You must have been fascinated at how a dog looks while diving into a pool to get a ball.
When you see a photographer’s incredible underwater pictures and start wondering about, can your dog swim underwater? And if they can, then how you can train your dog to swim underwater.
You’re in the right place then. We have gathered authentic data from credible sources after hours of research where you can find the answer to all your dog swimming-related questions.
Many people believe that all dogs were born with the ability to swim naturally, and they can also swim underwater. It may be a fatal misunderstanding. It does not mean that no dog can dive or swim underwater.
Table of Contents
Do All Dogs Know How to Swim?
Dogs were born with strong natural instincts, like barking, digging, and being fully lovable to human beings. Many people also think swimming is a natural ability of all dog breeds.
Why would they call it the “doggie paddle” unless all canines were willing to do it? Yet swimming for dogs is not inherently an innate ability.
Some dogs can automatically start their doggie paddle in the air if they are kept above the water. In that familiar, peddling motion, they see water and their legs start to crank. All you need to do seems to drop them in and watching them go.
When it comes to swimming, canines generally fall into one of three categories.
1. Who can swim
The first category includes water spaniels, golden retrievers, Irish setters, English setters, and Newfoundland. They are all outstanding swimmers.
This is mainly due to their strong limbs, but they may also have this ability in their genes. This breed usually loves swimming.
2. Who can be taught to swim
Breeds such as bulldogs, dachshunds, and boxers. There’s obviously not enough energy from their short legs in aquatic conditions to keep them afloat.
Breeds with small faces, like the pug, also have a very difficult time swimming because they quickly get tired.
Small dogs like Maltese and Chihuahua are sometimes good swimmers, but they can still get cold or afraid in the water, which can increase the risk of drowning.
3. Scared to swim
Many dogs may be able to swim physically but still have a genuine fear of the water. When underwater, these pets tend to panic. Panic quickly leads to stress for a dog in water, which makes it much more likely to drown.
Which brings you and your pet bad news. When a dog gets afraid in the water, he will try to climb on top of you, kicking and scratching until you manage to get to land.
How to Train Your Dog to Swim Underwater?
Whether you live near a beach or a pool, there is nothing better than seeing your dog go for a dip. On a warm summer morning, nothing beats the joy of paddling and swimming with your dog.
If you play with your canine companion underwater, what’s even better.
Besides being a hugely entertaining great view, it’s a great exercise for him! And the amazing fact is that you may need goggles to see below you, but with his own natural eyes, your doggie will be able to see everything, it’s a gift from God.
The dog can swim underwater just for a moment but they need some training to do so. Training is important in many aspects as underwater diving can be risky if it’s not properly done. Here are some tricks you can use while training your dog.
You should use a sinking water toy to get him under the surface. Though, you need to get him excited by the toy before you do that. Play war tug with it, play outside a little fetch and leave it in his area and let him love that toy.
Start playing catch, but this time, in the shallow end, throw the toy into the dog pool, or in the sea. Encourage him to go and pick up the toy and give him a great treat when he comes out.
It’s time for you to dive into the water now. Hold the toy in your hand, reach in at the bottom of it. Then invite him to follow you. You can use food, wave around the toy, and speak with him and try a different voice so he can hear you properly underwater.
Drag the toy just below the water surface while urging him to pick it up. Make sure that you hold it so that he can see it.
Slowly move it out of reach for a few seconds as he tries to grab it. So let him have the toy and give him joy and affection. He would quickly give up trying if he never gets it.
Do this exercise over the next few days, but keep the toy deeper and deeper in order to get it. Encourage him to stay close throughout the whole time.
This will make him feel confident. Make sure you give him plenty of treats and he’s going to be eager to continue playing. He will be confident enough to swim underwater on his own after a few sessions.
Can Dog Dive Underwater?
The answer seems to be “Yes”
Dogs do have a flinching reflex By which they chase the toy and dive right into the water.
The easiest way to get a dog to go under the water is to put something into the water, and after that, they’re going to dive in. They’re going to keep their eyes open as much as possible to track the item they’re trying to get.
You can also see in a couple of shots that they also don’t mind having their eyes open underwater. When the water hits their face, they may blink momentarily, but it looks like it doesn’t last long.
Many dogs wouldn’t like to play fetch anyway because they don’t really like it. The other approach is to throw convincing treats into the water. Yet make sure it’s their option to go underwater and you Don’t Push It on them.
Can Dogs Hold Their Breath?
Because many dogs love swimming and some breeds are experts in it. It’s because they’d be able to hold their breath underwater, right?
Like other mammals, dogs have a built-in natural defense to help them hold their breath underwater. It is called the response of mammalian diving, and it overrides the most basic functions of mammals, such as breathing.
Although the effect is most observed in large aquatic mammals (such as whales and walruses), it is seen in all vertebrates.
Let us know what you think in the comment section of DogLovesBest.
- Stereotypic swimming gait pattern in different dog breeds – NCBI
- Top 10 Swimming Dog Breeds – PetMD
- Pools and Your Pets – UVH
James Wilkinson joined DogLovesBest as a full-time writer with the objective of offering his insights on how to rear pets better. He shares the information through the experience he has gained over a span of 15 years working as a dog trainer. James also used to contribute regularly to several pet publications during his career as a trainer before joining this website. He also donates a portion of his own personal wealth to shelter abandoned animals in Gainesville, Florida and helps in finding a new home for them.