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Does a Doberman Have Webbed Feet & Can They Swim? Facts & FAQ

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

doberman swimming pool

Does a Doberman Have Webbed Feet & Can They Swim? Facts & FAQ


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg  Photo


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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If you have ever seen a Doberman near the water, you know that they love to get wet, which causes many people to wonder if they have webbed feet like the Dachshund or Labrador Retriever. Dobermans don’t actually have webbed feet, but they love the water. Unfortunately, they are not natural swimmers. Keep reading as we discuss if they are how you can train them to be so you can keep your dog safe and happy.

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Do Dobermans Like to Swim?

Yes. Dobermans love getting wet and often make a beeline for the water when they can. They typically enjoy splashing around in the water and have plenty of fun, especially if they have company.

doberman swimming with ball toy on its mouth
Image by: Светлана Бердник, Pixabay

Are Dobermans Good Swimmers?

Unfortunately, Dobermans do not take to swimming naturally and are usually not great at it. Part of the problem is that they have little fat to help them stay afloat. They are also extremely muscular and have deep chests that make it hard for them to stay afloat or tread water, so it’s best to keep them out of deep water.

Where Can I Take My Doberman If They Enjoy the Water?

Doberman in the River
Image by: ChocoPie, Shutterstock

Swimming Pool

A child’s hard plastic swimming pool can be a great way to help your Doberman enjoy the water without getting into trouble. However, it can take them time to get used to it because they will have to step over the walls to get into the water, but once they do, they will enjoy splashing around.


You can let your Doberman cool off and enjoy the water on the beach or shore of a lake. They will appreciate the gradual deepening of lake water, making it a good place for teaching your pet how to swim, and they can splash around at a comfortable depth. They will also enjoy the ocean beach but might be afraid of the waves, and you also need to worry about undercurrents and other issues, so it’s best to wait to go to the beach until your dog is familiar with swimming.


A river or creek can be a great place to let your Doberman splash around and have fun without worrying about drowning, as long as the river isn’t too deep. Most dogs love to explore the water and rocks in a shallow river, and many dogs like to bark at and chase the bubbles that form.

How to Train a Doberman to Swim

Yes. While we recommend hiring a professional trainer to help your dog swim due to the risk of drowning, it’s not too difficult to do it yourself by following a few simple steps:

mother looking after her daughter and their doberman dog at the beach
Image by: Purino, Shutterstock

1. Get Your Doberman Accustomed to the Life Jacket

Get your dog used to wearing the life jacket long before you get to the water. Many people like to use it as a dinner jacket that they fasten when it is time to eat, to help associate the life jacket with positive experiences.

2. Pick Your Training Location

We recommend spending time finding the best possible location to train your Doberman for swimming. A prime location is a lake with a gentle slope into the water. There should also be no water current or waves that might scare the dog. It’s also a good idea to choose a location with few to no other people or dogs that might distract your pet and cause them to lose focus.

3. Walk Along the Water

With your dog on a leash, walk slowly along the water’s edge, and pay attention to how your dog reacts. Most Dobermans will start to put their paws into the water and play around, showing that they are ready for more.

doberman and his owner near the lake
Image Credit: Piqsels

4. Get Into the Water

Once your dog puts their paws in the water, it’s a good idea to get into the water yourself to show the dog that it’s safe and that you are having fun. Most dogs pay attention to their owner and like to do what they are doing, so your pet will likely relax and get into the water much faster once they see you doing it.

5. Play Games

Once you and the dog are in the water getting wet, you can help ease any tension and help the dog start having fun by playing a game of fetch or something similar. Start by throwing the ball directly to your pet, increasing the distance that they need to travel to get it.

divider-dog pawIs Swimming Good for My Doberman?

Yes. Swimming is a fantastic exercise for your dog that will help them stay healthy. It burns calories much faster than walking or running and will help cool your pet down on hot days. It also provides plenty of mental stimulation for your pet and will be a strong bonding experience for you both.

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Unfortunately, Dobermans do not have webbed feet and are not particularly good swimmers due to their deep chests and slender, muscular bodies. However, being unable to swim doesn’t stop them from having a good time splashing and playing on the beach or in the river. If your pet is still a puppy, you can train them to swim and have a good time by choosing a quiet location where they can get accustomed to the water. Swimming provides plenty of mental and physical stimulation and is a great bonding experience.

Featured Image Credit: Victoria Rak, shutterstock

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