Finding the right dog for your family means choosing one that will fit right into your lifestyle and activities. If you consider getting a Sheepadoodle and love to engage in outdoor fun, you may be wondering if Sheepadoodles are good swimmers.
Sheepadoodles are excellent swimmers, and they absolutely love the water. While some may not immediately take it up, Sheepadoodles are genetically inclined to enjoy the water. You can enjoy several fun swimming activities with your dog once they become accustomed to the water.
While Sheeppoos usually tend to take to water naturally, you can do a few things as the pet parent to ensure they become comfortable early on.
Can Sheepadoodles Swim?
Thanks to their Poodle parent, Sheepadoodles are brilliant swimmers. Poodles were bred to be water retrievers. Many don’t know this, but Poodles have webbed feet that help them swim efficiently! Fortunately, Sheeppoos inherit the swimming trait.
However, it is normal for dogs to have different personalities and preferences. While one Sheepadoodle puppy may jump into the water at the sight of it, another may initially be reluctant and take some time getting used to it.
However, with the right training, all of them can effectively learn how to swim and can become a part of your family trips to the lake.
Tips to Teach Your Sheepadoodle to Swim
It is important not to assume that your Sheepadoodle naturally knows how to swim. While some may start swimming with their first dip in the water, others could need some assistance.
Regardless, it is important to take baby steps with your puppy; their first introduction to water should be monitored carefully. Here are some steps you can follow to ensure your puppy stays safe and learns to love the water.
- Introduce your puppy to the water in a safe environment. You can take them to the beach and walk them near the waves on a leash. If they seem to be enjoying it, let them play in the waves while being close to them the entire time.
If you don’t live near the beach, you can improvise and let their first-time be in a shallow bathtub!
- Their first time in a pool or a lake should be with you. You can either jump into the water yourself or hold your puppy as you slowly lower their paws into the water and gauge their reaction. The first time should be entirely monitored, and you must support their body weight.
- Show them how to paddle. If your Sheepadoodle pup seems to be enjoying the water and begins to paddle with the front legs, hold their back legs and teach them how to float in water. It is important that you do not let go the first few times.
- Keep the process slow and steady. Your puppy will eventually become confident with water and begin to paddle its paws in it. Once they decide to swim, make sure you show them where to get in and out of the water.
For example, make sure you hold them and enter them through the shallow side of the lake or the stairs in the pool, so they know where to go if they need to get out.
- Keep it safe. Even if your dog is eager to swim and seems to be doing it right, keep them on a comfortable and long leash during the first few times. This will prevent accidents.
- Build a positive association. Your Sheepadoodle will learn to love the water if they associate it with a positive and happy time! Let them see you enjoy in the water and give them lots of praises, treats and playtime on pool/beach days. They will start looking forward to time around the water.
Be Patient With Your Sheepadoodle
At any point in the process, don’t force your Sheepadoodle to be in the water if they seem to be scared or aren’t enjoying it. Instead, let them hang out near you while you enjoy in the water. They will eventually want to join you!
It is also important to not exhaust them in the initial period; their first time swimming should only be 5-10 minutes. Remember that this is playtime, not rigorous training or exercise.
How Old Should Puppies Be Before Swimming?
While very young puppies should be kept away from water, your Sheepadoodle should be ready to be introduced to the water around 10 weeks of age. However, this varies depending on how your dog responds.
Some may be as old as five months when they finally become confident enough to take a dip in the water. If your pup is a water-lover, don’t be afraid to take them in. The sooner they start learning swimming, the better swimmers they will be as adults.
It will also depend on their training. Your puppy should be brought into a water body only after you have perfected basic commands with them to ensure safety. Make sure they can focus on you, respond to their name, come when called, and stop doing what they are doing when you tell them ‘no.’
Water Safety for Dogs
A Sheepadoodle that loves to swim can be difficult to keep away from the water; don’t be surprised if your champion swimmer gets excited at the sight of water and unexpectedly jumps in!
While Sheepadoodles who like to swim can seemingly never have enough, it falls on you as the pet parent to ensure the experience remains safe for them.
- If you are at the beach, watch out for strong currents.
- Keep your dog hydrated during beach trips so that they don’t drink ocean water, which can make them sick.
- If you have a pool at home, cover it or install a fence around it to keep your dog from unsupervised swimming.
- Ensure that there is a ramp or stairs in your pool so your dog can climb out easily.
- Watch the water temperature. Water that is too cold is unsafe for most dog breeds.
- If you take your dog out to a large water body, consider investing in a dog life jacket to keep them afloat.
- Avoid water bodies that contain green algae since this can make dogs sick.
- Regardless of whether your dog swims in a pool, lake, or river, rinse them off with fresh water after the swim. This will wash off harmful salts, chlorine, anlage, and other skin irritants.
- Thoroughly dry your dog, especially their ears. Water retained in the ears can quickly cause infections.
A Sheepadoodle can be the ideal companion for a family that loves to swim. With a safe approach, you can enjoy not only swimming but also water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding with your beloved fur buddy!