Can Great Danes Swim?

I recently wondered, can Great Danes swim even with their large bodies? It says in their name “Great” so I decided to do some research to see how “great” Great Danes really are with their water abilities.

Can Great Danes swim? Great Danes can swim and support themselves in the water even though they are not natural swimmers. Great Danes are built with a strong upper body and legs to support themselves while wading through water.

Although all Great Danes can swim, not all dogs enjoy swimming. There is actually more to Great Danes swimming than one would think!

How Great Danes Swim and How They Compare to Other Breeds

Great Danes are not natural swimmers, but they can swim similar to other dogs. They have large legs, a large upper body and long snouts that gives them the ability to move in the water.

Great Danes swim in a way that is similar to most dogs. While swimming, dogs do what is most commonly called the “Doggy Paddle”. This is a motion where the dog keeps his head up above the water to receive oxygen and he brings up his front two legs and paws out of the water to paddle. These front two paws paddle or swish side to side like resembling a paddling motion, thus the name “Doggy Paddle”.

The hind legs are used to also kick but not that of a human where the legs go straight up and down like while doing the butterfly maneuver. Rather the legs stay down in the water, helping the paddle movement by swishing back and forth. Their front paws lead the way, and the bottom ways help keep them going.

Just because Great Danes can swim, however, does not mean that all dogs can swim. It is careful to remember that just because one of your dogs may swim, others may not be able to because of how they are built.

It is also important to watch your Great Dane in order to ensure that they can swim because they are not the most natural at it. Bulldogs, for example, are disproportioned in a way where they do not have long legs that can support their upper and lower body while wading through the water.

Some other dogs that cannot swim include:

  • Pugs
  • Dachshunds
  • Pekingeses
  • Basset Hounds
  • Boxers

A dog’s build has everything to do with whether or not they can manage to keep themselves above water. It is important to carefully watch how your dog manages in the water because if they seem to be struggling, it probably is not the best idea to force them into the water.

Some signs of struggling may be that they seem to be paddling slower or appear to be gasping for breath. It is important to remember that dogs can also drown if not properly swimming.

If they begin to paddle slower and are not close to an exit, it might be a good idea to reach out and help your dog get to an edge. If they seem to be out of breath, this also can be concerning so be careful to be there for your pet as they swim.

Just like with a human child, it is important to make sure to watch your pet while swimming to ensure that they are safe. Even with Great Danes and their strong builds, it is important to watch them while they are swimming.

How to Teach Your Great Dane How to Swim

Although Great Danes may be built to swim and have the capability, it does not always mean they know how to swim. Some may be nervous at first because water may not be something they are used to.

Sure, they drink it every day, but a lot of water in one place making up more than a puddle? That can be sometimes intimidating, even for a Great Dane!

A great way to help your Great Dane begin to swim is to get in the water first and show them that it is safe to enter. You mean the world to them so whatever you do, watching you do it will bring them ease.

Gradually help them begin to get in the water. If there are steps, then great! They can gradually come down one step at a time to become familiar with entering water. There may be some hesitation, but do not worry.

The Great Dane will do better as they take their time to become comfortable with their new adventure. If they stay on a step for a while, do not become discouraged. Slowly they will trust the water and come further down.

As your Great Dane comes down more, make sure to be there in the water with them for support. They will be more likely to swim out if you are there to follow or play with. After gradually leading in, then your Great Dane will be comfortable enough to start naturally paddling and swimming with you.

Even if your dog does not like to swim, why not bring out an inflatable float raft? I know when I do not want to swim but still want to be outside in the sun with my family that laying on an inflatable in the pool is enjoyable.

Try letting them sit on an inflatable if they prefer not to get in the water instead. It will help them still be able to be with your family and enjoy some sun too!

Where to Take Great Danes Swimming

Any large body of water typically works for Great Danes. Pools, ponds, and lakes are a great place for Great Danes to swim and be safe. Great Danes are great to bring on vacations to lakes or other large bodies of water, especially since they are so big themselves.

Some people take their dogs to the ocean, but this is to be cautioned. The waves swoosh in and out which could sweep your dog away if not careful. A safe environment is one that is in an area that you can observe and provides a way for them to return. Dogs can become tired when swimming too much like other activities so it is important that there is an area for them to exit.

Make sure to keep your Great Dane hydrated. I am not sure about you, but I definitely would not want to get stuck drinking out of the pool or lake water. Dogs may try drinking the pool or lake water, but this can make your dog sick if they drink too much.

To ensure they keep hydrated and healthy, bring extra water for your Great Dane. Some dogs also need bowls to drink from so make sure to prepare beforehand and bring one of your dog’s dishes. As you and your Great Dane keep hydrated, it will be an enjoyable time swimming in the sun!

Other Activities Great Danes Enjoy

Even if your Great Dane may not enjoy swimming, there are several other activities they can enjoy with you!

Great Danes love going on walks, especially if they are walks that lead to playing with their owner. Great Danes typically get along with other breeds of dogs which makes it enjoyable to go visit with other friends who also have dogs. Dog Parks are a great option for them, as they get an opportunity to meet other dogs.

Dog Parks provide an excellent opportunity for Great Danes to exercise. Although they can live inside a small house or apartment, it is healthy for Great Danes to have time to move and get their heart rates up.

Usually, these parks will have space to run which makes for an excellent opportunity to play frisbee. Frisbee or tug of war are both always classic games that can bring the two of you together.

Related Questions

Can Great Dane puppies swim? Great Dane puppies can swim. They are built strong with a well-proportioned body but it does not come as naturally as other breeds. Although Great Danes can swim, it does not mean they know how to or that they are comfortable doing it. Be cautious and watch them and make sure they do not drown.

Do Great Danes make good pets? Don’t let their size scare you, they are lovable creatures that adore their owners and they make wonderful pets. Great Danes are great with families and children. They also are great protectors over their homes. Great Danes have all the perfect qualities that a family looking for a dog would want.

Rasheed Tobias

Rasheed is an outdoor enthusiast and loves hiking and camping with his two German Shepards.

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