Swimming to cool off in the middle of the summer heat can be a great way to bond with your canine and help them get some exercise. Before you start planning to take your dog on a trip where swimming is the main focus, you need to know how they will react. Can Sheepadoodles swim, and do they like the water?
Sheepadoodles inherit a love of water from their Poodle parents, who are bred to retrieve waterfowl when hunting. They naturally desire swimming, but owners need to take things slow when introducing their dog to the water. Always make sure your dog has on a life vest.
Do you want to learn more about safely introducing your Sheepadoodle to the water? Here is everything you need to know about fostering a love of the water in your canine companion.
Do Sheepadoodles Like Water?
When introducing your dog to the water, it is essential to note whether your dog will naturally incline to swim. The good news is that Sheepadoodles often inherit their love of water from their Poodle parent. Poodles were initially bred to retrieve waterfowl for hunters and are marvelous swimmers.
Keep in mind that your dog may take some time to warm up to the idea of the water. Every dog has their personality and preferences. A timid dog might need some extra encouragement to dive right into the deep end. However, with the proper introduction to the water, most Sheepadoodles will come to love swimming.
Can Mini Sheepadoodles Swim?
Even the Mini Sheepadoodle can get in on the action when splashing around in the water. They still inherit the same Poodle genetics from their parents, regardless of what size they are bred to be.
Mini Sheepadoodles can still be excellent swimmers, but it may take them more time to get comfortable moving into deep water due to their more diminutive stature. Their chest and body will get submerged much faster than a Standard Sheepadoodle, ultimately making them more hesitant to dive right in.
Are Sheepadoodles Good Swimmers?
While every dog is unique, most Sheepadoodles are inherently good swimmers. It may take them a few tries to get their bearings in the water, but they are genetically predisposed to love the water and to move smoothly through it.
Many owners still turn to their Sheepadoodle to help them retrieve what they hunt from the water. Be sure to introduce your Sheepadoodle to the water slowly and safely if you want them to come to enjoy this popular pastime.
Even without the addition of hunting into the equation, most Sheepadoodles are eager swimmers who love to cool off in the water on a hot summer day. Try filling up a small kiddie pool in your backyard to test this theory and see if your dog jumps right in!
How to Introduce Your Sheepadoodle to the Water
While the Sheepadoodle has a natural propensity to enjoy the water, owners need to set their dogs up for success by introducing them to the water slowly. If your dog dives right into the waves without a second thought, that is perfectly fine. However, many owners find that they need to take things a bit slower, especially with younger dogs who are still learning to navigate the world around them.
The best place to introduce your Sheepadoodle to water is somewhere they can play in shallow water. The shore of the beach or the local lake is ideal for this. Alternatively, you may take them to a local pool if it has a shallow end for them to splash around in.
Here are a few tips to help you reinforce that water is a positive thing for your dog:
Give Them Time
If this is the first time you are exposing your Sheepadoodle to the water, then you will want to take things a bit slower. Allow them the freedom to explore the water at their own pace if they wish to dip their paws in or observe for a little while. Never force your dog to get directly into the water.
Get in the Water with Them
Show your dog that they have nothing to fear from the water before them. Kick off your shoes and walk through the water to give them a good idea of their expectations. You may also want to bring along a friend who has a dog that loves the water. Your dog can learn how to swim by watching its four-legged friends.
Make it Play Time
Instead of just splashing around in the water, give your dog something to do. The best thing is to invest in floating toys that you can play games such as fetch. Some of the top toys you can purchase are the Hyper Pet Chewz Toys for large dogs that resemble sticks or the shark fin toy from ChuckIt.
Gradually Allow Them to Go in Deeper
In the beginning, you will want to toss their toys in the shallow waves where only their feet get wet. Suppose you notice that your dog feels comfortable and a bit adventurous; you can start getting them deeper into the water by tossing the toy farther out. Allow them to submerge their chest but still be able to touch the ground.
As they get more comfortable at this stage, you can encourage them to swim by tossing the toy a little farther out into the water each time. Remember to put a life jacket on your dog in case they get tired or overwhelmed by the water!
When it comes to water safety, you can never be too careful with your beloved Sheepadoodle. What rules do you need to follow to keep your dog safe in the water?
