The Belgian Malinois is as strong as it is smart. They were originally bred to herd other animals so they have no problem being assertive. The Belgian Malinois is also a very loyal dog. They are protective of their owner and for this reason, they make good guard dogs. The bond they form with their owners is very strong. The Belgian Malinois is also a breed that is quite comfortable in the water.
Belgian Malinois can swim. Their long and powerful legs of the Belgian Malinois allow them to move fairly quickly through the water. They are also highly trainable animals so you see them competing in swimming competitions as well as dock diving events. The more time the dog spends in the water the better they’ll get. They will also tolerate being in the water for longer periods of time. And not only that, the Belgian Malinois enjoy swimming.
Before you enter your Belgian Malinois into any swimming or dock diving contests, you’ll need to get them acclimated to water. Once you do this, you will find that they are natural swimmers. They will also enjoy their time in the water and it is great exercise for them. It’s also a way to bond with your dog.
How Belgian Malinois Swim?
The Belgian Malinois is a fast learner when it comes to swimming. They use all four of their long, powerful legs to kick and propel themselves forward. Their movements while swimming look more graceful than your typical “doggie paddle” where some dogs frantically struggle just to keep their heads above water.
They are also fast swimmers. At first, they may only be able to swim for 10 minutes. But once trained, they can go out for 30-minute long swim sessions!
Are Belgian Malinois Natural Swimmers?
Yes, Belgian Malinois that are natural-born swimmers. Since their body-types suit a swimmer, they tend to need less encouragement than other types of un-natural swimmers such as a bulldog.
Belgian Malinois are medium to large-sized dogs with an athletic build and water-resistant coats. Furthermore, they have long legs and webbed feet to swim more efficiently by providing more power to propel them through the water. This breed also has a longer snout, which enables them to maintain their head above water requiring minimal work for breathing.
Do Belgian Malinois Like Water?
Yes, Belgian Malinois enjoys being in the water. They enjoy swimming and often are strong swimmers. This breed is known to be a prominent competitor for dock diving events.
Even so, to train your dog to be a better swimmer takes some time. They generally do take to water quite naturally, but they need to get used to it first. It’s good to start getting them acclimated to water when they are still puppies. Swimming is great way to keep their minds and bodies fit.
Can a Belgian Malinois Be Taught to Swim?
Yes, Belgian Malinois are gifted swimmers. They were blessed with the physical attributes to be excellent swimmers. There’s a reason they compete in competitions along with retrievers and Portuguese water dogs as the best swimming dogs! That said, the more they are in the water, the better they will become at swimming. It’s also great exercise for them. It’s great exercise for both of you.
What to Do if a Belgian Malinois is Scared of Water?
Although Belgian Malinois are typically confident swimmers, they may start shy due to the unknown of potentially drowning.
Start by using a kiddie pool and a life jacket. Give them treats outside of the pool to calm their nerves. Next, you’ll want to get into the pool yourself to show them that the water is safe. Have a board connected from the water acting as a ramp to help them walk into the water rather than jump in. Anytime your canine comes near the water, reward him or her with treats.
Once your dog comes to the edge, they will decide to jump in, or they will stop, and you’ll need to help them in. If you carry them in, make sure to support their legs to help them feel secure. Then bring them back to the ramp so that they can get out. Repeat this a few times until they are comfortable in the water.
Teaching Your Belgian Malinois How to Paddle
Always start your pup on a leash when entering the water. Join your dog in the water and throw some treats out. Encourage your dog to wade in the water and chase after them. You can also step out five or ten feet away from your dog so that your dog has to swim to reach you. If your dog enjoys his toys or tennis ball, throw it out for him to swim towards.
Each time throw it a little further for him to chase. Having something they are striving to chase teaches them to paddle their paws and stay afloat. Always start with a pool so that they can easily get out if they feel uncomfortable. And of course, use life jackets to prevent drowning.
Benefits of Swimming
Besides the thrill of swimming for a dog, it also has some great health benefits for him or her. Since water provides greater resistance, it makes work harder to move around compared to walking on land. Your dog will work on their respiratory and cardiovascular systems along with muscular strength without the potential damage to their joints than walking or running would do. Swimming can be especially useful if your Belgian Malinois is overweight or dogs with joint or muscle pain.
This activity aids in the recovery process by strengthening muscles and joints and facilitating circulation. One minute of swimming for dogs will equate to about four minutes of running. Other benefits include increasing your pup’s metabolism, decreasing inflammation, strengthening their heart and lungs, and helps to keep their coat and skin healthy. This all adds up to a happy and healthy dog who can play, run, and have fun without the inherent risk of injury.
Supplies You Will Need to Teach Your Belgian Malinois How to Swim
When it comes to teaching your Belgian Malinois how to swim, safety always comes first. Using dog floaties is a great way to prevent your dog from drowning. Using a floatation device is an excellent way to get them comfortable in the water.
Another floatation device you could use is doggy life vests or life jackets. These are jackets that you put over your pet and are worn as garments. These jackets are made of padded buoyant material helping your doggo to stay afloat. Some vests will include a handle for you to grab them and a D-ring where you can attach a leash to them.
Post Swimming Care
Never forget to provide post swimming care to your Belgian Malinois once they’re done swimming in the water. Since pool water and lake water affect their coat differently, the type of care you provide will depend on the type of water they were swimming in.
- Caring for their coat: Make sure to towel dry and rinse your dog immediately after they are done swimming. This helps to eliminate any residue, debris, and chemicals that could have stuck onto their coat. Always check if anything is stuck in their paws, tangled in their fur, or for any ticks lodged in their coat.
- Check their ears: Your pup may be at risk of ear infections, especially when swimming in warm water. Use a cotton ball to dry the inside of your dog’s ears gently. Talk to your vet ahead of time to see if your dog needs ear wash.
- Post pool care: Unfortunately, swimming in chlorinated water can lead to itchy and dry skin for your Belgian Malinois. Ask your vet or groomer for conditioner and shampoo recommendations. After each swim session in a pool, make sure to bathe and condition your dog. This helps to restore moisture to their coat and skin.
Other Activities Belgian Malinois Enjoy
Besides swimming, there are plenty of other great activities that your canine can enjoy. One of them is called Skijoring. This activity is great for those who live in a cold weathered environment. You’ll put on some cross-country ski’s and have your dog pull you. Essentially, you’ll be dog sledding, and they’ll be leading the way! If your Belgian Malinois has great cardio stamina, this is a great activity.
Dock diving is also a common aquatic activity for the Belgian Malinois breed. This activity has been famously shown on cable TV shows. For this game, your dog will compete with other dogs to see who can jump the furthest into a pool of water from an elevated platform or dock.
Lastly, they can also play furry flyball. This is a canine relay race that involves a group of four dogs. They must pass through hurdles to get their reward: a tennis ball being released from a container once they step on the pad. This is great for dogs who love to chase or fetch tennis balls!