If you are not the typical 9 to 5 employee or business owner, having a dog training or dog walking business may be the first step in a long happy career to be a dog trainer. AZ Dog Smart wants to help aspiring dog trainers reach their goals of educating, training, and saving animals by becoming certified trainers.
In recent interviews with successful professional dog trainers, we asked them to share reasons they love their job. One of those reasons is helping dogs learn to swim.
Teaching Dogs To Swim
Many people falsely assume that all dogs swim naturally. Some breeds are very comfortable in the water like sporting dogs, retrievers, and working breeds. But many small dogs and lots of other breeds can be downright afraid of any body of water. If you have a pool, plan to take your dog on vacation, or to the beach; you may want to take some precautions. Expose them to water or swimming prior to introducing them to it all at once.
Certified trainers can help you do this.
Never just throw a dog in the water or let them fall in while running or playing. This may panic them and create a negative association for a very long time if not permanently.
You will teach your dog to swim just like you would train a person to do so; gradually, using positive methods. While you or the trainer are in the water; you will be using a tasty food lure, a great water toy, a life jacket or flotation device.
Keep Calm & Train on
It helps having lots of patience and kind words while they try a little at a time to get used to the way it feels to be wet. Wearing a wet suit or shirt of some kind is not a bad idea, because the dog’s nails may scratch you inadvertently while getting in or out.
A gradual incline at a lake, beach, or steps on the pool is usually the easiest to approach. For this you want to have your dog on a long line so they can go out gradually, walking in then paddling on their own volition, with you beside them. It is more difficult to have a dog climb down steps into water on the side of a pool if they are smaller. The pet guardian may lead the dog to the first step and let them get used to that feel, before embarking further.
There are companies that make special ramps for docks, boats, and pools to help your dog get in and out easier. Try not to let your dog struggle with entering or exiting the water as they can pull a muscle or hurt their back or break a nail while doing so.
If swimming with dogs sounds like your idea of a good time, you may just want to be a dog trainer too!