Above: Our little man Django (@djangothegent) sporting his doggy life jacket while vacationing with us in Capri, Italy
When our long-haired dachshund Django was 8 months old, Mike and I (Steph) took him hiking at Bear Mountain, a state park an hour's drive north of New York City. Before heading home, we went for a walk around Hessian Lake's 1.4-mile trail loop. Django was off leash and running 10 feet ahead of us the whole time.
We were halfway around Hessian Lake when Django, who had never swum before, calmly walked into Hessian Lake. Mike and I watched with awe and amusement as Django swam out 15 feet, grabbed a stick in his mouth, and swam back to shore.
Since that hike at Hessian Lake, Django has swum countless times in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. He has jumped off of a boat into the Mediterranean Sea, fetched sticks out of freezing cold glacier mountain streams in Oregon, and skillfully handled the choppy waters of Italy's Lake Como. Despite his long dachshund body and short, stubby legs, Django is a natural at swimming.
Although Django has proven himself capable in the water many times over, Mike and I still have him wear a doggy life vest for most water activities.
Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, you should absolutely consider using a dog life jacket for most water activities. You know your dog best, but here are several instances where you should definitely throw a life jacket on your dog:
No. Most dogs will start to "doggy paddle" when in water, but this does not mean they can swim or even stay afloat for more than a few seconds.
Many working dogs were bred to swim and retrieve game from the water. Generally speaking, skilled canine swimmers tend to be medium and large dogs with long, muscular legs and water-resistant coats. Some of the most popular 'water dogs' include the chesapeake bay retriever, english setter, golden retriever, irish setter, labrador retriever, newfoundland, portuguese water dog, and standard poodle. Fun fact? Poodles were originally bred in Germany as water retrievers, and the name poodle comes from the German word "pudel" meaning "to splash" in water.
Although Django has proven to be quite the swimmer, dachshunds are one of the more well known breeds that often struggle in the water. Other dog breeds notorious for poor swimming skills are the basset hound, boxer, bulldog, frenchie, pekingese, pug, and boxer. Dogs that cannot swim often have one of these traits: (1) short, stubby legs (2) a large, heavy chest (3) a shortened or flat nose (a.k.a. brachycephalic breed).
Brachycephalic breeds, like frenchies and pugs, are at an anatomical disadvantage in the water. Because of their broad, flat faces, these dogs have a much more difficult time keeping their nose and mouth above water. Combine this difficulty with a heavier body, like bulldogs, and you can understand why some breeds are simply better left on dry land.
There are always exceptions to the rule, and you know your dog best. Play it safe, use a high quality dog life jacket if you have any doubt about your pup's swimming ability, and have fun in the water!
Below: Living the dream! Our little guy Django takes in the sights while boating around Capri Island with Mike and I in Italy.
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Mike and I (Steph) have loved ordering HelloFresh meal kits over the years. While we absolutely love cooking from scratch, sometimes we have no time to get to the grocery store. Between growing DJANGO, our USA dog accessories and apparel small business, being parents to two toddlers, and taking care of our adorable longhaired dachshund, Django, there's truly no time to spare these days!
I was thrilled when I heard HelloFresh was launching a new premium fresh dog food delivery brand. The Pets Table, a subscription-based service offering premium fresh and air-dried dog food recipes, officially became available to customers in late May of this year. We have a ton of experience with high quality fresh dog food brands and are always on the lookout for a new and healthy option for Django.
We ordered The Pets Table for Django in early August and have been watching him spin for joy over the meals ever since our first box arrived at our front door. Here is our review of The Pets Table based on our experience feeding the fresh dog food recipes to our sausage dog this summer. Since we're new customers, we'll be updating this article over the coming months as we continue to feed The Pets Table to Django.
We're a small team of dog lovers that have a not-so-small obsession with our four-legged family. Do you also treat your dog like a child? Take him or her everywhere with you? Have a gazillion-and-one photos of him or her on your phone?
If this sounds like you, we found the pawfect gifts for you and your family. In this DJANGO Dog Blog article, we round up the best custom pet gifts and personalized dog products for dog lovers. We include the top custom pet portraits, custom pet blankets, and even custom pet socks! Scroll for the most epic and high quality custom pet products that you'll want to order today.
We here at DJANGO take pride in designing durable, stylish, and incredibly comfortable harnesses that can be worn by dogs small and large. As of mid 2023, we have two beautiful and unique dog harness designs, the Adventure Dog Harness and the Tahoe No Pull Dog Harness. Dogs of all breeds and sizes can and do wear both harness styles, but there are a few key differences between the two designs that you may want to consider before ordering.
In this DJANGO Dog Blog article, we highlight the key differences between the Adventure Dog Harness and the Tahoe No Pull Dog Harness. Which DJANGO dog harness is best for your dog? Which harness will best fit your needs? Which harness will best fit your dog based on his or her unique measurements and body shape?