German Shepherds have become one of the most preferred and beloved dog breeds across the globe. They have excellent adventurous and athletic skills. They are specifically known as security dogs and considered to be more courageous and attentive when it comes to the protection and safety of their owner. However, they are less friendly but more energetic as compared to the other dog breeds.
Originally, the German Shepherds were not bred specifically for swimming as they are not born natural swimmers, unlike the other dog breeds. However, they have the capability and potential to get familiar with the water and become good swimmers. With the proper training, guidance, supervision, and patience, your German Shepherd can learn swimming.
Usually, the German Shepherds are agile, clever, and strong and it would not take long for them to learn swimming. They were typically bred for indulging in high energy physical activities. They are mainly used for two things; herding and serving the military or police. That is why they are not expert at swimming. If you are planning to teach your German Shepherd to swim, then the below-mentioned tips would help you out!
Teaching your German Shepherd to Swim
The initial step is to get a doggy life-vest for your German Shepherd as they are not natural swimmers. This is one of the safest and most recommended ways to make them comfortable with the swimming gestures without the fear of getting drowned in the water.
Remember that do not throw the German Shepherd straight into the water and at the initial stage, begin with getting his toes wet and then get him inside the pool. Rushing out the training process would make your furry pal anxious and might develop a fear of water in him which is too hard to overcome.
The best way to teach your German Shepherd is to accompany him inside the pool as it would become easy for you to monitor and correct his movements in the water. Make sure that all the four limbs of your pet must be kicking and moving in the water.
Things to be kept in Mind
Teaching a German Shepherd how to swim is comparatively easy as they have good intelligence capabilities and can learn things at a faster pace, unlike the other dog breeds. For ensuring a safe and productive learning experience for your pet, keep the below-mentioned things in your mind.
- You need to keep a lot of patience as training a German Shepherd is similar to teaching a child. Remember the rule that no one is perfect at the first attempt.
- Do not let your German Shepherd stay too long in the water or sunlight as it would make him tired and this could also lead to exhaustion, that is not good for your pet’s health.
- If you are taking your pet for swimming and find it to be chlorinated or a dirty lake, then ensure to rinse them off properly to prevent any sort of infection or skin disease.
- You should not allow your German Shepherd to swim without a proper supervision as they are adventurous but at the same time, they are not good swimmers. They might end up putting themselves in danger if left unaccompanied for a prolonged period.
- It is very necessary to pay full attention to your German Shepherd to ensure his safety while he is moving in the water.
Swimming in Chlorinated Pools
German Shepherds can swim in the chlorinated pool as long as he has not learned to drink the water. Some pets have a habit of drinking pool water while swimming whereas some attain a stage where they do not bother to intake pool water while swimming.
It is not advisable to let your German Shepherd swim in a chlorinated pool if he has become habitual of drinking pool water while swimming as chlorinated water is harmful to health. However, if your German Shepherd has completed his swimming session in a chlorinated pool, then make sure to rinse him off properly to clear out the chemicals.
Also, make sure to dry out the full body of your German Shepherd specifically the ears as mostly the ear infections from swimming can take place if your pet is not completely dried.
Fear of Water
Some German Shepherds might get sacred or they are naturally afraid of water. This would cause a lot of trouble while teaching him to swim properly. Here are a few tips that would help you in getting your furry companion familiarized and comfortable with the water.
- Go slow and do not rush out things as it can make things worse for your pet. Do not push your German Shepherd beyond his comfort level as it would make them uneasy and uncomfortable.
- If your German Shepherd love dog treats, then use them as incentives. You can even use optimistic gesture or praise to help in building the confidence of your pet.
- Do not leave your German Shepherd along in the water. Instead, get along with him and make him feel content and happy with your company. This is indeed one of the most helpful ways to keep your pet relaxed and secure during the swimming session.
- You can even use a hose or a baby pool at the initial stage. It would ease all the bathing and swimming sessions of your German Shepherd. Firstly, you can start with the paws and then get the backside of the neck and then proceed gradually. If your pet allows you to do so and behave like a good child, then reward him with a dog treat.
If would be unfair to expect from your German Shepherd to swim naturally without any coaching as they might excel at other activities but they are not good at swimming.
However, if your pet is stubborn or adamant, then you can even hire a professional trainer to teach him how to swim safely and properly with great expertise. It would surely take time but it would be worth it.