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Canines and Water: A Slippery Tale

Is your dog a total fish out of water? Or could it spend hours in the pool or lake? The breed likely determines the passion for water, but there are exceptions. Some dogs might just be natural water-lovers, and others, not so much… If you’ve tried getting your pup in a pool this summer and it just ain’t having it, keep reading! 


Dog on the beach


You probably have noticed by now if your dog is a natural swimmer or not. If you find it challenging to get your dog to jump in a pool or go on a boat ride with you, there are a few tips you can try in order to make your dog feel more comfortable around water. 


Before diving in, let’s take a look at why certain breeds are predisposed to loving water. Hunting dogs such as Labrador Retrievers and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers LOVE the water. Why? Because they were bred to retrieve their hunter’s catch in often frigid water! Their coats are specially developed to withstand icy lakes thanks to a special undercoat. Breeds with “water” in their name, such as the Portuguese Water Dog, were taught to work alongside fishermen in the water! Other than having a natural predisposition for the water, these dogs also have the physical structure to be excellent swimmers. 


Dog swimming on the lake


Other breeds such as Dachshunds with short legs and Bulldogs with an uneven weight distribution will have a harder time swimming. Nevertheless, most dogs will have an instinct to start treading as soon as they enter a body of water. Ever noticed how when you place a smaller dog over a pool they immediately start moving their legs? Instinct! 

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