Dog Breeds That Can’t Swim

Lots of people assume that all dogs naturally possess the ability to swim. While many breeds do, there are also plenty of pups out there who aren’t built for swimming. In this article, we will be going through some of these breeds and try to answer why they have such a hard time doggy paddling. So, here is a list of dog breeds that can’t swim.
dog breeds that can't swim

Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus, like some other small dog breeds, have a hard time in the water. A combination of factors play into this. Firstly, Shih Tzus have short, flat faces. This means that it is nearly impossible for them to be in the water without getting tons of water up their nose, making it very difficult for them to breathe. The breed’s stubby legs also make it very hard for them to generate any power when paddling. Possibly the number one reason why Shih Tzus can’t swim is their long, thick coats. When they get wet, these coats become very heavy and will start to drag down the little pups.


Bulldogs have a hard time swimming for a variety of reasons. As the list goes on, you will see that there are a few key factors that generally play in a dog’s inability to swim. Bulldogs have basically all of them. First of all, bulldogs have very flat faces. Like shih tzus, this makes it nearly impossible for bulldogs to breathe will in the water. The barrel shaped body of bulldogs also makes it very hard for them to float above water. A third factor that makes bulldogs one of the dog breeds that can’t swim is their short, stubby legs. This makes it nearly impossible for them to do a traditional doggy paddle.
dog breeds that can't swim


Pugs are a unique member to this list because they actually love playing in water! However, they generally will not go in higher than their chests due to their flat faces and low noses. Due to this, many pug owners have opted to buy little puppy life jackets for their pugs. By wearing this, pugs are able to keep their snouts well above water and use their legs to doggy paddle around a body of water. Pugs can develop respiratory problems, so it is important not to leave them swimming unattended, even with a life jacket. Sometimes they will lose steam and have trouble breathing after extended periods of physical activity.
facts about boxers


You would think, with boxers being a larger dog than most on this list, that this breed would be able to swim. The fact is that they cannot! Once again, it is their flat, short faces that give them a spot on this list of dog breeds that can’t swim. It’s just too hard for them to breathe while in the water! Although generally very outgoing dogs, boxers will often avoid water at all costs. While they may sometimes like to dip their toes in, you likely aren’t going to see them doing laps in the pool anytime soon.
dog breeds that can't swim


Another dog breed that loves to swim, but isn’t very good at it is the Corgi. Although they can swim in shallow water, their long bodies combined with their barrel shaped chests and short legs makes it very difficult for them to tread water for very long. As long as they are supervised, it’s perfectly normal for your Corgi to want to go for a dip in the shallow end!
We have come to the end of our list of dog breeds that can’t swim. Check out these links here for articles about five dog breeds that love to swim as well as helpful tips on how to teach your dog to swim.

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