Can Beagles Swim & Do They Like Water?

Beagles are animals that are well known for their love of the great outdoors. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise. They are hunting dogs, after all. However, the great outdoors can often involve lakes, rivers, and even the sea. Do Beagles enjoy the water too, or would they rather steer clear? Can Beagles swim?

On this page, we are going to talk about whether Beagles can swim, as well as give you a few ideas on encouraging a water-shy animal to enjoy swimming. We will even share with you a couple of techniques for teaching your Beagle to swim. While not every single Beagle will end up loving the water, we are confident that the tips you find on this page should help the majority of Beagles.

Can Beagles Swim?

Beagles can swim. Whether they are natural swimmers will be dependent on who you ask. Some people will claim that their Beagles could swim from the very first time they went into the water, while others have claimed that it took a while to teach their Beagles how to swim. We suppose it comes down to the individual dog.

Do Beagles Like to Swim?

Beagles are unlikely to jump into the water unless they absolutely have to do so. While there are some Beagles that probably would enjoy swimming once they get used to it, it is almost always going to be a gradual process.

Do Beagles Like Water?

It is dependent on the Beagle. Some people claim that their Beagles absolutely love getting wet, while other people claim that their dogs start to complain in even the slightest amount of rain. Dogs, just like humans, have their own individual personalities. You will likely need to get a feel for whether your Beagle enjoys the water. If they don’t, then you will probably be able to train them to be more receptive to a bit of wetness. 

How Do You Train a Beagle to Swim?

Let’s say your dog isn’t just hopping into the water and swimming like a pro without any prompting. What now? Well, you are going to need to teach them how to swim!

Thankfully, dogs are pretty decent swimmers in most cases. They will have the natural movements to swim. So, you aren’t going to need to teach them how to stay afloat. They will know how to do that instinctively. Your job is more to encourage them into the water and make it seem like a safe place.

Remember, once you start heading into deeper water (i.e. where dogs will have to actually tread water to stay afloat), then always make sure that your dog is wearing a life vest. You will also never want to be more than a meter or so away from your dog. That way you can grab them if something goes wrong.

Start Slow

It is important that you start slow with this process. As we said, most of the process of teaching a Beagle how to swim is encouraging them into the water in the first place. So, don’t make them scared of the water.

Our suggestion is to have a paddling pool in the garden. Fill it up with water. Your dog should be able to stand in it. You can then encourage the Beagle to enter the water in a couple of ways:

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  • Place their favorite toy in the center and encourage them to grab it
  • Hold a treat in front of their nose and slowly guide them into the water.

It may take a couple of attempts. Once the dog is in the water, then give them a ton of praise. Make it really seem like what they did is a brilliant thing! 

Take Them To A Calm Body Of Water

This means steering clear of the sea or fast-flowing rivers. A good lake with no undercurrent should be good for this (i.e. you shouldn’t be taking them to one of the Great Lakes!)

The strategy here is going to be exactly the same. You will need to encourage the dog into the water using treats. Do not use their favorite toy this time. You may end up losing it!

Allow the dog to go into the water as far as they feel comfortable. During the first lesson, they may barely go in at all.

You should keep your swimming lessons to a maximum of fifteen minutes. Your dog will only be able to tread water for so long once they have managed to get into the water.

Watch Your Animal

As we said, swimming is something that comes instinctively for a Beagle. You do not have to do anything other than keep an eye on your dog once they have managed to head deep enough that they have to tread water. If your dog looks scared or if they are losing their footing, then make sure that you grab them.

If your dog goes out far, then encourage them back to shore using treats. This will tell your dog that they can always come back to the shore whenever they want, and they are going to be rewarded if they do so! Of course, you should also be giving your dog a delicious treat and a ton of praise once they start swimming for the first time.

Play With Your Dog

As your dog starts to become a more proficient swimmer, you can play with them in the water. Throw a frisbee into the water and get them to retrieve it, etc. You can put their new found swimming skills to the test! Some dog owners will even do some water sports with their furry friend! 

How To Teach A Beagle To Like Water

If you have tried to teach your Beagle how to swim but they do not seem to be a fan of water, then you are going to need to go back to the absolute basics. This means teaching your Beagle to enjoy the water.

