So many dogs LOVE swimming, so you may be wondering, can huskies swim or more importantly, do huskies even like water? If you’re wondering about this, then this article is going to answer all of your questions and more!
Keep reading to find out everything you want to know!
Do Huskies Like Water?
First of all it’s important to know whether huskies even like water. To answer the question, in most cases, huskies do not like water. They were bred to be sled dogs which means they’d rarely need to swim. With that being said, it’s always down to the individual husky, and it’s entirely possible for a husky to like water if they’re acclimatized properly.
Can Huskies Swim?
Of course, the most important though, is can huskies swim? It’s entirely possible to teach your husky to swim, although, they may not naturally gravitate to it. Their bodies are able to stay buoyant, unlike other dogs. However, this doesn’t mean you should chuck them in the water. They may not be confident swimmers, which can affect their swimming ability, so make sure you teach them first.
(Does your husky have blue eyes, brown eyes, or a mix of both? Find out everything you could possibly want to know about your huskies eye color, including what you should do when their eyes are red!)
Why Should You Teach Your Husky To Swim?
You may be thinking about throwing in the towel on your husky. If they don’t like water or to swim, then what’s the point in teaching them?
Well there are actually a lot of benefits to swimming, so it’s well worth your time teaching them!
Its Great Exercise
The first benefit of swimming is that it’s going to be fantastic exercise for your husky. It’s easy on the joints and bones, and it will tire them out fast. Letting your husky swim for 20-30 minutes, is going to be as strenuous as a walk twice that length.
This is particularly good for huskies with bad joints or injuries. They’re not going to get any of the harmful effects of impact exercises, however, they’re still going to have fun, stay healthy, and begin to recover.
If your husky knows how to swim, then you won’t ever have to worry about them falling into pools etc. When a dog doesn’t know how to swim or they don’t like water, then they may have trouble swimming.
While it’s unlikely this will ever happen, it still nice to prepare and have one less thing to worry about.
It’s A Great Way To Cool Down
Another benefit of teaching your husky how to swim is that it’s going to cool them down. Huskies are built for cold weather, so if they live somewhere hot, it’s a great way to make sure they don’t overheat.
Of course, it’s not just about swimming, but teaching your husky to love water, in general, is going to be so beneficial to them!
And lastly, when your husky likes to swim, they’re going to have so much fun doing it! Teaching them to enjoy swimming is going to give them another activity they can enjoy, and stop them from being bored!
(Want to know if border collies can swim?)
Why Do Huskies Hate Water
Now you know all the different reasons that swimming is great for huskies. But you may still be asking yourself “why do huskies hate water?”
Well there are actually a number of different reasons that your husky doesn’t like water.
Because Of How They Were Introduced To It
The number one thing that is going to cause your husky to hate water, is the way in which they were introduced to it.
Picture this, the first few times they were introduced to water, everyone was excited, the water was warm, they had loads of fun, and then they got out, got nice and dry and went about their day.
On the other hand picture this, your husky gets dirty, you’re in a bad mood with them, you shower them in the garden with cold water, and dry them off.
You can see which scenario is going to be better for your husky. The way you first introduce your husky to water is going to decide how they’ll view it for the remainder of their life.
However, remember this isn’t the only reason they can hate water!
They’re Naturally Averse To It
Remember, water to a huskies ancestors would have been absolutely freezing. They haven’t really evolved to go into water, as it would have been too cold for them. Instead they’ve evolved to be sled dogs.
This is one of the biggest reason, they have an aversion to water.
They Don’t Like Feeling Wet
Perhaps it’s just the case that your husky doesn’t like feeling wet. While they’re naturally averse to it, some huskies overcome this and end up loving water! However, sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it. Your husky just doesn’t want to get wet.
They’re Not Used To It
Lastly, sometimes it’s the case that your husky isn’t comfortable with water because they’re not used to it. If this is the case, then gradually introducing them to water over time is the key.
If you’re patient and do this enough, you’ll build up their confidence around water and they’ll end up loving it!
(Want to know if german shepherds can swim?)
How To Teach Your Husky To Swim
Teaching your husky how to swim goes hand in hand with getting them to like water. And for both, with time and patience, you’re going to be able to help your pup become a great swimmer and love water!
So here’s what you should do if you want to teach your husky how to swim and love water!
Praise Their Progress
Dogs respond extremely well to positive reinforcement. So if you’re praising any step, no matter how small it is, they’re going to begin to love water even more!
At first, you may only praise them for getting close to the water. Then if they dip their paws in praise them again. Once they go knee deep praise them again. Keep praising and praising until the point they are swimming freely.
This is a slow method, but it’s extremely effective, as it’s going to constantly build up positive feelings for water inside your pups head.
And if you’re not near a beach or pool of water, you can always use a paddling pool, your bath shower etc, to introduce them to water as well.
Throw Something They Can Retrieve
Another great way to get your husky to start interacting with the water is to throw something in they can retrieve, sticks normally work great, but you can also try balls or floating toys. Sometimes they’ll prefer one over the other.
When you chuck something in the water, you’re going to incentivize them a lot more to jump in after it! If you’re really struggling, you could try throwing a toy that contains treats inside into the water.
No matter how averse your husky is to water, they’ll be VERY tempted to jump in after the toy!
Just remember, when you’re doing this, don’t throw the toy out far at first. Start small and slowly build your way up.
