In this video we show you how to get a scared dog into the pool. When doing this, make sure you have a lot of patience. Remain calm, but confident. We are going to pull on the leash just enough to get the dog moving toward the pool. The steps are like the edge of a cliff to the dog, so we need to show them that it is safe. Take your time and lure the dog into the pool by pulling on the leash. If you have a shallow end, as we do in this pool, stay in the shallow end for a bit to get the dog used to the idea of just being in water. Be sure to not allow the dog to bolt out of the pool. Exit the pool in a calm manner. Enter and exit the pool several times to get the dog comfortable with it. Once the dog is doing this well, move onto actually swimming. You will again need to use the leash to gently pull your dog into the pool and get them swimming. Once the dog is in the deep water, one helpful thing you can do is hold the dog along the sides and allow them to get a good swimming rhythm going before releasing them onto the steps. Keep repeating this training until your dog becomes more and more comfortable. Eventually the dog will no longer fear the steps or the edge of the pool. Some dogs are more naturally inclined to want to swim and some are not. If you have a breed of dog that has a pushed in face or has a more solid body mass (such as a Bulldog), adding a lifejacket can be very helpful. If your dog is into a toy, you can use that to help coax them into the pool as well. Remember to be patient and have fun. Once your dog starts to get more comfortable and calm down, you can add treats to help make it a positive experience.
Other helpful blog articles:
Teaching your dog to Swim in the Pool
Ocean Swimming: Step One
Ocean Swimming: Step Two
How to get a scared or timid dog moving on leash