Because of their generally jovial nature as well as their ability to dig, bark and run – dogs are often expected to be good swimmers, too. Most people think that regardless of a dog’s age or breed, dogs are natural swimmers. However, swimming is not a skill that all dogs are known to possess. Some breeds are perfectly comfortable in the water, while others don’t.

In fact, dog breeds that happen to be good swimmers are literally built for it. These dogs tend to be larger; they have coats that are water-resistant and toes that have webbing in between. On the contrary, canines that are not built for swimming are usually deep-chested, have smaller hindquarters and have shorter muzzles. Even if your canine belonged to the ‘swimmer breed’, certain precautions may be necessary to make your canine companion comfortable.

Breeds considered to be good swimmers

Generally, canines are divided into three categories when it comes to their ability to swim. Firstly, these are canines that are at home in the water and basically are excellent swimmers, there are those that can be taught to swim and those that are literally scared of water that when you put them in the water they just don’t know what to do.


Some dog breeds such as water spaniels, golden retrievers, Irish setters, Newfoundland, English setters, all belong to the first category. It’s like swimming is already in their genes. In fact, most of these dog breeds were specifically bred to become excellent waterfowl retrievers. Some of these breeds are now used as water rescue dogs. These breeds are just naturally born good swimmers are enjoying being in the water.

On the other hand, breeds such as bulldogs, dachshunds, and boxers, just don’t have the ability to swim not because they don’t want to, but because they are not physically built to do so. As an example, most of these breeds have shorter legs. This keeps them from becoming afloat in many aquatic environments.

In pugs, who happen to have shorter nuzzle can easily become tired when swimming. Some smaller dogs such as the Maltese and Chihuahua are really good swimmers but they can easily become chilled or can get frightened in the water. This behavior often increases the risk of drowning.

Now some dogs, those breeds that belong to the second category, are physically built to swim. However, due to traumatic experiences or an unknown fear of the water, these dogs may still find swimming more of a burden than fun. A frightened dog in the water will often result in disaster.

If you find your canine friend to be wary of water, but is capable of swimming, proper precautions should be made.The wearing of a flotation device is a good start. In addition, introduce your dog to the water gradually and never leave them alone in the water unattended.

If you happen to own a dog that is not built for swimming, then don’t worry. There are still many ways you can enjoy swimming with your land-loving dog. Just do a little bit of research and both of you should be good to go.









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