Are you confused about whether you should introduce your border collie to water or not? Or are you looking for tips on how to teach your little companion how to swim?
Don’t worry at all. I have trained my border collie swimming by myself. Hence, I am here to share my experience!
Do Border Collies Like Water?
Yes, they do! Especially if they see their owners swimming or having fun in the water. However, many factors determine whether a border collie likes the water or not, which is why some dogs will enjoy it more than others.
Can Border Collies Swim?
Dogs that have been encouraged to swim since puppyhood will generally enjoy swimming. Swimming is an excellent exercise for Border Collies, as it helps to expend their high levels of energy on hot summer days.
Swimming is an entertaining as well as a healthy activity for Border Collies. Border Collies are usually natural swimmers, but for others, it’s a skill that they need to learn. You would be glad to know that you can teach swimming to your little companion by yourself.
Keep reading the article to learn more about the benefits of swimming for Border Collies.
Benefits of Swimming for Border Collies
Just like humans, swimming is also a healthy activity for dogs. According to Dr. Arleigh Reynolds:
“1 minute’s swimming is equivalent to about 4 minutes of running.”
Your super-smart pooch would get numerous health benefits from swimming. Some of these benefits are as follows:
1. Strengthening Muscles
A study published in “The science daily” in 2016 found that dogs who participated in aquatic exercise for 20 minutes a day for six weeks had stronger muscles than those who did not swim.
So don’t be surprised when I tell you that swimming can strengthen your workaholic pup’s muscles.
If they consistently do this process for a few months, it will protect them against injuries sustained during normal exercises.
2. Improving Spirits & Mental Well-being
It has been found that even highly intelligent breeds of dogs, such as Border Collies, can face some mental issues if they do not get enough stimulation and entertainment. Swimming can be a fun activity for your Collie. Moreover, a happily worn-out dog is more likely to go to sleep and can get the restorative benefits of a good night’s sleep.
3. Decrease Recovery Time
Has your herding dog got injured? Swimming in warm water can help him to recover faster than normal. Warm water has countless benefits for dogs’ health. Firstly, It decreases recovery time, and secondly, it reduces the pain of injured dogs.
4. Burn Calories as a Benefit of Swimming
Swimming is a great way to burn calories, and Border Collies are no exception. According to this study, a Border Collie can burn about 240 calories per hour swimming. This means that a Border Collie can burn about 10 calories per minute swimming.
Other physical activities like running and Hiking could be very difficult for fat Border Collies. Sometimes, these heavy activities can also get them injured.
That’s why swimming can be really the best activity for them. Besides fun, it will help them burn calories, and eventually, it will help them lose some weight.
5. Best for Dogs With Wealth or Structural Problems
Your little companion might be fragile and weak. In this situation, heavy physical activities can damage his health. Swimming is a healthy activity for Border Collies. Moreover, swimming in warm water can help them to recover faster.
Why Might a Border Collie Not Like Water or Swimming?
If your Border Collie is not liking water or swimming, then there could be many reasons behind it. Mostly it depends on their nature.
Some of the reasons that your Border Collie does not like water or swimming could be as follows:
Usually, Collies are energetic and love physical activities, but it’s not a hard and fast rule. Some dogs don’t like to swim and if that’s the reason, don’t force them to swim because it could have some bad impacts on their mental health.
2. Frightened of a Larger Body of Water
If your Border Collie has grown up in a home and has never seen more water than a bathtub in his whole life, then he could be frightened from a large amount of water. It may overwhelm your dog at first.
3. Past Unpleasant Experiences
Your dog may also hate water or swimming because of some past unpleasant experiences. Most dogs dislike to bathe. If this is unpleasant for them, it could be that they don’t like swimming.
How to Introduce a Border Collie to Water for The First Time?
Are you worried about introducing your little Collie to water for the first time? Don’t worry at all. I have got your back!
My Collie was also very scared of water. But, now it’s a professional swimmer; here are some of the takeaways from my journey:
1. Go Slowly
If your Collie doesn’t like water at all, then you should start with shallow water. Then, see where it feels safe and gradually increase the depth over time. Usually, 100 feet (ca. 30 m) from the shore is considered a safe level.
2. Give Them Some Treats
At the end of the process, give them some high-value treats. It will encourage him to do more in the future.
3. Don’t Forget to Have Some Fun
If your dog sees you happy near the water, they will be more willing to join you!
4. Use Life Jackets
Using life jackets can help build confidence in them. If you don’t know which jacket is best for your dog, check out some of the highest-reviewed life jackets on Amazon.
How to Teach a Border Collie to Swim (step by Step)
Teaching your dog how to swim is different from introducing him to water. If you haven’t introduced your little border collie to water, I suggest you first follow the above steps and then more to this second stage of swimming.
The doggy-paddle may come naturally to certain dogs; however, swimming is a skill that needs to be learned for the vast majority. Here are 6 steps to teach your dog how to swim.
Step #1: Choose a Quiet Spot for The First Swim Lesson
Your little puppy might get confused if you take it to a crowded place for the first swim lesson. Secondly, there are also a lot of germs in the pool where a lot of dogs swim. So, take your Border Collie to a quiet place where the little soul feels comfortable.
Step #2: Pack The Essentials
It’s also necessary to have some essential items with you! Here is a short checklist of some essential items for you:
- Use a Life jacket
- Don’t forget the sun protection
- Some reward gifts for your dog
Step #3: Start Slowly
Just as we introduced our little buddy to the water, we need to teach him to swim slowly. Take him to a place where the water is shallow, so he feels safe, and never leave him alone during the training process.
Repeat the steps several times so that your workaholic dog is ready for big adventures!
Step #4: Gradually Move to Deeper Water
No matter if your dog has learned to swim well or not, don’t put him in the deepest water right away. Instead, first, keep the water depth according to your height because your dog might push you underwater with his paws.
Step #5: Let Them Swim on a Regular Basis
Most Border Collies are natural swimmers, but it’s a skill that takes time and energy to learn for some. Here, “consistency is the key!”. Don’t take long breaks during swimming lessons because the herding dog might forget the previous lessons.
Key Things to Remember While Teaching a Border Collie to Swim
Now, you are aware of the process of teaching your Collie how to swim. Let’s have a look at the key things that you should remember while teaching a Border Collie to swim.
Here are some of the key things to remember:
- Make sure your dog has a life vest
- Never leave your dog unsupervised around the water!
- Install a pool fence or safety alarm
- Make sure your dog knows where the steps or ramp are located
- In lakes or other natural bodies of water, vaccinate your dog against giardia
- Avoid swimming in water over your own head. A panicked pooch may try to “climb aboard” and push you under.
- To prevent bloat, wait for 1 ½ to 2 hours after eating before taking a swim.
- Keep the directions to the nearest emergency veterinarian on hand – just in case!
Now, you might have a clear understanding of the relationship of Border Collie with water. Some of them like to play in the water, but some might not like water at all. You might also have a clear understanding of how to introduce your little paw to water and teach him about swimming.
If you find this information interesting, then share it with your loved ones. It will help me to reach more people.