Do Australian Shepherds Like Water & Can They Swim?

Australian shepherds make fantastic pets. They are energetic, loyal and protective of their families.

Australian shepherds tend to be very active dogs who enjoy running and playing, and they are usually very eager to please their owners. Many Australian shepherds even enjoy swimming as it is great exercise for them and makes for great relief from the heat in summertime.

Some Australian shepherds have a hesitant nature when it comes to new things, but for the most part when they get over their initial fear of swimming, they will grow to love it!

Do Australian Shepherds Like Water?

In general, Australian shepherds are very active and enjoy lots of activities, including swimming in the water.

Many Australian shepherd owners may find that their dog is hesitant around new people and places, and the same may apply to activities such as swimming and entering the water.

Your Australian shepherd may be completely comfortable with you and your regular routines, but if you take them swimming it may be completely out of their comfort zone.

However, once they get used to swimming, they will likely enjoy it. It may take some time for your Australian shepherd to get over their nervousness about swimming, but for the most part they will become happy to jump into the water and go swimming.

On the other hand, some Australian shepherd owners may find that their dog naturally loves water. They are so playful that they may even try to play with the water from the house if you are watering the lawn or washing your car!

Australian shepherds have quite a long and thick coat, so taking them for a swim is a great way to cool them off on a hot day.

Do Australian Shepherds Like To Swim?

Once you get your Australian shepherd in the water, they will no doubt love to swim.

Learn The: 9 SECRET Tips You Can Use To Train ANY Dog Successfully!

Australian shepherds are by nature full of energy and very playful. Once they get past their anxiousness about water, they are sure to be happy swimmers.

If your Australian shepherd is nervous to get in the water, try getting in with them in a shallow swimming area.

You can even throw a ball for them and since they usually love to play fetch, they will likely go for it right away!

Australian shepherds love to be active, so swimming is a great option for them. Australian shepherds are bred as working dogs and if they are not kept busy, they are likely to become a bit of a menace in your home!

Taking them for long walks, hikes and playing ball are great ways to keep them busy, in addition to swimming.

As mentioned previously, Australian shepherds have a lot of hair and get very hot in the summer weather. Taking them for a swim is a great way to give them exercise without them becoming overheated in hot weather.

They will likely love swimming and chasing the ball in the water – they get to stay cool and use up their energy all at the same time!

How To Introduce Your Australian Shepherd To Water

It may take a little bit of time and effort to get your Australian shepherd comfortable in the water, but it will be well worth it. By getting them used to water and swimming, you will be able to expand on the activities that you can do with your dog.

To introduce your dog to water there are a few golden rules to follow:

Bring The Right Supplies

When teaching your dog to swim, chances are you are going to need to get into the water with them and have some tools on hand that will help with encouraging them.

Some things to take with you when teaching your dog to swim:

  • Swimsuit
  • Water shoes if your beach is rocky
  • Your dog’s favorite treats
  • Your dog’s favorite toy – preferably one that is waterproof and won’t sink!
  • A towel to dry yourself and your dog after swimming

If bringing your dog to the beach becomes a regular hobby, you may even want to invest in a waterproof seat cover so that your dog will not get your car seats wet after swimming.

If you are within walking distance to a beach then you won’t need to bother, and you will be able to enjoy taking your Australian shepherd swimming on a regular basis!

Take It Slow

If your Australian shepherd is a bit nervous around water, it is important to ease them into water and swimming.

Some may think that the best course of action is just to throw them into water and make them swim.

In reality, this can really shock them and scare them off of water even more. They may then not want to go near the water at all.

Encourage Your Dog

Dogs learn best when they are encouraged and praised. If your dog even takes one step into the water, be sure to praise them by petting them and offering them a treat.

Your dog will quickly start to associate the water with your positive behavior, and they should be swimming in no time!

Start Early, If Possible

If you get your Australian shepherd as a puppy, try to introduce them to water early on.

Puppies are like children – the more you can expose them to early, the less nervousness they are likely to experience later on in life.

If you get your Australian shepherd and they are not a puppy anymore, fear not. You can definitely still introduce them to water by following the guide below.

How To Teach Your Australian Shepherd To Swim

If you are ready to get your Australian shepherd to swim, this guide offers some advice.

It is important to remember to take it slow and that not every dog will be ready to swim right away. It may take a few sessions of exposing them to water in order for them to start swimming.

#1: Start At A Shallow Area

If you have a beach near you that allows dogs, it will be a perfect place to teach your dog to enjoy the water.

A nice shallow shoreline will allow your Australian shepherd to get accustomed to the water, first by testing it out with his feet and then eventually going deeper and beginning to swim.

