If you have a Maltipoo, you might be asking yourself if your bundle of joy can swim. In case you have a pool in your back yard or you prefer lakeside walks or near the river, the same question arises.
Maltipoos can swim. Being a mix of Poodle and Maltese, Maltipoo has a great chance to become a great swimmer and a big fan of water. Poodles are water retrievers so therefore born to swim. Maltese don’t enjoy the water the same as Poodles but can swim. So depends on whose genes Maltipoo gets but most of them are really good in the water.
What does make swimming easier for Maltipoos comparing to other dogs? Why should you teach your Maltipoo to swim? How to help him make the first step towards water?
What are the best toys for water? Should your Maltipoo dive underwater? Can you let your Maltipoo swim in your pool? What precaution do you need to take after your Maltipoo gets out of the water? Keep reading our article and find out.
Do Maltipoos Like Water? What does their genetic background say?
Not all dogs are the same, some of them like water, some of them don’t. When it comes to Maltipoos, most of them enjoy swimming.
Maltipoo is a mix of a Poodle and Maltese.
Poodles were originally bred to be water retrievers and they really have a long hunting history in Europe. As matter of fact, the name of a poodle comes from German – Pudelhund, pudeln means to splash, and hund is a word for dog.
Poodles came to North America at the beginning of the 19th century and in decades to come became show dogs and pets. That was the end of the Poodle hunting career. Still, the Poodle swimming skills didn’t disappear and they are usually great swimmers.
One the other hand Maltese were bred to be companion dogs in Malta. Ladies were big fans of them, liked to carry them around in their sleeves, and cuddle them in their laps while they were riding in a carriage. Maltese ancestors though had totally different tasks.
They were bred to be hunting dogs. They were hunting small rodents, especially in the ships, helping the people to keep the food out of their reach. These lap dogs came to North America in the 19th century and soon became a very popular breed.
As you can see one-half of Maltipoo genes suggest that he will enjoy the water, the other half is not so sure. To make things clear, Maltese dogs also swim, just they need to be taught at an early age. Whether your Maltipoo will swim or not is the question of genes. But in most of the cases, Maltipoos are great swimmers.
What Does Make Swimming Easier for Maltipoos Comparing to Other Dogs?
Your Maltipoo inherited some great features of his Poodle parent.
One of them is webbed feet. Although all dogs have some level of webbing a Maltipoo has a little bit more than other dogs. Those webbed paws act as paddles in the water, helping them to swim very well.
Another feature is a single, thick coat which allows them to swim a lot easier. Many other breeds have double layers which make swimming more difficult.
If we look at the other parent – Maltese, this dog is also single-coated but it has long fur. This is an argument against swimming when it comes to Maltese dogs although they do swim, of course.
Why You Should Teach Your Maltipoo To Swim?
For one simple reason – if you teach your Maltipoo to swim, this might save his life in the future.
In the last two years, we have an increase (11%) in the number of residential pools, hot tubes, and spas in the USA. Unfortunately, the number of drowned pets ( including dogs) is very high – almost 5000 pets drown in backyard swimming pools annually. With an increase in the number of pools, the number of drowned animals is also going up. Detailed article on Pet place web site.
Even though many dogs can swim short distances ( even if they are not familiar with water), getting out from a pool may become life and death struggle. Barking can be difficult when your dog is in the water so he cannot call you.
He will instinctively head for the nearest edge of a pool but as he is not taught how to use stairs, he won’t be able to get out. If the pool has only vertical ladders, that will make his escape almost impossible. He will start to panic and soon become exhausted. In short- recipe for disaster.
If you put some effort and expose your dog to the water, supervise him and teach him how to get out of the pool, this won’t happen. Even though if he accidentally falls into the pool, he will know how to escape.
How To Train Your Maltipoo To Swim?
First of all there is no necessity to teach your Maltipoo to swim, the same way you teach your child to do that. Why? Because dogs know, by natural instinct how to move their legs in order to swim.
But there are other things you can teach you Maltipoo. Ok, dogs know how to move the legs just to make sure their head remains above the water surface, but then what? Some dogs won’t know how to swim forward. Some dogs will be scared of water.
You can begin with exposure to the water. Let your dog feel the water, but don’t start with a pool. If you take a stroll along the river, lake, beach, allow your pet ( or encourage him if necessary) to touch the water, to dip his paws. The point of this first step is to make your dog familiar with water.
The next step would be to go into the shallow water. Deepwater can be pretty scary for your Maltipoo. If you are close to the river, make sure you avoid any strong currents, as these can make your dog swimming more difficult. The point of this step is to make your Maltipoo feels comfortable for being in the water.
After this, you should encourage your dog to go a little bit deeper. You can enter the water, go to the deeper part, and call your Maltipoo to swim towards you or you can try tossing his favorite toy. In any case, you have to be close. The point of this step is to help your dog to become more confident and to feel more comfortable surrounded by water.
Training your dog to swim is not different from other training. At least it shouldn’t be. Be patient and full of love for your Maltipoo. If you notice that he is scared take baby steps or even abort the mission for the moment.
It is OK to encourage your Maltipoo to do something but you should never force him, especially don’t force him to go into the water if he is strongly against it.
Every step your Maltipoo makes in the water should be followed by praise and some treat .
If your dog is scared of water, try to make a situation where other dogs are also in the water. The presence of your Maltipoo’s friends might help to relax your pet.
Don’t forget that every dog is different. Nobody can guarantee you that your dog will like the water and how fast he will learn to swim. Sometimes it can take just a few minutes if you have a dog that likes the water, simply jumps into it, and starts swimming right away. On the other hand, it can take quite some time if you have a sensitive and timid pet.
