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As Las Vegas dog trainers, many of our clients have pools. What better way to cool down than a cool splash in the pool? A pool is a great way to prevent your dog from heatstroke or dhyradtion. However, pools can be a source of danger for dogs and kids alike if some safety rules are not followed.

Remember that not all dogs know how to swim or even like to swim. If you have one of the breeds listed below, they may not like to swim:

  • Bulldogs
  • Pugs
  • Pekingese
  • Basset hound
  • Boxer
  • Staffordshire Terrier
  • Dachshund

It is a bad assumption that if you dog is not one of the breeds listed above that he can swim! If you have a pool, you may want to teach your dog to swim even if he doesn’t like to swim. This is not cruel, just safe in case your dog accidentally falls in. On excessively hot days, the pool is an ideal area for everyone to cool down and have some fun.

Keeping Your Pool Area Safe
Most building codes and pet owners like to have a large tarp to cover their pool when not in use. This should apply to your kids as well as your dogs! The most important is to never leave your dog unattended in the pool area without a barrier installed. Because your dog may like to jump in and out of the pool, be sure to clear the area of anything he can trip on.  Is your pool deck slippery? If it is slippery for you, it’s slippery for your dog. Our canine companions can fall and injure joints and bones just like we do.

Keep your pool filled to the brim with water. Dogs who panic and try to exit the pool from somewhere else besides the steps can do so more easily when the water level is close to the pool deck. Be careful not to overfill your pool, as the filtration system may not function properly if you do.

Set Pool Safety Expectations

  • Families often have friends and family members over. Make sure you tell them whether your dog likes to swim or not so they can be cautious.
  • If you are having a pool party, put a life jacket with a handle on your dog in case he panics with all the confusion. It will also make him easier to get out should you have to rescue him.
  • If a crowd is going to make your dog anxious, put him safely in his crate in another room. His crate can be his haven.
  • Make sure your kids understand the rules for the dog being around the pool.
  • Keep an eye on how tired your dog is. Swimming can be an exhausting exercise and your dog may not realize how fatigued he is. Just like many dogs will chase a ball or Frisbee again and again until they nearly collapse, many dogs will continue swimming without any thought as to how tired they are. And unlike chasing a ball on land, they have no solid ground on which to rest.Encourage dog breaks so your dog can drink fresh water versus chlorinated pool water.

Train Your Dog To Enter and Exit the Pool Safely
For most dogs, swimming is a natural exercise. Understand that he will try and exit where he entered. The best place for your dog to enter and exit is at the steps. To teach your dog the right way to get in and out:

  • Attach a leash to the collar. The leash will serve as the guide instead of grabbing the collar directly.
  • Gently place your dog into the pool from the steps. He will instinctively turn around and get out from the point of entry — the steps. Repeat this exercise several times.
  • Once your dog realizes he can scramble out via the steps, move to the other sides of the pool and place your dog gently into the pool. Never throw him … this could give him a life-long fear of pools. Use the leash to guide him to the step area, providing as little help as is necessary.

Don’t push your dog too hard. If your dog is anxious or afraid, try again later.

When in doubt, hire BarkBusters Las Vegas to help your dog overcome his pool fears. We help many dogs overcome different types of fears … to pools, strangers, food, objects, etc. Bark Busters is often called upon to handle the tough cases that other dog training systems are just not equipped to handle.


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