Do Dogs Naturally Know How to Swim? Are Dogs Born Swimmers?

If you live near natural bodies of water or have a pool, it’s essential to make your dog comfortable with the water. After all, it’s likely you’ll want to take your pooch to enjoy waterfront activities like swimming, boating, or paddleboarding.

While some dogs seem to have a natural affinity for the water, others peril at the prospect of swimming. This begs the question: do dogs naturally know how to swim? Even with dogs that are natural swimmers, every owner should take various safety measures to acclimate their pet to the water.

You can make your dog a good swimmer by taking them to a dog training center. At the Dan Gentile Dog Training Center, our instructors can help your dog adjust to the water and improve their swimming.

Does a Dog’s Breed Impact Whether They Can Swim?

A dog’s breed determines most of its innate ability to gravitate toward the water and swim naturally. Dogs that like to swim and those that don’t have anatomical and instinctual differences.

Most dog breeds with a propensity for the water have longer legs that enable them to dog paddle easier. These animals usually descend from ancestors that were great swimmers and used for water activities.

So do dogs naturally know how to swim? Some of them may or will have a much easier time learning.

Dog Breeds That Can’t Swim

Unsurprisingly, many smaller dog breeds with short legs and less athletic builds have a greater fear of water and may not swim at all. For these breeds, it’s crucial that owners understand dog water safety practices to ensure their pet grows as comfortable with waterfronts as possible.

Some of the dog breeds that struggle with swimming include:

  • Corgis
  • Pugs
  • Bull Terriers
  • Basset Hounds
  • Shih Tzus
  • Boxers
  • Bulldogs
  • Daschunds

Take extra care with these breeds around water fronts, especially if there’s a risk of falling into the water.

Dog Swimming Safety Tips

Regardless of your dog’s inclination towards the water, understanding dog swimming safety keeps your pet comfortable while around water. First, it’s crucial that you introduce your dog to waterfront settings in a calm manner. If you have a pool, get in the water and show them the present risk.

Even if you think your dog will be able to swim immediately, get them a properly fitting life jacket. Introducing any dog to swimming with a life jacket builds their confidence and makes them more inclined to continue.

While teaching a dog to swim, inspire them to get into the water with treats or by playing with them. Ensure their life jacket is on and fits appropriately. As they grow more confident, you can eventually remove the life jacket and allow them to swim independently.

Enlist Professional Help Teaching Your Dog to Swim From the Dan Gentile Dog Training Center

For more answers to the question “Do dogs naturally know how to swim?” or to learn tips for first-time dog owners, call (732) 938-5040 and talk to professional trainers from the Dan Gentile Dog Training Center.