Which Dogs Can’t Swim

Are you ready to dive into the fascinating world of dog swimming abilities? Brace yourself, because we’re about to reveal some shocking truths!

While most dogs are natural-born swimmers, there are a few breeds that defy the aquatic norm. Prepare to be amazed as we explore which dogs can’t swim.

From the mighty Bulldog to the petite Pug and even the elongated Dachshund, these water-resistant pooches will leave you astounded.

So grab your floaties and let’s unravel this wet and wild mystery together!


Bulldogs cannot swim well due to their body structure and short snouts. Their heavy build and muscular frame create buoyancy issues in the water, and their short snouts make it challenging for them to breathe properly while swimming.

When it comes to bulldog swimming ability, it’s important to prioritize their safety. Bulldogs have a dense body mass, which causes them to sink rather than float in water. This makes it crucial for owners to be cautious when introducing their bulldogs to bodies of water. It is recommended that they wear life jackets specifically designed for dogs during any water activities.

Water safety is paramount for bulldogs due to their limited swimming abilities. Owners should never leave their bulldogs unsupervised near pools, lakes, or any other bodies of water. Providing shallow areas where they can wade or play safely is essential.

In conclusion, ensuring bulldog water safety by using life jackets and providing shallow areas will help prevent accidents and keep these lovable pets protected while enjoying some splashy fun!


Pugs can’t swim. Despite their adorable appearance and playful nature, pugs are not built for the water. This is one of the common misconceptions about pugs and their ability to swim. Many people assume that because pugs have a short coat and a sturdy body structure, they would naturally excel in swimming. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Exploring the reasons behind pugs being unable to swim reveals some interesting facts. The foremost reason is their brachycephalic skull shape, which affects their breathing abilities. Pugs have short snouts and narrow nasal passages, making it difficult for them to keep their head above water while swimming.

Additionally, pugs have a compact body with relatively heavy heads and chests. This physical attribute makes it challenging for them to stay buoyant in water. Their short legs also limit their ability to paddle effectively, further hindering their swimming capability.

It’s important for owners of pugs or anyone considering getting one to understand these limitations. While some dogs may enjoy playing in shallow water under careful supervision, it is crucial never to leave a pug unattended near pools or bodies of water.

In conclusion, despite popular belief, pugs cannot swim due to anatomical constraints such as their brachycephalic skull shape and compact body structure. Understanding these factors will help ensure the safety and well-being of our beloved four-legged friends when it comes to water activities.


Dachshunds, known for their long bodies and short legs, face unique challenges when it comes to water activities. Due to their distinct body shape, swimming can be quite difficult and even dangerous for these adorable pups. Here are some reasons why dachshunds may struggle in the water:

  • Long Body: The elongated body of a dachshund makes it harder for them to stay afloat. Their center of gravity is shifted towards the rear, making it challenging for them to maintain balance while paddling.

  • Short Legs: Dachshunds’ short legs provide limited propulsion in the water, making it harder for them to generate enough force to move forward efficiently.

  • Heavy Chest: Dachshunds have a robust chest that weighs them down when submerged in water, making it more difficult for them to stay buoyant and swim effectively.

  • Low Stamina: Swimming requires significant energy expenditure, which can be exhausting for dachshunds due to their smaller size and shorter legs.

  • Increased Risk of Injury: Because of their long backs and delicate spinal structures, dachshunds are at a higher risk of developing back problems or injuring themselves while swimming.

Knowing these challenges allows us to better understand why dachshunds may not be natural swimmers. It’s important to prioritize their safety and provide alternative ways for them to cool off during hot summer days.

Basset Hound

Basset hounds, with their long ears and droopy eyes, also face challenges when it comes to water activities. Their unique physical characteristics make swimming a bit of a struggle for them. Firstly, their short legs and heavy bodies are not built for efficient movement in water. They have a low center of gravity that makes it difficult for them to stay buoyant. Additionally, their long droopy ears tend to drag in the water, making it harder for them to keep their heads above the surface.

Even though basset hounds may not be natural swimmers, they still need exercise and activity to stay healthy. While swimming may not be their forte, they can still enjoy other forms of exercise such as brisk walks or playtime in the yard. Basset hounds have moderate exercise requirements and should be given daily opportunities to stretch their legs and burn off energy.

