Do Border Collies Like Water (And Can They Swim?)

Border Collies are adorable, lovable dogs. They are known for their impressive athletic skills and agility. Many Border Collies enjoy playing simple games like fetch. In contrast, some enjoy spending time running or going on long walks with their owners.

Many pet owners like to take their Border Collies to the beach and watch them splash around in the water. However, Border Collies may sometimes choose to stay well away from the sea, which begs the following question: do Border Collies like water?

If you’re the proud owner of a beautiful border collie, then you’re in the right place! Are you wondering whether or not your dog will enjoy the water? Perhaps you’d like to get them into swimming but aren’t sure if it’s the right step to take. 

Don’t worry, though; in this article, we will address all these queries and more!

So, what are you waiting for?

Let’s dive right in!

Do Border Collies Like Water?

Water is always a touchy subject when it comes to pets. While some pets thoroughly enjoy spending time in the water, others would instead become best friends with a cat than go anywhere near the bathtub. 

Looking at things on a less personal scale, you’ll see that Border Collies generally shy away from deep pools. They prefer paddling in shallow water or splashing through the puddles.

However, In all honesty, whether or not Border Collies enjoy spending time in the water depends upon every dog’s own personality. No two dogs are the same, so it’s only natural if one border collie likes water, but the other prefers to keep away.

Do Border Collies like water, though? It’s tough to give an answer that applies to every single dog of this breed out there, but it’s safe to say that most of them wouldn’t mind splashing around every now and then. 

If you have a border collie, find out how much they shed!)

Can Border Collies Swim?

Dogs have a reputation for being good swimmers. That’s where the “doggy paddle” swimming style comes from! 

Still, whether or not your dog will actually enjoy swimming heavily depends upon the dog’s personal preferences. 

You’ll hear many border collie owners brag about how much their dog loves splashing around in the pool. However, you’ll also hear some owners say that their border collie would rather have nothing to do with water at all. 

Regardless of whether they enjoy it or not, though, Border Collies certainly can swim! They are incredibly athletic animals with excellent agility. Their bodies were practically made for exercise and continuous activity. Swimming is an excellent way for them to burn off all that extra energy.

Benefits of Swimming for Border Collies

Swimming is one of the most beneficial activities out there. Unlike most other forms of sport, swimming demands the use of every muscle in the body.

Yes! This includes all the lesser addressed muscles, like the stomach and neck muscles. However, suppose you want to be healthy. In that case, you must move these muscles around and focus on toning them.

Neglecting your muscles can lead to tissue deterioration, which ultimately leads to weakness. Luckily, all of this can be avoided by regularly practicing sports like swimming. 

As you can see, there are many benefits of swimming for humans – but did you know that all of these extend to dogs, too?

For most owners, their border collie is like a child. Like any child, these dogs need attention and care. This includes making sure that their health requirements are met. Owning a border collie is a massive responsibility, and pet owners should be willing to invest in their care. 

In addition to a balanced diet and regular grooming, Border Collies need regular exercise. What better way to get them to work out than by taking them for a good swim?

Below is a detailed list of reasons why swimming can be beneficial for your border collie:

Improves Overall Health

Swimming is an excellent way to get the blood coursing through your pet’s veins. Not only does swimming stimulate blood flow, but it can also increase the overall volume of blood within your dog’s body.

It does so by increasing the number of red blood cells produced within the bone marrow. These red blood cells are in charge of carrying oxygen around the body. If you have more red blood cells, you’ll have a greater blood volume and also feel more energetic and lighter on your feet. The same goes for your dog!

(Find out whether german shepherds can swim!)

Excellent For Cardiovascular System

Indulging in regular swimming significantly improves heart health. It does so by regulating the heart’s fatty tissue buildup. It also keeps cholesterol in check, hence protecting from heart attacks. 

Good For Joints

Swimming allows dogs to flex their joints and strengthen them over time. Your border collie’s joints will undergo plenty of wear and tear over time, but swimming can help slow down this process, hence protecting your dog’s joints well into old age.


Regular swimming sessions can improve your pet’s mental health. Exercise, in general, is a brilliant stress reliever and encourages the production of endorphins. Endorphins are mood-boosting hormones, and having more of them is always a good idea!

Relief From Pain

Warm water swimming can reduce muscle cramps or any other form of pain your pet may be experiencing. 


Exercise, including swimming, helps cut down on fatty tissue. Swimming, in particular, encourages the fat to burn off from all parts of the body, hence toning all of your pet’s muscles and reducing their weight. 

Swimming is an excellent way to regulate your border collie’s health. If your dog seems up to it, you should definitely get them to go swimming. Once your pet takes it up as a regular habit, you’ll be seeing significant improvement in their health within no time!

Image result for border collie

(Want to know if huskies can swim?)

Why Might Your Border Collie Not Like Swimming or Water

Does your dog shy away from water? Do they begin to panic when bath time rolls around? Have you noticed your border collie running back into their shelter house when it begins to rain? 

If yes, then you must have figured it out by now: your border collie is not a fan of water.

Many dog owners see their Border Collies behaving this way and are often left wondering why their pet dislikes water so much. 

Below are some reasons why Border Collies may not like being around water:

Lack Of Exposure

One of the reasons why Border Collies may shy away from water is simply due to lack of exposure. They might be afraid of it due to not having been around water enough. Take the example of a child who grew up in a coastal town and compares it to that of a child who was born in an arid desert. One of them will certainly be afraid of large water bodies, and the reason is simple: lack of exposure!

Stubborn Nature

Alternately, your border collie may not like water because it’s just in their nature to do so. Perhaps they don’t enjoy getting wet and would rather stay warm and dry all of the time. 

