Teaching puppies how to swim is essential when you have a pool. It's important to make sure they are confident in the water and until they are never ever leave them alone by the swimming pool.
Everyone has their own methods of teaching the little ones how to swim. While none are right or wrong, making them comfortable in the water when they are young will help them to be confident swimmers when they are older.
We start our puppies off by carrying them around in the water, just getting their back feet and little bottoms wet. Cooing to them encouragingly and letting them know they are safe and supported.
Once we are sure they feel secure we slowly put them in the water. Never submerging their heads and supporting their bellies so they can learn to dog paddle without actually being released. Some will automatically take to the water and others need a little help getting the hang of it.
Once they get a grasp of the dog paddle we let them swim. Just a foot or so away from the steps. They must be able to get themselves out when they reach the steps. Then we give them a treat (hotdogs!) and let them get a little rest.
The next time we take them a little further out, let them swim a little farther. Always making sure they look confident and not scared. Always making sure they get out of the pool on their own and always giving them a treat after.
The puppies love their swim time. It's great exercise and a great way to bond with them. Once they go to their new homes we love to hear stories about how much fun they have camping and swimming in the lake (or even the ocean if they're lucky) with their new owners.