Can Dachshunds Swim? 7 Safety Tips For Summer Adventures

can dachshunds swim

Dachshunds, with their distinctive long bodies and short legs, are a beloved breed known for their lively personality and courageous nature. As summer approaches, many dachshund owners might wonder if their pets can participate in swimming activities. That’s why we decided to reveal the topic ‘’Can Dachshunds swim?’’. 

We will introduce you to the best tips on how to enjoy summer adventures with your wiener dog.

Although swimming is not your Doxie’s cup of tea, there are ways to help your furry friend stay safe in the water.

can dachshunds swim

Can Dachshunds Swim? Are They Good Swimmers?

We all recognize Doxies for their long, narrow build. Thanks to this feature, they don’t do well in the water. So, in case you’re planning to take your wiener on a summer vacation, then you better think twice.

Here’s what you need to know about your Dachshund’s swimming abilities.

Key Physical Traits of Dachshunds:

  • Long Body and Short Legs: Dachshunds were originally bred for hunting small game such as badgers, which involved burrowing into narrow, elongated spaces. This evolutionary trait, while advantageous for burrowing, is less beneficial in water. Their short legs do not provide much propulsion, and their long bodies can make it difficult to maintain a stable, horizontal position in the water.
  • Weight Distribution: Dachshunds typically carry more weight along their spine and have a prominent chest. This distribution can make it challenging for them to keep their hindquarters afloat, leading to a vertical orientation of the body, which is not conducive to efficient swimming.
  • Muscle Composition: These dogs are muscular around the shoulders and front of the body, with less power in the rear. This imbalance further complicates their ability to paddle effectively, as efficient swimming requires strong, coordinated movements from both the front and rear limbs.

Comparison with Brachycephalic Breeds:

Dachshunds’ struggles in the water can be likened to those faced by brachycephalic (short-headed) breeds with short legs, such as French Bulldogs. Brachycephalic dogs have their own set of challenges that stem from their physical characteristics:

  • Flat Skull and Short Snout: Breeds like the French Bulldog have a flat skull shape and a compressed snout, which can complicate breathing even on land. In water, these difficulties are magnified because maintaining a clear airway becomes even harder. The effort to keep their noses and mouths above water can lead to excessive fatigue and increased risk of drowning.
  • Short Legs: Similar to dachshunds, the short legs of French Bulldogs provide little thrust in water. This lack of propulsion can make swimming laborious and inefficient for them.
  • Heavy Torso: Many brachycephalic breeds also have a robust, heavy torso, contributing to a low buoyancy level. This characteristic, combined with their other physical limitations, makes them naturally poor swimmers.

Implications for Dachshund Owners:

Understanding these physical limitations is essential for owners of dachshunds and similar breeds. While some individual dogs may defy the norm and display an affinity for water, most will require careful supervision and support to engage safely in swimming activities. For dachshunds, using a Dachshund life vest can help offset their natural buoyancy issues and make water activities more enjoyable and safer. It’s also crucial to recognize signs of fatigue and distress early, as these dogs may not be able to sustain prolonged physical activity in water.

doxie digging

Safety First: Can Dachshunds Swim Safely?

While not all dachshunds will be natural swimmers, with the right precautions and training, many can enjoy water safely. Here’s what you need to know:

Individual Differences: Like people, each dachshund’s ability to swim can vary. Some may take to the water naturally, while others may struggle or even panic.The best thing you can do for your pet is to gradually introduce him/her to the water. 

We recommend you install a small kiddy pool in your yard so your pooch can experience water adventures. In that way, your dog will not only get used to playing with water but also enjoy a cooling effect in the summer.

7 Safety Tips for Dachshunds During Summer Swims


Ensuring your dachshund’s safety during swimming is paramount. Here are seven tips to keep your pet safe and happy in the water:

Start Slowly: Introduce your dachshund to water gradually. Start in shallow water and encourage them with toys or treats. On a hot summer day, you can reward your furry friend with a frozen watermelon or blueberries. Those healthy snacks can help him/her stay safe from overheating.

can dachshunds swim

Use a Life Vest: A well-fitted life vest is crucial for keeping your dachshund safe in the water. Ensure it’s the right size and comfortably snug.

In case you’re in the search for the appropriate life jacket for your Dachshund, then 

we recommend you to check the Dachshund Shark Vest. It comes with a hilarious shark fin on the back and features high-quality buoyancy panels.

dachshund life vest

Another pick that will suit the unique Doxie body is the Camouflage Dachshund Swimming Vest. Available in eye-catching vivid camouflage patterns, your doxie will not only stay safe but also be noticed in water adventures.

can dachshunds swim

Always Supervise: Never leave your dachshund unattended near water. Their unique body shape can lead to fatigue or distress quickly. Our wieners have short legs and they can get tired very quickly.

Avoid Deep Waters: Keep your adventures to shallow waters where your dachshund can feel the bottom, as deep waters can be intimidating and risky.

Check the Temperature: Ensure the water is not too cold, as dachshunds can be sensitive to lower temperatures, which can lead to shock or hypothermia. Make sure your Dachshund is not shivering in the water and keep the top of his/her head always wet. You can sprinkle his/her coat on the top to help him/her stay safe from overheating as well.

Rinse After Swimming: Always rinse your dachshund after swimming to remove chlorine, salt, or lake residues that can irritate their skin. Just like in humans, sea salt can make their skin itchy. Therefore, always take with you a bottle with tap water to rinse your dog’s coat.

Watch for Fatigue: Keep swim sessions short and watch for signs of fatigue. Dachshunds are energetic but can tire quickly in the water.

can dachshunds swim

Can Dachshunds swim? Wrapping up

Taking your Dachshund to swim with you definitely represents a memorable activity for both of you. Although many of you may say that your Dachshunds can swim perfectly without a life vest, we still advise against trying this. It only takes a split second for it to end tragically with water entering your pet’s lungs. Swimming should be an unforgettable and relaxing experience for both you and your dog. Therefore, always bring a life swimming vest that will keep your furry friend safe.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *