Teaching Your Dog to Enjoy Watersports Activities

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Teaching Your Dog to Enjoy Watersports Activities

Dog enjoying the lake.

Many dogs begin to shake when they walk into a boat. They start to squint and lie down in the hopes of safety. Many times, they’ll let out a groan to show their discomfort no matter how much the owners try to alleviate the problem. Dogs are natural swimmers, but they tend to get frightened of the water when they’re not exposed to it. The following are some ways we think is helpful to get your dog to enjoy watersports with you.

To succeed in this activity, you’re required the following equipment and virtues:

Patience- To help your dog feel comfortable around the water, they’ll need to see that you’re calm. Showing anger will not assist the situation, and it will only aggravate them.

Experience- You want to be comfortable paddling the boat by yourself. Putting an extra focus on your anxious pet and your safety. If you’re a beginner, we don’t suggest doing this activity.

Treats- Always work with positive reinforcement because it encourages best behaviors.

Leash and life vest– It may look silly seeing dogs in a life vest, but you never know what happens in cases of the unexpected. They may end up jumping at the sight of a duck or when a fish jumps in the air. Along with a life vest, it’s best to have them on the leash so that they can only go as far as the leash extends.

Once you have everything you need, the following are steps to teach your dog to enjoy watersports:

  1. Before you bring the boat into the water, have your dog explore the vessel.
  2. When you’re still on land, guide your dog to the boat with a leash. Only use encouragement for them to explore it.
  3. When your dog is on the vessel, practice common tricks such as lay, sit, and stay.
  4. Partially move the boat to the shore, and eventually, work your way to the water. Only do this when your dog shows ease. Repeat steps one to three as you work your way up to the water.
  5. Slowly move the vessel to the water. Sit down with your dog, and give more encouragement.

Do not do the following:

Intimidation- It doesn’t help both parties when coercion is used. Doing this only brings unnecessary stress.

Gentle process– Keep in mind that your dog will not easily understand what is happening. Expect them to be afraid. To help them get use to the boat, start easy.