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JoAnna Lou
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Teaching Dogs to Swim
NYC pet rehabilitation center gives lessons in treading water

I'm not a big fan of the water and it must have rubbed off on my dogs because none of them like to swim. But it would be a useful skill for them to learn because I would love to let my crew cool off during summer hikes and maybe even take them kayaking with me one day.

I always thought swimming just came naturally to some pups while others were destined to hate the water, but an animal rehabilitation center in New York City is teaching urban dogs to tread efficiently in the pool.

Water4Dogs' main service is to rehabilitate injured dogs by underwater treadmill and pool, but they also offer swim lessons for healthy pups. The instructors teach dogs to get their front and back legs to work in sync and to get used to different textures in the water. Many dogs that come to Water4Dogs to heal end up returning on a regular basis for fun and exercise.

If you've ever seen my Sheltie, Nemo, swim, you'd understand why he needs lessons. He can technically swim, but he's very inefficient, flailing his leds and expending loads of energy. Perhaps we'll pay a visit to Water4Dogs!

Do your pups naturally like swimming?

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Screenshot from ABC News.

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