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Are dog life jackets necessary?


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#1 smugg254

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 05:54 AM

Recently my sister's dog encountered a life threatening incident around a pool, she almost drowned since she couldn't swim, someone had to jump in to rescue her. Since then my sister is totally freaked out of the idea of her dog playing around the pool. Her house has a pool in the back yard and she doesn't know what to do to limit her dogs movement to avoid another incident. Someone suggested Dog Life Jackets, has anyone tried them? do you think they will solve anything?



#2 Smalahundur

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 06:18 AM

Ehm, any normal dog can swim (pugs are a degenerate exception). I assume there is a spot where they can easily get out of the pool. If not I would rather construct something likd that than have the dog walk around in a life vest all day....

Edit, sorry didn't read careful enough, you actually state this dog can't swim. What is wrong with him?

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#3 waffles

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 12:54 PM

If the dog is let out into the pool area, he should know how to swim.  He should also know where the steps are to walk himself out of the pool.  I can't imagine putting a life jacket on a dog every single time he goes outside forever.  It is not difficult to teach most dogs to swim and show him how to walk himself out of the steps.  Have your sister get in the pool with the dog, or walk the dog in on a leash or just toss a ball in.  You may have to support his stomach until he gets the hang off paddling around.  Both my dogs love water and swimming.  My old guy had to be taught as he had never been to a creek, pond or lake before.  Now he is a total water nut.

 

 

Is the pool not fenced in?  Or is the entire backyard fenced and the pool is not separate? 



#4 urge to herd

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 03:17 PM

Putting a dog who can't swim in a life jacket, IMO, makes it worse. I took my Gibbs swimming a couple times for therapeutic purposes. The facility owner, who was a trained RVT and had learned doggie physical therapy, recommended he wear a vest.

 

He was so nervous he kept rolling over. I don't know if he was just nervous about swimming, or if the vest made it worse, but it kept happening. Finally I saw that he was keeping his hind legs clutched up under his belly! Somehow the facility owner got him to relax a bit, and once he understood that he could indeed swim, he relaxed even more and started to enjoy it.

 

My point is, if he doesn't know how to swim, a life vest could easily make it worse. And any of the breeds that are heavy chested and have pushed in muzzles are at MUCH bigger risk of drowning. It seems to me that a life vest on an untrained heavy chested/short muzzle dog would really be problematic.

 

Teach him to swim. Teach him to climb the stairs out of the pool. Don't let him out there alone. Even if he knows how to swim AND has a life vest on, the worst could still happen. FWIW, there are a lot of dogs who'd be ripping a life vest off themselves asap.

 

Ruth and Gibbs



#5 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 10:16 PM

Recently my sister's dog encountered a life threatening incident around a pool, she almost drowned since she couldn't swim, someone had to jump in to rescue her. Since then my sister is totally freaked out of the idea of her dog playing around the pool. Her house has a pool in the back yard and she doesn't know what to do to limit her dogs movement to avoid another incident. Someone suggested Dog Life Jackets, has anyone tried them? do you think they will solve anything?

 

 

Goodness, did your sister say why her dog couldn't swim? I presume we're speaking about a border collie?

At any rate, for reasons given above, I don't think a life jacket every time the dog goes out is a good idea. Your sister should either fence the pool off or teach the dog to swim - gently and with much care and support - and make sure it knows where the steps out of the pool are. If there are no steps for the dog to use getting out, then again, I recommend a fence around the pool.

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#6 rushdoggie

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 12:00 AM

My dogs wear vests when they swim in the river as there is a light current sometimes and I worry they might get caught and get tired. I also have my small dog wear one in the pool we go to sometimes, because he sometimes ends up under the ramp and I want him to be happy and not get scared if he gets stuck.

 

They don't wear them in other pools, lakes, or ponds.

 

He needs to learn how to swim gently. Not all BCs are naturally comfortable swimming, it took me a while to teach Argos but now he loves it.


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#7 D'Elle

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 03:58 PM

I am very curious as to why this dog cannot swim!

Is the dog a border collie?

If so, is there something wrong with the dog that makes the dog unable to swim?

And if so, then I would suggest that the pool area should be fenced.

If the dog can be taught to swim, teach her.


D'Elle

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#8 KrisK

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 07:57 AM

I had a border collie mix who absolutely couldn't swim. There was nothing wrong with her physically but she had no idea about swimming. Mind you, we didn't live in an area where we could teach her to swim either. She would wade in the water but that was it. We found out she couldn't swim when a "friend" tossed her into the water. She sunk like a stone and needed to be rescued.

I put life jackets on my dogs when we are boating and they do well with them but first we got them used to having them on and swimming with them. The rationale for the life jackets - we're generally 2-3 kms from shore in our canoe so it's a long swim for anyone.  If I had a pool, I'd be teaching the dog how to swim


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#9 teresaserrano

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 03:54 PM

I once knew a lab, of all breeds, that couldn't swim. Nobody believed his owner when he said the dog couldn't swim. But then one day I was playing fetch with my dog in a lagoon and that dog decided to join the fun. He swam a few metters after my dog, then he slowly sank to the bottom. I never saw a man undress as quickly as his owner.


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#10 Smalahundur

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 07:57 AM

Really, that is weird, as you say of all breeds a labrador.
Seems that I have to revise my earlier stated opinion...

"Milli manns og hests og hunds hangir leyniþráður"


#11 mum24dog

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 08:29 AM

I've had dogs that didn't like swimming, weren't very good at it, but never a dog where self preservation didn't kick in when it found itself out of its depth.

 

Never had a dog built like a cannonball though.




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