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Can All Dogs Swim? How to Teach a Dog to Swim



Can All Dogs Swim

Does your dog run excitedly to every water in sight? If your pup isn’t diving into the water, you may not be able to walk across the creek or pond. Or your dog may treat the water like an enemy and will do anything to stay dry. Every dog is different, and not all dogs are born with a penchant for getting wet. But do all dogs know how to swim?

Depending on the breed, your dog may be natural in the water, or swimming may be challenging. However, whether your dog likes adventure or prefers to stay on land, it’s vital that your dog learns to feel comfortable in and around water for safety. You may want to go boating together, go to the beach or enjoy a cabin vacation. You may even have a backyard pool or visit someone who does. Read on for tips on training your dog in swimming techniques and water safety tips.

Not every breed is a natural swimmer

If you consider a breed for traditional purposes, it’s clear that some will be attracted to the water. Certain breeds are natural swimmers because they were developed for water work. Consider the Labrador Retriever or Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. These dogs were bred to retrieve waterfowl for hunters. Some breeds even have water in their name, such as the Portuguese Water Spaniel, which was developed to be in the water as a fisherman’s helper or the Irish Water Spaniel, with its unique curly and waterproof coat. These dogs have the body structure of excellent swimmers, most of whom just love to play in the water.

According to Michele Godlevski, NADD dock dive judge, certified professional dog trainer, certified dog behavior consultant and owner of Teamworks Dog Training in Raleigh, N.C., some breeds seem to know how to swim from the moment they see a body of water, while others just don’t see the point of swimming. “There are also breeds that have such a weight distribution (like bulldogs) that they can’t swim very well without a life jacket.” Short-legged, long-bodied breeds like Dachshunds can also struggle in the water. So, can all dogs swim? While it’s a myth that all dogs are natural swimmers, you’ll wear a life jacket and some dog swimming lessons, but every breed should be able to swim in the water.

The importance of dog life jackets

Godlevski says life jackets are always a good idea. Buying and fitting a dog floatation device is the first step in her dog swimming lessons. She recommends, “Get a dog life jacket that fits your dog comfortably. No matter what breed you own, you always want the first experience to be fun, not scary.”

That means never throwing your dog in the water and letting him work things out on his own. According to Godlevski, “Not only is throwing a puppy or young dog into the water a scary idea, but it can actually damage a dog’s lifelong swimming courage.” Having taught many dogs to swim over the years, Godlevski is a firm believer that dog swimming is all about courage. Here’s another reason for life jackets. People who swim in a life jacket for the first time will be more confident and therefore braver than those who don’t wear one.

Even seemingly confident dogs, such as those who run into the water while chasing a toy or another dog, can get into trouble, says Godlevski: “They often just chase that dog into the water without realizing that the water has changed.” You don’t want your dog to panic when it realizes the ground has disappeared.

Godlevski says, “In my experience, the first time a dog runs into the water, it’s like a cartoon character running off a cliff. In other words, the descent is a complete surprise.” Dogs wearing life jackets will simply float on their bearings and realize they can paddle with their feet. But a dog without a floatation device may panic, gulp water and drown within seconds of the paddle reflex kicking in.

Another reason for life jackets for novice dog swimmers is what Godrevsky calls “front-wheel drive. In other words, dogs learning to swim use only their front feet to paddle, while their hind legs usually drop down to try to find the bottom. “On the other hand, if you put a life jacket on a dog, the dog’s back will be level with the water. When the dog’s back is level, the dog will think that they actually do have “four-wheel drive” and that all four paws can paddle. Without realizing it, your dog is moving smoothly and confidently through the water.”

Choosing a dog floatation device

Whether your dog is a beginning swimmer or a breed that needs extra buoyancy, be sure to choose the most appropriate style of life jacket. Even experienced swimmers should have a well-fitting life jacket. Your dog may become tired or disoriented and the extra buoyancy will help with safety and confidence. Finally, a puppy floatation device is essential for boating. If your dog falls into the water, there may be a rough current or strong currents and that life jacket may be a lifesaver.

Look for a life jacket that is durable and made of waterproof material. It should also be adjustable so you can make sure your dog fits comfortably. If you are planning any nighttime water activities, consider reflective trim. Again, brightly colored fabric is a bonus for visibility. If this extra support is needed, you can also look for an extra float under the chin to help keep your dog’s head above the water.

Also, make sure the device has a handle. This can help you lift your dog out of the water, grab him if he’s struggling, and guide him as he learns to swim. However, Godlewski suggests that the handle should be strong enough to actually lift the dog out of the water. You may also be looking for a D-ring that will allow you to attach the leash. This may be useful at a public beach, for example.

Teaching your dog to swim

When you start dog swimming lessons, the key is that you draw your floating device into the water. Whether it’s playing with you or a toy, create an environment that encourages your dog to get in the water on his own. godlevski suggests, “Bring a toy or ball. If your dog will come to you from the shore or the edge, you can take your dog in the water, hold the handles of the life jacket and let your dog paddle.” Don’t pull your dog into the water; always put on your own life jacket. If your dog panics, he may climb on top of you and escape, especially for a large dog, which can put your safety at risk. 8 Steps to Learn to Swim.

