Boxers are dogs that aren’t fans of extreme temperatures; they don’t like it too cold, and they don’t like it too hot. When the weather is hot, you might be considering bringing your boxer into your pool or taking them out for a beach day. But do boxers swim?
Boxers are not built to swim very well, so many of them might find it difficult to do so. They can be trained to swim, however. Some of them enjoy splashing around in a shallow part of a pool or a kiddie pool, especially on a hot summer day. Of course, every dog is different.
Taking your boxer out for a swim, whether in a pool or at the beach, should always be done with constant supervision.
Do Boxers Swim?
Boxers are likely dogs that won’t rush to jump into the water, but they could definitely be curious about it. You should never force your boxer to enjoy swimming. You can start out with a kiddie pool that is very shallow to see how they enjoy it. Just be sure to get one made of durable material so they don’t end up accidentally breaking it.
When you want to try and graduate them to a larger pool or a beach, consider purchasing them a life jacket for additional safety. While you shouldn’t let your boxer swim by themselves, having a life jacket on them could help ease your nervousness, which will in turn decrease their nerves.
While it’s a common belief that all dogs are naturally going to be able to swim when put into water, it’s not true. You don’t want to assume that your boxer, or any other dog for that matter, will instinctively know how to paddle.
Are Boxers Good Swimmers?
Boxers are not known for their swimming skills. Their broad chests and shorter arms can make it difficult for them to use their arms for swimming. With their airways being naturally narrow due to their facial structure, their ability to breathe can be hindered after swimming for some time. They have to hold their heads up to stay out of the water, which can make breathing even more difficult.
Even though boxers are often referred to as big dogs, they are actually quite limber with heavier torsos. Since their weight isn’t completely distributed throughout their entire bodies, and they aren’t typically muscular, they could easily just sink into the water without precautions or the ability to paddle.
With all of these characteristics, they aren’t naturally built to swim. This doesn’t mean they can’t learn; they may just struggle at first. A lot of other dog breeds were bred with the ability to swim with ease, while boxers weren’t.
Do Boxers Enjoy Swimming?
Some boxers become very happy swimmers or at least enjoy hanging out in the water. Some boxers may just want to lounge on a float while you’re swimming nearby. It’s truly one of those things that you’ll never know until you bring your boxer near water and see how they react.
If you have another dog that likes swimming, or your friend has a dog that likes swimming, consider having them over as well. You should only do this if you know the two dogs get along. If your boxer sees another dog swimming, they might pick up some tips or be more inclined to get into the water themselves.
Even if and when your boxer falls in love with swimming, they likely won’t want to do it for very long. They are athletic dogs but not when it comes to swimming. Their endurance isn’t going to be as impactful when in water. When your boxer is finished swimming and wants to leave the water, make sure they are able to do so.
Your boxer is also more likely to enjoy swimming if it’s an activity you do together. Boxers love their human family members and love doing activities with them.
Are Boxers Afraid Of Water?
In terms of how boxers are predisposed to water, when they were originally working dogs, they wouldn’t typically be required to enter the water. However, as farm dogs or working dogs, they would likely encounter shallow bodies of water throughout their day. Even though boxers are domesticated now, they may not be as timid when approaching water as other dogs.
If a boxer hasn’t been exposed to water before, they may be apprehensive to go into it. Exposure needs to be slow and at their pace. If they seem extremely afraid, it could be because they were previously traumatized by an experience in the water.
This doesn’t mean that boxers will immediately jump into water; with each dog being different, some might, and some might not. No matter how they react to water, they should never be around deep water. If the water is especially cold, they may also avoid going in.
Introducing Your Boxer To Water
Before you try to get your boxer to swim, it’s recommended that you see how they react to water in general. If you’ve had to give them a bath, you’ll likely have an inkling as to whether or not they enjoy water. As mentioned, you can also let them stand in a kiddie pool to see how they react.
It’s also worth trying out a sprinkler to see if they enjoy playing in the water. When you’re doing this, be sure to encourage them with treats when they try out this shallow water. As with any kind of training or exposure to a new environment, keeping your composure and working at your dog’s pace is pivotal.
You should make an effort to go into the water with them at all times, regardless of whether or not you’re bringing them into a pool of any size or to the beach. You’ll feel more at ease, your boxer will feel more at ease, and the experience can deepen your bond.
Teaching Your Boxer To Swim
You should always start by bringing your boxer towards the water and see how they react. You can do this with a leash or a life jacket. Let them decide whether or not they want to try to go in. If you’re bringing them into a pool, encourage them to use the stairs. Be sure to have a lot of treats nearby to congratulate them throughout the process.
When you feel that they’re ready to try swimming instead of wading in the pool, hold onto a handle on their life vest and slowly bring them in. They will likely only use their front paws to swim at first. Reward them for trying, even if they decide they don’t like it and want to get out.
When you encourage your boxer through excited praise, their confidence is likely to soar. When they feel safe with you, they’re likely to at least try swimming. You can also bring toys with you and see if they’ll go farther into the water to retrieve their toy.
You should never bring your boxer into the deep end of a pool or let them go too deep into the beach water. Even if they become expert swimmers, you don’t want to bring them in too deep in case you need to quickly snatch them up.
Why Teaching Boxers To Swim Is Encouraged
Having your boxer prepared to handle as many environments as possible is never a bad thing. Boxers can be pretty adventurous pups and they’re likely to try something new at least once if you’re with them and you’ve established mutual trust.
Swimming is also a good way to help your boxer cool off when the weather is nice but hot. Boxers cannot regulate their body temperature very well on any end of the spectrum. Swimming can also help boxers meet their exercise needs, and the resistance within the action of swimming helps to build strong muscles and joints.
Boxers could enjoy a nice dip in the pool, even if it’s a shallow kiddie pool, after they go for their walk in the warmer months. It’ll help them cool down and regulate their breathing, which may be a little labored after walking on an especially hot day.
If you’re someone who loves swimming, having your boxer learn to swim with you is just one of many ways you can enjoy your time together. As you know, boxers form strong attachments to their human parents and revel in doing just about anything and everything with you.
Do boxers swim? Not naturally, but they are able to learn and potentially enjoy it. Introducing your boxer to swimming isn’t an easy task; you’re going to have to take your time with them and only bring them farther into the water when you know they’re ready.
Even when your boxer becomes a good swimmer, you should still consider having them wear a life vest with a handle at all times. Swimming should be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved, but safety is always the top priority when teaching your boxer to swim.