Do Dachshunds Like To Swim and Are They Good At It?

Last Updated on September 3, 2021 by admin

Many dogs love to swim but Doxies are not a typical dog which begs the question – do dachshunds like to swim and are they good at it? It’s a common misconception that all dogs love water and are expert swimmers. After all, we’ve even named a swimming style after them.

But there are actually some dog breeds like the English bulldog who are physically incapable of swimming even if they wanted to. So, does the same apply to Doxies and their short legs? Can dachshunds swim or should you steer clear of any large body of water? Let’s discuss.

Do Dachshunds Like Water?

Every dog is different so we can’t guarantee that your Doxie will like or hate water. There are some dogs of almost all breeds that just hate water (except, maybe, water dog breeds like Labrador retrievers). Even a light shower is enough to send some dogs into a frenzy.

So, there is no telling exactly how your dachs will react at the sight of water. However, overall, we can confirm that most dachshunds are not afraid of water. As long as you’ve introduced the pup to water and bathtime properly it’s very likely that there will be no issues going forward. This includes showers/bathtime and even swimming.

Do Dachshunds Like To Swim?

They can, as long as they want to. Dachshunds don’t have the problem of a skewed center of balance that breeds such as the English bulldog have. So, a calm and healthy Doxie should have no trouble staying above the water’s surface.

In fact, their elongated bodies are pretty well suited for floating and swimming as that guarantees their weight will be properly distributed. Even the signature Doxie long muzzle is a benefit here as it further helps these dogs keep their head and nose away from the water.

Do Dachshunds Like To Swim Historically?

Doxies have never been used as a dedicated water dog the way most retriever breeds have. Instead, dachshunds were primarily used as scent hounds. They were bred to help hunters go after badgers, foxes, rabbits, and other borrowing forest dwellers. That’s exactly what “dachshund” means too – it translates as “badger hound” in German.

So, Doxies were never really used for or expected to swim. Still, as a hunting breed, they were expected to chase down their prey through a variety of terrains. So, stuff such as small forest streams and brooks is something they were expected to be able to deal with.

 can dachshunds swim

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Are Dachshunds Good Swimmers?

Doxies aren’t really “good” swimmers by any realistic measure. On account of their small bodies and short legs, dachshunds are not particularly fast swimmers. Long-distance endurance swimming isn’t their forte either as they can tire out in a matter of minutes.

Swimming is much more tiring than walking or running after all, so this is to be expected. ~10 minutes of swimming is usually viewed as the equivalent of 60 minutes of walking. And, remember that Doxie’s expected daily exercise needs amount to about an hour. So, a quick 10-minute swimming session is usually more than enough for them.

Is There A Point In Getting Your Doxie To Swim?

If dachshunds are not that good swimmers anyway, why bother getting them used to this activity? Well, there are several possible reasons and benefits of teaching your Doxie to swim:

  • Swimming is one of the best exercises for dogs. And, as dachshunds are prone to obesity as well as joint problems, swimming is a perfect way to both keep your dog in shape and help it lose weight. Even managing hip and elbow dysplasia becomes easier with swimming. Canine hydrotherapy is a thing and it’s great for many dachshunds.
  • Going for a swim at the lake is great fun. Doxies may be low-energy dogs but they are also extremely enthusiastic and playful. So, the fact that they are not the best swimmers doesn’t mean that they won’t like to swim. Going to a nearby lake a couple or more times a month is one of the best gifts you can give to your dog. As long as you’ve taught the Doxie to like swimming, of course.
  • Swimming is a great bonding exercise. When we talk about swimming we don’t mean just throwing your dog in the water and letting it have fun. This s a communal experience after all. You can play games with your dog in the water, swim together, and bond in new and exciting ways.
  • If you have other dogs that love swimming, your dachshund will be excited to join them. Many of the most popular dog pet breeds out there are water breeds. So, if you have more than one dog, it’s very likely that your other pooch loves swimming too.

How To Teach A Dachshund To Swim?

The first and most important rule is to get your dachshund used to the water gradually. It’s perfectly normal for your Doxie to be cautious with the water at first. This doesn’t mean that the dog is afraid of the water, it’s just careful.

So, never just throw your Doxie in the deep even if you know it’s going to be safe. Get your dachshund to get to know the water and get used to it. Start with shallow bodies of water first that allow the Doxie to touch the bottom with its feet. This can be done at home too, in the bathtub.

Another important tip is to start early. Getting an adult dog used to a new activity can be complicated. But if you start when the pup is still young, this will make things much easier.

And, as with most other dog activities – remember to reward your pooch for its efforts. This can mean treats, toys, pets, and playtime – make the water and swimming a fun activity for your dachshund and not just a challenge.

Lastly, always remember to be safe above all else. This means keeping an eye on whether your dach is getting tired and using a doggy lifejacket.

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