Why Does My Dog Freak Out When I Go in the Pool?

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My Dog Freaks Out When I Go Swimming

My Dog Freaks Out When I Go Swimming: You are not alone if your dog freaked out whenever you get in the pool. Dogs may see us in the water differently than we do, and when this happens, their instincts may take control and make them feel afraid. Depending on who you ask, a dog “freaking out” might signify different things.



Understanding Dog Behavior

Dogs are not born with an innate understanding of pools and swimming. They might be curious, scared, or excited by the sight of water, depending on their personality and experience.


There are two main reasons why dogs might freak out when they see you in the pool: they are concerned for your safety or they want to join the fun but are unsure how to do so..(My Dog Freaks Out When I Go Swimming)




My Dog Freaks Out When I Go Swimming



Reasons for Dog Freak Out

Some of the common causes of dog anxiety around pools are:


1.Fear of Water: Some dogs have a natural aversion to water, especially if they have never been exposed to it before or have had a bad experience with it. They might associate pools with danger, discomfort, or unpleasant sensations. For these dogs, pools are scary and they want you to stay away from them.



2.Separation Anxiety: If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, they might feel distressed when they see you in the pool. They might think that you are leaving them or that they can’t reach you. They might also feel jealous or left out if you are having fun without them.


My Dog Freaks Out When I Go Swimming


3.Misunderstanding the Situation: Dogs might not understand what you are doing in the pool. They might see your splashing, kicking, or diving as signs of struggling or drowning. They might try to rescue you or alert you to the danger by barking or whining..(My Dog Freaks Out When I Go Swimming)



4.Unsure Entry/Exit:

Some dogs might want to join you in the pool, but they don’t know      how to get in or out. They might be afraid of jumping in or not finding a way out. They might also be confused by the depth, temperature, or movement of the water. This can lead to frustration or panic.(My Dog Freaks Out When I Go Swimming)


Read more: Why Does My Dog Freak Out When I Go in the Pool?



Calming Your Dog Around the Pool

If your dog is anxious around the pool, there are some steps you can take to help them overcome their fear and enjoy the water. Here are some suggestions:


1.Desensitization: The best way to help your dog get used to the pool is to introduce it gradually and positively. Start by letting your dog explore the pool area when it’s empty, rewarding them with treats and praise for calm behavior. Then, fill the pool with a little water and repeat the process.

Gradually increase the water level and your presence in the pool, always making sure your dog is comfortable and happy.



2.Pool Safety Training: Another important step is to teach your dog how to enter and exit the pool safely. You can use a ramp, stairs, or a designated spot to show your dog where and how to get in and out. You can also use a leash, harness, or flotation device to guide your dog in and out of the water.

Make sure your dog knows how to swim and can reach the shallow end or the edge of the pool easily..(My Dog Freaks Out When I Go Swimming)


My Dog Freaks Out When I Go Swimming


3.Playtime: If your dog likes water, you can make the pool a fun and rewarding place for them. You can play fetch, tug, or chase with your dog in the water, using toys that float and are visible.

You can also give your dog treats and praise for being in the water. Make sure you supervise your dog at all times and limit the playtime to avoid overexertion or exhaustion.



4.Stay Calm: Your dog can sense your emotions and energy, so it’s important that you stay calm and confident around the pool. Don’t force your dog to do anything they don’t want to do, but don’t reinforce their anxiety by comforting or soothing them either.

Instead, act normally and show your dog that the pool is nothing to be afraid of..(My Dog Freaks Out When I Go Swimming)



Read more: Why Do Dogs Bark When You Jump In The Pool



Additional Tips

Here are some more tips to help you recognize and reduce your dog’s anxiety around pools:


Look for signs of anxiety in your dog, such as panting, drooling, trembling, yawning, licking, hiding, or avoiding eye contact. These indicate that your dog is stressed and needs a break. Avoid scolding, punishing, or yelling at your dog for freaking out around the pool.


This will only make them more fearful and anxious. Consult your veterinarian if your dog’s anxiety is severe or interferes with their daily life. They might prescribe medication or recommend a behaviorist to help your dog cope..(My Dog Freaks Out When I Go Swimming)



Why Are Some Dogs Afraid of Water?

Dogs may dread water for a variety of reasons. It can just be that they’re experiencing something new or that the water feels different on their hair or beneath their paws. It’s possible that your pet has a terrible history with water. Alternatively, perhaps they were compelled to get wet before they were ready.


