Your dog will feel one of two ways about the water. Either they love the water and you can never walk by a body of water without seeing them get super excited or they treat the water like the plague and it feels like an impossibility for your dog to like swimming. Which one is the correct kind of behaviour? Well, there are no rules here and we are here to find out, can Pomeranians swim.
Not all dogs are the same and while some love getting wet the others are willing to do anything to stay away from water. So, how do you figure it out? Some of these things depend on the breed of the dog.
Some of them were bred to help their master on a hunting trip. Some of them were trained to retrieve the kill and even hold fort while the hunting party gets to them. But even if you don’t have a hunting dog, it is generally considered a good idea to get your dog comfortable around water bodies for the sake of safety. This is especially true if you live in a house with a pool or if you’re a boating aficionado.
So, it is safe to say that not all dogs are natural swimmers. In fact, some dogs, like Bulldogs have short legs and are physically challenged when it comes to activities like swimming if they don’t have a life vest on.
The idea that you can push them into water and hope that survival skills kick in is a terrible one. It is not only traumatising for them to be pushed into a new experience like that but also scars them and can create an aversion to swimming for life.
So, don’t do that. But if you want to get your dog some training lessons and a vest, you might be able to teach any dog how to swim.
Where Are Pomeranians on the Spectrum?
If you have a Pom that can’t yet swim, well you know where to begin. You could always let your dog be but if you notice that they are terrified of water, that’s something you should work on.
To answer the original question, can Pomeranians swim, yes, Pomeranians are excellent with water. And if their first time in the water was a pleasant one, they tend to love it too. This provides them with a good introduction to water and they are likely to form a positive bond with the idea of that activity.
And when we say their first visit, you must also take the bathing expeditions in your bathroom into account too. Because here’s the funny bit. Some Poms actually really like to get bathed but when it comes to swimming, the response is not the same. That is the power of first impressions.
And if you’re sitting and wondering if you’ve ever seen a Pomeranian in a pool and the answer is a no, that’s not because these dogs aren’t good with water. There could be many reasons for it. Maybe the pet parents themselves are not big fans of swimming and just wanted a cuddly lapdog. So, don’t get into that quagmire of thoughts.
Pomeranians are agile dogs and they do enjoy exercising quite a bit. Swimming, as we all know, is a great exercise for all creatures. So, we will give you a few tips on how to get started in a minute. Keep those in mind and you’ll be good to go.
Do Pomeranians like Swimming?
This is not a yes or no question because while some really enjoy it, other Poms are not big fans. If the pool seems comfortable and non-threatening in a way that your Pom feels they can exit whenever they want, they may just be okay with it.
It also depends on factors like your presence. They are likely to find it reassuring if you are in there with them.
Having said that, it’s important that we make it clear right away that you must never get your Pomeranian into the ocean or any kind of deep body without a vest and supervision.
Even then, it is not advisable since these are little dogs, and the currents can be unpredictable.
You want to start by taking them to a pool, preferably a private one and place them near the shallow end first. Do not leave them out of sight for even a second.
This is a new experience for them, and you need to help them stay calm. Hold your Pom’s body while you encourage them to paddle. If they do, that means they like the idea of being in the water. That’s your first sign. Once the paddling attempts begin, keep holding the dog from the bottom and encourage her or him to continue. Another thing to remember when you’re in the pool is to wash their coat right after you bring them out. Pools have a lot of chlorine and bleach that mess with the colour of the dog’s coat.
A Couple of Things before We Dive In
Before we talk about how to teach a Pom to swim, it is important to go over a couple of essentials. The importance of a dog life vest is the first. You need to buy or rent a good dog life vest that will fit them well.
It has to fit them comfortably but not be too loose. Teaching your dog about swimming has a lot to do with courage and that’s why a life vest is a great idea. Once they figure out that the vest is an aid to help them navigate the waters, they will feel a lot more confident and go for it.
And this is not about bragging rights for you. So, don’t even think about skipping it just for the sake of being able to say that your canine “didn’t even need a vest the very first time”. This is about making the experience a safe and happy one for your puppy.
Not having a flotation device can also lead to other problems. They might panic when they realise that their feet are no longer touching a steady piece of land. This might lead to paddling as a reflex but it might also lead to the Pom gulping some water in the process. If you’re not by their side doing what you can to help them calm down, this might turn out to be a very unpleasant experience for them.
If you take a close look, you will also notice that dogs are likely to paddle only their front feet. But if they have a vest on, their body stays afloat and while they are in that position, it occurs to them that they can use all fours to paddle and move around the water body.
For experienced swimmer Poms, a life vest comes in handy if they get tired or disoriented in the water. They can take a minute to figure it out while the vest keeps them afloat. This helps reduce stress and panic.
Your dog is a smart fella. You just need to give them a little support while they use their intelligence to sort out their situation.
And here’s what you should look for in a vest:
- It should be made of a bright colour so that your little guy is always easy to spot.
- It should have reflective trims if you want to do this after the sunset.
- Look for something that has an extra piece under the chin if you want your Pom to keep their head above water at all times.
- Make sure the vest has a handle so that you can just grab them and get them out of water in case something goes wrong.
- See if the vest has a D-ring so that you can put a leash on it if you’re likely to go to public places like a beach.
- Pick something that is waterproof and made of durable materials.
