Can You Dachshund Swim? Learn Doxie Water Safety Training Tips

Can dachshunds swim?
Dachshunds like the water and undoubtedly swim.

Can Dachshunds Swim? Dachshunds can undoubtedly swim. These stubborn, feisty pups can do anything they put their heart and soul into. The animal will need to be taught from an early age since full-grown Doxies are obstinate about training plus there are a few things you might want to become familiar with.

The Doxie is a natural hunter meaning their talents are on land, not water. The pup also becomes exhausted quite quickly when swimming from paddling strenuously meaning you need to cut the time short.

The Doxie won’t win any awards as a strong, champion swimmer, but she can swim. The Dachshund’s elongated body with the stubby legs is better suited for activities on land. That doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of the opportunity to keep her cool in the pool; it merely means it might take a little more time for her to become efficient in the water.

By starting from an early age, the canine will grow accustomed to swimming the more she has exposure to the activity. It can help the animal gain greater strength in her short legs to propel her through the water with ease if performed frequently. Let’s dive in for more facts on the beloved Dachshund and her swimming capabilities.

Are Dachshunds Good Swimmers?

Dachshund swimming underwater
A Dachshund dives into a Pool. The credit of Photographer Seth Casteel.

A Dachshund is not the best swimmer from all the dog breeds, but what it lacks in skill, it more than makes up for in determination and feistiness. When the Doxie puts its mind to something, it will accomplish the activity. That means if you put the canine in water, those legs will start to paddle despite the fact this isn’t where the naturally bred badger hunters’ strengths are. Dryland is the dog’s preference over being in the water. The “National Institute of Health” indicates the short, stubby legs are the results of “dwarfism.”

These are a hindrance when it comes to attempting to propel through a body of water. Additionally, for the Doxie, the thigh is smaller in size than other stubby-legged breeds, further creating challenges with swimming. That means pet parents want to keep the activity brief instead of overdoing the time the puppy spends swimming.

Short-haired, Long-haired, and Wire-haired: Who Swims Better?

Wire-haired Dachshund jumping in the water
Wire-haired Dachshund jumping in the water

You’ll find three kinds of dachshunds – the smooth or short-haired, the long-haired, and the wire-haired. In the United States, the AKC acknowledges two sizes, including the miniature and the standard size. Regardless of the size or type of coat, each option prefers to roam the dry land instead of swimming.

The primary qualities making the activity a challenge remain the same regardless of which purebred you opt for: long bodies, short legs. These create a hindrance. There is no evidence proving that a specific size can navigate better in the water.

When it comes to characteristics, each is playful, exceptionally smart, and highly courageous but somewhat shy when it comes to the water. That’s when you see a bit of the mischief and the stubbornness as some choose to avoid the water.

Do Dachshunds Like The Water?

Do dachshunds like to swim
Dachshund leaps into a swimming pool.

In reality, pet parents won’t typically find a Doxie that will run towards the water and dive in unless perhaps they have exposure from a very early age. At that point, they might develop a love for swimming. In most cases with a Dachshund, they tend towards caution when first introduced to a body of water.

That doesn’t mean, however, when you put the animal in the pool, she won’t begin to kick. It’s an instinct for every dog breed to kick their legs in a type of running motion so they can remain above the surface. In many cases, the action propels the animal forward into the swimming movement. Some pups will merely stay in one spot treading the water instead of pacing themselves ahead.

While your Doxie might be able to move in the water, the dog will tire quite quickly because of their legs incorporating most of their energy while paddling. Shorter legs need to kick more often in an effort to keep themselves afloat.

Is Swimming Good For Dachshunds

Dachshunds are energy balls and like to be active, but the best activity for a Doxie isn’t swimming. The dog was bred to be a hunter on land, finding badgers and digging away the dirt until they located the animals.

That doesn’t mean your Doxie won’t like the water or even enjoy swimming. Still, as a rule, the animal’s build is not the best for swimming, making the activity the least ideal for the pup. Remember, it’s never okay to toss a dog in the water to see how they do. That can prove traumatic for the animal and cause them to develop fear.

How do I get my Dachshund to swim?

