Training dog to get out of inground pool

alysenlynnAugust 27, 2013

We are waiting for our pool dig to begin but the rain here in SC has everything behind schedule. In the mean time I've been reading up on all things pool related and I am seeing different ideas about dogs and pools.

I have three large dogs (50-70 lbs) and I am assuming that the youngest will want to swim and know that it is possible that the older two may take a swim intentionally or not so I am reading about training dogs to get out of the pool for safety reasons. The two methods I have read about are adding a ramp/steps made for dogs and training them to your stairs using a landmark that doesn't move outside of the pool such as a large planter.

Does anyone have feedback on these methods and what works for them? Also has anyone tried the turtle pool alarm that has water sensors on the dogs collars to let you know your dog is in the water when you are not by their side?

Thank you!

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I, too, have been concerned about doggie safety. I have small dogs and they do have difficulty getting out, plus they panic so that much harder. I bought them life jackets. Additionally, as they're not comfortable with pool, the stay away and will only come in when we're in it.

I have never heard of dogs drowning so my precautions have not been extreme. Hope I'm not making a mistake.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 2:35PM
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Fori is not pleased

Walk your dogs in at the steps and they will either get out or go in--but they ought to remember the steps. Mine does not like the pool but can be coaxed onto the step. When evil people (/blush) shove him in, he swims to the steps.

I think that once you familiarize your dogs with the pool's layout, they will remember how to get out.

A fence is also a good idea. It keeps stray children as well as dogs from becoming dead.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 5:32PM
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I chose a swim out installed in the deep end so all my dogs can exit the pool.
I showed all three the shallow end steps and the deep end step out ledge. It took a few tries for them to get the hang of the steps' depth. Don't rush the process.
One of the dogs was not a swimmer. I was going to buy her a life vest but while I was searching which size vest to purchase I would take her in without any distractions and hold her stomach until she settled. We had her swimming in about a week. My issue now is how to stop them from jumping in.
What I noticed is the dogs can not see the depth changes but recalled that each exit area has two steps. Sometimes they only stand on the deeper step to catch their breath and then push off for a swim without any toy or ball.
A few times the dog that was a poor swimmer would try to exit from the sides so we held her belly and traveled the walls to show her how to find the steps.
The key is patience and recall they don't see colors.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 7:39PM
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Thanks guys! I'm going to try my three with just step training and maybe putting a large flower pot that is white in color at one of the four exit steps (we will have two set on the shallow and two steps on the deep end).

I've read that over 9,000 cats and dogs die from drowning each year in the united states. That's a scary number!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 10:35AM
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Dogs and swimming pools mix with varying degrees of success. At my last house our dog, a 60 lb. female Labrador, was pretty sure the pool was hers and graciously shared it with us. Sometimes she practices rescuing us, whether we needed it our not. She always got out at the steps (not a ladder) but got in where ever she was standing when the urge to get wet hit her. The only effect on the pool was more frequent cleaning and backwashing of the filter since she shed copiously. Our friends had a German Shepard who liked to swim in their pool and always got out at the steps also but they suffered considerable gouging of the pool finish from the dog's nails.
We also had a miniature Dachshund who would rather kiss a cat than get in the pool so it takes all kinds. If you have a pet who isn't comfortable in the pool you should be careful about the access to it they have. I am sure if the Dachshund had fallen in he could have made it to steps but he might have died of fright before he got there. We were always careful to keep him away from the pool area unless we were there.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 1:16PM
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We have two dogs, a german short haired pointer and a maltese. When we first got the pool in '08, we made it a point to teach both dogs where to get out in case they fell in. Our GSP was 2 at the time. He was not keen about being in the water and swimming. But we took him onto the tan ledge and into the pool, even the deep end. While there is a bench in the shallow and in the deep end, we always took them to the ledge. Now, the GSP will go for a swim on his own. Hang out on the bench in the grotto, and get out wherever he feels like it (either bench or tan ledge). The maltese still hates the pool with a passion but we take her in every year and go over the routine. The more we have done it, the less panicked she is (but still does a little, just a lot less). We will guide her the first 5-6 times and let her swim on her own a few times to the ledge.
Growing up and even today, I have know several people who have lost pets in the pool because they would panic and/or did not know where to get out.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 7:41AM
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