I use the noodle to guide them further into the pool, gradually increasing the distance from the stairs until they can swim a lap around the entire pool.
In this picture, the stairs are behind me. They are trying to get back to the stairs (especially Morgan who is hugging me and the noodle) even though they haven’t gone very far away from them.
Gretchen's Dogs Learn to Swim
If you have a pool it’s very important for your dog to know where the stairs are. Every pool is different.
In this picture you can see that the stairs are smaller than the ones in the pool we had in the picture at the top of the page. They are also steeper and deeper. My dogs noticed the difference. It took a little getting used to.
Don’t assume that your dog knows where the stairs are – show them – in every pool.
Meet the dogs. From left to right: Sasha a Pomeranian, Cajun a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Morgan a Pomeranian. They enter the pool using the stairs when asked.
They wait patiently until I use a hand signal and say swim before entering the pool.
They swim happily without making a bee line for the stairs now that they are confident strong swimmers who know they can get to the stairs and get out anytime they want.
Developing strong swimming skills in a pool is great practice for the ocean.
Swimming in the ocean is a lot different from swimming in a pool. The waves and currents make swimming more difficult. Practicing swimming in a pool allows you and your dog to go to the ocean with confidence.
Read about my favorite Florida dog beaches HERE (This picture was taken at Fort De Soto Park.)