without your support
- A natural position for the dog is for its head to be slightly forward and above water during swimming
How to get out of water
Your dachshund might panic and wants to get out of the water. To assure them that this can be done at any time, you need to make sure your dog can get in and out easily. For short legged dogs like Dachshund, you might get a dog ramp for them to climb in and out of the pool. Alternatively, using some bricks as stairways can work as well.
Safety precautions you should take
No matter how smart your dachshund is, remember to get a dog life jacket before it plunges into the swimming pool. This is a precautionary measure that many might not think is useful but it definitely gave me a peaceful mind knowing my pet dog wouldn’t die from drowning. If you do not know which dog life jacket for dachshund is the best, click on the link to read my review.
It is also wise to get sun screen for your dachshund as dogs can get sun burnt as well. Alternatively, time your swimming lessons such that they don’t go over more than an hour to avoid too much sun.
Always keep no more than an arms length when you are observing your dachshund swimming. This gives you enough time to respond in case the dog is having problems. Leaving your distressed dog too long in the water can cause it to develop a permanent fear of water.