Friday, 10 April 2009

Canine Robinson Crusoes

This week’s story about Australian cattle dog, Sophie, is most definitely the ultimate feel good story for the Bank Holiday Weekend.

Sophie was a castaway for 4 months on a remote island in Australia before she was found by rangers who reunited her with her owners. Read the full story here.

This dog’s saving grace was down the fact that she loved and knew how to swim very well. The super pooch swam in up to six miles of shark infested waters before landing on the island where she fed off goats to stay alive.

But the burning question is, can all dogs swim? Milo for instance hates bath times and like him some dogs are genuinely afraid of the water, so don’t assume that your dog will naturally be able to swim.

The good news is instinctively all dogs have the ability to swim when and if they need to, but some are much better at it than others. This comes down to a dog’s body shape and physical ability. How much your dog enjoys contact with water is another matter and depends on his or her confidence.

The risks for canine swimmers are the same as for humans: deep, freezing waters or fast-flowing rivers and high banks can easily pose a danger. Even if your dog is an excellent swimmer whatever you do don’t leave him/her unsupervised when they are having a paddle.

Here are some swimmingly fantastic stories and tipsters for you:

Baywatch buster - Bilbo the Newfoundland has been patrolling the beaches of Cornwall for years. He has a track record for diving into the foaming depths, warding off swimmers on rough days and showing bathers they should only swim between the safety flags. Read more about the Baywatch dog that puts Pamela Anderson and the Hoffman to shame here.

Lucky pooch - A Cairn terrier with a phobia for water nearly drowned in the freezing North Sea. The lucky pooch escaped thanks to two fishermen who spotted the furry mutt and pulled him from the sea. Freddie had become confused by the fog while walking with his owner Jean and ended up in the water where he swam off in the wrong direction. Read more amazing animal survival stories here.

A swim a day keeps dysplasia at bay - Swimming has proven to be an excellent exercise for dogs with joint problems such as hip dysplasia. Read about the German Shepherd Nat who benefitted from her weekly dog hydrotherapy sessions after she was diagnosed with common health problem called hip dysplasia. Click here for the full story.

Doggy paddlers - American Water Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, Portuguese Water Dogs and English Setters are just some of the most comfortable swimmers. If you want to find out more about breeds that were born to swim click here.

How to introduce your dog to water – There are right and wrong ways to do this, one of the wrong ways is to throw your pup into the water unexpectedly one of the right ways is to find a pool or pond that isn't rough and allow your dog to explore the area first and get his bearings. Read about how you can teach your dog to enjoy the water here.

Click here to watch some super cute swimming pooches in action.

Happy Easter from Milo & Lisa at Pooch and Mutt headquarters and dont forget to enter April's prize draw to win a bag of Bionic Biotic. Click here.

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