Is Your Dachshund Good Swimmer
A credit of: IG@wonderweenierex

When attempting to teach a Dachshund to swim, the idea is always to be patient above everything else and positive with feedback. Creating an atmosphere of stress causes anxiety for the animal, making her associate the activity in this way, and then she won’t want to participate. If you feel the animal doesn’t want to get in the water, wait for another day.

Dachshunds Need Safely Introduced To Water As A Puppy

1. Exposure

Ideally, you will start exposing the Doxie to water as a young puppy. The breed can be challenging to train once fully grown since they tend towards stubbornness with a minimal desire to attempt things with which they’re unfamiliar.

Initially, you can simply walk by relatively close to the edge so the animal can get her paws wet if she chooses, plus see and hear the movement. You don’t want to ever rush the situation. The idea is to let the pup know there’s nothing there for her to fear.

2. Shallow

Once the animal finds the courage to touch the water with a paw or even paddle near the side without fear, it’s okay to move on to the shallow end of the body of water. The animal needs to touch the floor when wading without the potential for currents to feel safe. You Doxie should stay on this step for some time before moving deeper a little bit at a time.

3. Share The Water

Since the puppy will be moving in deeper, it’s vital that you are there beside her not only to witness the swimming ability but to offer praise and reassurance in an effort for the pup to develop her self-confidence.

4. Follow These Tips For Optimum Water Safety

There are rules when taking your pup swimming to protect the Doxie from harm as you would with a child. Follow these tips for the optimum safety of your dog.

  • Never let the dog swim unattended. Always stay right beside her.
  • Find out if the pool or swim area is dog-friendly before bringing your Doxie.
  • Don’t keep your dog in the water too long. The water can upset her stomach plus chlorine is an eye irritant. Ocean water should not go in a dog’s mouth. Small amounts will create diarrhea, but large amounts can be fatal. If going to the beach, carry a great deal of fresh water with you.
  • Pay attention to fatigue and bring the Doxie out when tired to avoid harm.
  • Make sure the animal wears a lifejacket to prevent drowning.
  • Don’t go too far out in the ocean for waves or riptides to catch the tiny dog. Stay near a lifeguard and closer to the shoreline.
  • Look around under the water’s surface for fish hooks or other forms of potential danger.
  • Ear infections can develop from swimming. Make sure to dry your Doxie thoroughly after being in the water. If you notice irritation with the ears, contact the vet for assistance.

5. Allow Time

It’s essential to remain patient since the Dachshund will need to take its time in developing a love for the water and learning to become a good swimmer. Offer sufficient positive reinforcements, treats; however you would normally train for other activities. Another suggestion is to invite other dog parents and their fur babies.

While Doxies learn much from their parents, watching other animals is exciting and encouraging. Being pack animals, the dog will automatically want to do what the other canines are doing.

Remember, the life jacket is crucial. Sadly, pups do drown. With the rate at which Doxies tire when swimming, you want to ensure her safety in the water. Without this protective equipment, the pup could very quickly sink. If you’re not paying attention, the worst could happen.

6. Buy a Lifejacket for Your Doxie?

Best Life Jacket for Dachshunds
Best Life Jacket for Dachshunds

A wise investment would be to consider a Dachshund life jacket, highly recommended to give the Dachshund extra security in the water. The protective gear will help the animal remain buoyant yet not weighed down, so the stubby legs don’t feel a need to work quite so hard.

The most recommended piece of equipment for a Dachshund learning to swim and anytime they go swimming is a dog life vest (in size small – but take measurements).

In this way, if the dog becomes tired while paddling her legs, she can stop and remain buoyant without sinking under the water. You also can have peace of mind allowing them to go in the water knowing the animal is safe and secure. In any case, that doesn’t mean you can take your eyes off the canine.

Always pay attention to your dog, be standing right there beside them whether she is in the shallow end or goes further. If you can tell the Dachshund is growing tired, take her out of the water right away. If the training is not progressing and the pup seems not to be having a good time, stop for a while and try again after a period, perhaps a month or so.

Remember, when all is said and done, no rules say your dog has to swim or even like the water. In any case, you’ll love your Doxie all the same.

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