Top 8 Dog Breeds That Can’t Swim

Swimming is often seen as a natural skill for dog, but surprisingly, not all dogs are born to be swimmers. While many pups take to the water like ducks, some breeds struggle to stay afloat. Let’s dive into the world of our canine friends and explore the top 8 dog breeds that just aren’t built for swimming. Whether you’re a seasoned dog owner or just curious about our furry companions, this guide will help you understand why some dogs simply prefer to stay dry.


Bulldogs, with their adorable wrinkled faces and stout bodies, are beloved by many. However, their build makes swimming a real challenge. Their large heads and short legs make it hard for them to keep afloat. Plus, their heavy, muscular bodies are more suited for short bursts of energy rather than sustained activity like swimming. So, if you own a Bulldog, it’s best to keep them on dry land or invest in a sturdy doggy life jacket.


Pugs are small but mighty, known for their charming personalities and distinctive squashed faces. However, these cute features come with a downside when it comes to swimming. Their short legs make it difficult to paddle effectively, and their brachycephalic (short-nosed) faces can cause breathing difficulties. This combination makes swimming a risky activity for Pugs. It’s safer to keep your Pug in shallow water where they can enjoy splashing around without the danger of getting in over their heads.


With their long bodies and short legs, Dachshunds, or “wiener dogs,” are not built for swimming. Their unique shape makes it hard for them to stay balanced in the water, and they can tire quickly. Dachshunds were bred for hunting small animals and digging, not for aquatic adventures. While they may enjoy a quick dip in shallow water, it’s important to supervise them closely and avoid deeper areas.


Boxers are energetic and playful, but swimming is not their forte. These dogs have deep chests and short muzzles, which can make it difficult for them to keep their heads above water. Additionally, their muscle mass makes them more likely to sink rather than float. Boxers may love playing near the water, but it’s best to keep a close eye on them and provide a life vest if they venture in.

Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds are easily recognizable with their long ears and droopy eyes. Unfortunately, their body structure isn’t ideal for swimming. Their short legs and heavy, elongated bodies make it hard for them to swim effectively. Basset Hounds are much better suited for leisurely walks and sniffing out scents on land than trying to navigate the water. If you take your Basset Hound near water, make sure it’s shallow and safe.

Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus, with their flowing coats and regal appearance, are better off staying dry. These small dogs have short legs and a top-heavy body, which makes swimming difficult. Their long hair can also become waterlogged and weigh them down, increasing the risk of drowning. It’s best to keep your Shih Tzu away from deep water and ensure they’re always supervised around pools or lakes.

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