To help you visualize these challenges faced by basset hounds when it comes to swimming, take a look at this table:

Challenges Faced by Basset Hounds when Swimming
Short legs and heavy bodies
Low center of gravity
Long droopy ears

Understanding these unique physical characteristics and exercise needs of basset hounds will help you provide appropriate activities for your furry friend while keeping them safe near water.


Boxers, with their athletic build and energetic nature, are known for their love of water activities. However, it is important to note that not all Boxers are natural swimmers. Here are some characteristics of the Boxer breed and training tips to help your furry friend enjoy the water safely:

  1. Body structure: Boxers have a strong and muscular body, which allows them to excel in various physical activities. Their deep chest and long legs make them excellent jumpers, but these features also affect their swimming abilities.

  2. Short snout: Boxers have a short snout and can easily struggle with breathing while swimming. It’s crucial to monitor your Boxer closely in water to ensure they don’t experience any difficulties.

  3. Training: To help your Boxer become comfortable in the water, start by introducing them to shallow areas first. Use positive reinforcement techniques like treats or praise when they show interest or confidence in the water.

  4. Safety precautions: Always use a life jacket when swimming with your Boxer, especially if they are not confident swimmers. This will provide added buoyancy and keep them safe in case of fatigue or unexpected currents.

Remember that each dog is unique, so it’s essential to assess your individual Boxer’s comfort level in the water before engaging in any water activities. With patience, proper training, and safety measures in place, you can help your beloved Boxer enjoy splashing around without worry!

French Bulldog

If you have a French Bulldog, it’s important to understand that their physical characteristics may affect their ability to swim. French Bulldogs are known for their unique body structure, which includes a short snout and compact frame. While these features give them their adorable appearance, they can also make swimming a bit challenging for them.

Because of their short snouts, French Bulldogs have difficulty breathing properly when submerged in water. This can make it harder for them to stay afloat and swim efficiently. Additionally, the compact nature of their bodies makes it more difficult for them to paddle and maneuver through the water.

Despite these challenges, it doesn’t mean that French Bulldogs cannot enjoy water activities altogether. With proper supervision and precautions, they can still have fun in shallow waters or on the beach. Just remember to keep an eye on them at all times and provide them with a life jacket for added safety.

When it comes to temperament, French Bulldogs are generally easygoing and sociable dogs. They tend to get along well with other animals and children, making them great companions for families. However, they do not require as much exercise as some other breeds do. Short walks and some playtime indoors are usually enough to meet their exercise needs.

In conclusion, while French Bulldogs may not be natural swimmers due to their physical characteristics, they can still enjoy water activities with proper supervision and precautions. Understanding their limitations will ensure that they stay safe while having fun in the water!

Shih Tzu

Despite their small size and long, flowing coats, Shih Tzus can still enjoy water activities with proper supervision and precautions. These adorable little dogs may not be natural swimmers like some other breeds, but with the right training and grooming practices, they can have a splashing good time!

Training Tips for Shih Tzus:

  • Start slow: Introduce your Shih Tzu to water gradually, allowing them to get used to the sensation of being wet.
  • Use positive reinforcement: Reward your pup with treats and praise when they show bravery in the water.
  • Invest in a life jacket: Even though Shih Tzus have an innate ability to float due to their buoyant coats, a life jacket will provide extra safety and peace of mind.

Best Grooming Practices for Shih Tzus:

  • Regular brushing: Their luxurious coats require daily brushing to prevent matting and tangles.
  • Frequent baths: Keep their fur clean by bathing them every few weeks using a gentle dog shampoo.
  • Professional grooming: Consider taking your Shih Tzu to a professional groomer who specializes in this breed’s unique grooming needs.
  • Eye care: Due to their prominent eyes, it’s important to clean around their eyes regularly to prevent irritation or infections.

With these training tips and grooming practices in mind, you can ensure that your precious Shih Tzu stays safe while enjoying water activities. So grab your swimsuit and get ready for some fun-filled aquatic adventures together!

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers, known for their lively and playful nature, can have a great time in the water with proper training and precautions. These adorable dogs are often referred to as ‘American Gentlemen’ due to their charming personalities.

When it comes to swimming, Boston Terriers can be quite capable if introduced to water at an early age. However, like any breed, they may require some guidance and patience before becoming confident swimmers.