The first step in helping your dog overcome any unpleasant associations with water is to assist them in unlearning any negative associations. Once your pet feels comfortable enough to bathe or swim on their own terms, you may gradually adapt them to the water..(My Dog Freaks Out When I Go Swimming)



How to Get Your Dog Comfortable With Swimming

After your dog is comfortable in the bathtub, you may want to consider introducing them to bigger aquatic environments, such as a pond or the ocean. However, in order to accomplish this, you’ll need to educate your pet how to swim properly. It’s also critical to keep in mind that although certain breeds are adapted for life in the water, others are not, particularly for swimming.


Certain breeds, such the Portuguese water dog, Irish water, and Labrador retriever, have characteristics that help them thrive in the water. Conversely, brachycephalic breeds, like boxers, and short-legged Chihuahuas could require extra help. Alternatively, you could discover that your dog simply doesn’t like to swim and would much rather be on land..(My Dog Freaks Out When I Go Swimming)



Read more: Why is Your Dog Standing at One Spot?



6 Things NOT to Do When Taking Your Dog Swimming

  • Don’t Assume Your Dog Can Swim
  • Don’t Leave Your Dog Unsupervised
  •  Forget the Life Jacket
  • Don’t Go Swimming in Unfamiliar Waters
  • Don’t Ignore Cold Weather
  • Don’t Let Your Dog Get Too Tired



Dogs might freak out when they see you in the pool for various reasons, such as fear of water, separation anxiety, misunderstanding the situation, or unsure entry/exit. You can help your dog overcome their anxiety by desensitizing them to the pool, teaching them pool safety, playing with them in the water, and staying calm. With patience and training, your dog can learn to be comfortable and happy around the pool.


The important part of this process is to get your dog to a point where they feel safe and comfortable, and most importantly, have fun. Getting them used to having a bath is definitely more beneficial from the owner’s perspective than the dog’s, as they will certainly need one throughout their life, so follow our steps gradually using positive reinforcement to get your pooch to feel relaxed and safe whenever they need one.










Why does my dog freak out if I go underwater in the pool, but not if I keep my head above water? Does she think I’m drowning?


It’s probable that when you go underwater, your dog responds to the behavioral shift in you. Because they are keen observers, dogs may get worried if their owners behave differently. Your dog may become confused or afraid when you vary your body language and motions while submerged. Another possibility is that your dog may find the sight or sound of bubbles disturbing.


Due of their heightened sensitivity to environmental changes, dogs may exhibit surprising reactions. Your dog can be reacting to the strange behavior and surroundings rather than the improbable scenario that they believe you are drowning. Should you still be concerned about your dog’s response, seeking advice from a qualified dog trainer or behaviorist might be beneficial.





How do dogs react to being underwater?


Dogs’ reactions to being underwater can vary widely depending on their individual temperament, past experiences, and breed characteristics. Here are some general observations:



Swimming Ability: Many dogs are natural swimmers and instinctively know how to paddle when placed in water. Breeds like Retrievers, Labradors, and Spaniels are often known for their swimming prowess. They tend to be more comfortable in the water and may even enjoy it.

Initial Hesitation: Some dogs may initially be hesitant when placed in water, especially if they haven’t been exposed to it before. They might paddle their legs in the air or cling to the person holding them. It’s important to introduce such dogs to water gradually and gently to build their confidence.



Fear or Anxiety: Some dogs may be fearful or anxious when submerged in water. This can be due to a previous traumatic experience or simply because they are not accustomed to it. It’s crucial to be patient and avoid forcing a fearful dog into the water, as it can lead to further anxiety.



Breeds and Individual Differences: Certain dog breeds, like Bulldogs and Pugs, are not natural swimmers due to their body structure and short snouts, which can make it difficult for them to stay afloat. Individual dogs within a breed can also have different reactions to water.


Water Play: Many dogs enjoy playing in the water, whether it’s a shallow pool, a lake, a river, or the ocean. They might splash around, chase after toys, or even dive underwater in pursuit of objects.





Why do dogs try to swim when you hold them in the air?


Dogs paddle in the air for a few reasons: instinctual swimming motions, balancing reflex, or even anxiety.  Their paddling might be a natural reflex to stay afloat, similar to how babies kick their legs when held.

It could also be a balancing act, trying to find something solid since being off the ground is unfamiliar.  Finally, if they aren’t used to being picked up, they might paddle out of anxiety or a desire to escape.





Why do dogs start paddling when you hold them above water?

When you hold a dog above water and they start paddling, it’s often a reflexive response. This behavior is known as “swimming reflex” and is thought to be an instinctual reaction that dogs have to being placed in a potentially dangerous situation, such as being held over water.


The paddling motion is similar to the way they would move their legs if they were actually swimming, and it’s believed to be an automatic response triggered by the sensation of being unsupported in a potentially precarious environment. It’s important to note that not all dogs exhibit this behavior, as individual dogs may react differently based on their unique personalities and experiences.

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