Can Jack Russells Swim

Do Jack Russells like water

Jack Russell waterIn general, most Jack Russells love to swim. However, I know of a couple of Jack Russells that avoid the water at all costs. Jack Russells that have taken to swimming naturally never need to be taught. It is something that just comes quite naturally to them, like chewing a bone. Ultimately it depends upon the individual dog. If you do have a Jack Russell 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 Jack Russells

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. As Jack Russells are a high energy breed swimming is an ideal exercise for them. To learn more about exercise for Jack Russells 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 by not putting undue stress on them. Learn more about Canine Hydrotherapy here.

Another advantage of taking your Jack Russell 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 isn’t 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.

Jack Russell Swimming

As most dogs automatically know how to swim it is more a case of water confidence rather than swimming lessons as such. When first teaching your Jack Russell 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 your Jack Russell 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 or given their short legs the bathtub will work.

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.

Summary – Can Jack Russells swim

Jack Russells are great swimmers as long as you introduce them to the water and allow them to gain confidence first. If they have a bad experience from the start they are likely to not want to do it. Use a dog lifejacket to get started to help build their confidence and to give them additional buoyancy. Swimming is one of the best types of exercise for a high energy dog like the Jack Russells as it is low impact on the joints, builds muscle and burns energy in a short time.

Remember, be safe and have fun in the water.

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