Do Dachshunds Like to Swim?

While the majority of Dachshunds do not naturally like water, some love to swim, either naturally or after they are taught to like it. 

Swimming can be great exercise and is an essential safety skill for a Dachshund to have if they are going to participate in water-related activities.

Pools and other bodies of water can pose a great risk to Dachshunds if they don’t know how to swim.

To avoid disaster, it is best to teach your Doxie the very basics of swimming. 

In this article, we’ll talk about a Dachshund’s ability to swim, and we offer some tips for taking your pup swimming. 

Red Long-Haired Dachshund Swimming

Can Dachshunds Swim?

Dachshunds can often naturally swim, and they can be taught to swim. But just because Dachshunds can swim doesn’t mean they like to. 

Generally speaking, the Dachshund isn’t a breed that tends to run toward the water. 

A few you can’t keep out of it though! They love water (this is mostly long-hairs in my experience).

If your Dachshund is hesitant to go in the water, they can be taught to swim, but they may not ever be a strong swimmer like some other breeds.

Short legs make paddling exhaustingly hard work! 

It’s safe to say that most Dachshunds would probably choose to chase squirrels over water activities a majority of the time. 

While Dachshunds aren’t the always the most excited about swimming, most naturally know how to swim.

Many Dachshunds even battle wet dog syndrome, which is an extreme aversion to water. While it’s not a serious medical issue, it can cause problems in daily life.

Wet dog syndrome occurs when your pup’s tummy gets cold or wet, causing them to stand still or walk slowly. 

It may also manifest as a refusal to go outside and potty in the rain… so instead they do it in the house!

Dachshunds, and other dogs with low hanging bodies, are more likely to suffer from this affliction than other dog breeds. 

Some Dachshunds are even hesitant to go out for walks if it’s raining. Their tummies are close enough to the ground that the splashes of rainwater can upset them.

If your Dachshund has experienced wet dog syndrome, chances are they won’t enjoy swimming.

But, again, they can be taught to do it and probably should be for safety reasons.

Dachshund Standing on Beach

If you’re itching to take your Dachshund out on the water, take a look at these tips first.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associate or other programs we participate in). As an affiliate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

9 Tips for Taking Your Dachshund Swimming

Safety is a priority when teaching your Dachshund to swim, or even taking your experienced swimmer to romp through their favorite body of water. 

These tips will help ensure a successful swimming experience:

1) Invest in a life jacket

Doggy life jackets do exist, and many pet parents view them as a necessity. 

Dog life jackets ensure your Dachshund’s safety in the water, as tragedy can strike at any moment.

Life jackets are just as important for Dachshunds as they are for humans.

The Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket is a terrific fit for Dachshunds (note: you can choose different sizes using the drop-down menu in the listing). 

And if you want to have some extra fun on the water, snag this shark life jacket for your wiener dog. Queue the Jaws theme song.

2) Show your Dachshund where to enter and exit the water

If you are taking your Dachshund swimming in the pool, teach them where the stairs are.

This way if they ever fall in, they can make their way to the steps for safety. 

If you’re a pool owner, there are dog ramps available for pool edges so your dog can easily escape.

3) Take it slow

A Dachshund puppy may naturally be curious about water and like it so encourages them to keep going out in it so they don’t develop an aversion to it in the first place. 

If your Dachshund doesn’t like water, try creating a positive association by giving them treats for walking in it or swimming.

It’s best to slowly introduce your Dachshund to the water so they don’t learn to fear it.

No matter what, take things slow and let your dog go in the water at their own pace (bribing is ok though) so as not to scare them.

4) Never leave your Dachshund unattended in water

Accidents happen quickly, and it doesn’t take long for a dog to drown. 

Watch your Doxie in the water at all times!

5) Be aware of your surroundings

Lakes and oceans can be full of rough water, rocks, and critters. 

Scour the area to ensure it’s safe for your Dachshund to swim before allowing them to enjoy. 

6) Watch for water fatigue

Swimming is exhausting, and sometimes our dogs don’t show us that they are tired. 

Learn to read your Dachshund’s body language, notice when they are getting tired, and limit their time in the water if you think they are becoming fatigued. 

