Can Beagles Swim?
We will begin by answering this question straight away to say that yes, beagles can swim.
However, there is a thin line between being able to perform an action and liking that particular action. The fact that beagles can swim does not necessarily mean they are fond of water.
There are different reasons that can motivate your beagle to jump into the water and begin splashing and paddling.
Sometimes, it could all be an instinctive response such as if the owner appears to be drowning. In most cases, your beagle will only take to the pool if you are also in there.
This is part of their natural tendency to be close to their owners and enjoy playtime.
Above all, it is important to remember that being canines, they have comparatively higher liking for water than their feline counterparts. Still, your dog will only make a leap into the water if it really has to.
More About Beagles
The beagle closely resembles the foxhound, only that it is relatively smaller.
This dog was originally bred as a scent hound, where it would be used to sniff out small game such as hare.
The modern breed of the beagle was developed from other breeds such as the Southern Hound, the North Country-Beagle and the Talbot Hound. This was way back in the 1830’s, in Britain.
With time, the beagle has emerged as one of the most effective scent dogs that is used for detection purposes. The dog is mainly used to detect illegal foodstuffs as well as agricultural products in quarantines all over the world.
Being such an intelligent and tenacious dog, the beagle has continued to play significant roles in controlling the influx of prohibited substances.
As a pet, you will especially love the dog for its small size which makes it less intimidating to your kids and other pets. He is also a fairly low-tempered dog and will rarely go on the offensive even if trodden upon.
And the most important part is, this dog breed has no known inherited health concerns, which makes him such a resilient breed.
However, remember that beagles can be very indifferent, especially to owners that do not seem to give them the required attention.
Having given a rundown of some of the beagle’s most prominent features, one question remains – do beagles like water?
Do Beagles Like To Swim?
Like any dog, beagles are not really fond of swimming. However, should they find themselves in water, they will naturally begin dog-paddling so as to stay afloat.
You may find this cute for the first time, but dog-paddling is not necessarily a sign that your dog enjoys being in water.
Naturally, there are dog breeds that are better placed as swimmers. As you probably already guessed, large dogs with heavy chests compared to their hindquarters make for poor swimmers.
These dogs are also usually characterized by short muzzles. For such dogs, swimming is such a treacherous activity that should only be done under close supervision and with the aid of safety equipment like a life vest.
Bulldogs have been identified as some of the worst swimmers among dog breeds. As a matter of fact, in certain jurisdictions, the authorities will require a pool to be fenced with the right protective screen if there happens to be a bulldog in such homes.
Looking at the features of dog breeds that can be characterized as poor swimmers, it is easy to see that beagles somewhat possess features on the opposite side of the spectrum.
In terms of size, beagles are small-to-medium breed dogs and are streamlined enough to remain afloat. But does that mean that they are better swimmers? Can a beagle swim?
Do Beagles Need To Be Trained on How to Swim?
There are some beagles that may adept at swimming naturally without requiring any training. There are those that will require rigorous training to help them overcome water phobia and become great swimmers.
Still, there is a category of beagles that will never want to be associated with water under any circumstances.
It is important to understand the category in which your beagle falls before you begin with the training.
The worst part is that beagles can be very stubborn and as such, swimming lessons could be grueling and long-drawn.
Being so inquisitive, beagles tend to follow their own line of thoughts and will not pay any attention to distractions.
So even if you have a training schedule and the dog happens to pick up a scent right before the lesson begins, their attention will be immediately drawn to the scent so much that you may have to postpone training for that particular day.
As a pet owner, it is therefore important to have some incentives before embarking on full swimming lessons for your beagles. And nothing does it better than treats.
All dogs like treats and will do anything to deserve them, even if it means taking their much-abhorred swimming classes.
Another trick that can work for you is to begin training the dog when he is still young. As opposed to adult beagles, puppies have very little self-drive and will readily do what their owners ask.
And the best thing about training your beagle to swim as a puppy is that you can begin easy. Small water pools such as your bathtub are just enough to start you off.
How Do Beagles Benefit From Swimming?
After training, you may be asking yourself, do beagles enjoy swimming?
Yes, with proper training, the dog will surely love to swim.
He will especially like it better if you go swimming together. Swimming is great for promoting muscle tone and preventing bone degeneration, especially in mature beagles.
It is a great cardio workout that will also boost your doggy’s respiratory and cardiovascular system, helping him keep certain heart-related conditions at bay.
Swimming is also great in terms of helping a dog dealing with lifestyle-related conditions. Some of these conditions include arthritis, obesity and hip dysplasia.
Swimming exercises will especially help a beagle to recover well from a surgical operation or from a debilitating disease. And not only does it help manage these lifestyle-related conditions, it also prevents them from happening in the first place.
Swimming has also been recommended for hyperactive beagles. When they lack a safe outlet for their energy, your beagle could take to destructive tendencies and behavior.
He could become aggressive with other pets or begin scratching on your furniture. All these are indications that the dog needs a safe outlet for the high energy stored up within them.
Like any dogs, beagles cool by panting or through their feet. Therefore, swimming goes a long way in allowing your dog to cool off.
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Safety Precautions When Teaching Your Beagles How To Swim
As expected, there are safety measures to abide by whenever you go swimming with your beagle. These especially apply when your dog is still trying to learn to swim.
The following are some of these precautions.
1. Never leave your beagle unattended whenever he is near a pool of water.
Accidents can happen when you least expect them to. If you can, acquaint yourself with basic pet first aid, focusing on how to respond in the event he is threatened by drowning.
2. Never leave your pool unattended.
If you do not have a lifeguard, it is better to fence your pool with the right pool screen. That will help keep pets and kids from accidentally falling into the pool.
Similarly, avoid walking too close to unattended pools in recreational parks or other centers.
Public swimming pools are also known to be breeding grounds for Giardia, a common parasite that causes giardiasis, a condition characterized by diarrhea and vomiting. The worst part is, it can as well be transmitted to humans.
3. When training, keep the lessons short.
We already mentioned that beagles are some of the most stubborn dogs so be patient too.
Also, ensure that your beagle does not drink the pool water. Pool water contains chemicals that could be harmful to the health of his gut. You can try to train him against drinking pool water by supplying him with clean water right after every swimming lesson.
4. Swim gently and avoid situations where your beagle might think your life is in danger.
That includes swimming in strong currents or in pools where the water flows over your head.
They could turn protective and step on your shoulder in a bid to save you – which could only sink you further.
5. In order to spice things up, you could consider bringing a floating toy such as a small ball to help him relish the fun. It is imperative to get a toy that is just the right size – not one that he could choke on, and neither one that could cause drowning.
As he continues to hone his skills, you won’t have to go with him inside the pool each time. Instead, you can play fetch where you throw in retrievable items inside the water and allow him to go fetch them.
6. Other precautionary measures include getting your beagle protective gear such as life vest and sunscreen.
Most importantly, give your dog a treat after every successful swimming lesson. This will act as an incentive that stirs his interest to go swimming some more.
Needless to mention, allow up to two hours before hitting the pool. Beagles have a rather slow digestion compared to humans. Going for a swim right after eating could lead to a bloat, which might affect his buoyancy.
So, are beagles good swimmers?
Well, naturally they aren’t. But with proper training, your beagles could become some of the best swimmer dogs you could ever have.
Take note of the keywords – patience and diligence – since beagles are not very obedient, hence are difficult to train.
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