Breeds That Shouldn’t Take the Plunge: Is Your Dog on the List?

With summer comes comes the allure of cool, refreshing waters. For many pet owners, that means taking a dip with their furry companions. While some dogs are natural water lovers, not all breeds are born swimmers. Knowing which breeds should avoid the deep end can prevent accidents and ensure your pet’s safety.

Let’s explore the breeds that struggle in the water and offer tips for a safe aquatic experience.

Many dogs enjoy playing in water, but swimming can be a challenge for some breeds.
Photo: Pexels
Many dogs enjoy playing in water, but swimming can be a challenge for some breeds.

Breeds That Shouldn’t Take the Plunge

8. Maltese

Maltese dogs are renowned for their all-white silky coats and gentle disposition. However, like many long-coated breeds, Maltese pups aren’t particularly fond of water, Maltese Dog Advice reports. Their dense fur tends to become cumbersome when wet, impeding their ability to swim effectively and extending the time it takes for them to dry off.

7. Corgi

Corgis are cherished for their amiable temperament but aren’t renowned for their swimming skills. Their elongated bodies and relatively short legs create a natural challenge for swimming. However, as Depend on Dogs reports, with patient training, they can adapt to shallower waters, making it possible for these beloved dogs to enjoy aquatic activities safely.

Shih Tzus, with their stout posture and short snouts, face swimming challenges.
Photo: Pexels
Shih Tzus, with their stout posture and short snouts, face swimming challenges.

6. Shih Tzu

Despite their endearing appearance, Shih Tzus encounter challenges when it comes to swimming, primarily due to their stout build and short snouts. Their brachycephalic features, characterized by shortened noses and narrowed nostrils, exacerbate their difficulties while swimming, Hills Pet reports. This can make it harder for them to keep their heads above water and breathe comfortably during aquatic activities.

5. Boxer

Boxers may boast an athletic physique, but their flat faces and short muzzles introduce unique challenges when it comes to swimming, Trending Breeds reports. Despite their muscular build and athleticism, boxers are part of the brachycephalic category, characterized by their flat facial features. This classification can lead to difficulties in the water, particularly related to breathing and keeping their heads above water. While they may possess the stamina for other physical activities, boxers might find extended periods in the water challenging due to these physical traits.

Pugs, characterized by stocky bodies and flat faces, aren't natural swimmers.
Photo: Pexels
Pugs, characterized by stocky bodies and flat faces, aren’t natural swimmers.

4. Pug

Pugs, known for their charming and characterful personalities, excel in various environments, yet water activities are not their strong suit. According to Boogie the Pug, their stocky bodies, short legs, and distinctive flat faces pose challenges when it comes to staying afloat in the water. These physical characteristics make swimming more difficult for pugs compared to breeds better suited for aquatic endeavors.

3. Bull Terrier

Bull terriers are known for their muscular and powerful build, but they are not considered natural-born swimmers, Bull Terrier World reports. Their robust physique, characterized by a bulky frame and short legs, presents significant challenges when it comes to staying afloat in water. While they might occasionally enjoy a playful splash in shallow waters, their physical characteristics can make it nearly impossible for them to swim proficiently. The combination of their muscularity and short legs can hinder their ability to navigate water effectively, necessitating caution when introducing them to aquatic environments.

Dachshunds, with long bodies and short legs, are not well-suited for swimming.
Photo: Pexels
Dachshunds, with long bodies and short legs, are not well-suited for swimming.

2. Dachshund

Dachshunds, characterized by their long bodies and relatively short legs, face challenges when it comes to swimming, Woofial reports. The combination of their elongated physique and petite legs creates an unfavorable swimming profile. Due to their unique body structure, they tend to tire quickly in the water, which can potentially lead to swimming difficulties. While their longer muzzles, compared to brachycephalic breeds like pugs, may spare them from severe breathing issues in aquatic settings, their diminutive legs limit their ability to paddle for extended periods. This means that although they might enjoy a brief dip, it’s crucial to monitor them closely in the water to ensure their safety and comfort.

1. Basset Hound

Basset hounds, with their distinctive characteristics of large heads, short legs, and long, floppy ears, are inherently ill-suited for swimming. Their unique physique, including their elongated bodies, creates significant challenges when it comes to aquatic activities. The combination of these traits can make it difficult for basset hounds to stay afloat and maneuver effectively in water, making swimming a less-than-ideal activity for them, Pet Educate reports. Additionally, their long ears, while endearing, are not functional as floating devices and can become waterlogged, further hindering their swimming capabilities.

Another concern when it comes to basset hounds and water is their susceptibility to ear infections, reports Met Life Pet Insurance. Due to their anatomy, water can easily enter their ear canals during swimming or even while bathing, potentially leading to ear problems. This is an important consideration for basset hound owners, and precautions should be taken to prevent water from entering their ears during water-based activities to ensure their well-being and comfort.

Photo: Pexels Long fur can become heavy when wet, and make it harder for some dogs to move around comfortably.
Photo: Pexels
Long fur can become heavy when wet, and make it harder for some dogs to move around comfortably.

Understanding Breeds and Their Swimming Abilities

It’s essential to recognize that not all dogs are natural swimmers. Some breeds, like those mentioned above, have physical characteristics that make swimming challenging. These characteristics include flat faces, short legs, or long bodies.

Breeds with brachycephalic features, like pugs and bulldogs, often have short noses and narrow nostrils, making it harder for them to breathe while swimming, Hill’s Pet Nutrition reports. Additionally, dogs with heavy, water-absorbing coats, such as Shih Tzus, may struggle to stay afloat.

Knowing which breeds should avoid the deep end can prevent accidents and ensure your pet's safety.
Photo: Pexels
Knowing which breeds should avoid the deep end can prevent accidents and ensure your pet’s safety.

Tips for a Safe Aquatic Experience

If you’re determined to introduce your non-swimming breed to the water or simply want to ensure a safe aquatic experience for your water-loving pup, consider the following tips:

1. Stick to Shallow Waters

Avoid deep bodies of water, especially for breeds that struggle with swimming.

2. Canine Life Jacket

Invest in a canine life jacket, especially if you plan to have your dog on a boat. It provides extra buoyancy and safety.

3. Supervise Closely

Always supervise your dog near water to prevent accidents.

Take the pledge to keep pets safe around water.
Photo: Pexels
Take the pledge to keep pets safe around water.

Remember, every dog is unique, and while some breeds may have swimming challenges, individual dogs within those breeds might enjoy the water, Online Pet Health reports. It’s essential to understand your pet’s comfort level and take appropriate precautions.

Understand your pet’s limitations and take safety measures to ensure a fun and safe experience for both you and your furry friend. Click below to take our pledge to keep your pets safe while swimming!

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