Swimming is great exercise for humans and our canine companions! Swimming is an exercise that provides for good range of motion and muscle building and limits wear and tear on the joints. Dogs of all ages, all breeds, and all energy levels can swim and enjoy it. Dogs who are overweight, old, and/or lack in confidence should try swimming!
Learning to swim can be a stressful time for a dog. Most dogs are unsure of water when they first start out but as they learn more about the motion of swimming and the fact that they are not going to drown, they become more confident. As the dog becomes more confident in swimming, they also become more confident in themselves. Building your dog’s confidence is important to their emotional health and their safety. More confident dogs are less likely to be fearful and timid and are less likely to bite is ever put in a stressful environment.
As part of our enrichment program, the University of Doglando has several options for water-based play to encourage our dogs to explore water and to cool off in the heat of the day. Young or inexperienced dogs start off with hose play (chasing the water stream from a hose) or splashing in a water bucket or small puddle. They then move on to the lagoon, a shallow wading pool in which dogs can swim, dunk, and drink. Advanced dogs can play in our dock diving pool, a human-size swimming pool with a full-size dock attached, from which dogs can dive into the water in pursuit of aquatic toys and fun. (There is a rubber-topped ramp to help get out!)