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Do Beagles Like Water? Breed Preferences & Swimming Tips

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Dogster Team

Beagle Swimming

Do Beagles Like Water? Breed Preferences & Swimming Tips


Dr. Lorna Whittemore  Photo


Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

A hot summer’s day always calls for a cool-off in the pool or a swim in the lake, and taking your dog along for the adventure is always fun for them. If you own a beagle, you may wonder if their hunting genes mean they like water and can swim.

Beagles are active and adventurous dogs. They are naturally curious and great learners, and they are great at trying new activities like swimming. Typically, Beagles do not like to swim, but with training, they can learn how to. If your Beagle takes to swimming, don’t take it as an indication that it enjoys the water. Your pet could be swimming for survival and not for pleasure.

Are Beagles Natural Swimmers?

Even if your Beagle swims around like a fish, the breed will never be known for its love of water. They are by no means water dogs. They prefer to run around out in the open and through forests than wade in the water, and if they can swim, it doesn’t necessarily mean they love it. Beagles can learn how to swim and learn to do it well, but they are certainly not natural swimmers.

Swimming can be a dangerous activity for unaccustomed dogs, and it should only be done under close supervision and with the assistance of safety equipment such as a life vest.

Beagle Swimming
Image by: Somo_Photography, Pixabay

Do Beagles Like Water?

Beagles were bred for hunting. For hundreds of years, the dogs would spend the entire day hunting with their large pack in varying landscapes. Beagles are hounds, and water interferes with their ability to navigate through scenting.

Beagles simply do not like water; they have a natural aversion to it. While some beagles enjoy frolicking in the water, it is rare, and those beagles are usually trained as puppies. Because beagles are scent hounds that rely on their noses more than any other sense, their dislike of water makes sense. A large body of water is unsettling for Beagles since it can interfere with their ability to smell, which can be likened to being blindfolded.

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Introducing Beagles to Water

Introducing water is the most crucial step in teaching your beagle to swim. A slow start is essential; you can’t just throw your pooch into the deep water to see what will happen. You will likely lose their trust and elevate their aversion to water. Start with a tub or small kid’s pool. On the plus side, their curious nature will also make them more willing. Once you have done this consistently and feel confident, you can move your beagle to a larger body of water.

If your pool has steps, show your beagle where it can enter. Don’t force them but allow them to move forward on their own terms.

Reward your beagle with its favorite treats, which can also be used to lure them into the water.

How Do Beagles Benefit from Swimming?

Swimming is an excellent cardio workout that will benefit your dog’s respiratory and cardiovascular systems and help avoid certain joint-related conditions. It is also ideal for increasing muscle tone and preventing bone degeneration, particularly in older beagles.

If your beagle has just undergone surgery, swimming can be a great exercise to help it recover. Hyperactive beagles can show destructive tendencies, and swimming can be a great outlet for their abundance of energy. Beagles have double coats that help them regulate their body temperature depending on the season, and swimming is a great way to cool them down.

Beagle goes water
Image By: Somo_Photography, Pixabay

How To Keep Your Beagle Safe When Teaching Them How to Swim

If you want to teach your beagle to swim, it is important to do so safely and follow precautions.

  • Never leave your beagle unattended near a pool of water. Accidents can happen, and they can happen quickly. If you are frolicking in a river, rocks can be slippery, and your pup could easily slip into the water. Fencing off your pool or covering it up can be helpful when you are away.
  • Avoid situations where your beagle may feel like its life is threatened, like swimming in strong currents.
  • Keep training lessons short. Beagles can be stubborn and may lose interest if the lessons go on too long.
  • Make sure your beagle doesn’t drink the pool water. It contains chemicals that can harm your dog’s gut health.
  • Invest in a life vest for your dog.
  • Avoid training or taking your beagle for a swim directly after eating. It could cause them to become bloated and affect their ability to float. Wait at least 2 hours before heading to the pool.
  • After swimming, it is crucial to clean your beagles’ ears. Ear infections can result from an accumulation of water, and beagles are more vulnerable because of their big floppy ears.

Final Thoughts

It is vital to understand that enjoying the water and knowing how to move through it are two different things. This rings true for a beagle. While they can be trained to swim, they do not usually enjoy the water and don’t have a natural tendency to dive in when they come across it. Water can be unsettling for them as it interferes with their ability to smell, and using scent is their primary method of navigating. You can train your beagle to join you in the pool, as long as you take precautions. Better yet, you can begin swim training when it is still a pup to make the process easier.

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Featured Image Credit: Wasitt Hemwarapornchai, Shutterstock

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