Trainer Tuesday: Pools and Pooches

Every Tuesday we will be working with certified dog trainer Lisa from The Noble Hound, Dog Training and Obedience to answer your dog training questions. If you have a question about your pooch, whether it be leash manners, house training, getting along with other animals or anything in between, email us at and we will pick a few questions each week to answer.

Dan Allen asks, “What is best way to get my dogs to swim in my pool. I installed scamper ramp. I want to ensure they dont panic in water if they fell in accidentally.”

Hi Dan,

I would first make sure that your dogs are interested in swimming. Some dogs just don’t care for water and I wouldn’t force it on them. Start with something like a kiddie pool in the backyard. A smaller pool is a little less intimidating than a bigger pool with deep water. If your dogs enjoy the kiddie pool, that’s a good sign! I would also test them somewhere like the beach (a doggy friendly beach that is) and see how comfortable they are entering the water from the shore. If the dogs don’t show any interest in the water chances are they won’t care for your pool. Never force your dog into a body of water. That can break trust between you and your dog and wreck any chances of your dog actually enjoying a dip in the pool. If your dogs pass the kiddie pool and beach tests, you’re ready to try the pool. Start with one dog inside and one dog outside with you. Have your dog on leash (I also highly recommend a lifejacket for the dog, just incase). Enter the pool (without the dog) and stand by the scamper ramp. When your dog comes near the ramp, give some verbal praise to let your dog know that he is welcome near the ramp. If the dog happily enters the pool on the ramp, you can support his body with your arms until you feel as though the dog is swimming on his own. It might take a few days for your dog to come near the ramp and that is okay. You want your dog to enter the pool on his own and when he’s ready. You want your dog to associate the pool with little stress and instead happiness and a good time. I would also make sure your dogs are supervised when outside. If a dog falls into the pool by accident, they might not be so inclined to head back in any time soon.


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