It is worth noting that there are some Beagles that will never like water. It is part of their personality. You can’t really force it upon them. However, the sooner you start teaching them to love the water, the easier the process is going to be.

Start Slowly

As with teaching a Beagle how to swim, you will have to start slowly when you are teaching them to like the water. This means that you shouldn’t just be throwing them into a lake and hoping for the best. In fact, at the start, they shouldn’t be going anywhere near water.

Find a body of water and allow your dog to get as close as they want. Do not force them any closer than they are comfortable with. If your dog is several meters away from the water, that is fine. The goal is to teach them that water isn’t a bad thing.

Over time, your dog should move closer and closer to the water. It may take many trips, but they will eventually get there.

Make Bath Time More Fun

When you give your dog a bath, make it a lot more fun for them. Give them treats and lavish a ton of praise on them. Over time, it is likely that they will start to see bath time as something that is a lot more exciting for them. 

Get A Children’s Paddling Pool

During the warmer weather, set a children’s paddling pool up outside. You can let your dog go in and out of it at will. Chances are, your dog will eventually try it.

Do not try to splash water over them. Let them discover the paddling pool naturally. If they manage to go into the paddling pool then, once again, you are going to want to be lavishing that dog with a ton of praise. 

This may be a super slow process for most dogs. However, we can assure you, if you continue to praise your dog at every single step and you give them a ton of treats, they will start to warm up to the idea of enjoying the water. At no step should you be forcing your dog to do anything that they do not want to do. This is probably the quickest way to undo all of your hard work. If your dog feels like it is being pressured into anything, it will never enjoy that water.

Why Does Your Beagle Hate Water?

There are several reasons why a Beagle may not necessarily be a fan of the water. This can include:

A Prior Negative Experience With Water

If your Beagle has had a bad experience with water in the past, then they will probably hate water going forward. It is the same for humans, right? If you had a bad experience with something, then you would steer clear in the future.

Now, a lot of people seem to think that this bad experience must be a ‘huge’ deal. For example, a dog accidentally falling into a large body of water. However, it doesn’t have to be. Even something as simple as a traumatizing bath can put your dog off of the idea of getting wet and, ultimately, encourage them to steer clear of the water. Same as if they managed to get trapped in heavy rain in the past. 

If you have tried to teach your dog to swim in the past and now they do not want to go near the water, then you probably pushed them far too hard and too quickly in the past. This means that you will really have your work cut out when it comes to teaching your dog how to swim in the future. This is because they are going to be a little bit wary of you.

Large Body Of Water Scares Them

Dogs are dubious of anything that seems unfamiliar to them. While your dog may be OK with baths, they are probably going to be a little bit scared of massive bodies of water. A fast-flowing stream or crashing waves will be more than enough to send your dog running away from them.

If a situation seems dangerous, then a Beagle is probably not going to want to throw itself headfirst into that situation. Dogs, like literally every animal on the planet, doesn’t want to become injured or die, right?

Your Dog Has Natural Anxiety

A lot of the time, it comes down to the personality of your dog. For example, if you have an animal that tends to be anxious a lot of the time, then the chances are pretty high that it is also going to be anxious when it comes to the water. If your dog tends to be anxious, then it is probably going to be a lot more difficult to train them to enjoy the water.

What Are the Benefits of Swimming for Beagles?

There are plenty of reasons why you should be teaching your dog to swim. If they enjoy the water, that is.

Exercise

Swimming is a fantastic exercise, particularly for the Beagles. You have to remember that the entire reason for the Beagle breed existing is due to hunting. These dogs would be bred to cover a lot of ground retrieving and chasing down animals.

This means that they have a lot of energy to burn. Swimming will help them to burn off this energy. It burns off more energy than a simple run. 

Swimming may actually be a good exercise for your animal if they have joint injuries. Just like in humans, swimming puts less pressure on the joints. This means that your dog can get a decent workout, even if they have problems with their legs.

Although, do bear in mind that if your dog has a problem with their legs, you will want to make doubly sure that they are wearing a life vest and you are close to them while they are swimming. If you don’t, then your dog is in danger. 

Safety

If you spend a lot of time around the water, then it would be wise to teach your Beagle to swim. You never know when they are going to fall into the water or be caught in a rogue wave. If they are able to swim, then the chances of them getting through the problem will be a lot higher.

