Can Jack Russells Swim: Do They Like Water?

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When adopting a new dog, owners are quite curious when it comes to their physical activities and capabilities.

Now, just like me, I was quite curious about my Jack Russel’s ability to swim, and also if they were actually fond of water just like other dogs are. After owning Jack Russels for several years, I can confidently say that yes, Jack Russels can swim.

Want to know more about Jack Russels and their swimming capabilities? If so, then you’ve landed in the right place.

This post will walk you through everything you need to know about Jack Russels and their fondness for swimming. Not only this, but I will also unveil some important tips and measures you must take to ensure your furry animal gets comfortable with swimming safely.

Let’s dive straight in…


Do Jack Russells Like Swimming?

Here’s a fact- Jack Russels are excellent swimmers. But, the only way they can actually like swimming is as long as you introduce them to the water at an early age, and also let them gain confidence first.

If you don’t introduce your furry canine to swimming at a young age, they definitely won’t be fond of swimming later on either.

I never really introduced my male Jack Russel to swimming at an early age, but this was not until I adopted another female Jack Russel, who became quite fond of swimming when I introduced her to waters when she was just a puppy.

Therefore, the ultimate rule is that in order to get your Jack Russel to like swimming, you must get them familiar with it at an early age, or else you’ll struggle with getting their feet in the water later on.

Reasons Why Your Jack Russell Doesn’t Like The Water!

Yes, Jack Russels are impressive swimmers by nature, but that does not mean all of them have an affinity for swimming.

Their fondness for water also depends on their personality, just like other animals. Jack Russels are highly energetic, hyper, and independent in nature, so what might be the cause for them to be steering clear of water and swimming?

What I’ve noticed is that the only reason why your Jack Russel probably doesn’t like water and avoids swimming, is that it was not introduced to the water at an early age, which is why it is not still not confident and comfortable enough in doing so.

See also: Jack Russell Howling: How to Stop?

Another reason why your Jack Russel isn’t really fond of swimming is probably that he had a bad experience in the past, such as getting pushed into the pool, almost drowning, and so on.

Animals tend to not be around things they are unhappy with and have had unfavorable experiences with, which is why your dog might take pools and water as something negative and will do anything to avoid it. However, the good news is, you can easily eliminate your Jack Russel’s negative association with water in no time!

How? Let’s find out…

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How To Get Them Comfortable Enough To Swim

Just like new dog owners, I myself struggled with getting my male Jack Russel to get comfortable with swimming. Here are some tips I personally found helpful that you can use too:

See also  Jack Russell Howling: How to Stop?

Start your dog’s swimming lessons as early as possible

Although the ideal time to start your dog’s swimming lessons is when they are still a puppy, it’s never too late to start. Set some hours of each day that are dedicated entirely to teaching your little furry friend how to swim. How to teach them to swim? Well, dogs use their own natural instincts.

What I used to do is hang around in the home’s backyard pool with my Jack Russels, and just let them explore the water themselves and do their thing.

This way, they would make themselves feel familiar with the pool, and test the waters themselves. Trust me, this way, your Jack Russels will become excellent swimmers when they grow up!

Keep them fit

Jack Russels that are healthy and not overweight won’t have a hard time going in the water. However, in case your Jack Russel is a little overweight and not well-conditioned, they would definitely feel uncomfortable going in the water, and will probably not enjoy it as much either.

What I recommend is to ensure you take your Jack Russel on frequent walks and also increase their playtime before introducing them to swimming. By keeping your furry little friend fit and active, they would eventually feel more comfortable enough to swim. So get their little feet moving!

Train your dog in the shallow water

By starting your dog’s swimming lessons, you must first make them swim in the shallow water, before introducing them to the deeper ends of the pool. This way, your Jack Russel will start going to the deeper ends of the water when it feels more confident and comfortable.

By following these simple tips, I assure you that your Jack Russel will get comfortable with swimming in no time, and will eventually start loving it too!

Why You Should Get Your Jack Russell To Swim

Every dog owner should get their dogs to start swimming. Why? Because, swimming alone helps provide our furry animals with excellent exercise, which is ideal for both their muscle strengthening and cardiovascular workout.

Who doesn’t want a lazy bum as a canine pet? Well, I sure didn’t. That ruins the whole idea of keeping a hound which is meant for hunting purposes! Thus, this is why I introduce my Jack Russels to swimming, as it is, in my opinion, the best way for our dogs to burn off extra energy.

What I also noticed after getting my Jack Russells to swim, is that it greatly helped them stem some behavioral problems I noticed in them in their early months, which was entirely as a result of pent-up energy. Some of these behavioral problems included barking unnecessarily and showing aggression towards strangers. Swimming greatly helped conquer these problems.

Apart from these apparent reasons why you should get your Jack Russel to swim, I have listed several prominent benefits of swimming, which is why you should definitely consider getting your Jack Russel to start swimming.

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The Benefits Of Swimming

Excluding the cardiovascular and respiratory benefits as mentioned earlier, here are some of the other important benefits of swimming:

It is good for their health

Swimming greatly helps your furry canine stay active, maintain an ideal weight, improve balance and coordination, strengthen the lungs and heart, and also strengthen the body’s muscles, which is ideal for hunting dogs like Jack Russels.

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Help get rid of problematic behavior

Swimming isn’t only good for a dog’s physical health, but for their mental health as well. As mentioned before, your Jack Russel will tend to be less aggressive when they start swimming, and will also show less problematic behavior issues.

Eliminates risks of health complications

When your dog swims regularly, it will reduce the risks of Dysplasia and arthritis in the future, which are common conditions in older dogs. Moreover, swimming is also a great way to recover from any injury.

Helps them stay cool in the hot weather

Dogs can get extremely lethargic and sluggish during the summer season with such intense heat. Don’t you loathe seeing your energetic and hyper furry little friend like this? Don’t worry, a quick dip in the pool during the hot weather will surely help your Jack Russel refresh and feel energized once again. Regular swims during summer are an excellent way to help them cool down.

Safe Swimming Tips (for your Jack Russell)

Just because your Jack Russel has become comfortable with swimming and can now swim on its own, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take any safety measures. Here are a few safety measures that I personally take in order to ensure my doggo is safe:

Never leave your dog unsupervised

Even after your dog has gotten comfortable swimming on its own, you must never leave it alone and unsupervised. Leaving your canine in the pool alone can get them in panic mode easily, and they could also potentially injure themselves trying to get out of the pool.

Teach them how to get out of the water

The first thing to do when introducing your Jack Russel to swimming is to make them learn when to get out.

What I used to do is give my dog a “get out” command, and it would know when to get out. This way, they will know when the pool is too deep, and when to get out of the water if they start feeling anxious.

Make your dog wear a life vest

Life vests will ensure your dog doesn’t accidentally drown or injure itself when it gets anxious and fearful in the water. Also, with a life vest, your little dog will definitely enjoy swimming more and feel more confident.

You can find numerous dog life vests on the internet. My personal favorite for my Jack Russel is Granby Splash Orange Dog Life Jacket, which is easily available on Amazon.

Do not let your dog drink saltwater

After your canine has become an excellent swimmer, you might be thinking of taking them along for hunting near rivers or lakes.

What safety measure you must take then is to make sure they do not swallow too much saltwater.

Consuming too much salt water can be fatal for dogs in extreme cases, and can even ​​cause diarrhea, vomiting, and even dehydration. This is because the saltwater tends to expel the water from the blood, which then makes its way to the dog’s intestines.