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Dogs and swimming pools? Question from Jacquie

“Just a query as you know I don’t now go out as a behaviourist anymore just get the odd question posed by close friends and family members, but my niece has asked me a question, they have recently moved to a house with a pool, they have an 18 month old cocker bitch, not spayed, whenever a member of the family is in the pool the dog is frantic, obviously it is worried that the person in the pool is going to drown, the dog does not jump in just runs round either barking or crying, if they put the dog indoors and continue she cries as she is obviously trying to look after the family and make sure they are not coming to any harm. I just wonder if you have come across this before, if it were a golden it would be in the pool with the person and enjoying itself, so it’s not one I have come across before, I would say leave the dog indoors before they even go into the pool, but I suppose they would feel that was unfair and want the dog in the garden with them, but my thoughts are if the dog doesn’t know what is going on then it’s not going to get worried as to what is happening to one of the family

Jacquie Smallcombe”


Good to hear from you Jacquie I agree with you, I would leave the puppy indoors, age will help the dog to understand better, I would add that I think the noise is about the dog wanting to get to them and being frightened of the water, so the conflict of wanting to get to them and not wanting to go in the water. In time the dog would go in the water, they could hasten this by sitting in a shallow part of the pool near the edge, the dog is likely to venture in with some encouragement. Should they not wish the dog in the pool though, leave in doors for now.

I would add a thought too, I have had a few reports of dogs getting under pool covers in the winter and sadly drowning, so just make them aware of this should the dog get to like going in.

Best wishes Avril

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