There is something about the therapeutic effect that swimming has to offer, and nobody knows this better than the Sheepadoodle dog breeds.
So, whether you just adopted this sharp-witted, easy-to-love, loyal and adventurous dog and you are wondering ‘can Sheepadoodles swim?’ then read on since this article got you covered.
I will provide you with a science-backed answer on whether a Sheepadoodle can swim.
I will also walk you through the benefits your dog acquires from swimming, the safety precautions you should take while you are out swimming with your hound, and an easy-to-follow guide on how to teach your hound to swim like a pro.
Can Sheepadoodles Swim?
These dogs are a crossbreed of the Old English Sheepdog (OES) and the Poodle; these dog breeds take after their Poodle’s parents swimming skills.
They also have webbed feet, which make them naturals when it comes to swimming!
However, not all Sheepadoodle love to swim.
So, before assuming that your dog will automatically like it when you introduce it into this aqua aerobic activity, ensure that you establish whether or not it enjoys swimming.
What Are the Benefits Of Swimming For Sheepadoodles?
#It Is Therapeutic
Swimming in dogs is therapeutically beneficial as it can help;
Fasten Your Dog’s Recovery From A Muscle Sprain Or Strain
Swimming fastens your dog’s muscle recovery by making its body produce low levels of C-reactive proteins.
C-Reactive proteins are proteins that cause your dog’s muscles to swell, which in turn slows down the recovery process
Taking your dog for a dip helps relieve pain as swimming causes its body to release endorphins.
These are hormones that cause an analgesic effect in your dog’s body when released in sufficient amounts
Decrease Mobility Limitations Caused By Medical Conditions Such As Arthritis
through swimming, blood circulation in the arthritic joints is increased, which in turn reduces muscle stiffness, thus promoting an increased range of motion in the affected joints
Sheepadoodle just like many other hounds, are usually plagued with skin conditions that may lower their quality of life.
However, by letting your dog indulge in a swimming session in waters that have the right amounts of chlorine in it, this skin conditions can be cured or controlled.
#Helps In Your Dog’s Weight Loss And Maintenance.
Every ’dog paddle’ your dog does while doing aqua exercise will burn at least 10 calories.
Engaging in a 30 minutes session will see your dog burn at least 250 calories which is not the case when you take your dog for a walk.
In a 1 hour walk, a dog can only burn 64 calories. Thus, swimming is a more effective method of losing weight in a dog.
#Improves Your Dog’s Cardiovascular Fitness
A 30-1-hour swimming session depending on your dog’s agility and stamina, will substantially improve its Cardiovascular (heart and all related blood vessels) fitness.
Swimming helps your dog increase its heart size and contractility strength, promoting sufficient and undisturbed blood circulation even when your dog is at rest.
Also, through swimming, the HDL (High density lipoproteins) levels are increased, which aid in keeping cholesterol levels in your dog’s body in check.
High cholesterol levels in your dog’s heart may block its blood vessels, causing it to have an increase in blood pressure and also suffer a sudden heart attack.
If your dog has any underlying heart disease, it’s strongly advised that you don’t let it engage in aqua exercise unless a certified vet recommends it.
How To Teach Your Sheepadoodle To Swim?
Despite Sheepadoodles being aquaphilic, not all of them are born naturally knowing how to swim, but most of them know how to ‘dog paddle’.
But the good news is that you can still teach your dog how to swim despite its age.
Below is a straightforward step-by-step guide on how to teach your Sheepadoodle how to swim;
#Choose A Safe Area To Do It
This may seem like the simplest step, but it’s actually the most crucial step if you are to teach your sturdy dog how to swim successfully.
Where you choose to train your dog how to swim will determine its experience and how well it responds to its swimming instructions in the future.
Choose a shallow place with clear waters, this helps you easily control your dog’s movements.
Consider training it in a bathtub or in a kiddie pool.
