Image Source: Pixabay.comInitial preparations
Before you take your pet to a large water body make sure you and your pet are adequately trained for such an activity. Pets require time and effort to develop familiarity with water. One of the first things to ensure when training your pet in water is its response to voice commands. Your pet must be responsive to your commands as it often needs to be warned in deep or dangerous waters. It is a good idea to introduce your pets to water when they are young. Allow them to play in shallow warm baths and around sprinklers. This builds their comfort level over the course of time. Make water based activities fun for your pet. This provides positive reinforcement. Make sure to use floatation gear at the beginning for young pets. Constant supervision is recommended as fifteen minutes of swimming is equivalent to an hour’s worth of running around. This can easily tire the pets and might require the intervention of the owner.Training your pet to like water
In the initial days of water training, you need to enter the water with your pet. Hold its body in water as it learns to paddle. Go into the waters with your pet repeatedly to build its confidence. This also makes them comfortable in deeper waters. The company of the owner also provides a soothing effect and stops your pet from panicking. Never force your pet to stay in water if it does not want to. Forming negative bonds with water might make them uncomfortable for life. Certain pets are more accustomed to water than others. Certain breeds of dogs for example are natural swimmers, whereas others are not. So you should adjust your expectations accordingly. The key thing to remember is that, this is a gradual process. Take things in steps and slowly. Move to deeper waters only after your pet is completely comfortable in relatively shallower depths. Starting in warm water is ideal for young pets.Once your pet has picked up the basics, progressively make it more challenging. For example lead him out into the pool and make him swim to the shore. Making him play fetch on the water is also a good exercise. Make gradual progress towards deeper waters, making sure your pet doesn’t tire out in between. Once you are confident your pet is able to navigate on his own, you might want to move on to directional signals. With enough training and patience, your pet will soon be a reliable companion in the waters.