My experience has been that the Australian Terrier breed LOVE to swim and they are good swimmers. Ours jump off our dock, off the pontoon, are always with us in or around water catching frogs, just playing in the water. They love kiddie pools, even the sprinkler and fighting with the spraying hose.
Sadly, lake swimming is now something they won't be doing anymore. This past July we lost our beloved Aussie Harley to Blue Green Algae poisoning.
Like most dogs, our dogs love to swim and catch sticks in our spring fed clean lake in Northwestern Wisconsin.
If your dogs love the lake too, please read about this important information regarding Blue/Green Algae, it just might save your treasured friend.
More research is underway to determine what causes this form of algae and how to eliminate it. The WI Department of Health Services has been given resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to inform the public and research this algae to determine a treatment program to reduce the algae that produce the harmful algal bloom. It's not only harmful to dogs, livestock, wildlife but to humans as well. To find out more information about this: contact www.dhs.wi.gov/eh/bluegreenalgae or call 608-226-1120. Please read this link at http://dnr.wi.gov/lakes/bluegreenalgae/ for additional information.
*Dogs are particularly susceptible to blue-green algal poisoning because scums can attach to their coats and be swallowed during self-cleaning. If you suspect that your animals are showing any of these symptoms you should seek veterinary advice.
In times of drought, lowered water levels and low air circulation combine to boost production of algae into overdrive. Normally, algae are equally distributed throughout the water, but large blooms are often followed by large die offs. The gas produced by these die offs pushes the algae colony up to collect at the water's surface, creating a dangerous situation.
From this point, even a gentle breeze will serve to push the algae into a concentrated layer of scum, often near the water's edge where dogs and other animals are likely to ingest it while drinking.
The signs of algae toxicity in dogs vary, depending on whether they are triggered by nervous system toxins or liver toxins.
Signs of the presence toxins include: Weakness and/or lethargy, Pale mucous membranes, Bloody diarrhea, Mental instability and Eventual death.
*This information was provided by the Wisconsin Division of Public Health.