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Do Whippets Swim?

Do Whippets Swim?

Reading time: 7 minutes.

Whippets have long, strong legs that make it seem like they could be agile swimmers. We know they enjoy running, but do whippets swim?

Whippets are good swimmers, and most of them enjoy swimming. As with any dogs, it’s not ideal to just let them jump into the water unsupervised. It’s best to supervise your whippet to see how they take to the water while you’re very close by before you let them swim on their own. That being said, you should always supervise any dog when they are swimming. 

Just because whippets are built to be good swimmers by nature, it doesn’t mean all whippets like it or will be good at it. However, they are easy to train if they seem to like the water, but just need a little bit of encouragement. 

Do Whippets Swim?

Whippets can swim, as they are very agile and athletic dogs. They have a solid amount of stamina and enjoy the fun and exercise to be had in a pool. Many will be happy to dive right into any pool they come across, especially if they are chasing after a toy you’ve just thrown into the water. 

When a whippet gets used to the water, they will happily enjoy spending time with you in the pool or in a body of water, especially on a hot day. While they are very good at swimming, they aren’t always fans of swimming just for exercise. They view it as more of a fun activity than anything. 

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The reason whippets don’t like swimming for exercise is that, while athletic, they don’t have the long-term endurance needed to swim for long distances. Moreover, a whippet can’t just float on top of the water when they need to take a break. 

Are Whippets Good Swimmers?

Many whippets are very good swimmers, but they have their limitations. While they are naturally good swimmers, they can eventually tire and struggle to keep themselves afloat. They don’t naturally float, given that they are so thin and lightweight. These athletic dogs are used to maintaining a solid stream of activity, but typically in short spurts. 

They’ll usually get out of a pool before tiring, but when in bigger areas of water, they should be wearing a vest just in case. Whippets tend to be very in tune with their bodies and their abilities, and are self-determined. Therefore, if they are uncomfortable or want to stop, they will stop. 

Do Whippets Like The Beach? 

Whippets who enjoy swimming will typically love the beach. They’ll run around in the sand and enter the water to cool down. Whippets can also have a lot of fun at a lakefront cottage with a dock to jump off, and might even enjoy being brought out into the water on a boat. 

Believe it or not, whippets can actually become quite avid surfers. It’s very important, however, to have a life jacket or preserver that fits your whippet very well when bringing them to a beach or other body of water. You don’t want to leave them in a position where they get too tired and can’t swim back to dry land. 

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When introducing your dog to the ocean, it’s a good idea to attach a leash to their life vest. This might help you both feel more secure in the big blue sea. You also want to avoid going out too far into the water. It’s also best to avoid the water when it’s too turbulent, as your whippet could struggle to beat the waves. 

Your whippet is also more likely to dip their toes into the ocean on a summer day, when the sunshine helps to keep the water warm. They might even enjoy just going slightly into the water and playing fetch, rather than immersing themselves completely in the water for a swim. Make sure you have a blanket close by to warm them up after a swim in the ocean. 

Do Whippets Like Baths?

While most whippets love their swimming, they aren’t fans of all types of water. This includes baths. Since a whippet can’t really splash around and swim inside a bathtub, they aren’t going to enjoy it very much. Whippets, thankfully, aren’t dogs that need frequent baths. 

Whippets are also known for disliking rain. Thus, they may not want to go out for a walk when the weather is bad or the rain is pouring down. If you live in a rainy area, you might want to invest in a raincoat and some boots for your whippet to make them feel more comfortable outside. Not only will it help them stay dry, but it’ll look adorable. 

That being said, some whippets are prone to jumping around in puddles. Others will avoid going anywhere near a puddle of any depth. It seems as though if whippets can have fun in the water, they tend to like it much more. 

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If you do give your whippet a bath, consider trying to bring them outside with a leash and bathe them in a small kiddy pool. If that’s not possible, be sure the water is warm, and don’t make them stay in the bath for too long. Be kind and encouraging, and reward them with their favorite treat and a cuddle inside your warmest blanket afterward. 

How To Teach Whippets To Swim

When your whippet is young and hasn’t experienced swimming before, you can start by bringing them into very shallow water. Be sure to hold onto them the entire time. Dogs tend to naturally start paddling when they hit the water, but you don’t want to just let them go until you can tell they are comfortable. 

When your pup gets to the point where they’re comfortable paddling and keeping themselves up, you can start incorporating toys into their pool time. You can easily find floating pool toys that your whippets can jump in and swim over to. It can become a very fun activity for both you and your whippet. 

While your whippet will get to a point where they’ll happily swim on their own when they want to, they should never be let outside to swim on their own. Someone should always be outside with them. When they are swimming in a lake or an ocean, it’s all the more important that you stay close by in case they need help. 

One thing to keep in mind is they may dislike it if it’s too cold. Since whippets are so naturally thin, it’s easy for them to get cold. Be sure to snuggle them up in a warm towel to help them dry when they get out, while also cuddling them with a blanket afterward so they don’t shiver. 

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When Should Whippets Start Swimming?

You don’t want to start exposing your whippet to swimming until they are close to a year old. Conversely, starting when they are older can make it a bit more of a challenge, but not impossible. These smart pups should be strong enough to endure swimming when they are between eight and 12 months old. 

When introducing your whippet to water, make sure it’s warm water, and as previously said, stay with them. It also helps if they can see others swimming around, whether that’s the rest of their family or other dogs. You want to encourage them nicely, and be patient. You may have to swim with them in small pockets of time until they start to get used to the water. 

Do Some Whippets Dislike Water?

As much as many whippets love the water, some whippets hate it just as much. Why this is cannot be explained, other than that dogs vary in terms of likes and dislikes. Based on what’s known about whippets, when they don’t like water, they dislike it greatly. You should never force your whippet into the water if they’ve shown you they don’t like it. 

As mentioned, whippets can get colder more easily than other dogs. Even if they like swimming sometimes, they may be hard-pressed to stay in for long if the water is too cold. Whippets love to be comfortable and aren’t fans of being convinced to step outside of their comfort zone. Consequently, many whippets would rather bask in the sun while you go swimming. 

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When Shouldn’t Whippets Swim?

Your whippet shouldn’t go swimming when they are too young. You also shouldn’t let your whippet swim when it’s cold so they don’t get sick. When they get older, they are more prone to health issues. Some of the common health issues for older whippets will make it that much more difficult to keep themselves warm, so swimming will just exacerbate that. 

Final Thoughts

Whippets fall on two ends of the spectrum when it comes to water. They either absolutely love it, or they hate it. This makes answering the question – do whippets swim – very difficult. While these pups can be adventurous and enjoy being active, they are set in their ways when they determine whether or not they like something.