7) Beware of water intoxication

Some dogs like to spash and bite the water when they are swimming.

Others, like many Dachshunds, float low in the water so it can naturally enter their mouth.

When a dog ingests too much water, it dilutes the sodium in their blood, and can result in water intoxication.

Also known as hyponatremia, it is a relatively rare but potentially fatal condition.

Letting your dog ingest too much water can be very dangerous.

Symptoms include:

  • loss of coordination
  • lethargy
  • vomiting
  • glazed eyes
  • excessive salivation
  • difficulty breathing

Water intoxication progresses quickly so if your Dachshund has been playing in the water and begins to show any of the signs mentioned above, it’s crucial to get medical attention right away.

8) Offer fresh water at all times

A Dachshund may drink any water accessible to them if they are thirsty, including salty water, chlorinated water, or water that contains toxic algae.

To avoid dehydration, and risks from drinking toxic water, offer your Dachshund plenty of fresh drinking water. 

9) Remember danger can come from above too

Remember to protect your Dachshund from getting too much sun when you’re spending time outdoors. 

Consider investing in a sun shirt and beach shade shelter so your Doxie doesn’t get sunburnt. Dog sunburns can be painful and dangerous, just like they are for humans.

Summit Laying on Beach

Also, since some birds of prey may mistake a small dog for a rabbit or other yummy meal, be sure to watch the sky for hawks and eagles.

There is no need to be severely afraid but do keep an eye on how interested the bird seems in your dog and keep your dog close to you, or under cover, until the bird leaves the area.

Swimming Can Be Beneficial for Your Dachshund

Swimming is a terrific exercise for dogs.

Not only can it help an overweight Dachshund lose weight, but it’s also a great activity for physical conditioning. 

Swimming a great form of exercise for Dachshunds because it builds endurance and increases stamina while strengthening muscles.

Swimming is also a great rehabilitative exercise for Dachshunds who may suffer from arthritis or other health conditions such as Intervertebral Disk Disease

Water therapy is often used after dogs undergo invasive surgeries because it minimizes pressure on joints. 

For Dachshunds who mostly swim outdoors, the warmth of the sun and excitement of outdoor elements can be incredibly stimulating for them, benefiting their overall wellness. 

Dachshund Laying on Rocks Near Lake

Alternative Ways to Have Fun On the Water With Your Dachshund

Getting outside to spend time at the pool, lake or ocean doesn’t necessarily have to involve swimming.

There are other water sports you can include your Dachshunds in! 

Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are popular activities among Doxie parents. 

Dachshunds are small enough to fit comfortably in a kayak or on top of a paddleboard so the two of you can have fun making memories together. 

Some people also enjoy taking their Dachshund fishing on a motorboat.

Regardless if the focus of your water activity is swimming or not, remember, your Dachshund should at least prove they can save their own life by swimming before you take them around water.

Final Thoughts

Dachshunds can swim, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be their favorite hobby. 

Wiener dogs weren’t bred for swimming, but they can potentially be taught to like it through repetition and encouragement.

Remember that training any new skills can take time and patience.

Dachshund Sniffing in Water

Even if you’re relaxing on the beach, it’s important that your Dachshund is familiar with water and has been introduced to basic swimming skills.

Accidents can happen so quickly, especially if your Doxies spots something intriguing in the water. 

Use a life jacket at all times if you aren’t confident in your dog’s ability to stay safe.

Remember to protect your Dachshund from getting too much sun when you’re spending time outdoors. 

Considering investing in a sun shirt or beach shade so your Doxie doesn’t get sunburnt. Dog sunburns can be painful and dangerous, just like they are for humans.

Read More: 25 Dachshund Facts Every Owner Should Know

Do Dachshunds like to swim? Find out tips to get them to love the water.

About the Author

Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.

One Comment

  1. Hey,
    I had my awesome Klaus for almost 21 years. He was a gentleman by all definition. We did all kinds of fun things when he wasn’t burrowing under his favorite blanket. How I miss him!!
    I have often thought about getting a senior citizen since I’m one myself.
    I’ve looked all over for one but to no avail I can seem to find one Does any one have any ideas where I can get one?

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