Can and do Dachshunds swim

Do Dachshunds like water and can they swim

People often wonder if Dachshunds like water and can they swim with their short legs. The quick answer is yes. Many Dachshunds absolutely love water and are great swimmers. The ones who don’t usually can be persuaded to enjoy it, especially when they are introduced to water at an early age.

However, it is crucial that you supervise them the entire time they are in the water. Because of their short legs, they can tire quickly. When they become fatigued and exhausted they can easily sink and possibly even drown. Swimming is a very strenuous exercise and as little as ten minutes of continuous swimming is equivalent of going for a one hour walk.

This is why it is extremely important that your Dachshund always wears a dog lifejacket when in the water. If they become exhausted at least they can still float. You should remove them from the water as soon as they show signs of becoming fatigued and allow them to rest before them letting back in.

Teaching a Dachshund to swim

The first step should always be to put a lifejacket on your Dachshund.

Familiarize your Dachshund with water gradually. Many Dachshunds can be unsure when trying something new. Never force or throw them into the water as nothing can be more harmful to their confidence and it may put them off swimming altogether.

Often a Dachshund doesn’t need an elaborate introduction to learn to swim at all. When they see other dogs swimming, they go in and start swimming too. With other Dachshunds, and especially puppies, they may need to become familiar with water in a step-by-step process.

With a puppy, it is ideal to introduce them to water as early as you can. When they are young they are usually bursting with curiosity and enthusiasm. As a puppy gets a little older they can develop a fear-phase in their development when them cautious about things.

First, you could take them for a walk them into shallow water. Don’t make a big fuss about it. If they see that you are calm and not concerned they will feel more relaxed and confident.

Once they have a little confidence walking in the shallow water go into deeper water. Once their paws can no longer reach the bottom you will see whether the dog is comfortable and starting to swim.

Another approach is to hold you Dachshund in the water and let them get used to paddling. Once they have the right idea you can let them go and watch them swim. This video shows how to do this.



Yes, Dachshunds can swim and many Dachshunds absolutely love it. As they only have short legs they can tire quickly. This is why they should always wear a lifejacket and be removed from the water if they become exhausted.

Swimming is a great exercise for your Dachshund, not only tiring them quickly. It is also a non-impact activity and can be excellent therapy for Dachshunds that suffer from back related problems. This is called Canine Hydrotherapy. To learn more about this see here.


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