Of course, you should always give your dog a life vest if you are spending long periods of time by the water. However, if your dog knows how to swim at the same time, this is just going to add a whole extra level of safety into the mix. 

A dog knowing how to swim could potentially save its life if it ended up in the water.

Stimulation

Dogs need a lot of mental stimulation. If you don’t give them mental stimulation, then they will very quickly become bored. This causes all sorts of issues. Since swimming is an activity where they have to pay a lot of attention to what is going on, it is great for keeping your dog’s mind nice and sharp.

This can help counter all sorts of mental health conditions. Some people have even found that their Beagles are less likely to ‘act out’ once they start swimming. You may also find that your dog is far less likely to suffer from separation anxiety, etc.

Cool Them Down

On a hot day, wouldn’t it be great if your dog could just cool themselves down in seconds? A dog knowing how to swim is great for this. Beagles, just like all dogs, are covered in fur, so they need to cool down. If they don’t, it could end up causing them heatstroke, which is a deadly condition.

What is the Downside of Swimming for Beagles?

You have to remember that while there are a lot of positives for Beagles swimming, there are a couple of downsides too. These downsides are very much situational.

The Water May Not Be Good For Their Skin

This applies if your dog is swimming in the sea or a chlorinated pool.

In the sea, your dog will be saturated in salt. This can lead to their skin drying out. This can cause all sorts of issues. The algae and seaweed floating around in the sea isn’t really going to be good for them either.

In a pool, there are all sorts of pool chemicals floating around. These pool chemicals can cause skin irritation, particularly if the balance of chlorine is a little bit on the high side of things.

Thankfully, this is an issue that can be dealt with by giving your dog a good wash once they leave the water. Although, do bear in mind that this probably isn’t always going to be possible.

Your Beagle Won’t Be Able To Swim For That Long

Many people overestimate just how long their animal is able to swim for. This isn’t really a negative for the dog, but it is a negative for you. You need to be able to keep a watchful eye on your animal.

Most dogs won’t appear as if they are getting tired. They will just stop trying to swim and sink beneath the surface of the water. This means that if you do teach your Beagle to swim, you have to be constantly watching them.

Your Beagle Will Try And Swim… A Lot

You may not think that this is an issue, but it is. Let’s say that your Beagle loves the idea of swimming. They then try and jump into the water whenever they can. Great, right? No.

A Beagle could jump into water that may be more dangerous e.g. a faster flowing river, or a particularly choppy sea. Sure, Beagles do have some sort of ability to read the situation, but do you really want to take the risk?

This probably isn’t going to be that much of an issue if your Beagle is always being walked in the same area.

FAQ

Do Beagles Like The Beach?

Even if a Beagle doesn’t enjoy going in the water, it will probably love the beach. Beagles absolutely love to dig. They also seem to love the soft sand beneath their feet. If you do take your dog to the beach, it shouldn’t be a drastically hot day. This can cause their feet to burn which can be exceedingly painful.

When Should You Start Training Your Beagle To Swim?

It is easier to train a Beagle to swim when they are young. Most people will start to train their Beagles to swim at around 4-5-months old. While you can train your Beagle to swim at any age, you will likely have a lot more success at around this age.

This is because the Beagle is still ‘learning’ about the world around them at this point, which means they probably do not have any preconceived notions about the water i.e. they are unlikely to be scared of it.

Are Beagles Good At Swimming?

Beagles are dogs with a huge amount of stamina. This means that they can be good at swimming once they know how to do it. They are not the best swimming dogs, but they certainly will be good at it. Their body is perfect for being able to stay afloat in the water.

How Long Can Beagles Swim?

Beagles should not be swimming for more than 10-15 minutes. Anything longer than that and you run the risk of them just ‘giving up’ and drowning. For this reason, if you are out on a boat, it is important that you bring a lifevest along for your Beagle. They won’t be able to stay afloat for long in the water without one. This applies to all dogs.

Recap 

Most Beagles are not going to be huge fans of the water. While they are good swimmers, they are probably never going to jump into the water without a small amount of prompting. You will likely have to train your Beagle to swim. However, it is worth going through this process. Not just for exercise, but because a dog knowing how to swim is going to be brilliant when it comes to safety too.

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