Mum tried to get me to like water when I was just a puppy, but she wasn’t successful. If the weather is hot I’m a happy race down the sand slope and lower myself into the cool water but I will forever be an “armpit Swimmer” that’s as far as I’ll go! woofs from KoKo.
Tips for overcoming water fear
Greencross Vets’ Behaviour Services Manager Serena Dean gives us her top tips on helping pets overcome their fear of water.
A bad experience may have prompted your pet’s fear of water. One bad experience, like not being able to find the steps to get out of the pool might make your pet fearful to try again. Knowing what caused your pet’s fear of water can help with the training process.
2. Slow and steady
Introduce or reintroduce your pet to water in a slow and positive manner, whether this is a bath, pool or the beach. Start off at a distance from the water rewarding them for calm behaviour and slowly move forward towards the water. Provide them with a small amount of water to stand in, just enough to cover their paws, like a kiddie pool or bath. If you are near a body of water teach them how to get in and out. Always start and end on a positive note, treats and games help with this.
3. Make it fun
Water games can be fun for the entire family. Play games that involve water like fetch at the beach, running with them in the shallows or placing toys in a shallow kiddie’s pool. Always supervise your pet around water.
4. Don’t Force
Not all pets like going in the water. Never force your pet to do something they are uncomfortable with and don’t throw them into a body of water. If your pet decides they want to move away from the water, let them.
5. Teach them to swim
Contrary to popular belief not all dogs know how to swim, we need to teach them. Start swim training in bodies of water with a gentle slope where your dog can touch the ground and slowly go out further. Keep training sessions short by going out a little further at each session and always end with a reward. Once they are comfortable submerging their body they may start to paddle. Some dogs may need a little help. Floatation vests are available so your dog can feel supported.
If you’re concerned about your pet’s behaviour, speak with your Greencross Vets.
There were lots and lots of doggies playing on the beach on New Year’s Day. I had a little swim and a long walk. I was so hot I tried to sneak into someone’s blue tent for some shade. Of course, I also conned some girls into giving me pats! That’s me in the last photo. It was a fun morning. Woofs from KoKo
Please accept my apologies for not posting any news the last week. I have been leaving lots of Weemails on the beach and paths in Mandurah but without Woof-Fi they did not reach you.
Are you wondering why I am not hanging out sipping Puppicinos at my favourite Subiaco Cafes? Well, I am on holidays with my friends Bro and Bonnie and their humans John and Alison. We are called “The Three Amigos” when we are together as we share lots of exciting adventures.
Where is my mum? She tells me that she is a long long way away in a place called Indonesia. She is having fun snorkeling in warm waters, photographing fish and corals. I was not sure what the word snorkeling meant and photographs of two signs she sent me saying “Good senorkeling here” ” Please do not break the fish” did not help me at all.
Then Mum used two words I know well: “Swim” and “Beach”. Now I could picture myself rushing down the sandy slope to soak my paws and tummy in the cool ocean in summer. Mum says I am an “armpit” swimmer as I refuse to put my head or back under the water!
These are photos of some dogs that really enjoy frolicking in the sea.
Even though my mum is back in Subiaco I have been having such a fun time here in Mandurah that i am going to stay a few more days. (Don’t worry Mum, I still love you and will be back home with you soon).