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Dog Breeds that can’t Swim

 Fri 21 Apr 2017 by Judy

Most dogs enjoy being in and around water, but It’s a common misconception that all breeds of dogs are strong and confident swimmers.

Why can’t certain dog breeds swim?

There are several reasons why certain breeds of dogs are unable to swim:

Dogs with short or flat muzzles often described as Brachycephalic dog breeds, struggle with buoyancy in the water. Flat faced dogs have to lift their heads upwards to breathe, which in turn forces their hind quarters downwards. The flatter the muzzle of the dog, the more difficult it becomes to keep afloat.

Heavily built and densely muscled dogs with proportionally big heads such as the Bulldog struggle in the water, as do some dog breeds set low to the ground such as the Dachshund. Dogs who have extremely thick and heavy coats may also have trouble with buoyancy, due to the sheer weight of the coat when wet.

Care should be taken with non-swimming breeds around deep water, such as canals and lakes, and owners should keep dogs on the lead to prevent the risk of drowning. If you’re planning a trip around water with a non-swimming dog breed you may want to consider investing in a buoyancy jacket.

Dog breeds that can’t swim

Here is a list of some common dog breeds that can’t swim, or are poor swimmers:

  • Basset Hound
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxers
  • Bulldogs
  • Dachshund
  • French Bulldog
  • Pekingese
  • Pugs
  • Shar Pei
  • Shih Tzu
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Yorkshire Terrier