Do Poodles Like Water? Can They Swim in Pools?
If you own a Poodle or Doodle mix-breed, you might have wondered if you can take your best friend along to a fun swim. Do Poodles enjoy swimming? Do they like water? How can you help your Poodle have the best possible experience if it is his first time going swimming?
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In this article we will explore everything about Poodles and water.
Born to swim – Poodles love water!
- Poodles originally came from Europe, but there is debate about whether they came from Germany or France. Their name in German, Pudelhund, comes from 2 words: Pudel, which means “to splash” and Hund, which is the word for “dog”. In French, they are called Caniche, which comes from Chien Canard- “duck dog”.
- Regardless of which country they first appeared in, they were bred for one purpose- duck hunting. Once the hunter killed their prey, the poodles were commanded to retrieve the fallen birds from the water.
- Though their fancy hairdos are only for show now, at the time, they had a purpose. Trimming around the back and legs lightened the weight of their fur and prevented snagging on debris, while the “fluff spots” around their vital organs and joints protected them from the cold water.
- The pompom on the top of the tail also allowed the hunters to keep track of their dog when they went bounding after prey.
Do Poodles hate water?
- Poodles are not naturally averse to water like some other dog breeds. However, if puppies are not introduced to swimming when young, they may be apprehensive. This is especially true for Miniature and Toy Poodles, which tend to live more “pampered” lives. The less exposure your Poodle had to water and different surfaces such as snow, sand, ice etc. when he was a puppy, the higher the chances that he would dislike the water and take quite some convincing to go in.
- It’s really important to note that even lap dogs can and should lead “normal” dog lives – meaning spending time outside, getting dirty and experiencing different surfaces and surroundings.
- If you are raising a Miniature or Toy Poodle, do not just keep your dog inside on your lap – he needs to get out and explore the world just like his big cousins!
Here are some strategies and tips on how to deal with Poodle water fear
However, some dogs are scared of the water or nervous about it, which can make the experience not as enjoyable for everyone involved. With some preparation and practice, there are several ways that you can help make swimming easier for both of you. Here are 3 tips on how to do just that:
Tip One: If your Poodle is scared of water, you can help them get used to it by throwing treats into the bathtub. Start simple and small! Keep the water shallow. This will practice your Poodle getting all four paws wet AND their nose wet (as they go for the treats)
Tip Two: Make sure the dogs know where they can get out of the water. For safety, it is essential to make sure the dogalways knows where it can get out of the water body. Poodles typically cannot climb pool ladders! Demonstrate to your pup that it has a pathway to safety, and its confidence will increase.
My puppy loves to take a dip in the ocean during summer. But be sure to teach your pup where it can get out of the water safely.
This includes places that might seem obvious to humans. When we think of the beach it seems like there will be an obvious escape – but dogs cannot realise this! Even the beach can be frightening if your poodle puppy does not understand it can “escape” the water at any time.
Tip Three: Always keep it positive – yelling at a dog will not make it more comfortable with swimming
I know it’s tempting to just yell at your dog when they’re scared of the water, but that won’t make them less afraid. Yelling actually makes dogs more fearful and anxious around you.
The best way to make a dog less afraid of the water is to simply take it in and get it used to being wet.
Walk into the water yourself and call the dog. Your Poodle might not rush in the first or hundredth time you call its name – but this is a game of consistency!
How do you teach a Poodle to swim?
If your Poodle has never been in the water yet, you can gradually introduce him to swimming. Make sure to utilize treats that he enjoys or toys that motivate him to make the experience as positive as possible!
Ideally you want to pick a natural body of water for your dog’s first swim. The reason is that if he cannot see the ground, he will be much more trusting and able to commit to wading in deeper and deeper. If dogs can see the bottom of e.g. a swimming pool, they tend to be much more afraid!
The best places to teach your Poodle to swim are lakes that have shallow areas, or slow-moving, shallow rivers. If you live in an area with a lot of rainfall, even getting your Poodle to play in puddles is a great first step!
- Choose a location with shallow water. Your Poodle should be able to very gradually wade in deeper and deeper.
- If your Poodle likes the company of other dogs, ask some friends to bring their dogs. Dogs learn to swim much faster if they are surrounded by their friends and are playing with them together in the water!