First and foremost, they should always wear a properly-fitted life vest in case they get tired. This will allow them to float until they reach the energy to exit the water. It also helps the dog learn how to swim because the vest encourages flotation. While swimming tends to come naturally for the Sheepadoodle, this safety device can help.
You also need to monitor your surroundings, mainly if you take your dog swimming near popular fishing spots. Dogs may encounter hooks and be tempted to eat the bait meant for swimming fish. Make sure that they steer clear of these temptations and try to redirect your dog away from piers and places where fishing is most likely.
Owners also need to come prepared with fresh water for their pup to drink. Exercise, including swimming, is hard work, and you don’t necessarily want them to drink the water from the ocean, pool, or lake.
Last but not least, always make sure that your Sheepadoodle understands how to enter and exit the water. You may have to get in with them and demonstrate it a few times, especially if you are at a local pool where the exit points can be a bit more challenging than heading toward the shoreline at the beach.
Swimming at the Beach or Ocean vs. the Pool
Where should you choose to take your Sheepadoodle swimming? The beach and the pool are great options for dogs who haven’t been swimming before. Here are some of the pros and cons of each one.
For Sheepadoodles who are new to the water, the beach or ocean might be the ideal place to take them for a first encounter. The shore presents a great entry point into shallow waters and allows your dog to go as deep as they feel comfortable instead of diving right into the pool’s deep end.
The downside to swimming at the ocean is that there are many other people there for recreation than at a dog-friendly swimming pool. This means that you will encounter fishers and surfers, small children swimming, and more. The environment can be distracting and overwhelming for a young Sheepadoodle who is still learning his place in the world.
On the other hand, a pool does not pose the same safety hazards. Unless your pool has a gradual slope, it can be a challenge to gently introduce your dog to the water with this type of arrangement. It can also be a bit tricky to teach your dog how to enter and exit the water if you don’t have access to a pool with a slope.
Are Salt and Chlorine Bad for Dogs?
It is impossible to take your dog swimming and prevent them from consuming any water. This leads many owners to wonder whether salt and chlorine are bad for the health of their beloved Sheepadoodle. The answer depends on where your dog is going swimming, the level of chemicals or salt in the water, and the amount they consume.
For example, a salt water pool has very minimal salt to the water and can be safe for your dog to drink. Saltwater from the ocean is a different story, though. It has far more salt to it, leading to excessive thirst and frequent urination.
Pay close attention to how much water your dog drinks from the ocean or pool, particularly if they are supposed to be on a low sodium diet.
Chlorine levels in a swimming pool are often comparable to what your dog would be exposed to straight from the tap. This makes chlorinated water a bit safer for your dog to consume than ocean water. If you notice that the pool has recently been shocked or the chemical levels are off, you might want to refrain from getting your Sheepadoodle in the water that day.
The best solution is to always provide plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink throughout the day. Carry a collapsible water bowl with you for ease of storage.
Life Vest Buying Guide
Whether you plan to take your dog for a regular swim or just on special occasions, it is crucial to ensure they are safe. Investing in a life vest should be considered an essential buy for your four-legged friend. After all, they are bound to get tired after rigorous swimming, and a life vest can help keep them afloat when they struggle.
What Should You Look for in a Quality Life Vest?
Every Sheepadoodle may need a different size vest depending on whether they are a mini or a standard size. Always look for adjustable vests so that your dog can have a custom and more comfortable fit. This is even more imperative if you have a puppy that will grow rapidly. You may still need to purchase an additional life vest once they reach their full-grown size, but this can minimize the costs.
Other attributes you should look for in a life vest include:
- Bright colors to make your dog more visible in deep waters
- Handles to grab hold of your dog when necessary
- Chin float to help keep their head above water
- Comfortable foam that does not restrict movement
- Buckles that stay clipped even with vigorous exercise
If you are looking for a quality life vest for your Sheepadoodle, you may want to check out the Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket and the accompanying size chart to determine which size fits your dog.
Make Swimming Enjoyable for Your Sheepadoodle
When you feel ready to introduce your Sheepadoodle to the water, make sure to do so as slowly as necessary to make it a positive experience for them. Prepare yourself to keep them safe and comfortable as you both explore new waters together. With some of these helpful tips, you and your Sheepadoodle will be swimming in no time!
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