My Lab Won’t Swim!
Labrador Retriever (or any other breed) is not a fish. They are aquatic animals with fins and gills. The word “fish” comes from the Latin word for “water.” A dog’s body does not have gill systems; it has skin, muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments.
These structures do not work properly when exposed to cold or heat. When a dog is submerged in water, its organs shut down and the blood flow stops. The heart slows, breathing becomes shallow and respiration rate drops dramatically. Dogs cannot survive underwater for very long without assistance from another animal such as a human or even air bubbles floating around them. If they go too deep, their lungs collapse and they drown.
Dogs’ bodies are designed to move quickly through water. Their legs move faster than their mouths, which moves faster than their paws. That is why dogs can easily keep up with each other while swimming.
However, if a dog goes into the water too fast, it will sink and drown.
A dog’s body is made to run at high speeds in all directions. It cannot stay still for very long because it needs to maintain balance and speed. That is why it hardly ever stays in one spot when it is swimming.
This is also why it keeps moving around in the water and splashing out of it.
Dogs can swim, but they do not enjoy swimming because it is not something that they are accustomed to. Instead, most dogs prefer running at full speed and jumping into pools or off of docks and boats. They are athletic animals that love to keep their bodies moving at all times.
However, some dogs just don’t like the water no matter what. They are not going to enjoy swimming even if they are thrown in a pool. These dogs will generally avoid the water at all costs and keep their distance whenever they can.
Dogs that do not like the water fall into one of two categories. The first group consists of dogs that come from desert lands or tropical swampy areas where there is hardly any water to be found. These dogs have never been around water and do not know how to swim.
The other group includes dogs that have fallen into wells, creeks or other bodies of water and almost drowned. These dogs will usually be afraid of any large bodies of water and prefer to keep their distance.
The best way to get a dog to like swimming is to introduce it to the water at a young age and give it positive experiences with swimming right from the start. Dogs can learn how to swim at any age, but the younger they are, the faster they can adapt to this skill.
If you have an adult dog that does not know how to swim, you should take it to a professional trainer that can show you the best way to teach it how to get its feet on the ground every few seconds so that it does not get exhausted.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Dolphins Don’t Swim on Mountaintops (C Leggo – Sailing in a Concrete Boat, 2012 – brill.com)
- Montagnais and Naskapi tales from the Labrador Peninsula (WT Grenfell – 1919 – Houghton Mifflin)
- My Boys Can Swim!: The Official Guy’s Guide to Pregnancy (FG Speck – The Journal of American Folklore, 1925 – JSTOR)
- Teaching an infant to swim (WT Grenfell – 1919 – Boston; New York: Houghton Mifflin …)
- The Labrador Handbook: The definitive guide to training and caring for your Labrador (I Davis – 2009 – books.google.com)
- Shar Pei Labrador Mix Facts (WT Grenfell – 1919 – Houghton Mifflin Company)