Summer is just around the corner, and you want to enjoy the long hot days with your Cockapoo but don’t know what to do? We’re here to tell you that cockapoos do swim and love to do it!
Do Cockapoos swim? Yes. Cockapoos are natural-born swimmers and know very well how to orient themselves in the water. The reason why this breed loves swimming is their mix of the breeds Poodle and Cocker Spaniels.
Poodles love water and are born with webbed feet that help in swimming activities. At the same time, Spaniels also love water but get that from their ancestors who were used to hunting in the water.
Spaniels are not natural swimmers like Poodles but can get very used to the water and swim in deeper swimming pools or ponds.
Some Cockapoos also are born with the same webbed feet as poodles that help swimming, but some aren’t. But don’t worry, the webbed feet come from the genetic mix between the Poodles and the Spaniels, and if your Cockapoo doesn’t have them, they will still be able to swim just fine.
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Tips on how to introduce a Cockapoo to the water
It’s better to introduce your dog to the water early. Older dogs can also be taught to swim, but they will learn much faster and have much more ability and energy to learn the movements at a young age.
You need to be patient
The first tip for introducing dogs to water is to be patient. It’s not easy to lose the fear of water, so some patience and practice will ensure a lifetime of fun activities with water for you and your Cockapoo.
They may not be water-oriented at first but will get used to it with practice. Give them time, and they will become expert swimmers.
Start on a pool big enough for you and your dog
During the first practice sessions, you will need to get in the water with the dog. They will see you are there and feel that the environment is safe. Ponds can also work if you don’t have access to a pool. Sticks and toys will also help make the activity fun.
If you already have a dog that feels comfortable in the water and knows how to properly swim, he may help the one introduced now.
Throw the sticks and toys around so he can start having fun even before jumping into the water. Always associate swimming with fun.
Train the dog to come when you call
Dogs may overlook dangers and problems in the water, so before leaving them entirely alone for a swim, make sure that he always comes when you call.
This way, accidents and stressful moments can be avoided entirely, and you’ll be able to alert him of dangers.
Make it part of the routine
When we are learning something, practice and commitment play a significant role in it. So, the same applies to dogs. Swimming can be a challenging task for them, and doing it repeatedly will make the process faster.
Try taking the dog to the pool or lake every week, and you’ll see a drastic improvement in his skills.
Safety ideas for swimming with a dog
Although Cockapoos and other dog breeds are natural swimmers, there are still some safety precautions that need to be addressed before you start swimming with them:
- Get a water-resistant coat with a handle: Make sure to get your dog a water-resistant coat that’s specially made for swimming. The best models have a handle, which will allow you to reach and grab the dog from the water if they get tired or get caught somewhere dangerous underwater.
- Make them get used to the water jacket: The water jacket needs to be on all the time, but the dog may find it uncomfortable at first. So put it on them, leave for a few minutes while praising them for good work. Take it off, forget about it, and only put it on again after some hours. If you associate the water jacket with fun and treats, they will wear it anytime you need without problems.
- Test the water temperature: There’s no need to make your dog shiver unnecessarily. We don’t swim when the weather and water are cold, and neither should your dog. Only take your Cockapoo for a swim in conditions that you would also swim.
- Don’t let the dog drink water from the pools: Most swimming pools have heavy chemicals used to keep the water clean. Dog’s stomachs and digestive systems are very sensitive, and if you let them drink water from the pool, they can get sick. Pay close attention to that while they are swimming.
- Watch for signs of fatigue and dehydration: Keep clean water next to the dog and show him where to get it. Always encourage them to leave the water after a while, drink clean water, rest, and allow his body to cool down.
- Don’t let him eat anything: If you’re swimming in lakes and ponds with the dog, keep an eye open for objects floating around that the dog may mistake for food.
What to avoid when swimming with a dog
Although Cockapoos and many other dog breeds are natural swimmers, some dogs may not be too keen on it. So, there are a few things that the owner needs to avoid doing when swimming with a dog. Be careful even if your Cockapoo is already an experienced swimmer:
- Don’t throw or toss the dog into the water: You can’t dump the dog into a big and deep swimming pool and expect it to start swimming. This shock can cause the dog to panic and inhale water. Always let him in by himself to test the water temperature and the pool size by itself.
- Be careful with dogs with special needs: if your dog has any special needs, do not try to teach him how to swim by yourself without talking to a vet first. This can be dangerous and result in accidents. If the vets say it’s ok, then you can start introducing it to the water.
What to do when a Cockapoo is scared of water
Although Cockapoos are very water-oriented and their breed originates from breeds that also like to swim and do it very well, they can be scared of water.
They can be born in areas with no access to water of any kind — sometimes not even rain — and the sensation of getting wet may be too overwhelming and make them scared.
If you tried to teach your Cockapoo to swim and noticed that it is afraid of water, you could do a few things to release this fear from them.
Gradually present a Cockapoo to water.
To gradually introduce the water to the Cockapoo, you need to be very aware of panicking or are way too afraid to avoid pushing its limits.
Start making them comfortable with water at home before going to the beach or deeper lakes. Expose them only to small amounts of water first and start gradually building up from there.
Fill up the tub with warm water, associate the moment with fun, make positive comments, and give the Cockapoo some treats after it’s done.
Keep yourself calm
The Cockapoo can feel when you are calm or agitated and quickly pick up your feelings. Keep yourself quiet all the time, and they will understand that the situation is entirely safe.
It’s also essential to show how much you’re having a great time at the water so they can even understand how much fun it actually is to be in there. Dog’s always want to be part of joyful activities, so show him how swimming can be great.
Do Cockapoos swim better with other dogs?
Dogs tend to learn from other dogs. If your Cockapoo is still unsure of getting in the water with you, the help from other dogs that are already experienced swimmers may help.
The other dogs will show your Cockapoo that there’s nothing to be afraid of, and they can get much fun from the activity.
Can Cockapoos swim at the beach?
Some Cockapoos owners are always reluctant to take their dogs to swim at the beach, even though they are already experienced swimmers in ponds and swimming pools.
Cockapoos can easily swim at the beach with no worries. Only make sure that you’ll give him a nice bath afterward to wash all the salt and sand out.
We wrote a detailed article on how to take a puppy to the beach (or a dog) and 7 things to know before your beach visit.
And, something that you have to be aware of the beach are possible hazards. Don’t let your Cockapoo enter the sea alone, as the waves can be too big for them to swim or the current gets too intense, fishes and jellyfishes may appear out of nowhere, panicking your dog.
But if you keep an eye out for those things above, your Cockapoo can swim at the beach with no problems.