Take the dog by the collar and lead him/her into the pool where the steps are. Take the dog out into the water until you are no longer standing on the steps. Let go of the pup and let him/her swim back to the steps, making sure the dog can get out. Praise him/her the entire time. It only took me about 2 weeks. Do this everytime you go swimming, about three times during your swimming session.
I taught my pup to swim by making frequent trips to the lake!
At first he watched other dogs fetching things over and over again in the water...and before I knew it, he would wade in right up to his belly! So that's what I let him do. I would let him go into the water at his own will, and when he did, I'd praise him like crazy!
So I got a pair of water shoes, and started getting right in there with him! We have so much fun! I got him lots of water toys...and sure enough, every time I throw them...he goes barreling in after them!
At first he was terrified, if the water was muddy and he couldn't see his feet...but he got over that fast! His swimming got better and better each and every time he went in!
If you have any lakes nearby, take a trip and get right in the water with your pup! Coax him in gently with you! Good luck!
we started with a life jacket (for one) and wading into the lake, where she could still stand. that was last summer. we have created a monster. two actually. they help themselves to the pool at random. hop in, swim, then look for help out. althought the younger one, my boy, doesnt use his hind legs, he still makes do pretty well.
they do prefer the creek/lake where they can wade in instead of being totally submerged to start.
I agree with Minniyar. My pupppy is half Shih Tzu and half Brussels Griffon ( He weighs 10 pounds. He's also a lap dog. ) The first day we brought our pup home he ran into the pool, we also have a beach entre ( a VERY shalow part of the pool that is VERY wide. )!
I used to think most dogs could just naturally swim. I still believe that MOST dogs can, but there are some that just sink to the bottom. My lab hated the water and wouldn't put a paw in it. Of course, I think the reason she hated it was because the first night I brought her home, it was dark out, nd she was wandering around the yard investigating, when she walked right into the pool. It was kind of funny, but I still felt sorry for her. Ever since then, she wouln't go near the pool, although the night she walked in, she was able to swim and doggy padddled to the side of the pool. I think the first thing is getting hing the dog to like the water.
Maybe this article will help. It gives lot of hints on how to get your pup to enjoy water.
Swimming with my present dog, and my past ones have been some of my fondest experiences with my buddies. Lots of great advice and experience has already been provided here.
We started off by going to a lake or a calmer stretch of the coast with smaller waves. I waded in, threw balls or frisbees parallel to the shore..talking maybe a foot or so deep at the most. Each visit we went a little bit deeper. I never rushed them. Kind of like kids in a sense, a bad experience could affect them for a long long time...they WILL remember!!! None of my breeds have been "natural" retrievers or swimmers I guess, and very large and muscled as well. Thought they'd sink like a stone...never happened. My old Bullmastiff would just pull me around in the lake all day long after grabbing onto that great tail...kept all three tennis balls in his mouth at the same time too..LOL. Can still see his gorgeous smile after all these years, what great times..got a tear in my eye as I write this. Present pup loves to swim, we prob go 3x a week after work.
Give it time, don't rush it, try various methods if needed and most importantly HAVE a wonderful experience. It will happen!! Sorry I'm rambling, have a good night.
French bulldogs will sink and drown if left near a pool unsupervised. I took Leeza into a lake regularly to learn a bit how to swim. Ozzy is way better then before, but he still kind of panicks. Plus I tend to toss them into ponds to cool off. So they need to learn fast..he he