Do Bloodhounds Like to Swim?


Do Bloodhounds Like to Swim?

Some people say that Bloodhounds don’t like the water, while on the other hand there are many who say otherwise. Which is it? Do Bloodhounds hate the water or do they love to swim? One thing is for certain is that they are very active dogs. When it comes to energy plus water Bloodhounds are not lacking at all. Think how wonderful it would be though to be able to play with your Bloodhound in the water. That might require a bit of training however to be able to get the most out of the experience.

Bloodhounds like to swim in the water, in fact, their fans of everything aquatic. These highly energetic dogs are amongst the dog breeds that belong in the water. Their hound hunting instincts allow them to track their prey wherever it may go, this of course includes water. Even so very young Bloodhounds and older dogs shouldn’t be swimming. But with the right experiences, it’s easy to have a great swimming companion in the form of a Bloodhound.

While Bloodhounds are definitely well predisposed to swimming and all manner of water activities. It’s still possible that this may not always apply to every single Bloodhound. Physically they have the right equipment but the real question for individual dogs is really a matter of psychology. What’s their personality like? A Bloodhound that’s shy and timid is more likely to have difficulties swimming then a more outgoing dog.

The earliest experiences that a Bloodhound has with water go far in shaping their feelings towards it when they’re older. It’s best to introduce them to the water from a young age. Racking up fun positive experiences as puppies helps to set a strong foundation for swimming when their adults. You should never make a puppy swim, however. Instead, you should provide them with these experiences in little plastic swimming pools and playing fun water hose games with your Bloodhound puppy.

There are some warnings that you should heed before undertaking a swimming adventure with your Bloodhound. Dogs with physical health problems probably shouldn’t be swimming without the green light from their veterinarian. Likewise, older dogs that haven’t swum previously probably shouldn’t learn. What one can consider old can vary from dog to dog. But a generally good rule of thumb is that you should try to teach your dog how to swim before their 8 years old. After that most dogs will be getting too old for such a large amount of physical exertion that swimming requires.

Why You Should Teach Your Bloodhound How to Swim

While swimming with your dog can be great fun. Splashing around with your Bloodhound in the water is rivaled by few other activities. There are actually practical safety reasons that you should teach your Bloodhound how to swim. At least at a basic level, it’s not necessary that they be at a high-performance level.

A dog that doesn’t know how to swim will be in danger any time they’re around water deeper than they can stand-in. Even a walk in the park could become dangerous if your Bloodhound decides to chase a squirrel into a pond. Without having already had some experiences with swimming. Bloodhounds are heavy dogs so it wouldn’t be easy to rescue them if they started drowning.

If you happen to own a swimming pool then I would actually say that teaching your Bloodhound to swim becomes mandatory. You don’t have to search far to find many tragic stories of dogs drowning in their families swimming pool. It’s important to teach them not only how to swim but also where the exits for the pool are. Without that knowledge, they may be forced to doggie paddle constantly until eventually, they drown.

How to Teach Your Bloodhound How to Swim

The most important thing when teaching your dog how to swim is to make sure you choose the right location. You ideally want to pick a place with calm water. It shouldn’t have any strong current or waves. At least not until your dog becomes a very strong and confident swimmer.

For their first experiences, it’s good to also pick a spot where they can touch the ground but yet deep enough to swim if they feel comfortable. I have generally found swimming pools to be the best spot for doggie swimming lessons. Though this is not always possible. In which case, local dog parks often have a small shallow pond in them, which can provide a reasonable substitute.

Endeavor to make each of your Bloodhounds swimming lessons fairly short and fun. It needs to be short as swimming is generally more exhausting for dogs than it is for humans. This probably has to do with their shorter limbs. Also, the more tired your Bloodhound becomes the more dangerous the swimming lesson will be. A tired dog is more likely to develop a muscle cramp that would then require a quick rescue from sinking.

Pushing your dog too far beyond their comfort zone should be considered an extreme no-no. Try to always make the experience fun and stop as soon as your Bloodhound seems tired or done with swimming.

Here are a few step by steps that you can follow as a guideline in helping you to acclimate your Bloodhound to swimming.

