Can Boxers Swim?

When you get a Boxer, you want to take your new pet to do as many fun activities as possible. I used to assume that all dogs were good swimmers, but now I know better. If you were wondering if Boxers are good at swimming, here is the answer.

Boxers are not swimmers. Most dogs of this breed have great difficulty swimming and floating naturally. This can make some Boxers afraid of the water. Boxers can be taught how to swim through training, though it is often difficult.

Boxers are dogs that have biological features that make swimming a challenge, which is why you will usually hear that this breed doesn’t swim. Training can help a Boxer be comfortable in the water.

Boxers Swimming

Boxers are not naturally good at swimming. In fact, you’ll find that a majority of Boxers cannot swim at all.

This may seem untrue, because most people grow up thinking that all dogs are good at swimming. You might have thought that Boxers would be good at swimming because they have a bit of muscular body frame. Plus, they have lots of energy.

While these are all good points, it seems that there are a lot of biological factors that make Boxers not very adept at swimming. They are actually not even inherently at floating.

This is, of course, is no ones fault. It’s just important to know that your dog isn’t going to be swimming and splashing around quite as much as you would think.

Make sure you keep your eye out for when your Boxer dog is around water because he or she might sink like a rock if he/she does fall in.

There are some Boxers who are quite good at swimming. You can find videos online that prove it.

This one is my personal favorite.

These Boxers are brave and have probably had a lot of training to help them become the Olympic swimmers that you see. It’s just not very often to see a Boxer swim into the depths of the pool.

Although there are Boxers who refuse to get in a the water, there are still many others who like to stick paws in puddles or wade in the deep end.

If you want a swimmer, you need to do some training, so your Boxer is both safe and confident.

Biological Reasons as to Why Boxers Can’t Swim Well

It’s really not any Boxers fault that they are regular fish out of water. They have a lot going against them when it comes to floating or swimming.

Swimming for a Boxer is difficult because of how his/her body is shaped. Boxers are what you would call top heavy. When a Boxer steps on his/her hind legs, you can really tell that the rear is much smaller than the front.

They have deep chests which makes it difficult to put weight in the rear, especially in the water. Boxers are also without much of a tail, which makes it harder to steer. It’s like a boat with no rudder.

On top of this, Boxers don’t have much webbing on their feet, at least not like other working dogs, so moving through the water is a bit more difficult. Moving quickly is difficult, and moving in the right direction is even harder.

As you can see, there are some tough odds stacked up against these poor dogs.

The biggest thing challenge is the difficulty to stay afloat and for a Boxer to keep his or her head above water. Swimming is, therefore, a skill that is acquired by training, and not something that comes instinctively.

Difficulty Swimming May Be Why Your Boxer is Afraid of Water

Because Boxers are not swimmers, they may have an aversion or even fear of water. For an owner, this fear seems irrational while also making life much more difficult.

But, if you aren’t good at swimming, and have a lot of genetic makeup going against you, being in water might scare you too.

Boxers didn’t really adapt to swim or even be in water historically. They weren’t really bred to be used near water nor did they have to learn how to swim in the water to survive in their environment. So, it makes sense that getting into the water, and not just using it to drink from is a little scary.

Other times, a fear of water or might develop in a Boxer after a bad experience with swimming near drowning. If a Boxer can’t swim naturally, then falling into a deep pool is the worst place for him or her to end up.

If you have noticed that your Boxer has recently become afraid of water or bath time, maybe he or she had a bad experience with swimming.

The best way to get your dog to be comfortable with water and swimming is to introduce him/her to water at a young age and also get in the water yourself.

Training Your Boxer to Swim

Although Boxers are not great swimming naturally, you can teach your dog to swim through some practiced training techniques. You need to be willing to get in the water to help teach.

It’s important to say that you should make swimming and water feel safe. Don’t go throwing your dog in the water and see how he or she fairs.

Before You Do Any Actual Swimming…

  • Teach your dog where to get and where to get out – enter and exit from the stairs of the pool yourself
  • Start in a pool or a still body of water – this way no currents will pull your Boxer in deeper than he or she is comfortable with.
  • Get a flotation device – a life-vest is best, you’ll want to make sure that it fits well.

The First Time…

When you first try to get your Boxer in the water, it is best to grab a treat – it can be a toy or food. You’ll want to make sure the vest is on as well.

It is absolutely crucial to make swimming fun and safe. If you ensure these two things, your Boxer will keep on trying to get in the water, even if he or she looks a little bit goofy.

Get in the water, and teach your dog how to get in and out, by physically getting out and then back in. This will make the water seem not so scary. Try getting in a little bit deeper each time.

Bring your dog into the water. Your Boxer will most likely stand on his hind legs as you get deeper. Put your arms around his chest to make it feel safer, but don’t limit his splashing.

Once your Boxer gets comfortable, go a little deeper. Let him/her paddle and splash, with your arms still providing a buffer. Make sure the Boxer’s head is out of the water.

After a While…

Let go, but stay near. Since there is a life jacket, your Boxer will be safe.

Training will take more than a day. Plus, it will require a lot of patience. When trying to teach your Boxer, try to make the sessions short, but not too far apart.

Each time you train, especially in the beginning, you might need to start with the parts of the instructions, like needing to support your Boxer with your arms.

As you train, use treats and lots of praise to help build your pups confidence. The more sure your Boxer is of himself or herself, the easier swimming will become.

Important Tips While Training Your Boxer

When you are teaching your precious pup to swim, there are some critical things to know/do.

  • Never leave your Boxer unattended around a body of water, whether it is a pool or a river.
  • Don’t swim for too long! Swimming is tiring for everyone, especially for dogs. If your session is too long, your Boxer will get tuckered out.
  • Always use a Canine life jacket.
  • Use treats or toys to give your Boxer some insensitive.
  • Use praise instead of any criticism. Boxers are dogs that try very hard to keep their owners pleased.
  • Be patient.

Good Boxer Life Vests

Life jackets are so important when it keeping your Boxer safe. These are some of the best and popular flotation devices for dogs out there.

Related Questions

What breeds of dogs can’t swim? Boxers, Bulldogs, Pugs, Dachshund, Basset Hounds, and Chihuahuas are some of the dogs that have the most difficulty swimming. They are naturally not good at swimming or floating. Dogs with small legs, as well as dogs with deep chests, typically have hard times swimming.

At what age can dogs swim? Dog breeds should be introduced to water at a young age if the owner is interested in having them swim. Training should start after 3 months of age but before 6 months. Some dogs will be better at swimming naturally than others.

Noelle Carter

I love animals of all kinds! I grew up with the most beautiful German Shepherd/Husky mix. Ever since then, I have been obsessed with dogs and have owned a lot of different breeds. I want to help spread my love and knowledge about animals around to others through my writing!

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