One of our specialties at Two Hands Four Paws is teaching dogs to be confident swimmers. No facility in the country has taught more dogs to love the water. If your dog can fetch there is a high probability we can teach him or her to swim. And not just swim, but to really have fun. For dogs that will be by a river, lake, ocean or backyard pool we also look at swim lessons as “survival training” in case of an accident. We want long, healthy and splash-filled lives for all of our canine friends. We’ve swam with dogs as young as 7 weeks and as old as 17 years. To give the gift of a swim lesson is to give the gift of a longer life!
We believe the way to teach isn’t to ‘teach’ at all. It is to let your pet feel safe, gain confidence and, finally, to have fun. We use praise, security, encouragement and attention to help your dog find his/her stroke. We don’t use food or pressure.
In our pool and at clients’ homes we have helped Airedales, West Highland Terriers, Bulldogs, Whippets, Great Danes, Standard Poodles, Miniature Poodles, American Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, St. Bernards, Great Pyrenees, Belgian Malinois , Boxers, German Shorthair Pointers, French Bulldogs, a Wolfdog and mixes by the dozens.
Our resident “Swim Coach” and Fun Swim “Lifeguard” is Bryan McMahon. Bryan has taught hundreds of dogs to take their first unassisted leap into the pool. His gentle and calming demeanor, vocal encouragement and high level of enthusiasm win over even the most timid first time swimmer. It also helps that there isn’t a dog who meets Bryan who doesn’t experience mutual admiration.
Our swim lessons are $100 for a one-on-one 30 minute session. That includes up to 20 minutes of actual swim time, which is usually more than any first-timer can handle. Swimming is hard work! Most swimmers take between 1 and 3 lessons before it “clicks” and after that, well, you’re going to be needing to find a body of water because they love it!
Our pool is ideal for lessons. The water is 84 deg F and crystal clear. We have built a gentle ramp that leads to the pool deck and another custom ramp that leads into the water. There is also a resting platform at the end of the 30’ pool that acts as an island and a place to breathe during what can be a strenuous activity.
We always use floatation coats for first-time swimmers. They appreciate the extra buoyancy and we appreciate the handle! Some dogs (Frenchies, Boxers, Pugs, seniors) may always require a float coat to enjoy their swimming. For others it’s skinny-dipping from the get-go!
Swim Lesson Testimonials:
“I don’t know if you remember Casey, our young English Cream Golden, who came to take swim lessons last July, but I wanted to say thank you for all that you did to make a very enthusiastic swimmer out of her! Last summer she went in, but needed some coaxing with a ball to jump in, but this year she just does her laps, and we can’t keep her out of the water. You guys are the BEST, and we love you.
Kelli Parille & Casey”
Here are a few videos that show a typical first swim lesson with us.
And here is a video that shows dog’s swimming at their first lesson and once they’ve become confident swimmers:
Call us today to schedule your Swim Lesson!