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Can all dogs swim?

Posted by: Tim Berrisford  Date: 15/10/2014   Category: Blog

Dogs are born with natural instincts that their owners don’t need to teach them. They bark, dig and chase without being taught how to do these things as it is in their breed and that is what dogs do. Some people get mistaken and think that dogs have a natural instinct and know how to swim from birth however this is not true. Some dogs are very good at swimming straight away however this is just a talent they have, some dogs will find it almost impossible to stay above the water.

There are three categories of swimming and this mainly depends on the breed of dog. There are certain breeds that can swim straight away; there are some that can be taught how to swim and other breeds that should steer clear of water and swimming. If you have a spaniel, Labrador, setter or dogs similar to these breeds then your dog should have no problems when swimming. They will most likely inherit the ability to swim from their parents as long as being paired with a strong physical structure to find swimming easily, most of these breeds will also enjoy swimming and you will struggle to keep them away from water.

The completely opposite to these breeds such as bulldogs, boxers and dachshunds will find swimming almost impossible as their size and structure just isn’t made from swimming. If you have a sturdy, chunky dog with short legs they will struggle to keep themselves afloat. They may still enjoy playing in water however it should be very shallow so they can stand up in it.

Some dogs are very frightened at the thought of water and will panic when in water which becomes dangerous as they will fatigue quickly and are more likely to drown from this. You can tell if your dog isn’t enjoying the water as they will be trying to climb on top of you as quickly as they can even if they are hurting you at this point remove your dog from the water and let them calm down.

If you are wanting to teach your dog how to swim then you should look to find a dog swimming pool locally and do it very gradually so your dog always feels safe and secure trusting your every step. If you want to teach your dog to swim, it is advisable for them to wear a floatation vest so they will always be above the water which will prevent them from being frightened if they lose their footing.

However please remember some dogs will never enjoy swimming and you must know when to stop if this is the case. Dogs who do not like going out in the rain will most likely not enjoy swimming either.