Teaching an American Bulldog to swim

Discussion in 'Raising an American Bulldog puppy' started by Igor, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. Igor

    Igor Administrator Staff Member

    Local Intranet
    What is your experience in teaching your AB to enjoy swimming? Some enjoy it from the get go, but for those whose ABs start with anxiety or lack of interest?

    We are helping our friends with their AB puppy to get her to swim. With our pup, we started at around 3 months old, and after getting over her fear of ocean waves she was great. But then she got a little traumatized when she ran into the ocean and began to swim toward me and got washed over by a wave. She is over it now and swims like a champ!

    In pool environment, I think it's good to start with the swim vest for the pup, and just hold them in the water while they swim. Initially they are freaking out but slowly and surely they begin to calm down and start making proper movement. I've found that using the pup's prey drive and having a toy in the water to attract them to jump in definitely worked! I think initially it's just very important to keep the "freak out" swim sessions short and let them gradually realize it's all alright and very fun. Non stop positive reinforcement!! Continue to congratulate the pup after each swim. You can also try using coconut oil to get them to get in the water - usually pups can't get enough of that stuff and it's very healthy for them.

    This is the vest we use - it works perfect, cheap and easy to put on!
    Olga likes this.
  2. Cary McElyea

    Cary McElyea New Member

    Local Intranet
    My dog Mick swims like a motor boat, and like many, and I believe most AB'S, has well webbed paws that help with swimming. The webbing is said to come from the Catahoula Leopard Dog/Bulldog's that were often crossed with AB's in the Southern US in the past. The Catahoula is said to have gotten webbed paws from Native American's dogs that were breed to European bulldogs and Mastiffs and hounds (mostly Spanish) as far back as the 1500's.
    Olga and Igor like this.

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