Can Dachshunds Swim? Discover The Truth & Tips You Need To Know

Can Dachshunds Swim? Discover The Truth &Amp; Tips You Need To Know
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Many people adore Dachshunds, also known as “wiener dogs,” because of their unusual appearance, consisting of a long body and short legs. Yet, “Can Dachshunds swim?” is frequently questioned, even if they are small dogs. The answer is Yes, and this article from Canvas Personalized will discuss how to train and offer advice on gradually introducing your dog to the water.

Do Dachshunds Like The Water?

Can Dachshunds Swim
Do Dachshunds Like The Water? – Copyrighted by I Love Dachshunds

While some Dachshunds may enjoy swimming and splashing around in the pool, this trait is not commonly associated with the breed. Unlike their long-legged furry friends, Dachshunds were bred historically to be hunters or burrowers, so they are less naturally inclined to swim and splash around in the swimming pool.

Although most dachshunds can swim, it may not be their natural ability due to their short and stubby legs and long bodies. Yet, with the appropriate training and introduction, a particular Dachshund may love swimming lessons and another great exercise.

Can Dachshunds Swim
Can Dachshunds Swim? – Copyrighted by SheKnows

We can’t say for sure if your dachshund puppy will like water or not because of the dachshund’s ability. As long as you’ve gradually exposed the puppy to water and baths, you must spend time making your dachshund loves swimming and keeping dachshund’s safety. If your dogs display extreme discomfort in the shallow water, you should never force them into the deep water immediately.

Is Swimming Good For Dachshunds?

Any dog, not only Dachshunds, can benefit from swimming as a form of exercise.

  • Low-impact exercise: Swimming is a low-impact activity that may be gentle on the joints, making it an excellent choice for Dachshunds prone to back issues.
  • Builds muscle strength: Dachshunds swimming can help build muscle strength, especially in the chest, shoulders, and back.
  • Improves cardiovascular health: Dachshunds can swim, which is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that can help to improve your Dachshund’s heart and lung health.
  • Provides mental stimulation: Dachshund swimming can provide mental stimulation for your Dachshund, helping to reduce boredom and anxiety.
  • Helps with weight management: It can be an effective way to help your Dachshund maintain a healthy weight, as it burns calories without putting pressure on the joints.
  • Recovery after surgery: Dachshunds swimming may be helpful in rehabilitating dachshunds after back surgery and strengthening their muscles to prevent future issues. For example, intervertebral disc disease treatment frequently includes hydra therapy (IVDD).

Keep an eye on your pup in the water to ensure they don’t tire out and endanger themselves by drowning. They can become tired quickly due to their small legs. They are in danger of sinking or even drowning if they let their fatigue and exhaustion get the best of them. So your Dachshund must always wear a dog life jacket whenever the two of you go near the water. Even if they pass out from exhaustion, they can still stay afloat.

The Benefits Of Dachshunds Swimming
The Benefits Of Dachshunds Swimming – Copyrighted by You Did What With Your Weiner

Not all Dachshunds are born to be best swimmers; some may need to be taught the basics or equipped with a dog life vest. So it’s important to remember that you never force your Dachshund to swim into the deeper water; teach them to swim carefully and safely.

Can Dachshunds Swim And How To Teach Dachshunds Swimming?

You can train your Dachshund to be a strong swimmer even if it isn’t interested in swimming. Training your Dachshund to swim well should be done methodically for the best results. Having patience is essential before you begin teaching your Dachshund swimming.

Remember that you should never make your pup do something it doesn’t want to do if you can help. If they’re not into it today, give it another shot tomorrow.

Step 1: Start when your Dachshund is young.

Getting your Dachshund used to the water at a young age would be best. If he gets used to the water as a puppy, he’ll be more comfortable swimming as he ages.

Can Dachshunds Swim
Start When Your Dachshund Is Young – Copyrighted by For My Dachshund

Introducing your Dachshund to swimming at a younger age might even mean your pup’s more inclined to enjoy swimming.