When it comes to children, Boston Terriers are generally good companions. They are affectionate and enjoy being part of a family. Their small size makes them suitable for households with kids, but as always, supervision is crucial when dogs interact with young children.

In terms of allergies, Boston Terriers are considered hypoallergenic. This means that people who suffer from allergies may experience fewer symptoms around these dogs. However, it’s important to note that no dog is completely hypoallergenic and individual reactions may still vary.

Overall, Boston Terriers can make wonderful additions to families who love spending time near the water or have children. With proper training and socialization, these little American Gentlemen can become excellent swimmers while providing endless joy and companionship along the way.


Corgis, with their short legs and long bodies, are known for their playful and energetic nature. However, when it comes to swimming, corgis may face certain challenges due to their unique body structure. Their short legs make it difficult for them to paddle efficiently in water, while their long bodies can cause balance issues. Despite these obstacles, many corgis still enjoy being in the water and can learn to swim with proper training.

When it comes to Corgis in water, it’s important to consider their swimming abilities. While some corgis may naturally take to the water and swim effortlessly, others may struggle more and require assistance or a life jacket for safety. It’s crucial not to force a corgi into deep waters if they show signs of discomfort or fear.

To help your corgi become comfortable in the water and improve their swimming abilities, you can try the following:

  1. Start by introducing your corgi to shallow waters where they can touch the ground.
  2. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats or toys to encourage them.
    • Reward them every time they make progress or show confidence.
    • Gradually increase the depth of the water as they become more comfortable.

Remember that each corgi is unique, so be patient and understanding throughout the process. With time and practice, your corgi may surprise you with their swimming skills!

Yorkshire Terrier

Now that you’re familiar with the swimming capabilities of Corgis, let’s dive into a different breed: Yorkshire Terriers. These adorable little dogs may not be natural swimmers like some other breeds, but with proper training techniques and pool safety precautions, they can still enjoy the water.

Yorkshire Terriers are small in size and have a relatively low body fat percentage, making it more challenging for them to stay buoyant in the water. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t learn to swim. With patience and positive reinforcement, you can teach your Yorkshire Terrier how to paddle their way through the pool.

When it comes to training Yorkshire Terriers to swim, it’s important to start slowly and introduce them to water gradually. Begin by getting them comfortable around shallow areas of the pool or even in a kiddie pool. Use treats and praise as rewards for their progress.

Additionally, pool safety is paramount when it comes to small dogs like Yorkshire Terriers. Ensure that your pool has secure fencing or barriers to prevent accidental falls or access when unsupervised. Consider using a doggy life jacket specifically designed for small breeds during swimming sessions for added safety.

By following these training techniques and taking necessary precautions, you can help your beloved Yorkshire Terrier safely enjoy the water and create lasting memories together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Bulldogs swim?

Bulldogs have a unique body structure that makes swimming difficult for them. Their short snout and heavy build make it challenging to stay afloat. While some bulldogs may be able to swim, most require assistance or should avoid water altogether.

Do Pugs have difficulty swimming?

When it comes to pugs and water safety, they can face difficulties in swimming. Due to their short snouts, pugs may struggle with breathing while swimming. However, with proper techniques and supervision, they can still enjoy the water.

Are Dachshunds able to swim?

Dachshunds have a unique body shape that can make swimming challenging for them. However, with proper training and support, many dachshunds can learn to swim and enjoy the water safely.

Can Basset Hounds swim?

Dive into the world of basset hounds and water: a love-hate relationship? Despite their low, heavy bodies, these lovable pooches can learn to swim with patience and training. Let’s explore how they overcome aquatic challenges.

Do Boxers have a natural ability to swim?

Boxers have a natural ability to swim due to their muscular build and short coat. They excel in water sports like dock diving and retrieving games, making them perfect companions for active individuals who enjoy aquatic activities.


In conclusion, it is important to note that while many dogs are natural swimmers, there are certain breeds that struggle in the water. Bulldogs, Pugs, Dachshunds, Basset Hounds, Boxers, Shih Tzus, Boston Terriers, Corgis, and Yorkshire Terriers are among these breeds.

It’s fascinating to know that approximately 40% of all dog breeds cannot swim due to their physical characteristics such as short legs or heavy bodies. This statistic highlights the need for extra caution and supervision when these dogs are near water to ensure their safety.

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