Friday, September 6, 2013

Small Dogs Can Learn to Swim Too!

If you think swimming is best left to Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers, think again!

Small dogs can learn to swim too, but not all dogs or all breeds are suited for swimming.

It's best to know your own dog and introduce him to swimming slowly, so you can determine if he's suited for the sport. That way you can ensure he'll have a fun experience if he does turn out to be a water-lover.

Now 11 months old, Rocco works on his swimming technique!
I first introduced Rocco to the water when he was about eight months old and he took his first swim strokes at about nine months.

Now at 11 months, he's really taken to the water and as you can see above, he's maintaining a nice, horizontal position in the water by using both his front and rear legs equally. He's calmly swimming to the steps and he's keeping his mouth closed so he doesn't take in any extra water.


Dog can learn and build confidence by watching, so Rocco also got some help from his pal Miko who showed him that swimming can be fun!


Of course, it's always safety first in the pool. And the first thing Rocco learned was to swim to the steps. In fact, his first time in the pool all we did was hang out on the steps and play in the water. That also helped build his confidence and his love for the water.

While the pups were swimming, we also had two people in the pool... one to start them out right by holding them in a horizontal position and one to help guide them to the steps if needed. Never leave a pup unattended near a pool!

After some fun in the pool, Rocco and Miko took a quick break poolside...

And then it was off to the races!


There's nothing more fun than following a swim with a wet zoooom!


The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and Peggy's Pet Place to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!) and to help combat pet obesity. Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.



18 comments:

  1. Good job Rocco! Jack and Maggie, even though they are Labs aren't big swimmers. We think they just never had the opportunity. We don't have a pool, but we've taken them to a Doggie Spa. Jack swims pretty VERTICAL...so we have some work to do there. Maggie...well, we have a LOT of work to do there.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well done Rocco! Great technique and 'wet dog' photos are so cute. I my self took my first strokes on Monday.
    Dina

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great swimming, Rocco! Our post yesterday had a picture of Wilhelm coming out of the water after his very first voluntary swim. I was so shocked and excited, there were no other photos. He swam twice on our recent adventure and I was so proud! But I don't think he will make it a regular thing but it just too cold here in Cascadia for a single coated dog to swim all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice one. We don't swim much as we don't like getting our ears wet but a paddle is right up our street. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

    ReplyDelete
  5. We don't really get an opportunity to swim much. It rains for most of the year. I've discovered recently though that he will swim if he absolutely has to. Mr. N still thinks that water will melt him though.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love to swim and a good round of zoomies when a dog is wet is also a ton of fun. That pool sure looks inviting...much nicer than my kiddie pool, but sometimes I get to swim in the lake.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Y'all!

    Hey! Loved the swim pics! I'm a retriever, so I LOVE the water and swimming. The only thing that keeps me out is the gators. :(

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    ReplyDelete
  8. Fun Pics. I didn't realize dogs arent always natural swimmers till we had Scooter & saw how unsure he was initially. Over the years he's become so confident in the water that he happily tows us in the creeks on our boards via a harness. Great fun!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Good point about keeping the mouth closed. Our lab Hudson loved to retrieve sticks thrown in the lake, but he'd take in so much water because his mouth was open to hold the stick. Then he'd have to get out to pee a million times. Rocco's hair spreads out just like Kelly's when she gets in the bath.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Of my my Cairns, Mr. Gatsby, LOVES to swim! Well, he doesn't like pool swimming, but he goes nuts for ponds. He thinks he's a Lab or other larger dog, though, so I'm not surprised. My other Cairn, Hattie Mae, she's a different story. She mostly just likes to stand in the pond and splash around. She is not a good swimmer, so I don't like it when she takes off after Gats.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Rocco, does all that fur weigh you down in the water? It sure looks like it! I learned to swim young too just don't like it! Looks like you and your pal had a good time! Love Dolly

    ReplyDelete
  12. You're so cute Rocco! Learning to go to the steps is very important. Being a Lab, the first time Maya saw water, she ran and jumped right in. She went completely under the water and there was a split second when I thought to myself that I was going to have to rescue her. But out she popped as happy as ever!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Diana Nyda did it! Now, Rocco could chase his heritage and become the first dog to swim between Cuba and Florida Or, maybe just a lap swim in Key West would be nice.

    ReplyDelete
  14. And we know now that Rocco is a champion zoomer! Gizmo is still not a great swimmer, but using a life jacket has given him some confidence and he's getting better...what amazed me was how well he took to paddle boarding and how comfortable he seemed on the board

    ReplyDelete
  15. Super cute pics! I've always been a little scared about the thought of letting Taylor swim, but your post has given me the push to just take it slow and see what happens. Why deny her the opportunity of an activity that could provide her with some enjoyment in her life? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. A wet dog is a happy dog, right? They sure look it in the photos! Our small Beagle loves to swim. We haven't taken her for a while (wish we had a pool), but I am hoping to take her again soon. I think I'll put the life jacket on her first time out just to be sure.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh my dawg! Adorable. Slushy face dogs like us need preservers cause we'll sink. We are top heavy
    Benny & Lily

    ReplyDelete
  18. Rocco seems to be enjoying that water!! :)

    ReplyDelete