Another method Godlevski recommends is to find a friend who is already a strong swimmer with a dog. “Schedule a time for your dog to watch another dog swim. If the two dogs are friendly, have your dog follow the other dog, wearing a life jacket.” Using this technique, your dog can watch and learn, but more importantly, see how much fun the water can be.

If possible, start in shallow water, close to your dog. Get your dog used to simply getting wet feet. Don’t leave the shallow water until your dog looks like he’s having fun. Encourage gradual movement to deeper water and use lots of praise and positive reinforcement – if you reward your dog for being in the water, your dog will want to get in again. Whenever your dog seems overwhelmed, move to shallower water or dry land and allow your dog to calm down before trying again.

It is also important to teach your dog how to get out of the water. godlevski recommends pointing your dog toward the shore or pool ramp while you are swimming together. If you can’t get in the water with your dog, she says it’s important that you stay near the exit to help your dog find his way. Keep repeating these steps until your dog knows how to get out of the water.

There are plenty of places to teach your dog to swim, from lakes to pools, but Godlevski suggests that a gradual incline in the water definitely helps. Plus, she says the bright blue water in a pool may look unnatural to dogs, which may discourage them from entering. (Another reason to get in with them!) However, she stresses, “Often ponds or lakes look like they are a little more natural for dogs, but water is water. If they don’t like to get wet, it doesn’t matter what color the water is!”


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How to Prepare for a Long-Distance Move



How to Prepare for a Long-Distance Move

More than 27,059,000 people move each year, whether traveling across the state or the country. Regardless of when you’re preparing for a long-distance move, there are several things you’ve got to be aware of ahead of time.

We’ve created a checklist that you can use full of packing tips and other things you need to know, like the importance of hiring movers to aid in the big move. The more prepared you are, the easier and more stress-free the move will be.

Get ready to settle into your new home after you check out these need-to-know packing tips below.

Plan Ahead of Time

When moving to NY from California, you need to plan ahead. You need to do this to get everything in order, such as shutting off the utilities and turning it on at the new location before you’re scheduled to arrive.

The last thing you want to do is risk arriving at your new place and not having running water or working electricity when you get there. Another reason you want to plan ahead is that if you’ve decided to hire movers, you’ll need to coordinate the day they plan to pick up your items and deliver them to the new house.

Again you don’t want to arrive at your home and the movers not arrive with your items on the day you expect them to. Not only does this leave you without your necessities, but it could also mean you pay additional delivery fees that you’d not planned for.

If it helps, you could make a list of everything you need to do before you are set to move. We recommend making this list ahead of time so that you don’t feel rushed at the last minute to get everything completed.

Hire Professionals

Moving lots of items a long distance can be tricky, especially if you’re not used to driving a moving truck. Before you’re set to move, make a list of the best movers in your area.

You can do this by creating a list of mover names and estimates from your area. Ensure you have them clarify what you’re paying for because most rental companies provide a specific number of miles locally and out of state that could increase your overall rental price.

You’ll also want to inquire about the insurance needed to schedule movers to come and help transport your items. Ensure you get the estimates for each type of vehicle they offer.

When the move is complete, the larger the vehicle and the more movers you need, the higher the rental price. Once you’ve decided which moving company you’re going to work with, take the next steps to set your reservation.

If you’re making the appointment over the phone, ask the company to send you a confirmation email once the phone call has concluded. This will ensure you have tangible evidence of your appointment reservation just in case something comes up the day of the move where you need to contact the moving company.

Begin Packing Efficiently

When you move a long distance, it’s in your best interest to only pack the items you need and discard items you no longer use. The best way to do this is to take some time to declutter your home before you begin packing.

Make a pile of the items you need to get rid of, whether that means donating or discarding them accordingly. While it might prove to be a time-consuming process, in the long run, it will pay off when you don’t have to do these things while unpacking in your new home.

This is especially true if you’re downsizing and don’t have enough room to store all the items that you have currently in your home or apartment. Another reason to declutter your home is so that you can effectively determine how much packing material you need to pack, such as boxes and packing tape.

Check your local area for packing items because there are several places online where people want to get rid of their extra boxes for free. This can help you to save on packing expenses.

Forward Your Mail

When you move into your new place, the last thing you want to happen is for essential items to be mailed to your previous email. This means you need to take the steps necessary to forward your mail to your new address, which can be done online via the united states postal service website.

When forwarding your mail, ensure you list the names of everyone moving and the address of the new home. Then you will need to specify a date when you want the mail to begin being sent to the new location.

Along with forwarding your mail, you need to remember to change the address on other government documentation, such as:

  • Car registration
  • Drivers license
  • Voter registration
  • Insurance

When you don’t place your new address on these documentation forms, completing other things you need to complete after you’ve moved can become challenging.

When you’re moving a long distance, the last thing you want to do is travel back to your previous residence to take care of things that should’ve been completed before the move.

Preparing for a Long Distance Move & Things You Need to Know

When preparing for a long-distance move, you need to know several things, such as ensuring you forward your mail ahead of time. You should also remember to schedule movers and request estimates to help move your belongings from one place to another.

If you want to know more about this topic, continue to scroll through the posts in this section.

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