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Do Maltipoos like Water? How to Help Them Enjoy The Water

Written by: Greg Iacono

Last Updated on July 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

maltipoo walking in the sand

Do Maltipoos like Water? How to Help Them Enjoy The Water

As one of the most popular “designer” dogs to be bred in the last few decades, the Maltipoo is a cross between a Maltese and a Toy (and sometimes Miniature) Poodle. The result is a fun, energetic, happy, and affectionate dog that’s small, nearly hypoallergenic, and a dream to care for. Many potential pet parents may wonder if the Maltipoo likes water and can swim.

It depends on the genes the Maltipoo inherits. Poodles are known to be excellent swimmers, but Maltese are not. In many cases, your Maltipoo will love the water and swim like a champion, but occasionally, you’ll find one that, thanks to having more Maltese than Poodle, isn’t fond of the water or frolicking in it. Again, it depends on their genetics, as all dogs have unique likes, dislikes, and tendencies. Generally, Maltipoos like the water and swim when possible, but some do not.

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Can All Dogs Swim?

A long-held belief about dogs is that all of them can swim and are born with the innate ability to do so. However, this belief is far from the truth. Many dogs can swim and love the water, and some breeds were developed to retrieve waterfowl. Others might not be great swimmers but can be taught to become good swimmers. However, more than a few dogs aren’t great swimmers and don’t like being in or near the water, no matter how much fun everyone has.

Most breeds that don’t like swimming are brachycephalic, like the Pug and the Bulldog. For example, Bulldogs have a pushed-in face unsuitable for breathing when swimming, a barrel-shaped body, and tiny legs. Combined, these are not the traits of a great swimmer.

Although they like splashing around in shallow water, Pugs have similar problems as Bulldogs due to their pushed-in face and short legs. Boxers, Basset Hounds, Bull Terriers, Dachshunds, Corgis, and Shih Tzus share the same tendencies. Some may like the water and have fun getting wet, but most will stay as far away from it as they can because swimming isn’t an area where they excel.

dogs swimming
Image Credit: Carola Kpunkt, Pixabay

Can You Teach a Maltipoo to Swim?

Many dogs have the innate ability to swim and, if they find themselves in deep water, will do the ubiquitous “doggy paddle.” Because Maltipoos are part Poodle, and Poodles were initially bred many years ago to be water retrievers, many Maltipoos love the water, and you can teach them to swim with little effort.

If your Maltipoo is more Maltese, you might be able to teach them to swim, but, on the other hand, they might want to learn something else. Your average Maltese would rather snuggle than swim any day!

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The 6 Steps to Train a Maltipoo to Swim

If your Maltipoo seems to like the water but isn’t a great swimmer, don’t worry. If they’re up for the challenge, you can teach a Maltipoo to swim by following the steps below. Just be patient, listen to your pet, and allow them to learn at their own pace.

1. Introduce Your Maltipoo to the Water Slowly

Tossing your Maltipoo into the deep end of the pool, river, lake, or ocean is never recommended when teaching them to swim since it can scare them into never wanting to try swimming again! It’s much better to introduce them slowly.

One of the best methods is to take your Maltipoo to a lake or beach and let them hear the water, feel it under their paws, and get their feet wet if they want to. Some Maltipoo pups will be okay with that, while others might surprise you and jump right in!

2. Start in the Shallow Water

Once your Maltipoo has gotten used to the idea that water is wet and fun to touch, you can let them start playing in shallow water where they can get wetter, but their paws can still touch the ground. This “safety zone” lets your pup get used to being in the water and lets them know it’s secure to do so.

maltipoo swimming
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

3. Get in the Water With Your Maltipoo

It’s much easier to teach a Maltipoo, or any dog, to swim if you’re in the water with them. Your puppy will feel much safer seeing you in the water and will be better able to “let go” and have a good time.

4. Give Your Maltipoo Plenty of Reassurance, Praise, and Patience

Just like teaching a human to swim, you must give your Maltipoo plenty of time to get used to swimming. Plenty of praise and positive feedback are necessary to let your pup know everything is okay. Holding them under their belly while they paddle around is a good idea also, although some might not need the extra help.

Image Credit: Elena Bennett, Shutterstock

5. Bring Other Dogs That Love to Swim

This step is only possible if you have another dog that likes to swim or have a friend or family member with one. It’s much easier for your dog to enjoy something if other dogs are enjoying it at the same time, and they see and feel their joy and happiness. It can be beneficial if you can bring another swimmer your dog knows and gets along with.

6. Don’t Force Your Maltipoo to Swim if They Don’t Like It

This last step is the most critical. If your Maltipoo doesn’t want to swim, doesn’t like the water, and is scared to enter it, never force them to do so. Forcing any dog to do something they don’t want to do is not a good idea and can create a long-term fear of the water they might never get over.

Some Maltipoos don’t like or want to swim, while others might need more time, patience, and exposure to water before they get in there and go for it. If they don’t like swimming, find another activity they like and concentrate on that instead.

maltipoo in the beach
Image Credit: Trevor Fairbank, Shutterstock

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Do Maltipoos Like to Play in the Water?

Like most of the questions we’ve seen today, the answer to this one is a definite maybe. Poodles love to swim and play in the water, and since your Maltipoo is part Poodle, they might love it and have a fantastic time playing in the pool, river, stream, or ocean.

Other Maltipoos might not like playing in the water and shy away from it. Many Maltipoos love playing in the water, even if they dislike swimming. Some will let you know that playing in the water simply isn’t their cup of tea for one reason or another.

Do Maltipoos like Baths?

The typical Maltipoo won’t have a problem taking a bath and, even if they do, will get used to taking them in time. That’s good news because Maltipoos need to be bathed regularly. If you’re lucky, your dog won’t have any problems getting in the bathtub and being bathed, but since all dogs are unique, don’t be surprised or upset if yours isn’t exactly thrilled by the idea.

Before bathing your Malti, thoroughly brush their coat and undercoat with an undercoat rake. Brushing them before bath time will eliminate dead skin (dander), untangle any knots in their hair, and clean out loose dirt, grime, and gunk. This will make it easier to bathe your Maltipoo and shorten the time it takes, which a Maltipoo who doesn’t like water will appreciate.

Maltipoo Shampoo
Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk,Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Do Maltipoos like water? Many do, but, as we’ve seen today, some don’t, especially those who are more Maltese than Poodle. The ones with more Poodle in their genes usually like swimming more because it was bred into their ancestors for thousands of years. Maltipoos with more Maltese might not want to be near the water or want to swim.

Some dogs need extra time to get used to water and swimming, but you’ll still be left with a fantastic friend and loyal pet if they don’t. We hope the information we’ve shared today has been genuinely helpful and answered all your pressing questions about whether Maltipoos like water and swimming. If you’re in the process of teaching your Malti to swim, be patient and give them lots of praise!

Featured Image Credit: Heidi Bollich, Shutterstock

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