How to Keep a Dog out of a Swimming Pool

Some dogs love to swim, making your pool an attractive playpen, but without proper supervision they could become injured or even drown. Keep your pup out of your pool by teaching him commands to avoid the pool, putting alarms in place and using physical barriers to block his access. With proper precautions, your swimming pool won't become a safety hazard for your pooch.

Fence the Area

Install a safety fence around your pool to prevent your dog from accessing it when he's out in your yard. The fence should have self-closing and self-latching gates to get into it, recommends

Choose fencing that is at least 4 feet high so your pup can't jump over it. The fence should be see-through so that you can always have a full view inside the pool in case your pooch gets inside, recommends the Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue. The spacing between the vertical slats should be no more than 1 3/4 inches so your pup can't fit through them.

Cover the Pool

Cover your pool with a special safety cover to prevent your pup from accidentally falling in it and drowning, recommends the Whole Dog Journal.

  • Choose a cover that is tightly anchored at various points around the pool. 
  • Safety covers should be made of a strong, tight-knit material, like polyester, that won't break under his weight if your pooch walks on it. 
  • Check the cover regularly for any holes or wear over time. 
  • Replace the cover when it becomes worn.


  • Don't use a floating pool cover to prevent your pup from accessing the pool. It could be a safety hazard as it can trap him under it if he attempts to walk on it.

Install an Alarm and Remove Access

Place an alarm on the gate to the pool to alert you if your pup manages to open it. You can also place a special motion-activated pool alarm in the pool itself that will go off if there is movement in the water, recommends the Priority Pet Hospital website. These devices will alert you to your dog's presence in or around the pool so you can quickly retrieve him.

Take away any stairs that allow your dog to access an above-ground pool.

Keep your dog in an area indoors, which has no pool access when he's left unsupervised.

Train Your Dog

Teach your dog to avoid the pool with vocal commands. While in the yard with your dog, put him on a leash and walk him around the pool. If he doesn't try to go into the pool, reward him with praise and a treat, recommends dog trainer Marti Hohmann of Wellington, Florida.

Train your dog to come to you on command, even around your pool. Keep him on a long leash and command him to "Sit" near the pool. Say "Come" and let him walk over to you. Treat and praise him when he does. Whenever he's near the pool, use the "Come" command to keep him away from it.