2: Walk Into The Water With Your Dog

Once you’re at the beach with your dog, you should try walking out into the water yourself.

There’s a chance that your dog will not hesitate and will just follow you right in.

If your dog prefers to stay out of the water, just observe how they act. They will probably be curious but maybe a little nervous.

3: Invite Your Dog Into The Water

If your dog doesn’t automatically follow you in, you will probably have to prompt and encourage them.

Have some treats in your pocket and one of their favorite toys or balls. Call your dog and see if they will come to you.

If they take even one step into the water, be sure to reward them with a treat!

4: Play With Your Dog In The Shallow Water

Once your Australian shepherd feels comfortable enough to get their feet wet in the water, try playing with them.

You can toss the ball or toy in the shallow water, and eventually start throwing it farther out into the water where it is deeper.

#5: Testing Out Deeper Water

Once your dog seems comfortable with the shallow water, you can try encouraging them to swim out farther.

You can swim out farther and encourage them to follow you, or just continue to throw their ball or toy deeper into the water.

Continue to encourage them and pet them as they start to go deeper into the water. Once the water is too deep for them to walk, they will likely start paddling along automatically!

Once your dog is over the nervousness around water, they will likely have no problem going swimming the next time that you are at the lake.

#6: Repeat TheProcess

As mentioned previously, not every dog will take to water right away.

It is important to repeat this process in order to make sure that your Australian shepherd is fully comfortable with swimming.

If your dog does not end up going into deep water and actually swimming on the first try, don’t give up!

Remember to keep encouraging and praising your dog for stepping into the water at all.

The next time you want to try to get them to swim, again praise them for walking into the water and keep encouraging them to swim deeper.

Also remember that the more frequently you introduce your dog to water and swimming, the more likely they are to become comfortable with swimming!

Want To Train Your Australian Shepherd With Peace Of Mind?

If you haven’t trained your Australian Shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!

And in most cases it’s still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your Australian Shepherd completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT. 

And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!

So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!

(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)

FAQ:

Do Australian Shepherds Need Baths?

Australian shepherds need baths in order to keep their skin and coat healthy.

Australian shepherds have very thick and heavy hair and they tend to shed a lot. Along with bathing your Australian shepherd, you can help them to shed their coat by using a shedding mitt or brush.

This will help them to get rid of extra hair that can become matted.

Some dogs are not fans of baths, so remember to praise your dog once they get into the bath and after the bath is done.

Do Australian Shepherds Have Webbed Feet?

Australian shepherds do not have webbed feet like some other breeds, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t make great swimmers!

Australian shepherds are so naturally athletic and energetic that even if they look a bit clumsy while swimming, they are perfectly capable.

It is important to note that most puppies start life with webbed feet, but this webbing goes away as the puppy matures.

If you noticed that your dog had webbed feet as a puppy but no longer does, don’t worry! This is totally normal.

If your Australian shepherd does have webbed feet, it may mean that they have been crossed with a dog that was bred for swimming. Some breeds that are known for having webbed feet are:

  • Labrador retriever
  • Newfoundland
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Poodle
  • German Wire-Haired Pointer
  • American Water Spaniel
  • Weimaraner
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
  • Irish Water Spaniel

Final Thoughts

Australian shepherds make such wonderful pets because they are active, loyal and eager to please.

If you are someone who loves the outdoors and you want a dog that is going to be happy to do any activity with you, then an Australian shepherd is a great choice.

Even though your Australian shepherd may be hesitant to get in the water, it is important to take the time to teach them that the water is a great place to play!


Swimming is a great activity and means of exercise for your Australian shepherd, especially in the summer months. They have such thick hair that they may be prone to getting too hot to exercise when the sun is blazing down.

Taking them for a swim or throwing the ball in the water is a great way to burn off your Australian shepherd’s energy while keeping them cool.

Even though your Australian shepherd may grow to love swimming, they may not always love getting in the water when it comes to bath time!

 Regular grooming is very important to maintain your Australian shepherd’s skin and coat health, so remember that you should always praise and reward your dog during bath time to ensure that they associate baths with positivity.

Even though your Australian shepherd doesn’t have webbed feet, they will still be a competent swimmer! And if you find that your Australian shepherd does have webbed feet, try looking into their history and see if they are crossed with a dog that was bred for water.

 You never know – maybe your Australian shepherd has some Labrador retriever blood in them and is more of a natural swimmer than you thought!

Good luck on your journey of teaching your Australian shepherd how to swim. Remember to take it slow, encourage your dog and reward them for a job well done! Happy swimming!

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