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Are German Shepherds Good Swimmers

Water Dogs These Dog Breeds Love Water


Some dogs love splashing in the water in summer, fetching and retrieving. Others would rather stay dry and on solid ground. Discover the who’s who of water dogs with our guide.

Not all dogs love aquatic adventure to the equal degree. Some will stay away from water, whether that means beach, pool, lake or river. Meanwhile, other dog breeds seem to be born to make a splash. Find out which dogs are 100% water dog breeds, and will gladly join you for wet-and-wonderful swim and play days all summer long. Oh, and speaking of summer dont forget to also check our best tips for keeping your dog cool.

Do German Shepherds Like Water

Most German shepherds enjoy the water, but some GSDs dont like it. Because German shepherds werent explicitly bred for water-based activities, how much they like water will depend on their previous experiences, especially when growing up as a puppy.

If they had bad experiences with water when they were puppies, they more than likely would grow up being fearful and refusing to swim.

Even if your dog likes to play in the water, please limit your dogs exposure to saltwater. Drinking too much salt water can lead to saltwater poisoning with symptoms ranging from mild to very severe. The most common signs of saltwater poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and lethargy.

Can You Breed Natural Swimmer German Shepherds

There are some German shepherds that are natural swimmers, but these dogs are mixed breeds. In short, it all comes down to genetics.

For example, if youve been asking yourself if German shepherds have webbed feet, the answer is no. They dont have the proper genetics.

However, Labrador and Golden Retriever have such traits. So if they were bred together with a German shepherd, youll get a natural swimmer German shepherd dog.

There are many other traits that a natural swimmer breed has. This includes leg length, coat, and more. Either way, you can still teach your German shepherd to be swimmers.

Read Also: What Are The Dogs That Look Like German Shepherds

What To Be Cautious About When Letting Your German Shepherd Swim

When youre german shepherd is swimming you should always keep an eye on them to make sure theyre alright. If you notice any of the following you should avoid letting your german shepherd swim.

Make Sure The Water Is Clean

Dont let your german shepherd swim in water that seems polluted. If you notice lots of rubbish floating on the top of the water then its best to avoid. As well as rubbish and pollution check to make sure theres no algae either.

Its normally best to let them swim in flowing water as its less likely to be polluted or stagnant.

Dont Let Your Dog Drink The Water

Even in freshwater its still best that you dont let your dog drink the water. It can often be full of bacteria that will give them an upset stomach or make them sick.

If your dog is going to drink the water then take them somewhere the water is really clean and flowing well.

Dont Let Them Spend Too Long In Chlorinated Pools

Even if your dog does drink the water in chlorinated pools you still shouldnt let them spend too long in there. Chlorine will begin to irritate and hurt their eyes over time as theyre a lot more sensitive than ours.

Check To Make Sure Its Safe

Lastly, check to make sure the area your dog is swimming in is safe. If its by the sea and its too rough, it may be best to avoid it. Likewise, freshwater that has strong currents may not be the best idea either.

And look for any objects that could cause damage to your dog when theyre swimming or if theyre jumping in.

Necessary Equipment Required For Gsd Swimming

Swimming...Pics and a short video

Safety must be your priority while training your German Shepherd for swimming. While training, you might need some equipment that will ensure a safe experience for your dog in the water.

Dog life-vest

To save your German Shepherd from drowning in the water, you should provide a dog life-vest or life-jacket to your dog. Make sure that the life-vest or jacket fits the dog properly and it can move all of its limbs freely.

Dog Goggles

The eyes of a German Shepherd are very sensitive to water, especially the chlorinated pool water. So, whenever you put your dog in the water for swimming, make sure that your dog is wearing the dog goggles.

Dog Collar

Dog collar is the necessary swimming equipment as it helps to spot your dog in the water. so use sharp colored dog collar. This dog collar lets you have something to grab your dog when your dog is drowning and needs your help.

Dog Leash

If you do not want to get into the water, you can use a dog leash. It will help you monitor the movements of your German Shepherd in the water. Use the leash loosely so that your dog can move freely in the water and doesnt get suffocated.

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Start Off In Shallow Water

When teaching your dog to swim, start them off in shallow water. Make sure you give them plenty of praise and affection, and never force them to go any faster than they are comfortable with.

If you live near a beach or a lake, gradually walk your dog deeper into the water, or start on the very shallowest step of your pool.

This is where the life jacket comes in handy: for a lot of dogs, the instinct will be to paddle with the front paws and let the back legs droop in the water.

