What is the dog paddle?
The dog paddle, or as we used to say as kids, "the doggy paddle," is a simple swimming stroke that mimics the way dogs swim.
The head is kept above the water and the arms remain submerged and move in an circular pattern by alternately thrusting them forward and pulling them back all while the legs kick.
Is this stroke useful?
It is chiefly useful because it is easy to learn. Children often learn the dog paddle as their first "official" swimming stroke.
It is also useful for adult swimmers in that it affords a change of action from other strokes to promote rest in other muscle groups when swimming long distances. The dog paddle is also the basis of treading water.