We all agree about the fact that some dogs swim better than others. The main reason for it we can find in their genes and physical abilities to perform certain skills. When we talk about Shiba Inus, it’s important to mention that they don’t belong to water dogs. However, you’ve probably seen some Shibas handle perfectly in open waters and enjoy swimming. Why is that so? Getting your Shiba Inu to learn how to swim properly is important, especially if you love to spend the summer by the sea, pool, river, or ocean.
Are Shiba Inus Good Swimmers?
We can say that swimming is not the Shiba Inus’ cup of tea. These fluffy pooches will try everything to avoid it, however, if you create a positive association with open water from an early age, there’s a high possibility that your dog will love to swim. If introduced correctly, they can develop an affinity for swimming which might surprise some people because these pooches hate getting wet! That’s why they’re often called ‘cats in a dogs’ suits’. Shiba Inus are obsessive about cleanliness and do not like to be dirty.
If you’re the owner of this breed, then you’ve probably noticed your pet licks his fur and paws when he/she gets back from a stroll. It’s the way how he/she cleans his body from outdoor elements such as mud, pollen, dirt, and scents that don’t make him/her feel pleasant.
Aside from this, it’s also important to mention that most Shibas would try to escape walking on puddles as much as they can. Therefore, you can imagine how uncomfortable they feel when they are wet.
How to teach your Shiba Inu to love swimming?
The key factor that will affect your Shiba Inu’s love for swimming is bathing. To live with a water lover furry friend, you have to start teaching him early to feel relaxed during baths. Use lots of treats and praise words to make your Shiba Inu feel pleasant during this routine. Although cleanliness means a lot to their personality and attitude, Shiba Inus would rather choose to clean themselves alone than going on baths.
Play near open waters
During the summer season, it would be great to play fetch with your Shiba near open waters. You can also choose someone’s yard with a pool, and splash your dog with water occasionally to make him get used to this routine and play.
Do it gradually
No dog would love to feel pressure when learning or getting used to a new routine/skill. Therefore, take small steps and have a lot of understanding for your pooch. If a dog gets a traumatic experience when learning a new skill, it can only cause a regression.
Keep your dog safe
Even though Shiba Inus will be able to swim in unplanned situations, it’s important to keep them safe when spending time in the water. Just imagine how you would start to panic if you feel uncomfortable in certain situations. Well, that’s how your dog will also feel in case he’s forced to jump in the water. One of the most important items to bring with you when spending time by the sea, river, or lake is a Shiba Inu life jacket.
A quality dog swimming jacket will prevent your dog from drowning in deep and restless waters. It should feature floating panels by both sides, and adjustable Velcro straps that will gently wrap around your pet’s body.
Support your dog in the water
By being close to your Shiba while spending time in the water, he/she will feel safe and calm. Most dog swimming vests feature a practical handle on a dog’s back, so you can provide him/her with support by holding this handle.