Are Aussiedoodles Good Swimmers?
If you live close to water or have a summer cottage, owning a dog that can swim is important. There are quite a few types of water dogs to choose from, like retrievers, hunting dogs, or natural water dogs, just plain old dogs who love swimming. But are Aussiedoodles good swimmers?
As a general rule, Aussiedoodles are good swimmers. However, they are not natural water dogs. In some cases, they need to be taught to like water and swim, and with the right degree of reinforcement, they eventually evolve into good swimmers.
Having a dog that enjoys swimming is pure ecstasy for people who love water. The idea of spending time at the beach and enjoying the water together is bliss. Whether or not your Aussiedoodle shares, the same enthusiasm would become apparent over a period of time.
Well, Aussiedoodles are hybrid of two breeds of dogs – Australian shepherds and Poodles. Both breeds are intelligent, and between them, it is the Poodle, a natural swimmer. This implies that an Aussiedoodle’s ability to swim is inherited from its poodle parent, wherein the stronger the poodle gene, the higher is the doodle’s bias towards the water.
In comparison, Australian Shepherds take to water when they are exposed to it from a young age. Therefore, Aussiedoodles from water-friendly parents enjoy frolicking in water more than their counterparts who might be more reserved.
Can Aussiedoodles Swim?
Energetic by nature, Aussiedoodles are very playful and enjoy lots of different exercises. But their attitude towards water and swimming varies. The Australian shepherd is not a water dog, while the Poodle ranks among dogs that can swim. They have webbed feet, paws, and coats, which aid them in water, and were initially raised as retrievers of ducks and other water birds.
Aussiedoodles whose genes sway towards the Poodle are likely to enjoy the water, mostly if they have inherited webbed feet and paws. On the other hand, those who are more like the Australian shepherd may not be attracted to water. This does not mean that they won’t be able to swim. Instead, they can be taught to like water by being exposed to it from an early age.
Inspiring Your Aussiedoodle to Swim
Getting your Aussiedoodle to like swimming is a process. First, they need to feel safe while in water. Second, it is new territory for them. Start by working in shallow water for a few minutes and then getting back onto the ground. This way, the dog learns to get out of the water and hop onto the land whenever it wants.
The Buddy system is another effective way of introducing your doodle to swimming. In this process, you wade into the water, closely hugging the dog. You remain by their side and guide their movements. On their part, Aussiedoodles appreciate the closeness and feel more secure when you are with them all through the water time.
In the beginning, doodle pups may not float, and it is okay to use dog floaters to make them feel safe and prevent them from drowning. However, some doodles may not be comfortable being in the water, regardless of their assurances, despite all safeguards being in place.
In case your Aussiedoodle falls into this category, just let them be. Their cousin the Sheeoadoodle is a good swimmer.
Aussiedoodles Swimming Tutorials
Teaching Aussiedoodles how to swim is fun. Since these dogs are active and energized, they will cooperate if you start the process by water play. Here are some basic guidelines to begin water training –
- Start your lessons at home using a kiddy pool with just the floor covered with water. These are warm-up classes that enable the doodle to get used to the sensation of being wet. Next, add some toys to the kiddy pool to make the process more enjoyable. The critical point is that at the beginning, they go for shallow waters where they can stand comfortably.
- Let your Aussiedoodle feel safe by clinging on to you as they explore and splash in the water. Never leave them by themselves to find their way out. By doing this, you only make them more insecure.
- A good response needs to be rewarded. So praise your doodle and reward it as it makes progress playing in the water. This can be done by giving it treats.
Aussiedoodles and Water Sports
Now that your Aussiedoodle is used to being in the water and can paddle, it is time to make swimming more fun. There are several water sports that dogs enjoy and revel in, like –
Retrieving Bird Bounty
Most dogs enjoy this sport, mostly pups, and doodles are no exception. Throw toys in the water, and the role of the Aussiedoodle is to retrieve them. You can do this for minutes, hours, or until the doodle is exhausted. This way, they are also able to improve their swimming skills.
Once your doodle learns how to balance on the board, this sport can be fun. It also facilitates exploring the waters. However, be warned that this sport can also be dangerous if the dog is not trained. The first step to take before starting to paddleboard in water is to train your dog while on land. Please do not take your Aussiedoodle in the water until they have mastered this art.
A Good Boating Companion
This sport makes it possible to get into deep waters and explore. When boating, always carry a life jacket for your doodle just in case it cannot resist jumping in to chase fish or weeds.
Canoeing in Deeper Waters
This sport is not so different from paddle boarding. It is very relaxing for both dogs and humans. However, before going out in a canoe, you will need to ensure that both you and your Aussiepoo are safe. Also, ensure that there are no strong currents before getting into the water.
This is another exciting sport that involves your Aussiepoo riding a surfboard. Always ensure that the doodle has gripped the surfboard using its paws. This sport is only suitable for a dog with high swimming skills, so observe your doodle’s abilities before taking it out to surf.
Render Swimming Safe for the Aussiepoodle
As always, ‘prevention is better than cure.’ Swimming is great. However, it is still good to acknowledge that accidents can happen. While swimming, your Aussiedoodle can be in danger. So what are the safety measures that can be taken?
- Conduct a prior check of the water before going in for a swim. Some water bodies, especially rivers, have algae that can be poisonous for your Aussiedoodle.
- When out with your doodle, you become the sole caretaker. You are not only a companion but also a guardian and a veterinarian. As a safety precaution, take some first aid lessons. This will enable you to handle any emergencies when they happen.
- The water current can be hazardous. Rivers that flow very fast, waterfall areas, and high current lakes or sea need to be avoided. Aussiedoodles can easily drown while swimming in tall present water bodies.
Ensure that your Aussiepoodle has a safe and enjoyable swimming experience rather than a fearful and traumatic one.
What Follows After Swimming
Swimming is an excellent activity for your doodles but may affect them in specific ways. Therefore, it is essential to check on your dogs after every swim to ensure no injuries.
Cleaning their Coat
Most pool water has chlorine in them. This chemical is not so friendly to the dog’s skin and coat. It may cause the skin to be dry and itch. You may also notice your doodle’s dark coat color having been bleached. Chlorine does have the effect of causing darker colors to fade.
To avoid all these effects, you need to rinse your doodle’s coat with cold water. Rinsing should be done for a long time to ensure that all the chlorine and other chemicals from the pool have been rinsed. Use a conditioner after cleaning. It would help if you toweled dry the coat or blow-dry where necessary. It is also good to always wash the dog using a moisturizing shampoo at least once as a weekly routine.
Doodles that swim are prone to ear infections because water enters the ear during the activity. This creates a wet environment in the ear canal and wherein the bacteria and yeast proliferate. Therefore, it is essential to dry the dog’s ears with a towel or earballs. You can consult with a good veterinarian for ear wash recommendations if you feel that it might work.
Aussiedoodles can be good swimmers courtesy of their inheritance from the Poodle or good training or both. It is also important to note that not all Aussiedoodles are going to be great in the water. Some hate getting wet, and it is expected, as they may have taken after the Australian shepherd.
To ensure that your doodles enjoy swimming, and activities like water sports help. This way, they get to improve their swimming skills and also have fun in the process. Aussiedoodles are naturally playful and full of energy. However, they need to have lots of exercises, and swimming comes across as a great option.
When starting them off, introduce them gradually, allow them to deal with their fear for water, and assure them of safety. Then, most of the time, be prepared to get into the water with them and aid in their movements.
Aussiedoodles are also good learners, and although it may take time to train them, they will eventually evolve into swimmers.