Can Pugs swim or is it even possible to teach them to swim? Well, the fact that most dogs can swim out of natural instinct is a fallacy that may suggest all pooch can swim or enjoy being close to the water for that matter.
To answer your question, Pugs are not generally good at swimming. In fact, they do not get excited when around water.
The main factors that affect a dog’s ability to swim are their size, breed, weight, experience, and swimming skill.
Read Also: Are Pugs Aggressive?
Can Pugs Swim?
Pugs are naturally not born swimmers and there are some biological reasons why they are not designed to swim. To start with, pugs are brachycephalic breeds which means they have a broad, short skull. Here is an article you should read to understand more about a pug’s body structure.
The fact that these physical features stand out and give this breed that squashy comical look is the reason why pugs will sink almost immediately when they try to swim.
With their short muzzle, this breed will thrive to float by raising their heads extremely pointing up above the water to catch a breath while swimming. When doing this, the bottom part of their body points down almost in a vertical position.
Not to mention they have short legs so they have to paddle very hard which makes them tire out very quickly thus sink quickly.
Moreover, pugs are prone to breathing difficulties especially during engaging exercises like swimming. Also, they tend to be obese thus heavier compared to other pooches of the same size hence they’ll struggle so much to float.
Is it Possible to Teach a Pug to Swim?
Just because pugs are not biologically designed to swim does not mean you leave them behind when going swimming.
Dogs have a natural instinct to swim for survival purposes so when introduced to water they naturally start to paddle and it’s at this point where your pug can have a touch of the pool.
The following tips will come in handy in helping your pug to swim.
Introduce the Pug to water Slowly
I’m sure by now you understand that Pugs have some drawback that hinders them from automatically adapting the natural instinct that helps dogs to swim. So, don’t expect them to float when you throw them into the pool for the first time.
The best way to get them along with their swimming skills is to introduce them slowly to water. One way to do this is to hold your pug back and ensure their head stays above the water to breathe. By doing this you’ll be teaching your dog how to use their legs to paddle in order to stay afloat.
I recommend you get your pug this Dione Lane Dog Pool to win his/her confidence being around the water.
When I first introduced my pug Buddha into a pool, she was resistant which later I realized is a common reaction that most pug owners experience. When this happens don’t force the Pug into the water else, you’ll just be installing fear whenever he/she will be around water.
I always prefer using the pool steps when introducing your pug to water to allow him/her to have the feeling of water on the legs. Some pugs will eventually get acclimated to being around water and sometimes want to go deeper into the water on their own.
But they won’t stay afloat for a long time so you need to get them this Outward Hound Grandby Dog Life Jacket for safety and ignite their love for the water.
Show the Pug How to Get Out
After teaching them how to float and stay on the water safely it’s time now to teach the pug how to get out of water especially in pools.
I usually place Buddha’s playing toys at the stairs part of the pool to indicate the starting point and attract her once she’s done swimming.
I’ve spotted my pug Buddha get disoriented after swimming for a while and have trouble locating where she started from.
A better way to help your pug out is using something eye-catching and ensure it’s big enough so that your pug can see it and remember where to locate the stairs or the start point when they get tired.
Always Supervise the Pug
Just because your pug has a protective jacket and is now able to swim without your help does not indicate you should leave them alone.
Never leave your little furry friend unattended to avoid accidents from happening.
Check for Exhaustion Signs
As we’ve seen earlier, pugs are naturally not good swimmers so you ought to ensure they don’t stay in the water until they get tired. They have small legs so they’ll paddle extra had to stay afloat.
For this reason, they tend to get exhausted very quickly.
How to Tell if a Pug is enjoying Swimming
Don’t assume all pugs will enjoy swimming or being around the water. In fact, this breed is on the list of dogs that don’t fancy being around water.
But the good news as we’ve seen earlier you can train your little furry buddy to not only swim but enjoy every bit of it.
When I walked my pug Buddha on the beach for the first time, oh boy, she got super jumpy, dashing around wagging her tail. Just right away I knew she won’t have trouble following me inside the water like the first time she did in the swimming pool.
To get your pug to get comfortable in water requires you to have patience. The last thing you might do is throw him/her in water for the first time because it’s might terminate permanently their interest in swimming.
Make the first swimming process slowly and help your pug out as much as possible to win his/her confidence. If possible, introduce the swimming activity while still as a puppy
Another important thing you might want to check is the water temperatures. Mild water temperatures will help to ease their nerves especially if it’s the first time.
Most pug owners prefer training their pugs to paddle in an environment where they have full control. Such places include a large bathtub or heated pools.
Tips to Make Pug’s Swimming Experience Fun
If you want your pug to accompany you the next day you are going swimming make sure the first swimming visit stands out.
Here are a few tips that will ensure your pug enjoys swimming.
- Before swimming starts, check the water temperature and ensure it’s at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place some floating toys that will keep the pug entertained while in water.
- Call over your pug to join you in the water but keenly observe if he/she is enjoying it.
- You can use a life floating jacket to help the pug remain afloat even when he/she is not paddling.
- Always ensure to get him/her out of the water once you’ve noticed signs of exhaustion.
- Immediately after swimming, remember to dry your pug, mostly their squishy face then offer him/her water to hydrate.
Is Pool Choline Harmful to Pugs
Pugs are prone to a ton of health complications among them is having sensitive skin. Some chemicals used to keep the pool water clean may react with the pug’s skin.
For this reason, once you are done swimming it’s always advisable to rinse your little fur friend before drying him/her.
Swimming Safety Tips for Pugs
The following tips should help you prevent any accident from happening when your pug is around the pool.
- Use A Fence- Get your pug a dog fence to cover the pool. Besides, it’s recommended to have a pool fence if you got one at home in most states. The best dog fence should not leave any gaps that your little furry friend could squeeze through. Check out this Self-Closing Gate Kit.
- Make Use of a Pool Cover- Get yourself a pool cover and use it whenever you are not using the pool. By covering the pool you’ll not only be preventing debris but protecting your pug from falling into the pool when they jumping into it. I recommend using hardcovers over the soft ones to hold the weight of your pug when he/she decides to walk on top of it. Check out this Rectangle Solar Cover.
- Life Jacket- Once you are certified that your pug enjoys being around water it’s now time to get a life jacket to enhance safety. A life jacket will ensure your little fur buddy stays afloat throughout.
- Human supervision is the most important of all tips. If your pug enjoys swimming or being around the water always watch him/her closely.
Read Also: How to Bathe a Pug Dog
In a NutShell
Pugs are not the best dogs at swimming but certainly, one thing you cannot deny them is their affectionate charming character.
In order for a dog to comfortably stay afloat on water, they need to have longer legs and manage to keep their mouth and nose above the water. Pug’s physical body hinders them from doing so.
However, all is not lost since it’s possible to teach your pug how to swim but first ensure he/she enjoys being around water.
Otherwise, forcing a pug to swim will cause more harm than helping the breed to enjoy being in the water.
Lastly, ensure the whole activity is not only fun and safe for your little furry friend.