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Rottweilers are known for their athletic builds and hardworking natures, but do Rottweilers swim?
Rottweilers often can swim, but they are not like other breeds. This is mainly because the breed does not have much experience with water. With a bit of training, Rottweilers can learn to swim efficiently and safely. Luckily, they take to swimming pretty quickly.
Keep reading to learn more about Rottweiler’s swimming, including if they like to swim and how to train them to swim.
Do Rottweilers Swim?
Much like most other dogs, Rottweilers at least have some inkling of how to swim. As a result, most Rottweilers do swim, especially in an emergency situation. Even when Rottweilers are not forced to swim, most enjoy it and will try anyways.
That being said, Rottweilers are not very good swimmers. Their bodies and history make them genetically better at running and guarding, not swimming. Their bodies are built in such a way that swimming can actually be difficult for the dog.
For example, Rottweilers have heavy, muscular builds. This build makes them a lot heavier in the water, and they aren’t as good in the water as result. They also have large mouths with flaps, which makes it easy for water to go into their mouth while swimming.
Because of all of these reasons, Rottweilers aren’t necessarily as built for swimming as other dogs. Some Rottweilers will even be a bit hesitant to swim consequently. However, bold and playful Rottweilers may try to swim, but they might need a bit of help.
Do Rottweilers Like To Swim?
Whether or not Rottweilers like to swim is typically up to the individual dog. Since Rottweilers have not been bred for swimming purposes, the breed as a whole is not genetically inclined to swim, but some dogs prefer it anyways, especially if they have been exposed to it from a young age.
If you notice that your dog always gets excited around the water and tries to jump in immediately, definitely don’t discourage that behavior. That’s just a sign that your Rottweiler loves the water and isn’t afraid of it. This is completely normal and should be encouraged.
On the flip side, some breeds are a lot more hesitant than other breeds around water. This is simply because swimming does not come easily or intuitively. Don’t be worried or concerned about your dog if they are skittish around the water, though. This is understandable for a breed like a Rottweiler.
If your Rottie does not like the water but you love swimming, there are things you can do to help increase their comfortability around the water. For example, you can train the Rottweiler, but you need to be patient throughout the process, especially if they know their owners are there by their side.
How Do Rottweilers Swim?
Most people believe that all dogs swim in a doggy paddle way. Some dogs figure this out pretty quickly, but others do not. Rottweilers are breeds that do not figure out how to doggy paddle easily. With training and a little bit of help, Rottweilers will end up swimming and a doggy paddle type of way.
Keep in mind that many Rottweilers benefit from swimming with a life vest. Between their heavy bodies and uniquely shaped mouths, the life vest helps to lift them up so that less water goes into their mouths while swimming.
How To Train A Rottweiler To Swim
If your Rottweiler is skittish around water or does not pick up to swimming quickly, you can train your Rottweiler to swim. There are several methods you can try, but going slow and steady with a life vest often is the best. Here is how to teach your Rottweiler how to swim:
You won’t need much to train your Rottweiler to swim. It will definitely need a doggy life vest. This life vest will help support your dog’s weight in the water. Although this may seem extra, it truly makes a huge difference for dogs like Rotties.
It’s a good idea to bring water-friendly treats too. These treats can be used to lure the dog into the water and reward them whenever they are brave. This helps the dog to associate the water with treats and other positive experiences.
You might want to consider bringing your Rottweiler’s dog friends with you too. Some dogs will be more willing to experiment with the water if they have a friend with them and see the friend having fun. Bringing a friend is optional, but it may help.
The last thing you definitely will need is a lot of patience. Some Rottweilers are incredibly scared of the water and need you to be patient as a result. Never get mad at the Rottweiler because swimming does not come naturally to it. From start to finish, be patient and tried to help your Rottweiler feel relaxed while getting in the water.
Teaching Your Rottweiler To Swim
Begin by introducing your Rottweiler to the life vest before you get in the water. You might even want to start introducing your Rottie to the vests a few weeks before swimming. This allows the Rottweiler to be comfortable with the vest. It also gives you time to make sure that the vest fits the dog properly.
The first time you take your Rottweiler out, find a calm spot. A nice pond or lake will be best. Make sure that there is a shallow entry point and no waves. Try to avoid windy days since wind can cause faint currents as well.
Put on the dog’s life vest and try to encourage the Rottie into the water. To do this, let the Rottweiler investigate the water on his own terms. You can lead the Rottweiler to the water on a leash, but don’t force the Rottweiler into the water if he doesn’t want to go.
Although you might be tempted to pull the dog into the water, avoid this. Pulling the dog into the water will make the problem worse because he will associate the water with stress and forced entry. Just be patient and allow the dog to determine what he wants to do.
If your Rottweiler is getting a little brave, you can start getting into the water too. Using treats at this step is a great method. Do not rush the dog, but be quick to support his interest in the water whenever he shows it.
Once your dog gets in the water, slowly bring him out to deeper waters, but make sure to support the dog during the process. Put one arm under the ribcage and the other under the stomach. Between your arms and the life vest, your dog will have adequate support to move his legs around safely.
More than likely your dog will start trying to move his legs around. Reward him when he does this. If he is paddling oddly, try to encourage him to move his legs so that he picks up on the doggy paddle. As he gets more confident in the water, start moving your hands to see if the dog can support his own weight.
Definitely consider bringing your Rottweiler’s best friend along for the second or third training session. Having a friend will help to encourage the dog to see swimming as a fun activity that they can do with their owner and other friends.
Consistency Is Key
Consistency is key when training your Rottweiler to do anything, including swimming. Take your dog out to the water consistently so that they can get the hang of it. Your Rottweiler will be swimming like a fish in no time!
Watch The Dog’s Mouth
Whenever your Rottweiler is swimming, pay attention to its mouth. There are certain breeds that are more susceptible to drowning because of the shape of their mouths. Their mouths are wide and droop downwards, which makes it easier for water to get in. Rottweilers are one of these breeds.
If you notice a lot of water is going into your Rottweiler’s mouth consistently, make sure that the dog has a strong enough life vest. You might even need to take the Rottweiler out of the water to allow it time to breathe fresh air.
Unlike many other dogs, swimming does not come naturally to Rottweilers. Their athletic build and background mean that swimming is not an intuitive thing for these dogs. Even so, you can train Rottweilers to swim and some even like it.
It’s important to watch your dog carefully and pay attention to signs of stress if you take your Rottweiler to the water. Be patient and understand that your dog is simply trying something new and is afraid because it isn’t intuitive.
By following the steps above, you will be able to teach your Rottweiler to swim, but don’t force anything. If your dog is truly afraid of the water, swimming might not ever be something the dog wants to do. In that case, don’t force the Rottweiler to swim. Just enjoy your Rottie on land.