Help! 13 Dog Breeds That Can’t Swim

dog swim in river

“Dogs are born to swim” is a phrase that we have all heard? The reality will turn your thoughts upside down. For some dog breeds, it is really not very good at swimming or not suitable for swimming, if you really want to give the dog to play in the water, we can properly train the dog, or put on a dog life jacket for the dog to play for a while, I believe the dog will be very satisfied.

Which Dog Breeds Can’t Swim?

If you want a more detailed guide to identifying dog pups that should be kept away from water, don’t worry. We’ll be right there. These are the top 13 dog breeds that are not suitable for swimming.

Dog Breeds Height Weight  Life Expectancy
France Bulldog 11-13 inches under 28 pounds 10-12 years
Pug 10-13 inches 14-18 pounds 13-15 years
Pekingese 6-9 inches up to 14 pounds 12-14 years
Shar Pei 18-20 inches 45-60 pounds 8-12 years
Boxer 21-25 inches 50-80 pounds 10-12 years
Maltese 7-9 inches under 7 pounds 12-15 years
Welsh Corgi 10-12 inches up to 30 pounds 12-13 years
Dachshund 5-9 inches 10-32 pounds 12-16 years
Basset Hound up to 15 inches 40-65 pounds 12-13 years
Chow Chow 17-20 inches 45-70 pounds 8-12 years
Shih Tzu 9-10.5 inches 9-16 pounds 10-18 years
Scottish Terrier 10 inches 18-22 pounds 12 years
Staffordshire Bull Terrier 14-16 inches 24-38 pounds 12-14 years

1.France Bulldog

France Bulldog

French Bulldogs can’t swim and should be careful whenever they are near water in case they get into trouble and face danger. French bulldogs are short-nosed and flat-faced, so their breathing is not very smooth, and because their noses are short they try to tilt their heads when swimming to keep water from choking into their nasal passages, causing the back end of their bodies to sink with force. Pls preventing them from swimming in the water for too long. Some owners say that they took their dogs to swim in the river and almost drowned.



Pugs are the same as bulldogs, the nose is very short, they will present a difficult breathing situation, plus the Pug is easy to fat body, if the Pug is fat, the owner is thinking of taking the dog swimming to slim down, you are advised to give up, because originally it needs to swim to tilt its head, plus the fat body, it will increase its burden, the possibility of sinking is great. Choking may lead to very serious consequences. Of course you still want to let the pug play in the pool or lake, be sure to wear a dog life jacket.
“Last summer took my pug Lucky to the park for a walk and had the sudden idea to put the he in the river for a swim, so I just threw he down. As a result, a look at the situation is not right, Lucky flopped and fell straight down. With the help of passers-by, Lucky was rescued.” -Ben



On hot summer days, especially sultry days, the Pekingese can have difficulty breathing and even become ill. Don’t let him move around in the direct sun during the week, and cool him down or move him to a ventilated, cool place if necessary. Likewise, like bulldogs and pugs, Pekingese can face swimming troubles, and it is important to ensure their safety when swimming.

4.Shar Pei

Shar Pei

The Shar Pei was first used as a hunting dog, and the Shar Pei requires a high level of activity. However, they should not be over-exercised because the Shar Pei has a short nasal cavity and strenuous activity can easily cause oxygen deprivation. Shar Pei dogs are afraid of water, do not take them swimming without preparation.



While Boxer’s long legs may make him look like a strong swimmer, Boxers faces the same challenge as Pugs: he is considered cranially deformed. His flat face and shorter muzzle mean he will struggle to keep his face and nose above the water and will soon be exhausted, so prolonged swimming may result in shortness of breath.



Small ornamental dogs like Maltese usually have tracheal problems and are more likely to have collapsed tracheas as they reach advanced age, sharing the same respiratory difficulties as short-nosed dogs. Small dogs like this are likely to die of suffocation if the dog is thrown directly into the water.

7.Welsh Corgi

Welsh Corgi

The Corgi will swim, but will consume more energy than other dogs and may drown due to lack of stamina. The Corgi’s short legs and large buttocks prevent it from becoming a strong swimmer, and the Corgi’s short legs become the biggest obstacle to swimming, making it difficult to paddle when swimming, requiring frequent paddling, consuming energy quickly and quickly running out of stamina. If the owner forces the Corgi into the water it is likely to lead to an accident, requiring the owner to keep an eye on the Corgi’s swimming condition, and if they are too far offshore they may be dangerous due to lack of stamina. If you row by boat, you must carry a dog life jacket or dog life vest.

After all, the ancestors of the Corgi are cattle herders, unlike the Golden Retriever who is a water hound, and to get your own Corgi to learn to swim, you really need to teach it, after all, the little legs are too short.



Dachshunds, like Corgis, are small and short-legged and look cute. But their short legs also become the biggest obstacle to swimming, they need to paddle frequently in the water, which will consume a huge amount of energy, they simply can not paddle for a long time. Strong swimmers are long-legged and have big arms. So don’t make it any harder on your Dachshund’s little short legs. Always keep a close eye on your little guy when you take him to the pool or lake.



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