Can Dogs Swim Underwater? (And What to do Instead!)

Can dogs swim underwater?

No, dogs can’t swim underwater for extended periods and will drown. Dogs are wonderful swimmers, but are not biologically geared towards deep diving and will struggle.

It’s essential to make sure your dog is well-trained before sending them out into a lake. This ensures any type of deep water doesn’t cause them trouble and lead to a state of panic both in the dog and you!

The benefits of training a dog to swim include:

  • Increased Activity
  • Diversity in Physical Activity
  • Ideal for Warmer Conditions

It’s essential to take your time while training a dog to swim. Can dogs swim underwater? No, but they can swim across a swimming pool, pond, or lake depending on where you are. Just don’t expect your dog to end up scuba diving in the future!

Here is a detailed look at figuring out how to train a dog to swim properly and what to avoid when it comes to this process.

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Tips to Training a Dog to Swim

Tip #1 – Start with a Backyard Pool

Can dogs swim underwater?

No, they can’t which means you are going to have to start slowly. This includes setting up a simple backyard pool at home and seeing how the dog fares in this type of water.

If you already have a swimming pool, this can be a good place to start as well. In essence, you want a controlled environment for your dog to learn in.

The benefits include:

  • Controlled Environment
  • Easy to Clean
  • Fast Setup

It’s better to spot issues at home rather than having to swim after your flailing dog in an ocean!

This is why dog owners are recommended to train their dog how to swim in a backyard pool. It will show you potential issues the dog has and what needs to be done to train them further.

Can Dogs Swim Underwater

Tip #2 – Work in Short Bursts

You want to make sure to start in short bursts when it comes to training a dog to swim safely.

This includes 5-10 minute bursts that are going to allow them to enjoy the water before coming back to you. If they don’t come back quickly, this means you have to work on them by using positive words and dog treats.

Dogs can become excited in the water making it easier for them to use up too much energy while still in the water.

No one should be in a situation where the dog doesn’t know when to swim back as soon as the call comes. This is a must!

Train your dog with the use of short bursts until they are fully trained to handle longer swims.

Tip #3 – Swim with Them

If you are going to the beach, it’s better to stay in the water with them so they are nearby.

This is a lot better than letting your dog rush into the ocean at the beach and hoping for the best. This is how dogs drown and/or get hurt when they aren’t ready for the waves.

Swimming with your dog can go a long way in keeping it safe regardless of the conditions.

By swimming close to them in the water, you are going to teach the dog to trust you in the water.

This will go a long way in training the dog to swim safely in the ocean.

Tip #4 – Use Safety Products

If your dog is just learning how to swim, why not use safety products in the water?

There are several dog vests and other solutions that can be used if you are worried about the dog. Put this on your dog and then let them out into the water.

This will allow them to get used to the conditions while staying protected. It is a good safety net to have in place as a dog owner.

The more your learn to do this, the better your results are going to be as a dog owner. Safety products go a long way in keeping dogs safe regardless of what’s happening in the water and that should be your top priority.

Final Thoughts

Can dogs swim underwater?

While dogs can’t swim underwater for more than a few seconds, it’s still important to train them to handle different types of conditions while swimming. The goal is to make sure they are prepped for these situations, especially if you are heading to a nearby beach or lake for a swim.

While most dog owners are only going to venture to a local swimming pool, it’s never a bad idea to train your dog using the tips listed here.

It is these tips that are going to ensure the dog is as safe as it can be out in the open water.

Even if you are asking, “Can dogs swim underwater?” it’s more important to get them to understand how to swim safely. This is going to take a bit of training, but most dogs are going to be natural swimmers. This makes it easier for them to pick up subtleties as time goes on.

If you want to train your dog the right way, here are a few articles that will help – training a dog to use the toilet correctly, choosing the right dog ramp for swimming pool, great dog toys for a bored dog, and how to dry a dog after going swimming.