Should Your Maltipoo Dive Underwater?
Some dogs love to dive underwater as much as some kids do. But is it ok for your Maltipoo to dive underwater?
Dogs have more sensitive eyes, ears, and nose. Therefore, no matter which water they dive (pool, sea, lake) some things can harm them.
For example, if they dive to the bottom in your backyard pool, pool chemicals can harm them. No matter the chlorine level is kept in a range safe for humans, dogs may experience some issues.
If they dive in a lake, where the water is more natural, it is still packed with a wide range of parasites and bacteria that could attack your Maltipoo.
Seawater should be safer when it comes to bacteria but salt from seawater can harm your dog’s sensitive eyes or coat.
As you can see there are some risks everywhere. The good thing about dogs and diving is that your Maltipoo should swallow a large amount of water in order to experience serious health problems. Hopefully, this won’t happen.
Can Your Maltipoo Swim in a Pool?
If you have a backyard pool, you might be curios about the idea to let your Maltipoo swim around. Is this a good idea?
First, always make sure your dog is supervised when in the pool area (not only in the pool). If your Maltipoo is not familiar with the water yet, maybe you could put some fence around the pool which could restrict the access of your dog to the pool and potentially save his life.
Even though Maltipoos shed little, they still shed and might be dirty as a result of playing outside, you should rinse your Maltipoo before he jumps into the pool.
A pre-pool shower is a must! If you don’t do that you are risking the pool filter to clog after some time and your pool to look rather dirty.
Teach your Maltipoo a few useful voice commands such as ”stop”, ”ok” or ”go” so you can successfully manage his entering the water.
Note that your dog might make some damages by swimming in the pool. This depends on type of the pool you have, but also how well trained your Maltipoo is.
If you have a fiberglass or cement-lined pool, don’t worry, your pet won’t make any damages.
But if you have a vinyl -lined pool, damages are quite possible.
If you have only vertical ladders and not stairs, your dog might try to escape from the pool by scratching the edge of the pool. This can make scratches and tears on a vinyl-lined pool.
To avoid any damages and also to keep your Malltipoo away from stress, you should provide a resting spot for your dog in the pool. Also, provide an easy exit from the pool. You will minimize the possibility of anything bad to happen (to your dog and to your pool).
Chlorine in the pool water won’t hurt your dog unless he swallows a larger amount of water but can leave his skin dry ( as human’s too). Chlorine tablets may pose a threat to your dog’s health although it is highly unlikely for a dog to swallow something with so unattractive smell, still, careful handling is advisable.
Some people have changed the disinfect for pool water and instead of chlorine they use more pet-friendly bromine.
Make sure your dog always has an access to a bowl full of fresh water to drink. Some dogs, when they see the pool, they only see the giant water bowl. Discourage your dog to drink pool water. And not just pool water, he shouldn’t be drinking any water beside the water you give him.
Never throw your dog into the pool. This can only provoke huge stress and sends him far away from the idea to swim and spend a nice time in the pool.
What Are The Best Swimming Toys For Your Maltipoo?
Dogs simply love swimming toys. These toys can help you while you are training your dog to swim but also can bring a lot of fun during long sunny days in your pool or at the beach.
Skipping stones are great toys for your Maltipoo to exercise. They have the same shape as real rocks but they designed in bright colors and instead to sink they float. They are super chew-resistant, non-toxic, and dishwasher safe. The price is about 12-15$ for a pack ( including two rocks)
Dogwood stick – instead you throw a real wood with splinters which your dog can swallow, try a dogwood chew toy which is safer, less messy plus looks like real wood. It is made with real wood and synthetic durable material. It will float waiting for your Maltipoo to grab it. The price is about 8-10$.
Fetch floating toy – chew toy that is designed for memory foam, nylon, and rubber. Very durable, chew-resistant, easy to wash toy. Perfect for fetching fun at the pool or beach. The price is around 15$.
How to Take Care of Your Maltipoo After Swimming?
A proper after swim care is a crucial step to make sure the whole experience ends smoothly.
First, offer a big bowl of fresh water to your dog once he gets out of the water. The same as the per-pool shower is a must, the shower after swimming ( no matter he swims in the pool or elsewhere ) is another must! Quality shampoo and moisturizing conditioner will prevent his skin and coat to become dry.
Of course, you won’t use shampoo and conditioner if your dog is swimming in the pool every day ( use them once a week during the swimming season) but note that chlorine from pool water can leave the skin pretty dry. However, a good rinse is obligatory to remove chemicals, salt, any dirt, debris, etc.
After a shower, you should towel dry your Maltipoo and check for any ticks or anything tangled or lodged in his coat.
Pay special attention to your Maltipoo’s ears. You need to clean them with ear cleaning solution and dry them off properly otherwise dampness leads to an ear infection.
Your Maltipoo is most probably a big fan of water. If it is not, you can still try to teach him to swim. After he gains some self-confidence, he will start to enjoy swimming.
Don’t forget one thing- dogs shouldn’t swim in too cold water as there is a risk of hypothermia. Unlike you, your dog won’t be capable to understand that water is the one that makes him cold. That is why, if the water is too cold for you, it is too cold for your pet as well.
Always follow some basic rules and swimming with your pet will be nothing else but pure joy. Supervise your pet when in water, be there for him, don’t be pushy if he is frightened. Don’t be disappointed if he cannot do it ( which is highly unlikely but you never know). Remember that your pet would always be on your side no matter you cannot achieve certain things. So you should do the same for him.