- Have your Poodle wade into the water. Don’t force him to swim at all. Simply give him treats or throw his toys to positively encourage him.
- If your Poodle is in the water far enough to just about swim, call him in a really happy and encouraging voice, You can also coax him with a treat or two. As soon as he starts swimming towards you, give him a treat and then let him return to more shallow water.
- The shorter you make the actual “swim intervals” in the beginning, the quicker your Poodle will learn. One of the most common mistakes is that owners try to push their dogs too far, too soon on their path to learning to swim. The more patient you are, the faster your Poodle will swim in the long run!
Poodles will need extra grooming after swimming
- Poodles are a lot of fun on the water; they love to swim and play all day long. However, their coats will require more care after hours of exposure in salt water or chlorine pools. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself brushing and grooming your Poodle more often than before they learned to love to swim!
- As Poodles are water dogs, there is a degree of coat resilience when they swim. Other water dogs include the Irish Water Spaniel, the Portuguese Water Dog, and the Lagotto Romagnolo.
- These water dogs have webbed paws and a resilient coat. However even a water dog coat is not designed to withstand full immersion in water or mud and sand exposure. This means that there will be more brushing needed after swimming than with other dog breeds.
How to Groom a Poodle After Swimming
If your dog is going swimming or playing on the beach, then you will need more than just a quick rub with a towel afterward. You should be prepared beforehand with all the tools needed for post-swim grooming and cleaning up after an outing.
BEFORE swimming, regular brushing can help reduce the amount of work required on your part after a swim session
AFTER swimming, you will not be able to brush until the coat is fully dry. It would cause discomfort!
Rinse your Poodle will fresh cool water thoroughly. Wash all the way down the skin. Saltwater, mud, sand, dirt, and other debris can get trapped deep in the coat.
For the paws – we recommend having a towel or high-quality pet wipes at hand. These can be used to clean paws (and near the eyes) while the dog is still wet.
Whether your dog is a miniature poodle, toy poodle or standard poodle, their grooming requirements will be similar. This goes for Poodle mix dogs like the Labradoodle or Goldendoodle too. Most will have a Poodle’s coat of wavy or curly hair. A curly coat will absorb the least water but also trap sand and debris.
Will you need to shampoo your Poodle after every swim?
- The hypoallergenic dog coat has natural oils that can be stripped away by “over-shampooing.” So we don’t want to wash our dogs too often.
- However, saltwater is not ideal for this breeds skin or coat, so you should rinse them off thoroughly and anticipate needing shampoo. If your Poodle has played in mud or sand, give them a good bath with shampoo to remove any residue.
- Your Poodle will likely be a good swimmer and will love splashing around in the ocean and on the beach. Still, it’s important to remember the extra grooming afterward! This particular care will protect the coat and making sure your puppy looks as handsome as ever!
Do Poodles dislike being bathed?
- Yes, some indeed do not like being bathed at all! This can be due to owners using the wrong shampoo for their Poodle, not getting the dog used to being bathed as a puppy or – the worst case – the Poodle’s coat is already so tangled and matted that it hurts the dog to be bathed!
- If you get your Poodle used to being bathed about every 3-4 weeks as a puppy, bathing him later in life will be easy-peasy.
- Make sure that you brush your Poodle’s coat before bathing him. Otherwise you could literally felt his fur! Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner that will leave his hair smooth and shiny.
- You should combine bath time with something pleasant for your Poodle: It could be a special treat afterwards, getting to play with his favorite toy or getting a massage from you. If you attach a positive association to it, your Poodle will like being bathed much better.
Can Poodles go Boating?
Poodles are excellent boating dogs with their love for the water. To make things safe and easy for a poodle to enjoy boating, you might want to install a dog ladder on the boat and attach a safety line to your poodle’s harness so that they don’t end up going overboard. Poodles new to boating may need to get used to the boat and its rocking motion while also practicing getting in and out before taking the first trip.
Can Poodles Swim in the Ocean?
Poodles can swim in the ocean as well as any other body of water. However, be sure to bring plenty of fresh drinking water so they don’t drink the saltwater. Saltwater can be very harmful to poodles if they drink too much of it. Also be sure to bring shade with you so that your poodle does not overheat.