We all know the swimming safety rules when it comes to us, but are we aware of the precautions that we should take when it comes to our furry friend when we take them along for water sports? Seeing many heroic videos online of dogs jumping in to save their humans, we automatically assume that they will bounce into the water and do just fine. But the truth is, not all dogs are swimmers. And if you are a husky owner, we might have some bad news for you: your talented husky might be best in everything but not necessarily when it comes to swimming.
If you are planning on taking your husky out to the pool area, make sure they are wearing a well-fitted doggie life vest on board. Let’s read on to find out whether it’s safe to take your husky for swimming along with you or not.
What Type of Husky Do You Have?
First of all, it all depends on what type of a husky you own. There are several different types of this majestic breed of dog. Starting from Siberian Huskies to Alaskan Huskies to mixed breeds, pure breeds to even those that resemble huskies. These beautiful wolfish-looking dogs are full of energy and spirit. While some dogs resembling this particular breed may be suitable for swimming, others are not.
- Siberian Husky: These are the most honest and obedient pups that one can ever have. They come in jet black and snow white colours, with eyes the color of blue or brown. They are full of energy and would love to go out with you any time of the day. They are not much of a guard dog, but their outstanding personality makes them an ideal choice for a family household dog. Belonging to the freezing cold weather in Russia, Siberians Huskies may not like being wet; they prefer snow! Therefore, they wouldn’t like to go swimming.
- Alaskan Husky: Don’t judge an Alaskan Husky by their ability on a show table. Judge them by how they can pull of their weight. They are typically bred to pull a sledge in tough, cold weathers. They are sharp and energetic dogs with an adventurous personality and affectionate characteristics. They are world-class racers and sprinters, but might not be too suitable for swimming in deep waters.
- The Eurohound: Mixing an Alaskan Husky to a German shorthaired pointed creates The Eurohound. While the fluffy coat vanishes, their speed remains the same. These are powerful pups, who score for being quick-footed on the snow. However, they can be trained and encouraged to become active swimmers.
- Other dogs resembling husky: Many other polar dogs, Eskimo dogs, Alaskan malamutes and Canadian Inuit dogs have the traits of a husky. They are all among the breeds that are better considered as sledge pullers and hunters rather than a pet. Some of these breeds are also not as friendly as the Siberian Husky, but they are hardworking, loyal and intelligent. These breeds are more suitable for swimming and other water activities as they enjoy it as well as it fulfils their physical needs.
Do Huskies Like to Swim?
Some dog breeds are natural swimmers, while others need training before jumping into the pool. In tune, the pure husky breed such as Siberian Huskies, are NOT swimmers. They love playing with water in hot weather but they cannot swim in a given pool. Typically, huskies were bred to pull sledges in freezing cold weather. If they got in touch with water in that cold climate, their coats would freeze and they would end up perishing. Plus, Huskies would not enjoy swimming in that chilly weather, no matter how much you might enjoy it.
If you are really keen on taking your husky for swimming, you need to teach them. They have got powerful, athletic limbs that make swimming easier for them. Putting on a life jacket will make swimming easier for them. Floating and relaxing on the pool on a hot summer day is something that your husky would really enjoy.
How to Teach Your Husky to Swim?
Teaching your husky to swim might not be easy, but you can always teach them by starting off with baby steps. Make sure that you tie their life vest and slowly walk them into the water. Allow your husky to get used to the feel of water and get their bearings on wet feet. Watch out if they are reluctant or hesitant, since forcing them while they are scared might do more damage than good. Eventually, go deep into the water until they start paddling to stay afloat. You may use your arm to support your husky’s belly if they appear to be needing help. Always use a positive tone when teaching your dog something new.
Remember to keep supporting your furry friend until they seem comfortable in the water and is using all their four limbs to swim. Don’t allow your husky to use only their front legs or else they will splash around more water and tire quickly. Keep an eye on your husky and if they appear to be panicking, hold him back immediately and try to calm him down before trying again.
Precautions to Take When You Are Taking Your Husky Out for Swimming
If you see that your Husky cannot swim at all, a proper swimming training would still work. Here are some precautions that you will have to take when you are taking them out for swimming:
1. Safety vest is a must!
Dog life vests are available in a variety of sizes, hence, there is no excuse for you to not make your husky wear a life vest. Make sure that it fits snug and is able to protect your canine from any danger. There is no better safety than a safety life vest when your dog is out swimming with you. In addition, it is also important for mobility issues of your canine.
2. Take it easy, especially the first time
Huskies are naturally hesitant to get in contact with water. Unless they are feeling suffocated due to the hot weather, they will not like water to touch them. If it’s your husky’s first time going for swimming, be sure to be very patient with them. Also, ensure that you are not scared of water yourself, otherwise, it would be even more difficult to train your husky.
3. Beware of the outside weather
Sun rays are always harmful to your dog. If you stay in a hot, humid country, it is advisable for you not to take your husky out in the sun. In fact, you should keep your husky in an air-conditioned room to keep them cool in the warm weather. Their long coat will make them feel suffocated out in the sun, showing symptoms of heat stroke. Swimming can be fun and rewarding for your husky in such weather and make them feel relaxed. Although it might be time-consuming for you to teach your husky to swim, it’s worthwhile.
Things Not to Do When You Take Your Husky Out for Swimming
- Do not leave them unsupervised: Never leave your dog unsupervised, especially in rivers and lakes where the water may have currents.
- Do not ignore the weather: Since huskies are bred in colder weather, it’s best not to take them out for swimming in cold weather. Freezing cold water may risk them at suffering from hypothermia.
- Do not let get too tired: Swimming is a great exercise. Once your husky starts liking it, they might bite off more than they are able to chew. In that case, keep a close eye on them and get them out of the pool in a proper span of time.
Post Swim Routine
When your husky is done swimming, get them out of the pool. Show them the safe and proper way to come out of the pool so that they can find their own way out the next time. Don’t forget to rinse them with plain fresh water to clean your husky off any residual chemicals that might be sticking to their hair coat. Praise your husky, both verbally and physically after their swimming lesson and some extra treats would work wonderfully. Enhance your husky’s swimming experience with fun and positive movements.
Huskies are best known for their high energy and hunting drive. They are about 3,000 years old and serves delightfully, both as sledge dogs as well as home pets. If you already have a husky in your house, you certainly are an active person, undergoing a lot of exercises every day along with your husky by your side. Huskies can sometimes super lazy – just like us. Other than that, they are awesome!
Have you taken your Husky out for swimming before? Let us know in the comments below!
- Siberian Husky Rescue, Husky Education