All dogs need daily exercise. Some canines need more hours of training than others. What determines the amount of time such an animal should exercise is its genetics, body build, diet, and level of physical activity.
Akitas are dogs that need plenty of daily exercises to stay fit and healthy. There are a wide variety of physical activities that a canine can do to meet its exercise needs.
Walks, agility exercises, and games are some of them, but swimming is one of the most efficient activities to keep the Akita healthy and entertained.
Swimming is an excellent activity for Akitas as they generally love the water and have qualities that allow them to be excellent swimmers. That does not mean that your Akita will like water as not all dogs of this type are the same. Also, some past experiences could make your pet afraid of water.
Are Akitas the Best Swimming Dogs?
Absolutely not! There are a wide variety of dog breeds that are above the Akita when it comes to swimming. Despite having qualities that allow them to swim very well, that does not mean that they are going to jump into the water as soon as they see a pool, lake, or river.
One of the characteristics that allow the Akita to be a good swimming dog is its webbed feet, which not only help it to swim well but can also walk easily on snow. In addition, they are dogs with great resistance, so they will not tire easily when swimming and floating on the water.
Unfortunately, some Akitas never learn to swim. That is partly the fault of their owners since they do not encourage them to swim from an early age. As we have said before, Akitas are not canines that jump into the water on their own but must wait for their owners to tell them.
How to Make Your Akita Swim?
In the same way that humans achieve certain things through training, dogs do too. The first step is to be willing to help your Akita love the water. Therefore, it is important that you take it to a pool or lake where your canine can become familiar with the water.
The most advisable thing is to take your Akita to these places while it is still a puppy since, at that age, its love for water is unconditional. In case your Akita is an adult, you have to make sure that it has not had a negative experience in the past that makes it hate water.
Either way, there are different methods you can apply to make your Akita love water and swimming. Some tips for that are:
- Get into a pool (it is recommended that it be shallow) and begin to attract your Akita’s attention. That will possibly lure it into the water, as we have to remember that these dogs are very trusting of their owners.
- When your canine enters the water, hold and pet it to let it know that all is well and that it is a safe area. You must never pressure or force it to do something at the beginning.
- As time goes by, don’t hold it anymore and move away from it a little so that it becomes more familiar with the area and has more confidence.
- When your canine is ready to enter deeper water, teach it to paddle. Actually, these dogs do this movement by nature, but it is vital that you are close to them and place your hand under their belly to prevent them from sinking and feel safer.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Teaching Your Akita to Swim
Everything in this life has its pros and cons, and swimming is no exception.
- Swimming is an excellent physical activity that will keep your dog in excellent shape and healthy.
- Spending a few minutes in the water will help your Akita cool down during hot weather.
- Swimming can prevent joint pain and arthritis in these canines. It is important that you know that this breed of dog is prone to hip dysplasia, so swimming is an excellent activity to keep the joints healthy and active.
- These canines may not like water if they have never had such an experience in the past.
- Your Akita may stop trusting you if you force it to get into the water and swim. That could also cause it to develop inappropriate behaviours.
- Its aggressive side might come to light in response to the fear of water that it has developed.
- Be patient throughout the process, as teaching an Akita to swim and be in the water can be challenging.
- During training, always bring a life jacket for your Akita.
- If you have no idea how to train your Akita, hire a professional who has experience introducing this type of dog to the water.