Teach Your Dog to Swim Confidently & Safely: A Guide

Not all dogs are natural-born swimmers, and that’s okay – we’re here to help teach your dog to swim.

First of all, if your pooch hasn’t taken to the water quite yet, don’t panic. Here at Doggos Wear, we know that just like us, some love it – some don’t. And much like us again, they can learn regardless of what category they fall into. They even pull ahead of humans when it comes to learning pace.

So, today, we’re going to take them by the paw, and get down to dog training 101.

How to teach your dog to swim

Teach your dog to swim

Safety first

Dog water safety is an absolute priority when it comes to teaching your furry friend how to swim confidently. By ensuring buoyancy and visibility at all times, dog life jackets offer you (and your pup) the peace of mind needed to keep your thinking cap on straight. And, once you have your pup strapped in and buckled up, it’s time to…

Locate the ideal body of water

If your dog could talk, where do you think they’d ask you to take them for their first swim lesson? Some dogs suit the seaside; others, a lake. You might even find that a backyard kiddie pool is the answer to your dog training question.

A local swimming pool that has doggy days? Yes! A swimming dog should be a happy dog, so make sure you pick somewhere your dog would feel comfortable, safe, and entirely at ease.

Still, selecting the right location is largely a matter of breed size and enthusiasm levels. Just be sure it’s quiet, clear, and calm waters for days.

Also, should you opt for the backyard option, be sure to snap plenty of photos of your precious pooch standing ankle-deep in the kiddie pool – the world needs to see it!

Teach your dog to swim

Test the waters

No one likes to go in at the deep end. Your dog’s equivalent of ‘dipping their toe in’ is getting their paws wet. 

So, you’ll be spending some time in shallow waters. Be generous with treats and positive reinforcement so that your pup will know they’re onto something good. Once relaxed, step by step, gradually persuade them into deeper waters.

Overall, you can lead a dog to water, but you can’t make them swim. What you can do, however, is get them used to it – and that’s more than enough progress for day. 1.

Some dog owners might even find that hydrotherapy is a good fit for habituating their pup to the water, especially if sore joints or stiffness is an issue.

Note: A lot of splashing around and play is always a good sign, so let them ham it up.

Get a handle of things

Once your dog has found their stride, it’s time for lift-off – literally. Gently yet firmly, take hold of their life jacket handle and drift slowly deeper until their paws have left the ground. 

Your dog might instinctively start paddling; they also might not. For some pups, a period of getting used to the “oh my god, I’m afloat” sensation is necessary before the “kick kick kick” part of their brain kicks in. 

But even if your dog appears to be paddling with all their might, be aware that they likely haven’t perfected the technique just yet. So, keep a tight hold on their handle.

A very important dog tip: once afloat, your dog’s brain will be so preoccupied with staying afloat that they may not have time to plan an exit route. So, do them a favor and show them how to enter/exit the water.


Teach your dog to swim

Practice makes perfect

Before long, you’ll notice you’re holding onto your dog’s life jacket handle less as they begin to feel more comfortable in the water. For most dogs, perfecting the art of the doggy paddle takes a week or two (maybe longer.) So, plenty of patience and regular trips to your dog’s swim training spot are essential.

The bottom line…

Just as easy as your pup can learn to sit, and spin, they can learn the vital skill of swimming. 

At Doggos Wear, we’d like to help! We know how much your dog’s safety and well-being matter to you. That’s why we’ve designed each of our dog life jackets with dog water safety as a priority. All the while, we kept style, comfort, and convenience in mind meaning that your dog can not only learn to swim safely but enjoy many watery adventures thereafter! Teach your dog to swim with ease.


Teach your dog to swim

Looking for a life jacket to support your dog while swimming? Shop the Doggo’Float range now!

One Response

  1. Thanks so much for talking about the steps involved with teaching a dog to swim. My aunt recently got a new dog and she wants to take him everywhere she goes. We’ve been looking into finding a professional trainer to take him to help him learn to swim so he can go with her to the beach without too much stress.

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