While this will keep your dog afloat, it will also tire them out very quickly, and teaches bad habits for future swimming lessons. The life jacket will help you hold your dog in place and will also help them feel more secure as theyre starting out.

Once your dog is comfortable in water thats deep enough to allow for paddling, hold them in place with their head above the water until they start paddling with all four paws.

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Allow Them To Get Comfortable With Water At Their Own Pace

If your German Shepherd has never been in water before, it may take them a while to adjust to getting themselves wet. Encourage them to stick their paws in, splash around, and gradually ease their way in.;

Theyll most likely want to keep their feet on the ground at first. It also may help if youre able to get in the water with them. That will help make them more comfortable with the idea.;

Why Your German Shepherd Doesnt Like Water

8 month old German Shepherd’s first swim!

If your German Shepherd doesnt like water then youre probably wondering how you can get it to like it. This post will give you some reasons why your German Shepherd might not like water and what you can do about it.

So, why does your German Shepherd not like water? Reasons include it being an inherited trait, it being an unfamiliar situation, being uncomfortable and having had bad past experiences with water.;

And, how do;I get my German Shepherd to like water? To get your German Shepherd to like water you can try to ease it into it. To do this start by luring it into the shallow part of the water using treats, when its comfortable with that gradually increase the depth that you lure it into until you can get it to go all the way in.;

Even though your German Shepherd may be afraid of water it can be made to love it with enough patience and persistence.

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Can You Breed German Shepherds To Be Natural Swimmers

In order to breed a German Shepherd to be a natural born swimmer, it must be mixed with another breed.

Since this comes down to genetics, breeding a GSD with a natural swimmer like the Labrador Retriever should produce a hybrid dog that is able to swim with ease.

Unlike GSDs, Labradors and Retrievers both have webbed paws which helps make them excellent swimmers.

But webbed feet arent the only traits that affect a dogs swimming abilities. Coat type and length, as well as a dogs size are other factors to consider.

Despite this, German Shepherds can still be taught to be swimmers.

Never Assume Your Dog Can Swim

German Shepherds are not natural born swimmers, and you should never just assume that they can swim. If your dog naturally takes to the water, they may still need assistance. Lack of fear does not always mean they are able to swim. Closely monitor your dog when learning to swim and anywhere that safety may be a major concern.

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Why To Teach Your German Shepherd To Like The Water

There are a number of benefits to having a German Shepherd that likes the water that I will mention below.

It would help to keep it cool in the summer

Since German Shepherds; are a breed that can get hot more easily in the summer being able to get it to go into water without needing to encourage it to will help to cool it down a lot more easily.

Can give them lots of exercise

Since German Shepherds;require a lot of exercise to be properly stimulated getting them to like swimming will help to give it a lot of exercise without a lot of effort on your part. Swimming requires a lot of effort on the German Shepherds part so the act of swimming will wear it out quickly.

Easier to bath it

Getting your German Shepherd to be comfortable around water will also make it a lot easier to bath it. This will help you to wash it more quickly and it will make it a more pleasant experience for your German Shepherd.

Dog Breeds Similar To German Shepherds

GSD in the pool. I had one GSD who loved to swim in the ...

The most popular breeds in the park where I walk my dog Kola are Cavoodles, Labradors, Pitbulls and German Shepherds. But I sometimes wonder when I look at these German Shepherds are they true German Shepherds or breeds similar to German Shepherds?

I have found 19 dog breeds similar to German Shepherds from around the world. Some share the same traits and look similar to a German Shepherd; others just share looks and belong to the herding dog category.;

What are these 19 dog breeds really like? In this article we explore many facets of each of the 19 dog breeds. So if youre looking for a breed similar to the German Shepherd, just read this article.


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Swimming With German Shepherds

For many German Shepherd Dogs, swimming tops the list as their favorite activity. Not only is swimming an excellent exercise for the dog, but it also keeps them cool, fit, and toned. And with the hot summer days of August and September ahead, no doubt many of us will be making trips to our favorite swimming spots with our dogs.

While swimming may be fun, it can also be a potentially dangerous;activity. Hazards such as underwater debris and toxic algae blooms should;make handlers think twice about taking their dogs to just any spot to swim. Before you pack up your dog and head out to the lake, river, or beach, check out some of our tips below for ensuring a safe swimming session with your dog.

