Dachshunds are a very energetic breed that loves to spend time outside. They don’t do well in extremely hot temperatures, so cooling them off with a swim sounds like a great idea, right? Before you put your dachshund in the water and expect them to swim, there are some things to keep in mind.
Do Dachshunds Like Water?
It is very common for a dachshund to prefer to stay on dry land than swim in the water, but this doesn’t mean they hate the water. Most dachshunds will love to play and splash around in the water, but some might show resistance to getting in the water.
Just like humans, each dog has their own personality, likes, and dislikes. There are times where dachshunds are stubborn (quite often, as Dachsund owners will know), which can make it even more difficult to get them into the water if they don’t want to be in there.
If you do manage to get your dachshund in the water, they will need to be very closely supervised. Their legs are short, so they are going to get tired easily. Make sure you are in the water with them, or very close by, so you can help them out when they are finished.
Can Dachshunds Swim?
Dachshunds do have the ability to swim, but not very well. They have long bodies with very short legs, so they usually prefer to stay on dry land. While they are not the best swimmers, they can learn how to swim more efficiently.
Before you put your dachshund in water and expect them to enjoy it, there are a few tips you need to know.
Just like kids, dachshunds are small and can have a hard time keeping themselves above the water. Investing in a life jacket for your pup can help them feel safer and more secure when they are in the water.
Stay very close to your dachshund when they are in the water even if they do have a life jacket on. They have the tendency to sink and tire very quickly. It will help your dog feel better knowing you are right there to help them when they need you.
Plenty of Breaks
Swimming is a great way for your dachshund to get exercise, but it is extremely tiring for such little pups. If you sense they are becoming too tired, take them out of the water so they can have a break and relax. This will preserve the energy they have and keep them safe.
Avoid Waves and Currents
It is not recommended to let your dachshund swim in a river or an ocean that has waves and currents. They can be dangerous to the dog, as they can easily get carried away by the moving water.
Teaching a Dachshund to Swim
Swimming isn’t a skill that dachshunds have naturally like some dogs. Don’t let this discourage you, as it is possible to teach your dachshund to swim. It will likely take some time, so you need to stay patient during the whole process.
If possible, start introducing your dachshund to water during their puppy years. If they get used to the water when they are young, they will be more comfortable with swimming and being around water as they get older.
Younger pups are more willing to try new things than older dogs. If you introduce your dachshund to swimming at a young age, they are even more likely to enjoy swimming. Getting a puppy excited about water is going to be easier than getting an adult dog excited about it.
Start in Shallow Water
Before teaching your dachshund to swim, you can let them play around and get wet in shallow water. This will allow them to learn that water is fun without adding the stress of trying to swim at the same time. You can use a kiddie pool or your bathtub for this.
Fill part of the pool or tub with some lukewarm water. Make sure your dog still has the ability to stand up and move easily. Encourage the pup to walk through the water by calling them to you. If the dachshund is playing and enjoying the water, try adding some more water.
Keep the water at a level that they can still put their feet down and stand, but they have enough room to attempt to paddle their feet. To promote this, you can keep your hand under their belly to support their weight. Don’t leave their side for even a second.
Keep Things Slow
When starting with swimming lessons, you should keep them short. Only let your dachshund swim for a minute or two at a time. It is not recommended to keep your dog in the water for longer than five minutes at the beginning of their lessons. This could overwhelm them, which is not what you want.
If the pup is showing enjoyment in the activity, make sure to give them a lot of praise to allow them to positively associate the experience. If they do not show enjoyment, take them out of the water and try again at a different time.
Head to Deeper Water
When you feel like your dachshund is ready for some deeper water, test it out. You can hold onto the dachshund by holding its belly or the handles of the life jacket. Allow them to get their entire body submerged in the water.
Keep a hand under their belly to offer support as they get used to the deeper water. They should start paddling their feet. Move around with them until they are completely comfortable swimming, then let them try on their own!
If you are wondering whether or not your dachshund would like to spend some time swimming with you, it depends on the dog. Dachshunds can swim, and many show that they enjoy it, but it is not an activity for each individual dog.
For a higher chance of your dachshund enjoying to swim, you will want to introduce them to water and how fun it is when they are young. They will be more excited to try something new as a puppy than as an adult dog.