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Training your dog for water activities

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When training your dog for water activities, begin slowly and gradually increase their comfort level with being in and around water.

 Begin with shallow water and enable your dog to become accustomed to the sensation of being wet.  As your dog becomes more comfortable, gradually increase the depth of the water.


Proper equipment

When training your dog for water activities, make sure you have the proper equipment.  This contains a life jacket that fits your dog appropriately, a leash, and floatable toys.

Gradually and positively introduce your dog to water. Encourage your dog to approach the water and become comfortable with it by using toys and incentives.  Be patient and don't force your dog to do anything they don't want to do.

Introducing your dog to the water


Before introducing your dog to water activities, basic obedience training is essential.  Before you take your dog near the water, make sure they know basic commands like "sit," "stay," and "come."

Basic obedience training

Encourage your dog to swim by going in the water with them and bribing them with toys or goodies.  Begin with short lengths and progressively expand your dog's swimming distance.


Encouraging your dog to swim

When training your dog for water activities, safety should always come first.  Make sure your dog is wearing a life jacket and that you are always supervising them.

Safety first

When training your dog for water activities, positive reinforcement is essential.  Use treats and toys to reward your dog for good behavior and obedience.


Positive reinforcement

Practice is important when training your dog for water activities.  Take your dog to the water regularly and make it a fun and positive experience for them.

Practice makes perfect

Once your dog is comfortable with basic water activities such as swimming and retrieving, you can start advanced training such as dock diving or surfing.  These activities require additional training and preparation.

Advanced training

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