Pool safety for puppies should be your number one concern if you just bought a puppy and you have a pool. We all think about the safety of our kids around the water but puppies are in just as much danger. Hundreds of dogs drown each year in their own backyard family pool. One of the first things we learn our new puppies at Bama Huskies is how to get out of the pool. Dogs are natural swimmers but if they can’t get out of a pool they will eventually tire of treading the water and drown. They should be able to figure out how to get to the steps but in a panic they don’t always find the steps. Some dogs will just focus on the nearest exit spot which would be the side of the pool wall and use all of their energy trying to climb out until they are too tired to swim any longer. Most dogs won’t be able to climb out of an above ground pool and some in ground pools would be hard to get out of too. They have all that water in their fur that will weight them down while trying to lift up out of the water. Long haired dogs really struggle. Puppies will never be able to do it.
We always start out parallel with the pool steps so the puppies can easily find their footing on the steps and get out of the water quickly. You don’t want them struggling and getting scared of the water the first time you introduce them to the pool. Always start very close to the steps and guide them with your hands if they start swimming in the wrong direction. The most important thing they are going to learn right now is where the steps are so they can climb out of the water to safety. Do this a few times and then stop and move on to other fun activities but consistently do this every day for a couple of weeks. I know it’s a lot more fun to get in the pool with them but it will be harder to get them to learn where the steps are if you’re in the pool with them. They tend to swim to you instead of the pool steps. For their safety they must learn to get out of the pool by themselves.
Once they learn where and how to get out of the pool, you can get in with them and move them further out from the steps. Start by keeping them pointed straight at the steps and let them go. They should naturally head right for the steps without hesitation. Guide them if they go in the wrong direction but make them swim on their own to the steps. Just like training them to do anything, be consistent and they will learn how to do it in a short time. Some puppies are smarter than others and will pick up on it almost instantly while others may need more work. Learning them how to get out of the pool safely will be the most important thing you teach them if you have a pool. Even if you don’t plan on letting them swim in your pool they should still be taught how to get out of it because accidents happen.
Our play time here at the kennel is a little different than a normal family that buys a husky puppy from us would be. We have a lot more dogs and they are always at different stages of life. Our smaller puppies get out to play with our family while our big dogs are resting or playing in a different part of the kennel unless we are right there with them. Huskies play hard and smaller puppies can easily get hurt because the big dogs will run them over not paying attention to them. Knocking them off in the pool can be a big concern and that is why they learn all about the pool as soon as possible. Even under supervision a puppy could drown quickly if they fell into the water and couldn’t get out. There are so many distractions in today’s world and never leave anything to chance. Another good idea would be to learn how to administer dog cpr. You never know when you may need to use it to save your dogs life.
Here is a video we made yesterday of Lexi and Simba being introduced to the pool for the first time. Just baby steps for puppies but they will be swimming like a fish in no time.
We will post their progress soon.