Do Beagles like water
In general, Beagles don’t like to swim or be in the water. However, I know of a couple of Beagles that have taken to swimming naturally and never needed to be taught. Ultimately it depends upon the individual dog. If you do have a Beagle that you would like to take swimming it is ideal if you are able to get them started from a puppy.
Even a dog that is not keen on the water can be taught and encouraged to swim and may eventually grow to love it. There are many benefits to taking your dog swimming.
Benefits of swimming for Beagles
The first benefit of swimming for dogs is that it is one of the best exercises for them. It will it tire them out quickly. Ten minutes of continuous swimming is the equivalent of going for a 30 – 40-minute walk. Great for owners who have a dog with a lot of pent up energy, but are short on time. Many Beagles can be prone to being overweight due to their passion for food, so regular exercise is crucial to keep them healthy. To learn more about exercise for Beagles read here.
Swimming is also an excellent exercise to strengthen and build muscle along with their heart and lungs. To top it off, swimming is a no impact activity meaning it is not jarring their joints. If you have a dog that does have joint or tendon injuries or is recovering from surgery swimming is great for rehabilitation. In addition, dogs that suffer from Hip or Elbow dysplasia or arthritis can benefits greatly from swimming as it helps to keep their joints mobile and avoids putting undue stress on them. Learn more about Canine Hydrotherapy here.
Another advantage of taking your Beagle swimming is that it is a great way to cool off in the hot weather.
Do dogs automatically know how to swim
For the majority of dogs, swimming is quite automatic. Generally, as a dog gets into the water where their paws don’t reach the bottom, they will simply start to doggie paddle. There are some dogs such as many Mastiff that just is not built to swim. When a dog’s rear end starts to sink below their front end they will just go straight down. If you are in the water with a dog and you see this start to happen, get them out straight away. This can happen very fast so be ready to react. Don’t wait to see if they can correct their position themselves.
When first teaching your Beagle to swim, put a dog lifejacket on them. This will help them feel more confident by giving them more buoyancy. In addition, dog lifejackets have a handle on them so you can hold you Beagle up or even grab them easily if they begin to panic. Once they have gained some confidence you can even attach a rope to the handle on the lifejacket so you can control how far away from you they swim or pull them in if they need help.
Start them off in shallow water so they can walk around and comfortable and gain confidence. If you don’t have anywhere where they can start off in shallow water, a paddling pool is a good option.
Once they are comfortable in the shallow water, you can take them out so their paws don’t reach the bottom. In most cases, they will simply start to doggie paddle. Stay next to them and stay calm yourself not to over excite them. It is better to not talk to them if they are nervous or if you do, speak in a calm tone.
You can give them support by holding the handle on the lifejacket or by supporting them underneath. Give a little distance between your dog and your legs and body. If they start thrashing around they can scratch you with their claws.
Remember to be patient and stay calm. If your dog is panicking or becoming overwhelmed allow them to leave the water and have a rest. Then give it another go.
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