Like humans, some dogs are more comfortable in the water than other. One reason could be that some dog races were bred for working in water.
But you can teach almost any dog to be have a more positive attitude towards water.
Having a labradoodle that loves the water, can have several advantages. Partly because swimming and playing in the water is a very gentle form of exercise. And partly because it’s just great to be able to cool down in the water on a hot day.
There are several tricks you can deploy to teach your
A plain sandy beach works wonders
If you want to teach your Labradoodle to swim, it’s best if you find a beach with easy access to the water. Large hills and lots of stones isn’t the best environment.
A plain beach where the dog gets to decide at which speed it want to proceed, it preferable.
Treats and toys
Let your dog play along the edge of the water. If it likes toys, perhaps bring a toy that floats. You might even experience that your labradoodle forgets that it is in the water, and just focus on the playing.
If your dog prefers treats over toys, you can even get treats that floats. Throw a bunch of those in the water and let your dog splash around after them.
When the dog seems comfortable with the water, try throwing the toys or treats even further into the water, and see if your dog might even dare to take a few strokes after them.
Learning the technique
At the start when the labradoodle is learning to swim, it might splash a lot, as the dog will mostly use its front paws above the water surface.
The dog might look a bit panicky, but as soon at it discovers that it actually floats, it will usually become calmer, and discover that it’s easier to swim with the front paws below the water surface.
Join the dog in the water
If you want to help the dog to realize that it will actually float when in the water, you can put a life jacket on it to begin with. And you might join it in the water, where you can hold it in the handle thats usually attached to the back of a life jacket for dogs.
This will be a big help, and sense of security for your dog.
Experienced dogs are good teachers
A good idea might also to bring a dog that is extremely comfortable around water, and let it play with the insecure dog. Usually, it won’t take much time before the behavior of the experienced dog will carry over to the other dog, and it will try to follow along for the ride.
So if you’ve ever said to yourself, “can I teach my labradoodle to swim?” The answer is almost always yes.
For more training tips, check out this guide by the dog expert Adrienne Farricelli. (affiliate link.)