Not every dog can be trusted near the water. While many dog breeds have webbed feet and were born to glide along the surface in pursuit of prey, other dogs can barely keep afloat no matter how hard their paws paddles. Breeds that are brachycephalic (or have shorter muzzles and experience frequent blockage of the windpipe, or have elongated soft palates) are most likely to find breathing laborious while swimming. These dogs should be given extra support when in the water, and are good candidates for a life jacket. Before you kick off your flip flops and go running into the waves, review the list below to see if your dog is not a strong swimmer, or find out if he made the list of strong swimming breeds.
English Bulldogs: This dynamic breed is full of spit and vinegar, and seems ready to take on the world wherever you may go. But because of the wealth of health complications caused by their short noses, these pups should not be left alone by water.
Pugs: These compact cuties are adored for their squashed little snouts and giant eyes, however it is their noses that get them into trouble in the water. Pugs are among the breeds that have respiratory struggles that make swimming a “no-no.”
French Bulldogs: Similar to their English counterparts, the French Bulldog is not made for water sports, because of the heavy body structure and notorious respiratory limitations. However, they do like to splash and get wet, but they should either suit up with a life jacket, or stay ankle-deep only.
Dachshunds: Even shallow water can be dangerous for these short-legged canines. Swimming is a no-go, and even water exposure should be monitored for their safety so that they don’t get swept away. But hosing them down with water or letting them run through sprinklers? Absolutely!
Shih Tzus: These dogs have long fur coats that get heavy when wet, making them have to work harder for oxygen. This breed is another good candidate for a lifejacket.
Corgis: The herding Corgis have long bodies with dense coats, muscles and bones. Though they are fit, working dogs that can sustain rigorous exercise, their dwarfish legs make swimming a challenge.
Chow Chows: With thick fur that can weigh them down in water, stubby legs and a squat nose, these dogs seem to be the antithesis of a breed that thrives in water. Keep these puppies dry!
Bull Terriers: Having a long nose is one upside to this cousin of the Bulldog, but the deep chests make breathing labored while swimming, and cold water proves especially constricting for these pets.
Pekingese: We generally do not picture these puny pups taking on fierce waves, as Pekingese dogs are ill-suited for swimming because of their respiratory weakness.
Basset Hounds: With long droopy ears, short legs and lower tolerance for exercise, the Basset hound is known for being laid-back, or even dare we say –lazy? They get worn out easily, so swimming does not suit these short-limbed pups.