Things To Be Cautious Of

  • Dont let your dog drink the water, even if its freshwater
  • Make sure the water is clean
  • Do not leave them around the pool or water unmonitored if they cannot swim
  • They should not swim in chlorinated water for too long
  • Do not take the doggy life jacket off your dog until you are sure that they are ready

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Invest In A Life Jacket For Your German Shepherd

If your dog is learning to swim, putting them in a life jacket is extremely important. Many dogs will start by only paddling their front legs and this can cause them to sink or become exhausted quickly. Offering a life vest will keep them afloat if an issue arises or if they are not mastering swimming quickly.

If your dog is nervous in the water, you may find that a life vest can be very helpful. They can feel more secure with the vest holding them up and keeping them above water. Also, the likelihood of drowning while wearing a life jacket is greatly lowered and even in strong currents, your dog is much safer.

You want to find the right size life vest so that it can better protect your dog. You can take your dog into a local pet store and try on some of the vests to find the perfect one.

Can German Shepherds Swim In Swimming Pools

Unbelievable German shepherd swimming 6 months old puppy

One of the benefits of a swimming pool is it allows you complete supervision over your dog. However, there is a downside as well. If your pool is chlorinated, it can strip your dogs coat of its natural oils and lead to dry, irritated skin.

But there are ways to pool-proof your dogs coat so they can enjoy a relaxing swim. Which a German shepherd would certainly appreciate in the summer.

Tips to pool-proof your German shepherd include:

  • Spray their coat with a canine conditioner before they swim. This can lock in some moisture.
  • Rinse off afterward. If you get the chlorinated water out of their coat it can minimize its effects.;
  • Comb out any tangles and provide a thorough brushing once a week to remove any residual chlorine.
  • Dry out those ears. Keeping your German shepherds ears dry is important no matter where they have been swimming.

Also Check: What Size Cage For A German Shepherd

German Shepherd Traits For Swimming

While German Shepherds were not bred specifically for swimming. They were bred with a number of natural characteristics. These characteristics would help with the job they were made for but can also make swimming easier for them to learn!


For one, German Shepherds are naturally intelligent and clever dogs. With this in mind, they will be relatively quick to figure out how to move in the water. Or at the very least, get back to dry land. They will also be able to learn and respond to your commands more adeptly than some other breeds.

Naturally Courageous

German Shepherds are also notoriously courageous animals, which comes from their history of herding. If their flock was threatened by anything from a fox to a bear to another person. German Shepherds had to be able to provide a line of defense. This is so the other animals under their care could get away from the threat as quickly and safely as possible.

This means that they will likely not show much fear when faced with a new situation such as swimming. Even if they are a bit nervous about getting in the water and show some apprehension. They will often start to try it, especially if you are in the water with them!

Physically More Adept to Swim

Physically, German Shepherds have long legs and aerodynamic bodies with webbed feet. This means that their time in the water will be easier than a dog that does not have these traits. As they will be able to seamlessly glide through the water.

Double Layered Coat

Mental And Psychological Characteristics

German Shepherds are loyal, obedient, intelligent and have a sharp memory. But how do these mental traits help with swimming?

Well, first, swimming lessons are characterized by lots of commands. In order for your GSD to master swimming skills, he will need to carefully listen and follow your commands. That is how loyalty and obedience come in.

Then once these commands have been learnt, they will need to be remembered at all times.

For instance, if your dog associates the word SWIM with paddling, then each time you shout the word, he should immediately start to paddle. And when you shout STOP, the dog should stop swimming and wait for you to shout the next command.

These commands need to be remembered for years to come, as you will not be going for swimming trainings every now and then. Being such an intelligent dog, your German Shepherd will remember these commands for years.

Another notable mental trait of German Shepherds that may help them learn to swim is courage and boldness.

Shepherds have been known to stand up to larger and fiercer animals such as the bear, something that speaks directly to their courage.

So while he might look a little nervous and afraid of water, the dogs boldness will quickly kick in and move him take the plunge. This is a trait that very few other dog breeds possess.

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Can German Shepherds Learn Swimming

GS can easily excel in swimming if they get good practice and training. It is easier to train a German Shepherd for swimming when compared with any other breed as they are very sharp.

GSD Puppy provides you a better chance and more favorable for you to teach them how to swim. A puppy shows more interest in learning as an adult German Shepherd. If you keep on training a puppy for swimming side by side, it will make them feel less afraid of water and they will start enjoying the activity of being in the water.

German Shepherds, as new learners, must use their four limbs while doing practice for swimming. Only using front paws or only using back paws can be unhelpful and may delay the learning.


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