Check out our top pick for a dogs life jacket:
- For Dogs weighing 7kg-15kg, chest/girth 38cm-51cm
- Top Grab Handle for easy grab Water Recovery
- Reflective Accents and Bright Colours to enhance visibility
How to Teach Your Pomeranian to Swim?
As mentioned before, this whole process starts with getting a good life vest for your Pom. That’s step one.
If you’re feeling lazy about getting one, just remind yourself that this might make or break your Pom’s engagement with water altogether. If they don’t have a safe and fun experience, they might not want to get into water ever again.
So, it is your job to make sure this is a great first encounter and for that, you need to get a life vest. Make them feel safe so that you can have some great adventures in the water with your canine buddy.
Next on the list, that is step two, is to bring a dog that is an experienced swimmer. This could help your dog feel safe and encourage them to take a dip themselves. The idea is to help them see how much fun swimming can be for other dogs.
The other dog could also be an inspiration for your dog if they are hesitant. But make sure this other dog is not a large canine.
A large dog might not do the trick because, for one, there might be a clash of breeds. Secondly, a large dog in the pool makes a lot of splashes and newbies don’t like to have water thrown on their face.
It affects their visibility and that brings on a certain level of anxiety. It can also make it tough to breathe and that’s not a helpful feeling either. A well-meaning large dog could also end up playing rough with your little pup and that’s not going to work out.
Some dogs, no matter the size and breed, might try to jump on to your Pom playfully. That is not a good idea either. Your pup is already in a new environment and trying to make sense of what is happening. Such surprises are not a good idea. So, supervision has to be 100 percent at all times.
Step three is all about positive reinforcement. If you want to encourage your Pom to get in the pool, you want to take the first chapter from the playbook and offer them a toy.
Get a few plastic toys or find some plastic ones from what you already have. Go into the water first and lay out the toys in the shallow parts of the pool to entice your Pom.
It can’t be in the deeper parts of the water because if your little guy takes to swimming, he’s going to want to get the toys at the deep end too. You can’t discourage them because they’re not going to understand why you love it when they chase a toy in a park but not in the pool.
In this scenario, you can’t really sit the dog down and explain the dangers and to let them find out on their own is not a wise idea. Even if you think you were so clever to have come up with it.
Now, once the toys are in the pool, you can either let your pup follow you, if you’ve got a curious one, or go back out and get them to step into the shallow waters while you hold their torso and assure your canine that you’ve got their back (in this case, quite literally). And every time they make progress, give them a treat too.
Step four is all about keeping your pup above water. You’ve put the life jacket on them so they’re safe. But they don’t know that yet, so you have to hold them till they feel like they are safe.
Initially, you have to keep your dog in the water for a few seconds. Longer than that is not a risk you want to take in case they don’t like water or something about it is scary to them.
Now, while you hold your Pom in the water, keep them above the water in such a way that they can take a beat and let their feet touch the ground. This way, they know that they can get out of the pool if they don’t like it.
But if your Pom likes water (which is usually the case) they will want to get back in there sooner than you’d think. So, let them be in there for a few seconds, take them out and get back in there again.
When you go back into the pool, you might want to hold them such that their feet are in the water. This will prompt them to look for ground and paddle in the process. That’s the beginning of a beautiful love affair between your Pomeranian and the pool. In a few attempts, they will figure out that paddling helps them move around. But you shouldn’t let them go just yet.
Step five is about swimming without a life vest. When you get to this part in the process really depends on your Pom and you. It depends on how they take to the water.
Typically, you get to this part after your puppy has figured out how to move around in the water and can find the staircase or ramp on their own. This way, they will enjoy the water for as long as they want to and then get out when they’re done.
You have to do a lot of supervision before you get to this point. So, don’t just dive right into it after the first swim session.
Up until that point, you have to be right next to them supporting and cheering them on.
Water Safety Tips for Swimming Dogs
Those of you who are just getting into this business of teaching your Pom how to swim will really appreciate these:
Make sure the air temperature and water temperature together is at least 37 degrees Celsius. If it is too cold, your dog might get swimmer’s tail or limber tail. If that happens, your Pom won’t be able to wag or even lift his or her tail up.
Or worse, a cold pool could also cause hypothermia. So if your canine went into the water and started shaking right away, get them dry and warm them up as soon as you can. And puppies are quite sensitive to this situation. So, you don’t want to take a chance.
Then there is water toxicity. This happens if the pup swallows excess water and starts to puke. The best way to avoid this is to keep the sessions to a maximum of 10 minutes.
When you’re throwing toys into the water, pick small and flat toys. Large toys are harder to retrieve and you don’t want them to push into deeper water trying to grab the toy. After they come out, you must give them some freeze-dried or dehydrated treats so that the excess water in their stomach gets absorbed.
And if you’re out there in the wild, you must keep watch for water snakes or turtles like a hawk. Smaller water bodies are also likely to have alligators. You don’t want to be anywhere near them. And we’ve already told you not to go into the ocean or sea. So, we won’t talk about the possible creatures in there.
The Bottom Line – Can Pomeranians Swim?
We could go on because when it comes to safety, there are a lot of things you can keep in mind. We got you the basics. So, we’ll leave the rest of the research (if you want to do any more) up to you. But generally speaking, Pomeranians like being in the water. You just have to do it right.