Canine Swim Conditioning Games!

Uncategorized Apr 27, 2020

I know summer is around the corner and some of my clients open their pool as early as possible for their beloved canine to swim the summer away.

I wanted to give anyone with a pool four conditioning games for you and your pup to try at home.  Games keep things interesting and increase your canine’s continuous swim time for a better cardio workout.  A swim conditioning plan is also beneficial for body balance and passive stretching.  Swimming is one of the only activities where your dog cannot compensate and has to move its body through all planes of motion.

Do not fret...if you do not have your own pool, we swim clients all year around in Allentown, NJ at Marty’s Place Senior Dog Sanctuary at the Swim Center.

Here is a summary of the four games:

1. Two Toy Game

  • Dog can drop 1st toy to get second toy
  • Dog can give you 1st toy to get second toy

I created a Downloadable Training Plan for the Two Toy Game. Grab the Free PDF Here!

2. Follow the cookie

  • You can either use a cookie or a toy - whichever your dog likes
  • Mix in following you around your pool and tight turns
  • We want to move the neck both directions for our stretches.  If it is uncomfortable for your dog, please ask your veterinarian if this is an appropriate exercise for your dog.

3. Chase Me!

  • Mix up how many laps you do.  Sometimes three, five, two...
  • I touch the end of the pool to give the game context for the dog
  • This game tires dogs out and is a human conditioning game as well.

4. Swim Heeling

  • A flirt pole is optional, but keeps the game interesting
  • You can also have a toy with you that is thrown at the end of your swim heeling time.
  • You can do any pattern you like.  Be creative!

Hope everyone enjoyed the blog!  I would love it if you could share the article with your friends near and far and like the 4 Paws Adrift Facebook Page.  We want to make sure all water dogs are splashing as much as they can!

Don’t forget to grab your free training plan for the Two Toy Game Here!

Are you part of our Facebook Group community?  I always take questions in that community and post training ideas there.  If not – what are you waiting for? 

Keep on Splashin'

Erica Etchason BS, CPDT-KA

Your dedicated Canine Swim Coach


email: [email protected]

facebook page:


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