Pets are wonderful creatures that bring a lot of joy to families. There are many types of animals (dogs, rodents, cats, etc.), and each of them offers many physical and emotional benefits. All of these animals have unique attributes that help them to better adapt to specific homes.
In many households, canines are the most common and prevalent pets. This type of animal is not only characterized by its personality and temperament but also by its behaviour, physical appearance, abilities, intelligence, etc.
Keep in mind that there are many dog breeds, and each of them has different distinctive characteristics. Some are noted for their temperament and personality, while others for their ability and physical appearance.
The Basenji is one of the world’s oldest and most intriguing breeds. This dog originated in Africa. It is a small-medium breed of dog that is distinguished mainly by its beautiful and elegant appearance.
It has a deep chest, a short back, small ears, and dark eyes with a piercing gaze. The fur of this animal is short, dense, and fine and is usually white or black. However, there are other colour combinations.
Basenjis are independent, curious dogs that can be affectionate and friendly with every member of their family. When it comes to youngsters, strangers, and other pets, they are somewhat more cautious.
It is important to highlight the fact that Basenjis are not the best choice for families with young children. The reason for this is that they have a hunting instinct which can be dangerous for other household pets as well as for children and babies.
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 specific case, you should know that there are many breeds of dogs that do not like water, but there are others that love it. Similarly, not all canines like to swim.
Most Basenji dogs don’t like water. Many canines of this breed are frightened of water and feel very uncomfortable in it. The main reason for that is that this breed of dog has characteristics similar to that of a cat, and one of them is the fear of water.
Basenji genetics and negative past experiences are also some other reasons why these dogs might fear water.
Keep in mind that not all dogs are the same, so it is possible that there are Basenjis that like to swim. If we introduce this breed of dog to water as a pup, it will not be scared of swimming in the future. However, that requires training and patience.
Why Can’t My Basenji Swim?
We have previously commented that Basenjis do not like water or swimming. Any dog should be trained from a puppy to learn not to fear water.
A Basenji’s refusal to swim might be due to a variety of factors, including:
You should know that this breed has a slow learning capacity, so teaching it will not be easy. Remember that any breed of dog, including the Basenji, needs to be trained from the time they are puppies. That means you should teach it to swim at an early age.
It is not recommended to train a Basenji when it is an adult as it is unlikely to learn to swim at that age, or it could take a long time.
Basenji’s parents were probably terrified of swimming or simply didn’t know how to swim. In that case, your Basenji wouldn’t feel the love of swimming.
Perhaps your Basenji has had a bad experience in the past, falling into a river, lake, or pool without knowing how to swim. Dogs are very similar to human beings in that they are able to remember past experiences and associate them with what is happening at the moment.
In case your Basenji does not want to enter the water, you should not force it to do so since you will only get adverse results. Keep in mind that some canines never learn how to swim, so if you’ve been training yours for a long time and it still won’t swim, you’ll have to face the fact that it won’t.
Teaching a Basenji to Swim
Despite the fact that this breed of dog dislikes swimming, it is feasible to train it if we show patience and consistency throughout the process. We must keep in mind that due to their slow learning abilities, these canines do not learn rapidly. Therefore, the training could last a long time.
It is important to consider some factors and aspects if we really want our Basenji to quickly learn to stop being afraid of water and swim.
The first point to keep in mind is that not all Basenjis are equal. Several methods help canines learn faster, while others may confuse them.
Similarly, we must pay attention to our Basenji’s body language because it is probable that it is terrified of water. If that’s the case, we won’t be able to continue with the training since things may get worse. As a result, it’s a good idea to start introducing them to water when they are pups.
Before teaching your pet to swim, there are a few things to keep in mind that will enhance its training experience.
- Safety: All dogs can be at risk of drowning when they don’t know how to swim yet. Therefore, we must ensure that our dog is wearing a life jacket with a handle.
- Warm water: Make sure to take your Basenji to a place where there is warm water. That is due to the fact that this breed of dog lacks an undercoat to shield itself from the cold. For that reason, it will not be able to survive cold conditions for an extended period.
- Treats: You may use positive reinforcement to ensure that your dog learns what you’re trying to teach it fast, and the easiest method to do so is to give it treats.
It is essential that you always put a life jacket on your dog during the process. Keep in mind that anywhere with shallow water is the best place to start training your Basenji.
Take the canine to the water (on a leash) so that it adapts to being in it. We want our pets to feel comfortable during the process and stop being afraid of entering the water, regardless of whether it is in a pool, river, or lake.
Always attempt to use incentives and a cheerful tone of voice to keep your Basenji engaged in training. This will help your pet feel more secure during the process, keeping it from being terrified of water.
It’s time to educate your canine on how to swim and remain afloat. When your Basenji joins a pool, lake, or river, it will attempt to float and row by moving its legs as if it were a person.
To give extra support during this period, you should stretch your arm and hold your Basenji. That is why having a life jacket with a grip is essential. When learning to swim, many canines only utilize their front legs. Holding it below its belly is the greatest method to make it use all of its limbs.
It’s also crucial that you teach your dog how to exit the water properly. That way, it will be able to safely exit a river, lake, or pool without relying entirely on you.
Advantages of Teaching a Basenji to Swim
Swimming is a popular sport among humans as it is a great physical activity. Even though this breed does not demand a lot of physical activity, it will need it because it is prone to obesity.
Better Basenji Health
Swimming is an excellent way for a dog’s heart and lungs to be strengthened. That’s not all. This physical activity can help your Basenji not only improve blood circulation but also speed up their metabolism.
Furthermore, swimming might be beneficial to overweight Basenjis since it burns a lot of calories. Many breeds of dogs, including Basenjis, can die from diseases caused by obesity.
It Improves 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. As a curious fact, warm water can help relieve joint discomfort.
It Provides Good Coordination of Movements
Swimming is one of the most complex sports out there, and it offers many benefits, including the development of the muscles and the improvement of coordination.
Keep in mind that this type of activity will continue to help develop the canine’s bones, joints, and muscles, allowing for more precise movements of its limbs.