Some dogs appear to have been born to be in water . Not only are they good swimmers, they also love to play or just relax by the sea or by the pool. If your pet is one of those who have a certain fondness for water , you should know that there are water sports designed for them. So here’s how to teach your dog to dive underwater.
Tips for teaching your dog to dive underwater
Before you start teaching your dog to dive, it is essential to be clear about a few tips to ensure his safety. These are some of the preventive measures and the main instructions for performing this water sport with your four-legged friend:
Choose a place suitable for diving
You should never start any activities with the dog in an unfamiliar environment . Carelessness jeopardizes everyone’s well-being and even your pet’s health. First, you will need to know this place, the different depths, the soil, the possible dangers, the quality and opacity of the water, etc.
Once you are familiar with the place, you need to choose an ideal place to start the training. It is essential to prefer calm, clear waters, such as a swimming pool or lake that has enough depth for diving, but allows you to control the dog simply by standing.
You must ensure that this site is free of obstacles and any sharp or dangerous objects that may be hit. The dog must dive into the water and dive first, so any obstacle could cause him a very serious trauma.
Accustom the dog gradually
Even if your dog loves water, remember that the diving experience is something completely new to him. Therefore, it is important to respect the adaptation times of each specimen and to stimulate it with the use of positive reinforcement .
You should never force or coerce your friend into the water or dive when he doesn’t show he wants to or, even worse, if he appears fearful and insecure on a certain day. In addition, it is essential to make sure that the dog feels comfortable in the chosen environment. If the animal is wary or scared, you can try to encourage him positively, using toys and pastimes that can attract his curiosity .
Introduce the activity to the dog
Teaching the dog to dive underwater means introducing a new activity, which should feel like a game . Fun and entertainment pretend to be a positive element that will allow you to transmit and memorize commands and movements.
To do this, you’ll start by collecting his favorite toy. The shape does not matter much, but it is essential that the toy chosen floats in the water and is very showy . Next, you will sit next to your best friend and show him the object in question. Shake the object to grab his attention and encourage him to follow. Then, finally, you will throw the toy into the water and encourage the dog to jump in to find it and have it brought back.
Whenever he successfully completes this activity, it is essential to reward him with a suitable reward. The animal must understand that we are happy and proud when it dives, swims and finds the thrown object.
Get the dog used to dive from above
To dive, the dog will often find himself diving into the water from a raised dock, platform or ramp. This will allow him to reach the appropriate depth to collect the desired object. Again, you’ll have to be patient and allow your pet home to adapt, respecting their own pace.
When your dog feels comfortable on these elevated surfaces, it will be time to encourage him to jump into the water. To do this, you will have to place him about 10 meters from the water and sit on the edge from which, of course, the dog will jump.
Once positioned on the ramp, platform or trampoline, you will call your little dog and encourage him to run and jump into the water to grab his toy. Logically, you will continue with the tactic of rewarding him for every successful activity.
The delicate moment of real immersion
The previous activity should be repeated as many times as you deem necessary , until the dog does it correctly. That is to say, he will get used to diving into the water without showing any signs of fear, taking the toy and carrying it back to your hands. Only then can you move on to the next level. That of real immersion .
As you may have already understood, this time the object to be thrown will change. You will need a ball that sinks completely into the clear water. It should be sized in proportion to your dog’s mouth, easy to bite and a striking color. You will try to facilitate the animal’s task as much as possible.
You will proceed in the same way as seen so far, encouraging your dog to run, jump into the water and search for the object. In moderation, you can throw the object further and further , always guaranteeing a reward to your best friend for his effort and skill shown.
Teaching your dog to dive underwater requires dedication, positive reinforcement and perseverance. Training sessions should be short, 30 to 40 minutes , but only 3-4 times a week. A dog can be successfully trained to do just about anything. But only if his master shows him affection, respect and patience.