If your border collie doesn’t enjoy swimming, don’t worry. It’s perfectly normal for some dogs to avoid swim sessions. Many prefer to stick to land sports instead.

Below are some reasons why your border collie may not enjoy swimming:

They Prefer Sport On Land

It’s not abnormal for dogs to want to stay away from large water bodies. After all, they’re not fish. Border Collies were built for land sports, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if your pet would choose to stay dry over going for a swim.

Getting Wet And Heavy

Some Border Collies may feel weighed down by the water, too. Water has an annoying tendency to get all into your pet’s fur and make it heavier, ultimately making it harder for them to move around. 

Luckily, though, Border Collies have a moderate amount of hair, which is why they might not face too much trouble with the water weighing them down. 

Still, if your border collie has fur that’s on the longer side, it’s definitely possible that they don’t enjoy the heavy feeling they’re bound to experience after a swim. 

Also, sometimes, dogs simply just don’t enjoy the feeling of being wet. It’s normal!

As you can see, there are many reasons why your border collie may not like water or swimming. If this is how they feel, then don’t force them to go deep water swimming.

However, you can try to introduce them to water through some milder activities. You can let them splash around in the rain puddles on your morning walk, for example. 

But remember that if your dog still insists on keeping away from water, then let them be. It’s never healthy to force a pet to do something they don’t feel comfortable engaging with.

How Can You Teach Your Border Collie to Swim?

So, you’ve decided to teach your border collie to swim? Well, firstly, congratulations on making the decision! Secondly, you’re going to have to learn to be patient, because teaching a pet how to swim is never easy, but it sure is worth it!

Below is a detailed guide that can help you understand how to teach your border collie to swim:

Comfort Level

Before beginning swimming lessons, you must consider your border collie’s comfort level. How do they feel when they are around water? Are they comfortable with spending time inside the bathtub or under the rain?

As the owner, you must already be aware of your pet’s comfort level regarding water-based activities.

If you feel like your border collie is comfortable with being around or inside water, then great! You can directly jump into the training sessions.

However, if you think your border collie needs time to warm up to the idea, then give them all the space they need. 

You can help your pet become more comfortable with being around water by placing them inside warm water pools. Warm water is always a good idea because many dogs find it relaxing and actually prefer it to hot water.

However, make sure the water isn’t too hot. You should also remember to be gentle and ease your dog into the bathtub or pool. Whispering calming words can help them feel more comfortable within this new environment.

Never force your dog to swim or bathe. This could make them aggressive instead and will make it harder for you to get them to cooperate. Offering them treats is also a good way. It functions as a reward system and can encourage your border collie to do as they’re told.

Once you feel your dog is comfortable with the idea of water, you can begin training them!

Use of Life Jacket

If your dog panics when in the water, it might be a good idea to make them wear a life jacket. Special life jackets for Border Collies are readily available in pet shops and on the internet. You can readily find one if your dog may need it.

Some life jackets come with dog handles at the back. If you plan on getting into the water with your dog, you can always hold onto these handles and watch as they do the doggy paddle!

Getting Your Border Collie to Swim

You need to start by putting your pet on a leash. This will allow you to control over them. Welcome your border collie into the water with the use of treats. Reward your pet for every positive step they take, even if it’s a small one.

Position yourself farther away from the edge of the pool and reach out to your dog with treats in your hand. This will convince them to enter the water, even if it may take some time.

Once they enter the pool, they will start doing the doggy paddle, which almost every dog naturally knows how to do, but not all are comfortable with by default.

You can also toss a ball into the water and have your dog chase it. However, just remember to keep rewarding them with treats for every accomplishment, no matter how small!

Keep practicing this for a few days. Don’t try to turn your border collie into an expert swimmer within one day-that could get extremely overwhelming!

Interested In Training Your Border Collie The Right Way?

If you haven’t trained your border collie 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 border collie 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!)

Image result for border collie

What Not To Do When Teaching Your Border Collie to Swim

Below is a list of things to avoid when teaching your border collie to swim:

  • Rudeness: No pet likes to be treated rudely. If you use harsh voices when training your border collie, they may get resentful and refuse to cooperate. It’s better to use a calm voice and make them feel safe. 
  • Overwhelming your pet: Do NOT try to get your pet to practice for hours each day. Doing so can be extremely unhealthy. Physically overwhelmed Border Collies may develop fatigued muscles and end up panting. If you overwhelm them, they may generate too much lactic acid, which can cause cell-death and tissue weakness.
  • Water temperature: One should always keep an eye on the water temperature. Find a temperature that works well for your border collie. Do so by testing out different options. Some dogs like warmer water, while others prefer cool swimming pools. See what makes your pet feel the most comfortable and stick with it!

Key Points to Remember

Below are some essential points to keep in mind regarding water, Border Collies, and swimming:

Do not try and force your border collie into swimming. If you’ve tried it multiple times and they just aren’t into it, let them be.

The more you force them to do something, the more resentful they will grow, which is never a good thing. You want your pet to love you.

So, if you feel like they’d rather stick to land sports, focus on that and spend time playing fetch with them. It can turn out to be an enjoyable experience for you and your border collie!

Always be supportive of your border collie’s efforts. This might be their first time around a large body of water, so it’s natural to feel overwhelmed.

If you see your dog panicking, try and calm them down. Give them a pat on the head, a yummy treat, or cuddle with them till they feel ready to jump into the water.


Teaching a dog how to swim can be tough but thrilling. You should try your best with your dog, but never force them to be a fish if they don’t feel like it.

Remember to use treats to convince your border collie to swim, and remember to ease them into being around water.

If you do so and follow the tips above, you’re bound to have a great experience with teaching your dog how to swim!