Younger Dachshunds will be more up for trying new things than older dogs. So, if your Dachshund is still a puppy, now is the perfect time to get it excited about the water.

Step 2: Go slowly and gradually.

Dachshunds Swimming
Introduce Slowly Dachshunds Swimming – Copyrighted by Larry Kumbier

Swimming lessons should be short and sweet. Start slow, and only get your Dachshund to swim for a minute or two.

Please don’t make your dogs swim in the water for more than 5 minutes initially because you don’t want to overwhelm them or let them get too cold and tired.

Step 3: Begin with very shallow water.

You can start by letting your Dachshund get used to getting wet in the water before including the swimming element. This way, your pup can learn to enjoy the water before the added swimming stress is included.

Can Dachshunds Swim
Begin With Shallow Water – Copyrighted by The Puppy Mag

Partly fill a children’s swimming pool (or bath) with lukewarm water so your Dachshund can still stand. Encourage your pup to move through the water towards you when you call it.

If your wiener dog is happy playing in the water and coming towards you, fill it gradually with more water so his feet lift slightly off the ground. You want it so he can still reach the floor if needed.

Can Dachshunds Swim
Can Dachshunds Swim ?

So your dog should naturally start paddling its feet, but see how it reacts. If your pup tries to swim, keep your arm underneath its belly for support. Once your dog learns to swim and enjoys any fun activity, praise it! In contrast, stop immediately and take them out of the water when your dogs tire quickly.

Note: Never leave your Dachshund unattended, even for a second. You must be there to supervise at all times.

Step 4: Introduce your pup to a swimming pool.

If your dog is comfortable in waist-deep water, you should only introduce Dachshund to a swimming pool. Please don’t make the dog swim against its will or take it swimming very far out in the ocean since your dog isn’t a natural swimmer.

Can Dachshunds Swim
Introduce your Dachshund to a swimming pool – Copyrighted by iHeartDogs

Teaching your Dachshunds to swim in deeper water will be the easiest and safest in a swimming pool. It would be best if you swam with your Dachshund to keep it in a secure environment at all times.

After a few repetitions, your Dachshund should feel comfortable being carried into deeper water. If not, swimming may not be for your dog!

Never assume your Dachshund can swim because you’ve had him near the water. Go cautiously and methodically, adapting to his pace.

Step 5: Put your Dachshund in the water gently and slowly.

By holding your Dachshund or holding onto the handles of the dog life jackets, let your Dachshund’s legs become buried in the water.

Dachshunds Swimming
Put Your Dachshund Into Water With Life Jacket – Copyrighted by Dachshund World

Never leave your dog’s side until you are sure it is at ease in the deeper water, and keep an arm under its belly to support the Dachshund until it adjusts. Your Dachshund, like other dogs, will react rapidly to the water on its paws by kicking its leg.

While your Dachshund swims with you, you should carefully paddle around the pool.

Repeat this process until you are satisfied that your Dachshund can float independently.

Step 6: Let your Dachshund try swimming on its own!

Remove your arm from beneath your Dachshund’s tummy gradually once it gets the hang of paddling and seems to be enjoying himself.

Can Dachshunds Swim
Let Dachshunds Swim

You should be standing close to the dog’s side with your arm, holding the dog life jacket, and pulling him straight out of the water if he exhibits discomfort.

You can try again later or retrace your steps and do it more slowly.

Step 7: Call out to your Dachshund to swim.

Have a partner go into the water with you and take turns holding the dog and encouraging the Dachshunds to swim towards you by calling out.

Dachshunds Swimming
Call Out To Your Dachshunds To Swim – Copyrighted by Taglec

Allow your Dachshund to paddle its leg and cautiously approach your aiding hand. It would be best to begin with a minimal distance and gradually increase it.

Stop immediately and return to a level where your Dachshund shows signs of distress. Your dog may need more time to adjust to the water. So don’t force him to participate if he’s not enjoying himself.

Keep practicing, and then your Dachshund should be happy and love swimming.


