Sure, there are plenty of dogs who love to go swimming and will happily jump into a pool or hop into your boat (provided they’ve had the right training, of course). But then there are the dogs who hate water. Maybe they give you a hard time come bath time or they never want to go outside when it’s raining. Or maybe your pup is fine with all of that — but when you try to go to the beach with your dog, they turn into the world’s biggest scaredy-cat.
The pooch in this Reddit video is definitely not a fan of the ocean — but when it comes time to save their beloved ball from the ocean’s clutches, they’re willing to brave their fears.
Fittingly set to the Mission Impossible theme, watch as the pup stalks their prey, crouched down and inching closer and closer to the ball — that is, until the world’s slowest, softest waves gently lap up the beach. Our valiant hero backs up, clearly confused by the changes beneath their feet. But as soon as the waves recede, this dog’s back on the hunt… and running safely away from the ocean as soon as that ball is snatched safely in their mouth.
Do dogs hate water?
It depends. Some dogs will happily play in the ocean for as long as you’ll let them, while others will do everything they can to avoid a bath. If your dog falls into the latter category there could be a number of reasons for this:
- This is your dog’s first experience with water and new experiences are scary.
- Your dog had a traumatic incident with water in the past.
- Your dog wasn’t prepared for the water.
If you have a new puppy, then you know there are lots of experiences that are new to them and it’s up to you as a pet parent to introduce them responsibly. If you adopted your pet from a shelter and don’t know much about their past, there could be a traumatic event you’re not aware of. And, of course, any dog can get spooked by a surprise.
If you’d like to get your dog more accustomed to water, first, figure out where their fear comes from. This can help you address it. Then, work in steps:
- First, take your time getting your dog used to taking a bath. You can even try a few tips and tricks if the usual methods don’t work.
- Then, it’s time to teach your dog how to swim. Be patient and go at their pace.
- Once your dog is used to the water, you can try taking them to the beach. There are a lot of factors to keep in mind when you go to the beach with dogs. From the right gear to water safety to watching out for extreme heat, know how to keep your dog safe.
Tips for going to the beach with dogs
Want to have the best beach day with your dog? Follow these helpful tips.
- Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, you need to be mindful of strong currents and riptides.
- You should put your dog on a long leash and wade into the shallow water first. See if your dog paddles on their own and how well they take to the ocean.
- Make sure you bring fresh water and food (do not allow your dog to eat fish that have washed ashore), as well as the necessary supplies, like travel bowls.
- Be mindful of the sun. Bring an umbrella or shade for you and your dog, and consider heat protection for their paws.
- Obey all leash laws. Even if dogs are allowed off-leash, be mindful of the others around you, especially if your dog is sometimes aggressive with strangers.
- Be sure to rinse your dog of salt and sand when you’re done for the day.
Whether your dog loves the ocean or views it as a strange possible threat, you can absolutely have fun at the beach with your dog. But if your dog hates water, you can try these methods to help them overcome their fear. (After all, if this video proved anything, no dog wants to lose their toys to Poseidon.)
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