Take Them With Other Dogs That Love Water
When you take your husky out with other dogs that love water, you’re going to increase the chance of them wanting to go swim. If your pup can see all the others dogs splashing around and having fun then they’re naturally going to want to join in.
The earlier you do this, the more likely it is to work, so make sure you try to take your husky for a swim while they’re still puppies!
Go In The Water With Them
The chances are you are the most trusted person in your huskies life. So what better way to introduce them to water, then by going in with them.
When you do this, you’re showing them that’s there’s nothing at all to worry about, and they’re much more likely to start swimming because of this.
So when you’re in the water, keep encouraging them to follow you. Once they’re in give them lots of praise, and keep praising them the deeper and deeper they go!
Remember though, don’t force them in. Don’t pull them or throw them in. Instead, get in the water and encourage them to follow you in.
Give Them Treats
Using treats is another great way you can encourage your husky to enter the water. What better way to get them to associate water with positivity than by giving them treats every time they do something surrounding water.
While this will only work in shallow waters, it’s a great way to get them over the initial hurdle of liking water, which is often the hardest part.
As well as using treats you can also try clicker training your husky as well.
Don’t Force Them
This can’t be stressed enough, no matter what, make sure you’re not forcing your pup into the sea. Otherwise you’re going to cause a negative association with water in their head.
Remember huskies aren’t naturally drawn to water in most cases, so being extremely patient with them is absolutely paramount to making sure they end up liking the water and wanting to swim.
End On A High Note
Make sure you’re not pushing your husky to much and that you’re ending the session on a high note. This is especially the case in the first few sessions.
By ending the session on a high note you’re huskies last memory of water is going to be positive. Which will make them want to go back and do it again.
So instead of going to the point where your huskies mind has burnt out, try finishing a little bit earlier and playing with them.
Because your husky isn’t a natural swimmer, you may need to help them stay afloat when they’re first learning. When they’re deep enough, place your hand under their belly to keep them afloat and let them learn to doggy paddle.
Not only is this going to help them swim, it will improve their confidence and make them feel safe knowing you’re close by.
Using A Life Jacket
Another great way to get your husky to love swimming is by using a life jacket. They’re going to give your husky that added security and safety they need to feel when they’re first learning to swim.
However, if you plan on giving your husky a life jacket, you need to make sure that you’re using correctly. When used incorrectly, you may end up making your husky hate water even more.
Picking The Right Size
First thing you’re going to want to do is make sure that you’re picking the right size life jacket for your husky. You don’t want it to be too loose, but you definitely don’t want it to be too tight either. In both cases, it will make it much harder for your pup to swim.
Introduce It As Early As Possible
Secondly, you’re going to want to introduce the life vest to them as early as possible. The earlier you introduce the life vest, the more comfortable they’re going to be with it.
If you’ve taken them to the beach loads and they’ve grow up without one, then you suddenly spring it on them, they might not understand why, and will most likely end up hating it.
Should You Teach Your Husky To Swim In A Pool Or The Beach?
When you’re teaching your husky how to swim, one thing you may consider is whether you’re going to take them to a beach or a pool. In my opinion beaches are often better at acclimatising your husky than pools.
When you’re taking your husky to the beach it’s going to be a gradual descent into the sea, which means they can stop and head back whenever they want. However, when you take your husky to a pool they can only really jump in at the deep end.
If they’re already scared of water or don’t like it then this isn’t going to be a good experience for them.
Most importantly though, remember that it all depends on your husky and what they prefer. If your husky has a preference for a pool then take them there. However, if not the beach is your best bet.
Other Things To Remember When Teaching Your Husky To Swim
Before you teach your husky to swim, here are a few more things that you’re going to need to remember. Remembering these are vital for their safety and happiness.
- First of all, make sure that your husky is staying hydrated. Once they’re swimming, they’ll begin to get dehydrated a lot quicker. Not only because of the excess exercise but also because they’re probably going to be swallowing saltwater.
- Make sure you’re not taking your husky when it’s too cold. Even their double coat isn’t going to be able to protect them from the cold water. And it’s not just being in the water that will chill them, but they’ll also take a long time to dry after as well. So only take your husky swimming in warm weather.
- If you’re teaching your husky how to swim in a pool, make sure to show them the spot where they can get out. This is going to help reduce the chances of them panicking and stressing when they’re in the pool.
- Obviously, make sure your husky is always being supervised ESPECIALLY when they’re learning how to swim. While they’re built to swim, they’re definitely not natural swimmers, so you need to make sure you’re keeping an eye on them. This is particularly true around water where there may be strong currents that can wash them away.
- Don’t push them too hard. If your husky is too exhausted then they’re not going to enjoy swimming anymore, and they mat even end up having trouble swimming back to you.
- Lastly, make sure you wash and dry your husky thoroughly after you’ve taken them for a swim. This will get any salt and chemicals off them which could irritate their skin. Likewise drying them is going to help keep them warm and prevent issues such as hot spots.
As you can see, when you take the right steps to introduce your husky to water, not only will begin to like it, but they’ll also enjoy swimming as well. It’s just important that you introduce them to water in the right way.
When teaching your husky to swim make sure you take your time and that you use a life vest to keep them safe.
Lastly, if you liked this article make sure you check out the rest of the website. Otherwise have a great day!