#Have All The Necessary Swimming Gears
Don’t head out for a swimming lesson with your dog if you don’t have;
- A buoyant, reflective, fitting dog life jacket
- Treats or toys-to entice your dog to perform better
- A fully equipped dog first aid kit in case of an emergency
- A dry and clean towel-to keep your hound dry and warm
#Start With The Easy Steps Before You Advance To Complex Steps
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Start by letting your dog get accustomed to having its feet wet before fully submerging its body in the water.
Use treats to ‘lure’ your dog to go deep (ensure you mind how deep it goes).
Be patient and go with your dog’s pace.
#Give Them Physical Support
Once your dog is used to submerging its body in the water, gently hold its body in a way that its bottom is aligned with its head.
Hold your Sheepadoodle in a position that it can paddle with both his front and hind legs.
Ensure that you are in front of your dog while giving it physical support.
This reassures your doggie that you are around and that there is no need for it to worry.
#Let Them Do It On Their Own
After you are sure your hound has gotten a grip on the swimming maneuvers, gently let them swim on their own.
Don’t make it obvious, as your dog may panic if they notice you are not holding them, which may, in turn, lead to a relapse in their training.
What Are The Swimming Safety Tips For Your Sheepadoodle?
Swimming can be mood-elevating and a fun activity to engage in with your hound.
However, when the laid-out precautions are not followed strictly, this mentally stimulating exercise can quickly escalate into a life-threatening situation.
So, to be on the safe side, please follow the swimming safety tips outlined below;
#Have Your Sheepadoodle Put On A Life Jacket
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Unless you are sure that your dog is a pro in swimming, ensure that you have your doggy fully suited with a fitting, buoyant, reflective and bright-colored life jacket (an orange or neon-colored jacket is highly recommended).
Even if your dog is a prolific swimmer, ensure that you have it wear a life jacket if you are going swimming in open and rough waters like in a lake, ocean or a dam.
Also, senior and young dogs should never be allowed to take a dip without a life jacket.
#Always Keep A Close Watch On Your Hound
Never leave your hound unsupervised in the water.
Sheepadoodles are notoriously known for their adventurous nature and won’t hesitate to do anything, including going further into the water or trying new swimming styles to satisfy their curiosity.
Pro-tip; If you are unsure about your focusing skills (no offense intended), then have a waterproof dog collar and leash securely attached to your dog’s neck.
This will help you retrieve it from the water just in case of an emergency.
But ensure that you use this method carefully as you may end up doing more harm than good.
#NEVER Take Your Dog Out For Swimming During Cold Weather
Please don’t take your dog out for swimming during cold weather as you risk it going into hypothermia.
Hypothermia is a life-threatening medical condition caused by an abnormal decrease in your dog’s body temperature.
Below are some of the signs that may indicate your Sheepadoodle has gone into hypothermia and that it is in need of immediate medical attention;
- Muscle stiffness
- Looking tired
- Nonstop shivering
- Its nose, inner mouth, tongue, and paws appear pale or grayish
- Breathing difficulty-characterized by noisy breathing, nostrils flaring up and breathing through the mouth
#Maintain Swimming Session Of At Least 10-30 Minutes
Over exhaustion may occur after long periods of swimming without a break, which may cause your dog to drown or swallow lots of water (medically known as water toxicity which is characterized by a lot of vomiting) if it’s unable to swim back to dry land.
To avoid all these life-threatening scenarios, it’s important that you maintain at least 10 minutes of swimming sessions in newbies and 30 minutes in veteran dog swimmers.
Think big! Have Your Sheepadoodle Swim With Confidence Today
Can Sheepadoodles swim? Yes, they can.
You can teach your hound how to swim by letting it get accustomed to the idea of having its feet wet in the water and then luring it to submerge its whole body by use of treats or their favorite toy.
Ensure that you physically support your dog before letting it swim on its own(that’s after you are sure it’s capable of doing it).
Never take your dog for swimming in cold weather, without a life jacket or leave it unsupervised.
Ensure that you at least have your dog swim for 10-30 minutes at least 3-4 times a week to improve its cardiovascular fitness, lose weight and gain therapeutically.