  • Never leave your Dachshund unsupervised near deep water without life jackets, and make sure there’s a method for him to get out of the water to dry land quickly and easily.
  • Give your Dachshund a good bath once it gets out of the water to remove the chlorine and the dirt, then towel it dry.

Tips For Taking Dachshunds Swimming

Water Safety Tips For Dachshund Swimming And Other Breeds

Many dogs can’t swim.

Can Dachshunds Swim
Not All Dogs Can Swim

Don’t think your dog would swim instinctively if you put it in the water. Some canines are terrible swimmers and floaters. For example, Bulldogs, Maltese, Shih Tzus, and our Dachshund friends might do the doggy paddle more for survival than fun.

Because of their huge chests and small, stumpy legs, Dachshunds may struggle to swim and paddle for extended periods.

Be Patient

Avoid making your Dachshund swim against its will. They may join you if you let them see how much fun you’re having in the water.

An unpleasant experience is inevitable if you force a dog into the water. If they don’t feel like swimming, you can help them relax in the shade until they change their minds.

Watch Carefully

Keep a close eye on your Dachshund if it decides to take a little swim. A dog can drown in seconds, so keeping a watchful eye out is essential.

Always use the leash when swimming for the first time.

Can Dachshunds Swim
Can Dachshunds Swim – Always Watch Carefully With Leash When Swimming

Dogs should always be kept on leashes when in or near the water. You can use a dog leash that floats. This leash is buoyant and highly visible, making it simple to rescue your dog in an emergency.


You’re the one who needs to take your Dachshund out of the water and into the shade for a rest and a glass of water, even though life vests protected them.

Dog Life Jacket

Dachshunds Swimming
Wear a Life Jacket For Your Dog

Accidents might be avoided with something as simple as a life vest. All dogs should wear a life jacket when going out on a boat or in the water, no matter how good a swimmer is.

Where to swim

Do not allow your puppy to swim in rivers, streams, or other running water. Your dog will paddle like crazy to keep their lengthy bodies afloat, and their tiny legs tire out quickly.

Keeping your dog in the shallower parts of rivers, lakes, creeks, and ponds would be best.

Fresh drinking water

When you stop swimming, ensure your Dachshund has plenty of fresh water. Dogs lose a lot of water by panting, so they need to drink enough water.

Do not give your Dachshund saltwater from the ocean, a lake, or a pool. They’re prone to severe illness.

Always bring clean water for your dog to drink, whether you’re swimming, hiking, playing, or just taking a walk.

Clean Up or Go to the Bath After Swimming

Dachshunds Swimming
Take Your Dog To Go Bath After Bathing

Itchy skin is a common problem for Dachshunds. So you should always take them bathing because chlorine, water intoxication, and other pool chemicals might be irritating to your dog’s skin.

>>>Check out more helpful dog training tips to make your training session easy and safe at home!

How to choose the right life jacket for many dogs

Investing in a life vest for your Dachshund is a good safety measure in case your dog tires in the water. If a dog’s energy for paddling runs out, he can still rely on this to keep it afloat.

Even if you don’t want your dog to swim, it still needs a life jacket when you’re in or near deep water. There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a canine life vest:

Size: Finding a nice life jacket for your Dachshund may be difficult because of its long and small stature, so measure your dog’s girth and length and choose a life jacket that fits snugly but is not too tight. Your dog should be able to move and breathe freely in the life jacket.

Buoyancy: The life jacket should have enough buoyancy to keep your dog afloat. How much buoyancy your dog needs depends on its size and swimming skills.

Comfort: Look for a comfortable life jacket for your dog with padded straps and a soft lining.

Visibility: Choose a life jacket with bright colors or reflective strips to make your dog more visible in the water.

Quality: Your DachshundS should be unable to squirm out of the life jacket, but it shouldn’t be so tight that it causes skin irritation. So look for a life jacket made from high-quality materials and durable enough to withstand wear and tear.

