Hey there! YorkiePassion readers are constantly coming up with new questions about their beloved pups. Today, we’ve got a brand new article to cover an important topic every Yorkie owner should know about – can Yorkies swim?
Summer is right around the corner, and it’s typical that you might think about going to the beach or the lake for a weekend. But, no vacation would be complete without your little furry friend! If you plan on taking your pup on a waterside vacation with you, you’ll definitely want to know if they can swim or not.
After all, it’s more fun when your dog can come into the water and have fun with the family. When it comes to Yorkies, there are a few things you need to know about their unique swimming capabilities and what it takes to teach them.
It’s also a good skill for your Yorkie to be able to swim – you never know when they might encounter water, so they might as well know their way around it.
So, to the point – can Yorkies swim? Yes, they can – read on to find out whether they like to swim, how to teach them, and how to take care of them after they take a dip.
Do All Yorkies Like to Swim?
The first question people might have is whether Yorkies actually like to swim. Just because humans can technically swim doesn’t mean it’s a favorite hobby for everyone. Dogs are the same in this way – you might have a Yorkie that was absolutely made to be in the water. On the other hand, it might not be their favorite thing to do.
I personally know a Yorkie that would have a sixth sense for when a body of water was nearby and jump in every chance she got!
The best way to find out whether your own Yorkie likes to swim is to let them try. Later on, we’ll detail how you can introduce your Yorkie to swimming. The good news is that even if they don’t like it at first, that doesn’t mean they’ll never enjoy it. It’s good not to force it, but lots of good things can come through regular exposure and good teaching.
Do Yorkies like to swim? It just depends on the pup.
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Never Ever Toss A Pet Into The Water!
Something you should always keep in mind is that you should absolutely never toss your pet into the pool or lake! This is surely not the way to get them to like swimming, and it could even be life-threatening if they’re not trained.
Being placed in a pool without an exit plan can be incredibly stressful for a little dog, so the best way to get them into the water is on their own terms. If you have a pool, make sure they know the way in, since that means they’d know the way out.
It’s best to slowly introduce your pet to the body of water in question, and then move on to getting them in it. In fact, pool owners should cover their pool if their Yorkie likes to roam outside unsupervised.
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Are Yorkies Developed For Swimming?
Another thing you might want to know about is how Yorkies are genetically equipped to be good swimmers. Can Yorkies swim? Yes, but they might not have been specifically bred to join the puppy Olympics (at least not in this event!).
In fact, Yorkies were actually bred in the 19th century to be expert vermin chasers. That’s right, your little pup would be a pro back in the day to keep factories and stores pest-free! They served a great purpose, but swimming wasn’t really in their equation.
Does this matter? Not really! Yorkies share the same traits as other dogs in that they can learn how to use their bodies to float and swim. While they might not cover the same distance as a Labrador in the water, their ability can reach great heights. Yorkies are, relative to size, some of the most agile dog breeds, and this can translate to swimming.
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Is Swimming Good Exercise For A Yorkie?
Swimming has been hailed for being one of the top exercise methods for humans. It’s easy on the joints and burns an immense amount of calories in a short time. It’s a great exercise for us, and it’s also a great exercise for your pet!
Getting the right amount of exercise is vital to your dog’s health, especially since Yorkies are so energetic. If they don’t exercise enough, their mental health and physical well-being could suffer greatly.
So, if swimming is something your Yorkie would enjoy, definitely use it as an exercise option. The thing is, because of the physical demand, swimming can be tiring if we do it for too long and it’s no different for Fido or Rover. When your dog is swimming, make sure you’re monitoring them for any signs of tiredness in the water.
In general, try to stay as close as you can to your Yorkie when you’re swimming together, and you can both get a great workout in!
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How To Teach Your Yorkie To Swim
Are you thinking of how to teach a Yorkie to swim? Maybe you’re preparing for that beach vacation this summer, or you just want them to be able to join you in the pool. Luckily, if your Yorkie doesn’t already have a grasp on swimming, there are lots of good ways to help them along.
The first method we’d recommend is getting a kiddie pool to train them in. You can just inflate them and fill them up with a few inches of water at first so your Yorkie can get acquainted with being in the water. After they feel confident splashing around, you can raise the water level so they can practice keeping themselves afloat!
If this is a challenge for them, you can actually buy puppy or adult dog life vests. In fact, it could be a good idea to have one of these on hand even if you don’t think they’ll need it. Wearing a dog life vest can help them conserve energy and stay in the water longer if they want to.
Over time, if they’re training in a pool with a life vest, you can slowly wean them off of the vest. This is probably the most effective way to teach a Yorkie to swim.
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Tips For Encouraging Your Yorkie To Swim
Sometimes, you might have a Yorkie that isn’t as inclined to jump in the water on a whim. This may be because they just don’t like to swim, and that’s totally okay. It’s not for everyone or every pet! Otherwise, it could be just because they’re not comfortable in the water yet.
If you think the former, don’t force it. If your pet just isn’t a small water dog in disguise, that’s okay, and you should let them stay where they want to be. For the latter, you might consider giving them more introductions to different bodies of water and seeing how they react. There are also ways to encourage your dog to swim other than through training.
One thing you can do is accompany them closely as they go into the water. You’re their best friend, and they might be apprehensive to explore the unfamiliar territory on their own. The best bet is to get in the water with them and be there every step of the way.
A good way to encourage a Yorkie to swim is to stick to the shallow areas and wait for them to take you to the deeper parts. No dog likes to be forced into things, so it’s much better to wait until they’re truly ready. When they want to start swimming, they’ll try it! You could also try giving them a treat after swimming to encourage them more.
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Now that you have a good grasp on Yorkies and swimming, you probably know where your pup stands. If they’re going to go in the water, you’ll have to have a good post-swimming routine.
Water can get dirty sometimes, so the first thing to note is that you’ll need to clean them off well after a water trip. Giving them a quick hose-down at home will do the trick, and you can dry them off with a towel.
Something else is that you should always bring clean drinking water wherever you’re going. Since swimming can be such good exercise, your pup will need to stay hydrated! Without clean water, they might try to lap up some water from the lake or pool, which you definitely don’t want. That kind of water is only for swimming in, not ingesting!
Overall, make sure your Yorkie is comfortable, happy, and clean after a fun swimming trip.