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Benefits Of Swimming Your Dogs

Swimming is not just fun for your dog It also works miracles with them. Do you not believe it?

In this post, we will give you several reasons to convince you of the benefits of exercising in water for a dog.

Physical Benefits

The resistance of the water makes your hairy effort more to swim than it has to work when walking or running. In a short time, muscle tone will be reinforced, while improving the cardiovascular and respiratory system without the impact and associated damage that exercise can cause on land.

Did You Know?

Did you know that for a dog, 1 minute of swimming is equivalent to about 4 minutes of running?

Stronger and toned muscles help protect dogs from injury during daily exercises, such as running or chasing a ball, or during more demanding exercises such as agility and canicross.

In healthy dogs, swimming should be combined with another exercise on land to ensure that the bones of the dogs remain strong and with good bone density.

As with any fitness program, it is best to start gently and increase the level of time. Do not be surprised if your dog only swims for a few minutes. Little by little, as their physical condition improves, they can swim longer with fewer breaks.

Therapeutic Benefits

Many dog trainers make use of swimming therapy to help their animals because swimming can help dogs relax and release the accumulated energy.

For dogs that work in rescue tasks or as police dogs, swimming helps them improve their spirits and mental well-being.

For dogs with medical conditions that restrict or prohibit impact exercise, swimming is very important for overall health and recovery. For example, in the case of any orthopedic surgery, it is important to work the supporting muscle before the operation.

Since walking and running are unsuitable forms before an operation, swimming allows the necessary support exercise to strengthen the muscles.

After a surgery, and the rest period, swimming is the ideal exercise to improve the movement of the joints, increase circulation and strengthen the supporting muscle.

Many veterinarians recommend swimming in warm water as an ideal form of therapeutic exercise for dogs. Swimming in hot water can help dogs, significantly decreases the recovery time of injuries and pain.

Keep in mind that if the water in the pool is warm the muscles of the dogs will not take so long to “warm up”, it is also good for relaxation and blood circulation. The temperature of the water also helps reduce muscle spasms and improves the movement ability of dogs.

Not to mention, if your dog is more reluctant to swim, that warm water will make this activity much more enjoyable and more comfortable. The more they enjoy it, the less they try, and the more benefit they get from it!

Nowadays, swimming therapy in dogs is used to treat:

  • Arthritis
  • Dysplasia of hip and elbow
  • Broken cruciate ligament
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Stroke
  • Paralysis
  • Muscle degeneration
  • Pre / post-surgical conditioning

In the case of an overweight dog, it can be difficult to perform enough exercise on land without overstressing the bones and joints. Thanks to swimming, an obese dog can burn calories and, together with a good diet, return it to its optimum weight.

Of course, if your dog is opposed to swimming, never force it without the supervision of a professional because it can be traumatic for him.

In summary, whether your dog is healthy and you simply want him to have fun while exercising as if your dog has health problems and needs swimming to recover, it will be a very pleasant experience to see your dog relaxed and enjoying the water.

Do not punish your dog when they want to go swimming more often, it can give more benefits to their health.

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Should You Punish Your Dog?

doggyTell your dog in a punitive fashion: “No, naughty dog!” in a threatening way, it’s not education. When we use this positive punishment (we add an element in order to decrease a behavior), it works on the spot: the dog is seized or scared, he will probably stop doing what he does. But he will start again in a short time because he does not know what else to do. And that will lead us to increase the strength of this punishment. We will speak louder, with more threatening gestures and some would even be inclined to intervene physically. This would break the confidence the dog has put in his human. Remember: hands are made to caress and not to hit.

Don’t Make No Negative For Your Dog

By using the word “no” in positive punishment, this word becomes “rotten”, because it announces a very bad consequence. In addition, this “no” makes sure that our dog learns nothing when he hears it, except being afraid of what his human will do. It does not give him any clue as to what the human wants him to do. Imagine that I speak to you in a foreign language, a language that you do not understand. I am asking you that you do not use it. And as you try something that is not right, I give you a “no!” threateningly. What will you do after a few tries? As I punish you verbally, you will no longer be tempted to try anything. You will then fall into learned helplessness model.

Acquired Helplessness in Dogs

Acquired helplessness means that you do not want to try anything at the risk of being punished positively. You will lack initiative and our relationship will become tense because you will now know that the possibility of a trial can lead you not only to failure but to something unpleasant.

I want to suggest that you use the “no” in a framing way, as a guide to the right choice. Let me explain. When the dog does not respond adequately to a request, say “no” in a neutral tone (ie, not verbally threatening or accompanied by a vindictive gesture), may mean that the answer chosen is not the right one and that he is trying something else.

The “no” becomes a no rewarding marker (NRM ). It is a signal aimed at extinguishing behavior (negative punishment).

But you will understand that to be done, this word has never been used before majorly. Because your dog will always remember its meaning and what it announces. If you have never used the aversive “no”, you can use it. Otherwise, change the word. Because if he said happily, he could be interpreted as a positive marker and if said badly, he could scare the dog.

Concretely when training, it is enough to mark the good behavior with a clicker or a word like “yes” and to mark the unwanted behavior by the word “no” or that which you will have chosen. This will give additional information to your dog in the answer he can offer you. Occasionally, we can say nothing when the behavior is inappropriate as is traditionally done with clicker training.

Remember: it is important to avoid associating the commands with a negative emotion. She can be happy or just neutral. This is essential to not put the dog in helplessness acquired. We want the dog to think and choose another behavior. It’s like saying “hot” or “cold” in search of a treasure! And it will not be necessary to use the “no” alone when the dog does a behavior, without reinforcing its opposite, because the latter could analyze the “no” as positive reinforcement because it is given attention.

Other Punishment Methods to Avoid

Scolding your dog is just one thing you don’t want to do. There are a few other things that you should avoid. First, is crate your dog for long periods of time. Just like it says in this article you shouldn’t crate your pooch for longer than a couple hours. They will get stir crazy otherwise.

Some dog breeds are more likely to get stir crazy and are with these you should be really careful not to punish them too often. The following ones are just a few examples.

Enjoyed this article? Read more about dogs.

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