Water plus dog equals fun or at least that’s what I’ve always thought. Having a Samoyed who likes to swim can open an entire world of new opportunities with your dog. Of course, there are a lot of challenges and some dogs are just not cut out for swimming. It’s important to understand your dog’s limitations, fears, and physical capability before taking them into the water.
Some Samoyeds like to swim while some don’t. Their past experience with water plays a large role in how much they will enjoy it. Their poofy coats can make it harder than a short-haired breed but if they have a lot of positive experiences a Samoyed can make a decent swimmer with some training.
Of course, there are many other facets to whether a dog can and will like swimming. Some of the chief factors to consider is the dog’s age and physical ability. Dogs over the age of 8 probably should be learning to swim. This limitation varies from dog to dog so it’s important to know your Samoyed well. Puppies also shouldn’t be swimming at least not till they’ve gained some size and muscle.
In the case of a dog with a physical disease, their vet should be conferred with prior to trying to teach them how to swim. With the particular case of Samoyeds, their coat can make swimming more challenging than with other breeds. It’s easy for their coats to get filled with water which can add weight, also it creates a lot of water resistance when they’re trying to glide through the water.
But the biggest obstacle as to whether a Samoyed will like to swim or not actually lies in their mind. Its the personality and their level of fear that will determine success. A dog with an outgoing personality towards life will fare much better in the water then one scared and skittish. A lot of what determines that is their history towards the water. This is why it’s so important to provide your dog with happy experiences when their a puppy as it becomes harder to get them over fear when they’re older.
It still can be done though and most dogs with patient positive training can come to like swimming with time.
Why Should You Teach a Samoyed How to Swim?
There are a lot of reasons that it would be good to teach your Samoyed to swim. For one if you have a swimming pool that they have access to then it may be a requirement to teach them how to swim. You don’t have to look far to hear a sad story of a dog drowning in their family pool. They either didn’t know how to swim or they couldn’t figure out how to get out of the pool.
So for this reason, if you have a pool you need to make sure that your Samoyed can do two things. One they know how to swim so if they fall in the pool they wont drown. Then second is you got to show them how to get out. Otherwise they will be just swimming and struggling getting more and more tired.
Even if you don’t have a pool though there are many other bodies of water that your dog will encounter throughout their life. Lakes and ponds can be found along most dog walks. Even the local dog park probably has a pond. If for some reason your dog decides to jump in the water, it could be because it is a hot summer day or their chasing a creature, then it would be a good feeling to know that your Samoyed can swim.
Of course, swimming with your dog is loads of fun as well. New horizons of fun and games open up when you can enjoy being in the water with your favorite canine.
How to Teach Your Samoyed How to Swim
One thing to keep in mind before getting down to the training is that it’s going to take some time and you need to be patient. Moving too quickly could scare your dog off of the water. So you want to make sure that you take things slow and easy. Your Samoyed should be setting the pace of their swimming lessons every time.
The other thing to be aware of is that due to their shorter legs swimming exhausts a dog more quickly than that of a human. For this reason, you should make your dog’s sessions fairly short. When they seem tired its time to call it a day. Don’t worry there will be many more opportunities.
Here is a basic pathway that you can follow in your Samoyeds swimming training.
- The first step is choosing a great location. It’s going to need to be shallow, have calm water, and ideally be a place where you feel secure in your ability to control the situation.
- Once you’ve got your spot then guide your dog into the water with you. At this point, the goal should simply be to just stand in the water with your dog. Anything more then that is probably moving to fast and could end poorly.
- Repeat this step as many times as necessary until your Samoyed is completely at ease just standing in the water. Maybe even stay at this stage until your dog is practically gunning to go deeper into the water.
- When your dog is ready to move without touching the bottom. Then you want to be as close to your dog as you can. Try not to interfere with their paddling though. Place your hands under their belly and give them a bit of lift in the water. This makes your Samoyed feel more confident knowing that your there to help them if they get into a rough patch.
- Practice often and it won’t be long before your Samoyed can swim with confidence liking it throughout.
Where Are the Best Places to Take Your Samoyed to Swim?
- Many dog parks will have a small pond that makes an excellent spot for introducing your samoyed to the water. Plus they also have a chance to meet some other dogs and make friends.
- Going to the beach can be a great chance to swim with your dog. But you need to make sure that the weather is perfect and the water calm. Never swim with your dog in choppy water or bad weather.
- Some state parks have sections of lakes cordoned off for swimming. Not all will allow dogs into the water but those that do can be a great place for practice. Just be on the lookout for alligators and snakes.
- The best place I think for swimming at any stage of skill is your very own swimming pool. Even if you personally don’t have one it still might be possible to use a pool belonging to a friend or a neighbor.
Get Your Samoyed a Life Jacket
Teaching a dog how to swim can be dangerous for your dog at times, especially if it’s somewhere where you’re not fully in control of the environment. The way to bring the risk way down is to give your dog a life jacket. These days it’s not hard to find one that has specifically been made for dogs.
The great thing about doggie life jackets is that they don’t just help keep your dog safe. They can also teach your Samoyed how to swim. You see a lot of dogs don’t know to use all four of their legs when doing the doggie paddle. They just use their front legs while their rear ones try to find the ground.
Wearing a life jacket though it raises them up to a more horizontal position. This encourages them to use their nature-given four-leg drive so to speak. That will provide them a lot more forward motion which will make swimming easier. Plus if your dog gets tired or gets a muscle cramp they will have the life jacket to keep them afloat.
When find a life jacket for your dog the most important thing is to find one that fits them well. A poorly fitted life jacket won’t help your dog much and could make the experience miserable for them. If you can try to find one with a handle attached which will make it easier to pick your Samoyed out of the water.
What to Do After You Get Your Dog Out of the Water
With the Samoyeds giant fluffy coat keeping it tangled free can become a true challenge. Add some water to the equation and you have the recipe for a hot stinking mess. Sometimes quite literally. So when your Samoyeds done with their swimming grab a large trusty beach towel and get to work drying them off. Bring a brush with you as well as there are few better chances to get your dogs coat smooth and tangle-free.
Make sure that every experience your Samoyed has swimming in the water is fun for both you and them. Be patient and calm, steady, and consistent, letting your dog set the pace of their training at every step. While swimming may be too much for some dogs, most Samoyeds can learn how to swim if you take it steady. Keep it up and your Samoyed should begin to like to swim as if they were born with ducks feet.