Does anyone know if it's safe to let a dog swim in the river? Lots of people let them run around when the tides out but this mad thing doesn't just paddle, she swims with just her head above water. I'm worried the currents will take her. I called Port of London and a nice woman put me through to a man who sort of answered my question but talked about Gravesend. The woman did say she's had distressed calls from people about they're dogs so I won't be letting her do it but thought I'd ask anyway.
When our boxer was about a year old stephen took him for a walk to tower bridge, went down near the custom house and let her enter the water, she immediately begun to swim to the middle of the river, a nearby boat went out and got her. thankfully he was okay...stephen only done it once....
It seems to depend on the common sense of the individual dog.
You could get yours a harness and one of those long leads on a reel so you can reel her in if she goes out too far until you're sure she's on top of it.
There are 2 questions in one here: 1)Can they swim in the river and 2)is it a good idea.
1) its been said already that some breeds and individual dogs are better than others at physically swimming and having the sense to avoid dangerous currents.
2) As with swimming in any canal or river, dogs may pick up infections, take in water and probably wont smell at their best afterwards either!
If it was my dog, I would test it out on a safe stretch of non-tital or low tide and see how they get on. You can build up if they like it and are capable. Training them near to the shore on an extendable lead can work in the early stages, but be careful as they can easily get entangled. Standing higher up than the water level works best. If theres any doubt that they might get into trouble, personally I wouldnt risk their safety or that of those who might have to rescue them. This is purely from a long-term dog owners perspective.