Can Chihuahuas swim? (top 5 dog breeds that can)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can Chihuahuas swim? We will talk about the benefits and dangers of swimming for dogs, and we will also give you some helpful tips for a fun swim time with your Chihuahua.

Can Chihuahuas swim?

Although Chihuahuas can swim, they are not among the best swimmers. In general, dogs love to swim unless they have suffered a traumatic event. Among the good swimmers is the Newfoundland, Golden, Labrador, German, Pitbull. Among the bad swimmers the Bulldog, Schnauzer, Chihuahua, the Pug, and the Maltese. 

But even though Chihuahuas are not good swimmers, it does not mean that they do not love to swim. You should however be careful, as even though they love to be in the water, they will also tire faster and could drown. And you won’t even notice when that happens. Remember, that not all dogs are water dogs, and not all can swim well.

No matter the type of breed, whenever your dog goes to a lake, river, or sea, you must be careful to avoid accidents.

Dangerous aquatic environments for your Chihuahua

A too-long swimming zone: Your dog is not a professional swimmer. If he is not used to swimming a lot, he may exhaust himself over too long a swim zone. In a lake, he can overestimate his abilities and go too far, but he does so most of the time to follow his master who is on foot. 

Instinctively, dogs don’t stray too far from the edge, but you must watch them at all times to avoid an accident. They can indeed be victims of exhaustion or suffer from pains in the legs which paralyze them.

Lack of rest areas: Swimming pools without steps are very dangerous swimming areas for dogs. Without supervision, they risk drowning at any time. This is because they cannot lean on the edge to rest, as men can. So they get exhausted and run in circles. Only the swimming pools with steps allow them to rest.

Current, temperature, and waves: Extreme swimming conditions can lead to drowning. Strong current, waves, and very cool weather can make it impossible for your dog to step forward. He burns himself out, panics, and drowns. To prevent this tragedy from happening, don’t let him swim in dangerous waters.

My dog drowned: rescue actions

  1. Help it spit out the water: Is your dog unconscious and appears to have drowned? To get water out of his lungs and save him, you’re going to have to keep his head down while lifting him by the hind legs. Its mouth should be open and its tongue should not block the entrance to its larynx. If it’s too heavy, hold it upside down while carrying it on your back.
  1. Blow air into the nose: When the dog is in cardiac arrest and water is not coming out of his lungs, you can try to resuscitate him by blowing air into his nose, not his mouth. Be sure to keep your dog’s mouth shut. Repeat the operation every two seconds. Between each breath, vigorously massage his rib cage. Please note, this method is to be used in an extreme emergency.

Can a dog be the victim of a hydrocution?

Like humans, dogs can drown from hydrocution. Too great a difference between the water temperature and the outside temperature, as well as too rapid immersion in water, can cause this cardiac arrest. Beware of accidental falls and risky swimming. In the case of hydrocution, quickly get your dog out of the water, warm him up, and take him to a vet.

Helpful tips for a quiet swim with your Chihuahua

For your dog to like water and be a fun environment, these are some tips and recommendations for you to take into account when bathing:

  1. The first swims will be more difficult, even more, if it is a puppy. Thus, be careful with introducing the dog to the water, since it can get easily scared when seeing too much water around it.
  2. Train your dog to bathe with warm water with a maximum temperature of 37 ºC. Also, keep the water at a single temperature to prevent them from suffering from the Limber tail syndrome.
  3. Speak to him with a soft and firm voice, do not speak to him with a nervous or angry tone of voice, since bath time can be associated with a punishment.
  4. Try to play with him at bath time or congratulate him every moment, this will help him to associate it as something fun or at least tolerate bath time.
  5. Be very careful when drying it, as the noise of the dryer could scare your dog.
  6. The ears should be covered with cotton because the water in the ears can cause otitis.
  7. Sidestep the jet of water falling on the head and face of your dog. 

5 dog breeds that are good swimmers

The Newfoundland dog 

It is a giant breed dog from the region of Newfoundland, eastern Canada, known as a nautical rescue dog as it is a specialist in swimming and is very well equipped for rescue tasks. Despite its large size, its webbed feet serve as fins to move better in the water, and its numerous layers of hair give it impermeability and protect from the cold.

The Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese Water Dog is an active working dog with great resistance, an ancient breed of fishing dog was used to pull nets in the water, as a carrier of messages from boat to boat. The curls of his hair protect him from the water, making his skin hardly noticeable.

The Retriever

The Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever are good friends of the water. They are active, hardy, hardworking, and good swimmers. The origin of the Labrador is in Great Britain while the Golden has its roots in Scotland. They are easily kept afloat in the water thanks to the strength of their hips and wide legs.

The Setter

Both the English setter and the Irish setter are hardy and fast dogs, with excellent tracking and swimming ability, qualities that led them to function as hunting dogs for waterfowl and wild ducks in swamps. Its long legs serve as paddles to move quickly through the water.

The Poodle

He was a working dog, a hunting assistant, a water collector who recovered the game hunted in lakes. Its name indicates it “poodle” comes from German and means “to splash”, and poodle comes from another French name which is the name of a duck that was collected by this dog.

Benefits of swimming for your dog

Currently, many puppies are overweight or have hip dysplasia, for them many veterinarians recommend that they swim. In fact, swimming dogs have many benefits, not only for those with a specific condition, but it is recommended for all dogs.

Many dogs have a taste for water in their genetics, generally, they are dogs with long tails and hunters, such as the Labrador, Golden Retriever, or Irish Setter. On the other hand, dogs like the Pug or the Chihuahua are not so given to naturally play in the water, even so, with a little play they can enjoy a lot in the water.

Some of the benefits that swimming brings to furry animals are:

  • Improves cardiovascular condition.
  • Improves overall physical condition.
  • For large breeds, it helps to increase muscle mass in the chest and legs.
  • In small breeds – and especially flatbreads – it helps to develop the chest and regulate the heart rate. In many cases for these breeds, it is advisable to wear a vest to help them support their own weight.
  • For dogs with overweight and hypothyroid problems or who cannot jump, it helps them burn fat without putting their joints at risk.
  • For puppies that have just had surgery, it helps relieve joint or muscle pain.
  • For shy dogs, it helps them socialize.

As you can see, swimming is a very good option for your pet, besides being fun it has many benefits. 


Any dog, be it Chihuahua or any breed, can get to enjoy the water. If your dog gets used to swimming, it can become the best companions for water games. Some people even share their hobbies like surfing or paddle surfing with dogs.

There are some dogs that are afraid of the water and others that do not hesitate to run into the sea. By instinct from birth, all dogs know how to swim, but there are always some who are naturally better swimmers. They are resistant and capable of diving, qualities that fishermen took advantage of, and that serve them to be trained for maritime rescue and become authentic rescue dogs.

Swimming with your Chihuahua can be great fun, but make sure you are also aware of the safety of your dog. 

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know.

FAQ on Can Chihuahuas swim?

Do Chihuahuas like the water?

Chihuahuas like the water and can enjoy swimming just like any other dog would do. Although they are not known for good swimming skills, they may love to be near the water. 

Can small dogs swim?

Many small dogs can swim, but they get tired more easily and have a higher risk of drowning. This is why Chihuahuas are not famous for swimming, for example.

What breed of dog can not swim?

The following breeds of dogs can not swim very well: The Bulldog, Pug, Dachshund, Pekingese, Basset Hound, and Boxer. These dogs do not have the most ideal anatomy and may struggle with staying afloat. 

Are Chihuahua dogs smart?

Chihuahuas are smart dogs, they are classified as intelligent breeds. Their great flaw, however, is the clumsiness engraved in their DNA making their training more difficult especially for inexperienced masters.

Are Chihuahuas easy to train?

Chihuahuas are easy to train, but you need a lot of patience, as they are known to be quite disobedient. Of course, you have to keep in mind that each dog has its own character and uniqueness. 

How intelligent are Chihuahua dogs?

Chihuahuas are not among the most intelligent breeds of dogs. While they lack in obedience, Chihuahuas are high in adaptive intelligence, meaning that they will either wait for you at the door when you arrive from work or wake you up before the alarm sounds



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