Are you thinking of taking your lovely Samoyed (my lovely Samoyed dog name is Middle) swimming with you and other family members this summer? This is a fantastic idea! Not only will you and your pup bond, but you two should both greatly enjoy the experience. Now, most Sammies aren’t afraid of water, but that’s not always true. That might make you wonder, can your dog swim – dog paddle?
Samoyed dogs can swim, and some have quite an adeptness in the water. If yours shies away from swimming, it’s easy to train them to get used to it. Think about all the fun pool activities you can enjoy with your Sammie, like water Frisbee, volleyball, and so much more.
If you’re willing to have some patience and encourage your dog in their swimming efforts, you can train your dog to swim just in time for the summer. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to get your Samoyed in the water and loving it.
Can Samoyeds Swim?
As we mentioned in the intro, yes, your Samoyed can swim! Of course, not every single dog has the same temperament and personality so some might not take to water as readily as others. That doesn’t mean your dog’s a lost cause. You can always train them to get more used to swimming. Make sure you keep reading, as we’ll talk about swimming training in-depth in the next section.
Your Sammy might gravitate towards pools, lakes, and other bodies of water because this breed gets very hot in the summertime. They may shed most of their thick, heavy winter coat in the spring, but they still have a good amount of fur on them in the warmer months. Imagine how you’d feel if you could only go out in the summer with a sweater on. You’d want to find a source of water, too!
Certain Samoyeds don’t like the water as much because of their coat. When it gets wet, it’s even heavier, making it tough to swim. They may have issues with buoyancy because of the hollow summer fur, which makes them feel like they’re going under.
If your dog faces any of these issues, there’s a simple fix: training!
How to Train Your Dog to Swim
You’re ready to train your Samoyed to swim so you can enjoy a memorable summer together. How do you even get started?
What You Need
Well, first you want to make sure you have the right equipment. Your dog should always wear a life vest during your initial training sessions. That’s doubly true if you’ve never seen your Samoyed in the water before. You have no idea how they’ll react. They could love it and glide right in or they could freak out and possibly sink themselves. A doggy life jacket will keep them afloat in the latter situation.
You want a life jacket that fits your dog’s body well but isn’t too tight. If your Sammy can’t move in the life jacket, it’ll just make swimming that much harder. They might not want to do it again. Also, make sure you have a freshwater source for your Samoyed to drink. All that swimming can make them thirsty, and they should not drink lake or pool water. It could upset their stomachs.
Also, keep their leash and a few favorite toys handy.
Now that you have all that, let’s get into the steps for training your Samoyed to swim.
Step #1: Guide Your Sammy into the Water
Tossing your dog off a dock or from the edge of the pool into the water is about the worst thing you can do. Some parents try to teach their kids to swim that way, and it never ends well. It’s a traumatizing experience, to say the very least.
Instead, you want to guide your Samoyed into the body of water. Stay by the shoreline or bottom pool steps. Call your dog in. If they don’t want to come, you can try another way. Bring their leash, connect it to the life jacket, and gently pull them in the water. Don’t force it, though! If your Samoyed is giving you any resistance, you have more options still.
For instance, bring their favorite toy in the water and float it by the shoreline or pool steps. That ought to get your dog in the mood for a swim pretty quickly.
Step #2: Stick with Safe, Shallow Waters First
You should definitely train your Samoyed in the water where you can see to the bottom, such as a swimming pool or a trusted pond. Lakes and rivers can be unpredictable for both human and dog, and thus not conducive for training. Also, some bodies of water aren’t the cleanest or safest. If the water has debris at the bottom, don’t train there.
You don’t want to pull your Samoyed in too deep at the beginning. Instead, stick to shallow waters. Let your dog get a feel for the water and find their swimming legs. Your pup could possibly reach the bottom in this shallow water and stand up. That’s okay! It’s much better than floundering.
Step #3: Stay Close to Your Dog as They Swim
Once your Samoyed gets used to the shallow water, their natural curiosity could take over and they’ll want to venture out further. If they weren’t doing so already, they’ll start swimming. To keep them confident and maintain their form, brace their body. Put a hand beneath their stomach for extra support. Make sure you don’t obstruct your dog from swimming as you do so.
Step #4: Don’t Always Expect Linear Progress
Some Sammies will get out this deep and realize they love swimming. Others will try to get back to shallower waters. If that happens to your pup, don’t feel too disheartened. You can always try another day. In fact, that brings us to our next point…
Step #5: Keep Training Sessions Short at First
If your Samoyed has never swum before, the very act of getting in the water can drain them. It’s all that excitement and nervousness. Don’t push your dog too far or for too long. If you spend 15 minutes in the water that first day, that’s good enough. Bring your Sammy back on solid ground and do it all again soon!
Step #6: Practice Makes Perfect
Don’t expect to train your Samoyed to swim in a single day. It won’t happen, especially if they’re not big fans of the water. Like any other training, you need to keep at it over the long haul. Take them out to the water every day if you can, or at least every few days. Gradually increase how long the two of you spend swimming.
Within a few weeks (or maybe longer), you should hopefully have a Samoyed that loves swimming with you.
What to Do if Your Samoyed Doesn’t Take to the Water
You tried training your Samoyed to swim following the advice in the last section. It didn’t quite work as expected. There’s a myriad of reasons you didn’t get the results you wanted. Let’s talk about these now so you can work to overcome them.
- If you have a young Samoyed puppy, you shouldn’t train them to swim right away. Let them grow a bit bigger and stronger and then try it.
- The same applies to older Sammies. In their golden years, dogs don’t have the mobility, flexibility, or strength they once did. You shouldn’t teach them swimming at this age.
- It’s normal for a Samoyed to hesitate at the shoreline or pool steps if they don’t have much swimming experience. With more training, they should get over this hump.
- If your Sammy still isn’t catching on with swimming, consider where you’re taking them. As we mentioned, the body of water should be a safe, clean place. Also, the shallower, the better. If the water’s over your head, how do you think your dog will feel?
- Have you taken breaks if your Samoyed shows signs of fatigue? Pushing them to keep going can make them dislike swimming. If they’re panting or slowing down, pull them from the water. You might go home now or give them some time to recover. Either way, respect their energy levels.
Q: Do Samoyeds enjoy swimming?
A: While some dogs will go in the pool sparingly because they don’t like to swim, that’s not true with the Samoyed. These dogs quite like moving in the water. They’re gifted with swimming skills, which makes them enjoy the activity all the more. As we’ve said, this isn’t always universally true with every Samoyed, but it is with a lot of them.
Q: Is it easy to clean your dog up after a swimming session?
A: You might want to brush your Sammy before you take them swimming, especially if you have your own pool. This should reduce the tufts of water floating in the water. If you do see these tufts, get them out immediately with your pool skimmer. Otherwise, the fur can get stuck in your filter and mess things up.
After your Samoyed has had a fun time in the water, cap off the day with a bath. You don’t want chlorine lingering on your dog’s skin. Even if they swam in a lake or a pond, you should bathe them anyway.