  • First, just start with getting your dog comfortable standing with you in the water. No swimming in the deep end to start. Just walk into the water up to your ankles or knees and invite your Bloodhound to join you. Probably a good idea to be wearing a swimming suit even though you won’t be doing any swimming just yet.
  • Keep repeating this experience until your dog is completely at ease with this stage. What you really want them to be doing is slowly adventuring deeper and deeper into the water. With you right along their side the whole time of course. Giving reassurance and be ready to help or intervene if things start to take an ugly turn.
  • When your Bloodhound appears to be ready to actually begin to swim without touching the ground. Walk beside them with one or both your hands placed reassuringly on their stomach. This will boost their confidence and you can help lift them up in the water to encourage them to start paddling.
  • Once again go slowly and repeat each stage until your dog becomes truly comfortable.
  • After this, your dog should soon start swimming more and more on their own. But you should always be close by within rescuing distance and keep a sharp eye on their energy levels and mood.
  • If you want your Bloodhound to know how to swim but you feel uncomfortable teaching them yourself. Then there are often excellent dog swimming classes put on by dog clubs that you can attend. That way you can feel confident that your dog is being taught by people who fully know what they’re doing.

What Are the Best Places to Take Your Bloodhound Swimming At?

  • The best spot is definitely your very own swimming pool. If you don’t have one then perhaps you can ask a neighbor or friend. Here you can control the environment ensuring that it’s as safe as possible. Plus you don’t have to worry about other animals, sticks, and pond slime.
  • A nice calm beach can be a great place as well. It’s ideal if the beach isn’t crowded and has fairly calm waters. Keep an eye on the weather and riptides. Most beaches are safe but you do need to be more aware and on guard than with a swimming pool.
  • Sometimes you can find nice ponds to swim in at dog parks. I believe that second to a swimming pool this is probably the next best spot to take your bloodhound swimming. Be aware of the local rules and make sure to clean up after your dog if they go potty.
  • Often campgrounds will have a buoyed off part of a lake that is open to public swimming. Just make sure that dogs are allowed as they may not be at all locations.

For Maximum Safety Get Your Bloodhound a Life Jacket

Guess what life jackets aren’t just for people these days. They’re for dogs too. Doggie life preservers are increasingly becoming more common and popular. As people are wanting to go on more adventures with their dog while keeping them safe at the same time. In fact when first teaching your dog how to swim it would probably be best to get them their own life jacket.

While a life jacket will help keep your Bloodhound safe in the water. It will also help them have a better swimming technique. The reason why this is so is that dogs were meant to swim with all four paws. But unfortunately, many of them will often paddle with just two. Where their rear legs will reach for the bottom.

A life jacket helps with this little dilemma by raising the Bloodhound up in the water. Thusly putting their body in a more straight horizontal position. Once their body is in a position that way then it becomes very natural for them to start using those hind legs for paddling as well. Helping your Bloodhound to get a better performance out of their swim while also wasting less energy. So your dog will swim more confidently and be able to do it for longer.

Just make sure that the life jacket that you get fits your Bloodhound just right. You don’t want it to be too tight or too loose. A bad fit could erase the safety gains while making your dog very uncomfortable and unhappy. That is not at all the recipe for getting your Bloodhound to like swimming. If you can try to get one with a handle on the back. This will make it easier for you to take out and put your dog into the water.

What Do You Do When Your Bloodhound Gets Out of the Water.

Bloodhounds can already have a bit of a smell problem on the best of days. When their wet though and their left that way then they can become quite stinky. So when you take your dog swimming make sure you bring a nice big beach towel to dry them off afterward. It’s also a good time to try to brush that coat, removing any brush or brambles really trying to get that beautiful coat to shine.

Do Bloodhounds Have Webbed Feet?

All dogs have a little bit of webbing between the toes of their paws. Certain breeds however will have much more webbing. All the way to the point where we could consider them to have webbed feet. Bloodhounds due to their history of swimming and working in and around water do tend to have much more webbing than other dog breeds. The amount of webbing they have on their feet though will vary a great deal from Bloodhound to Bloodhound.

Final Words

As long as their healthy and fit any Bloodhound should be able to like swimming. Most of it depends upon how you raised them as puppies and what kind of training you provide them with. Some Bloodhounds will take naturally to the water, while others will need a bit of help getting acclimated. The most important part though is to take it slowly and keep the experiences fun for your dog. This in the long run will be the best way for your Bloodhound to learn that the water is just fine and discover that they like to swim.

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