Purpose: Consider the purpose of the life jacket. Swimming or boating? Depending on the situation, a life vest may have specialized features. For example, a life jacket with grips will help you grab your dog in an emergency and make it much simpler to pull your DachshundS out of the water.

Fit comfortably: The best life jacket for your Dachshunds is one that doesn’t restrict movement. Try the life jacket on your dog before purchasing it to ensure a proper fit and adjustable straps.

Why Dachshunds Aren’t Natural Swimmers?

Swimming is not a favorite activity for many dachshunds and some other dogs. So can dachshunds swim? However, they still lack swimming prowess due to a few key factors.

Dachshunds are bred to hunt and kill badgers.

Can Dachshunds Swim
Can Dachshunds Swim? – The Original Dachshunds Breed

Dachshunds were originally developed to track and kill badgers. So, their entire physical make-up is optimized for this role. This is why many people believe that Dachshunds struggle in the water. A Dachshund, however, may be taught to swim.

A Dachshund’s short, stubby legs

The legs of a dachshund are notoriously short and stocky. According to the National Institutes of Health, this condition is known as canine dwarfism. And obviously, the dog’s short legs aren’t the best for helping it swim.

They have a distinct disadvantage in the water because of their short legs and small thighs. It’s best not to force them and to let them take a moment to catch their breath.

Dachshunds Swimming
The Appearance Impact Dachshunds Swimming Ability

The Dachshund’s long bodies

The Dachshund is a long-bodied dog breed. There’s a good reason why people refer to them as “hot dogs” or “wiener dogs.” Their small legs look even shorter than their abnormally large bodies.

The Dachshund’s length impacts its swimming skills because it is shorter than average because of its long torso and small legs. This will make it difficult for them to swim, as they must always keep their heads above water.

Are There Dog Breeds That Can’t Swim?

All of these dog types are fantastic as house pets. You must keep them well away from any body of water.


Can Dachshunds Swim
Can Pups Swim? – Copyrighted by Kooky Pugs

This cute dog breed is classified as brachycephalic because of its flattened face and characteristic snorts. To maintain their nose and mouth above the waterline, brachycephalic dogs must tilt their heads upward, which causes their tails to point downward and puts them in an almost vertical position in the water, making it difficult for them to stay afloat.

Furthermore, this breed isn’t great at swimming laps since their narrow snouts make it difficult to catch their breath.


Can Dachshunds Swim
Can BullDog Swim? – Copyrighted by Bulldogology

Bulldogs, which are sturdy, dense, and low to the ground, are better off not swimming. Due to their short, turned-out legs, paddling quickly enough to sustain their weight is difficult.

If you really must take your bulldog swimming, always have a helping hand and the right life jacket available.

>>>Check out more essential information about the Bulldog breed to understand why it is not a good swimmer!

Basset hounds

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Can Basset hounds Swim? – Copyrighted by Hepper

The basset hound, with the longest ears in the world, was developed as a hunting and tracking companion on land. Bassets with short legs and a solid skeletal structure are happy to follow a scent as long as no water is in the way.

Basset Hounds aren’t very proficient at swimming because of their short legs.


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Can Maltese Swim?

The Maltese is a cute, cuddly dog who would rather sit on your lap than swim. This type has no trouble paddling, but there are concerns about the effects of water on their health. Taking your Maltese swimming could exacerbate the breed’s health problems like shivers, arthritis, and rheumatism.

French bulldogs

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Can French bulldogs Swim? – Copyrighted by French Bulldog

The French bulldog has greater trouble treading water than swimming. Smaller versions of the full-sized bulldog share the same bulky, barrel-shaped bodies and turned-out, short legs that make them poor swimmers.

Keep a close eye on them if water is around because they can sink like rocks.

>>>Further Reading:

Although the answer to “Can Dachshunds Swim?” is Yes, most dogs are not great swimmers due to their large bodies and short legs. You can keep your dachshund safe when it swims by taking the proper steps and giving it the right training and support (see the tips from Canvas Personalized above).

Training & Behaviors