Can Basenjis Swim?

Pets belong to a special part of many people’s lives. They provide all kinds of emotional benefits regardless of whether it is a dog, cat, rodent, bird, snake, etc. Each of these animals has distinctive characteristics that allow them to adapt to certain families better. 

Dogs are the most popular and common pets in many homes. These animals not only stand out for their physical appearance but also for their ability, personality, behavior, and temperament.

There is a great diversity of dog breeds that are distinguished by particular characteristics. Some are noted for their ability and physical appearance, while others for their temperament and personality. 

One of the oldest and most interesting breeds in the world is the Basenji. This dog originated in Africa. It belongs to a small-medium breed that is characterized by having an elegant and aristocratic appearance.

It has small ears, a short back, a deep chest, and dark eyes that show a piercing gaze. This animal’s fur is short, fine, and very dense and comes in different colors such as black or white. However, there are other color combinations. 

The dogs of this breed are known to be curious, independent, and affectionate, especially with their owners and members of their human family. They are a little more reserved with children, strangers, and other animals.

In fact, they may not be the best option for families with young children. That is because they have a predisposition to hunting, so it could be dangerous not only for young children but also for other pets. 

Can Basenjis Swim? 

We have to keep in mind that each breed of dog is different. Some like to do certain things while others don’t. In this case, there are dogs that love to swim while others do not. In fact, many breeds of canines do not like water. 

Most Basenji dogs don’t like water. This is something that many canine breeds are born with. Many dogs of this type can feel uncomfortable in the water and even terrified. One of the main reasons is that it is a breed with certain characteristics similar to that of cats, including its fear of water.

However, other reasons may be due to some traumatic experience in the past or simply due to the genetics of this animal. 

That does not mean that there are no Basenjis who like to swim. If we accustom this type of canine to being in the water as a puppy, it will not be afraid to swim in the future. However, that requires training and patience. 

Why Can’t My Basenji Swim? 

As we have said before, this breed does not like water, much less swimming. It is essential to bear in mind that a dog of this type must be trained from puppyhood not to fear water. 

There can be a number of reasons why a Basenji does not want to swim: 

  • Late learning: It must be taken into account that this breed has a slow learning capacity, so it can be more difficult to teach it. As we have said above, Basenjis, like any other breed of dog, must learn to swim from puppies. If you try to teach your canine to swim when it is an adult, it is likely that it will not learn or take time to do so. 
  • Genetic issues: This is directly related to its parents. It is possible that the parents of the Basenji were afraid to swim or simply did not know how to do it. In that case, your Basenji wouldn’t feel the love of swimming. 
  • Traumatic experiences: Perhaps your Basenji has had a bad experience in the past falling into a river, lake, or pool without knowing how to swim. Like humans, dogs also remember situations from the past and learn to associate them with what is happening today. 

It is never advisable to force our Basenji to enter the water as the expected result could be worse. Keep in mind that there are dogs that never learn to swim, so if you have already trained yours for a long time and still not swim, then you have to accept that it never will. 

How to Train a Basenji to Learn to Swim? 

Although this breed of dog does not like to swim, it is possible to teach it as long as we have a lot of patience and consistency during the process. We have to remember that these dogs do not learn quickly due to their slow learning ability. Therefore, the training could last a long time. 

If we want our Basenji to learn to swim effectively, we have to take into account certain factors as well as the type of training that we have to provide. 

The first thing to consider is that not all Basenjis are the same. Some dogs can learn faster with certain techniques, while others can better understand other methods.

In the same way, it is important that we notice the body language of our Basenji since it is possible that it is afraid of water. If that is the case, we cannot proceed to carry out the training as it could be worse. It is for this reason that it is advisable to introduce them to the water from an early age. 

Before starting training to teach your Basenji to swim, it is essential to take into consideration certain things that will improve the experience during training. 

  • Safety: This is important since our dog can be at risk of drowning. For that reason, we have to make sure that our canine wears a life jacket with a handle. 
  • Warm water: Make sure to take your Basenji to a place where there is warm water. That is because this type of dog does not have an undercoat to protect itself from the cold, so it will not be able to withstand low temperatures for a long time. 
  • Treats: You can use positive reinforcement so that your canine quickly learns what you are trying to teach it, and the best way to achieve this is by giving it treats. 

You have to find a shallow area and make sure you carry the life jacket as a precaution. Hold the canine on a leash and walk with it into the water to get it used to it. The idea of ​​this is to make the canine feel confident by touching the water and thereby avoid feeling fear. 

If you want to keep your Basenji focused on training, always try to use treats and a pleasant tone of voice. That will make your pet feel safer during the process, preventing it from being afraid of entering the water. 

It is time to teach your dog to stay afloat in the water. When your Basenji enters the pool, river, or lake, it will try to float and row by moving its legs just like a human being would. 

It is recommended that you extend your arm and hold your canine to provide additional support during this time. That is why it is vital to have a life jacket with a handle. Many dogs only use their front legs when they are learning to swim. The best way to get it to use all its legs is to hold it below its belly. 

It is important that you also teach your Basenji the correct way to get out of the water. That will allow it to know how to safely get out of a pool, lake, or river without completely depending on you. 

What are the Advantages of a Basenji Learning to Swim? 

Human beings practice swimming because it is an excellent physical activity and sport. Although the Basenji does not require excessive physical exercise, it will need it as it can easily suffer from obesity. 

Basenji Better Health 

Without a doubt, swimming is a great exercise to strengthen a canine’s lungs and heart. That’s not all. Swimming can help a dog speed up its metabolism and improve blood circulation. 

In addition, this activity can be of great help for overweight Basenjis as it helps burn many calories. Remember that being overweight is one of the main factors why many canines of this type suffer diseases or die worldwide. 

It Improves Basenji Joints 

Swimming can help your Basenji’s joints and muscles. That is especially important in this breed of dog since it is characterized by easily suffering from obesity. 

Swimming helps decrease the stress on the canine’s tendons and joints. In fact, warm water helps ease any joint pain. 

Your Basenji Will Have Better Coordination of Movements 

Swimming is one of the most complex sports out there, and it offers many benefits. One of them is the improvement in the coordination and development of movements of your Basenji. 

In addition, these exercises will continuously develop and harmonize the muscles, bones, and joints, allowing firm and precise movements of this animal’s limbs.