Can French Bulldog Swim? How to Teach a French Bulldog to Swim

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Some French Bulldogs love water. This does not mean they know how to swim or can swim. Can French bulldogs swim? Most French Bulldogs cannot swim without a lifejacket. A French bulldog who falls into water is too deep to risk drowning. A French bulldog must be constantly monitored near a body of water or a swimming pool.


Can French Bulldog Swim

Can French Bulldogs swim? French Bulldogs are not made for swimming. However, do not be fooled by the various videos on Youtube. Without a life jacket, a French Bulldog can sink like a stone.

Yes, videos show French bulldogs swimming, but this is rare and exceptional. It is possible to teach them to swim, but you must never take the risk unless they wear a life jacket.

What If Your French Bulldog Likes Water?

This is a big problem if you live near a river, or pond, or have a swimming pool in your backyard.

French bulldogs are very playful. If most are content to run and bark at the edge, some brave ones do not hesitate to jump into the water to join children, for example.

French Bulldogs Like To Play With Water

Yes, some love water. They love to cool off during a water fight or grooming on a hot day.

If your children are having fun in a paddling pool, the water should not exceed the height of your dog's shoulders.

If you have a real swimming pool where you can swim, watch your dog like you protect your children. It only takes a few seconds for a French Bulldog to drown.

But They Definitely Can't Swim!

Friends found out the hard way. During a walk at the edge of a pond, their son threw a stick in the water for their dog to go and retrieve it. The dog quickly lost its footing and disappeared under the water. He reappeared but had incredible difficulty staying afloat.

I had to run to get it out. And the water only passed an inch or two above his head!

Why Can't French Bulldogs Swim?

Bulldogs cannot swim primarily due to their build and weight distribution. French Bulldogs are not cut out for swimming with a short muzzle, large head, short legs, and uneven proportions.

With his short muzzle, the French bulldog must tilt its head strongly to be able to breathe. His legs are also very short, and his body is heavy. As a result, it can hardly stay afloat without exhausting itself after a few seconds.

The French bulldog is not the only breed affected. All brachycephalic dog breeds tire quickly in water and can drown in no time.

Be vigilant if you have a swimming pool or live near a body of water. You never know how deep a pond is, even at the edge.


How To Teach A French Bulldog To Swim

Did you learn the answer to the question, can you make a French Bulldog swim? How to teach a French Bulldog to swim? You can teach a French bulldog to swim with the help of a small flotation vest specially designed for dogs.

You will need the following:

1 x French bulldog 

1 x flotation vest

1x stick

Step 1: Get A French Bulldog Floatation Vest

A French Bulldog can only swim with a life jacket, except in rare cases.

Most French Bulldogs will sink without it, and even if yours can swim for a short time, without a life jacket, it will wear out quickly.

Step 2: Get İn The Water With Your Dog

Stay at a reasonable depth for the dog, where he can quickly regain his footing. Be very careful that his head does not go under the water.

Help him keep his head above water and encourage him.

Step 3: Play With The Stick Within Reach.

Stay in shallow water. Keep the stick in your hand and have your dog pull on it.

Make sure he wades while being able to get his footing.

Step 4: Throw The Stick A Little Out Of Reach

When the dog is confident, throw the stick a few feet into deeper water just out of reach.

He won't swim yet, but this gradual approach to deeper water will keep him calmer and still in the game.

Step 5: Throw The Stick Where İt Doesn't Fit

Once you're sure your French Bulldog likes the water and is confident enough; you can throw the stick into slightly deeper water where he won't have a foothold. But, again, be with him at all times.

Encourage him to bring the stick back and remember to reward him when he returns.

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Why Teach A French Bulldog To Swim With A Vest?

Simply because it can save his life, if your dog accidentally falls into the water one day, he will have the right reflexes to try to get back to the edge.

French Bulldogs can't swim in most cases, so the chances of them getting out of a pool are slim. However, it is essential to never leave them unattended near an open swimming pool.


What If Your French Bulldog Likes Water?

Some French Bulldogs love the water because it helps them cool off and regulates their body temperature.

So how can you help your best friend enjoy the water safely?

You can provide a paddling pool for your dog; some are specially designed.

And then, very often, dogs love to have fun with a jet of water. So if you have a garden or lawn that you water regularly, now is the time to have some fun with your dog!

Which Dogs Can't Swim?

Many small dog breeds love water but can't swim. I am thinking in particular of dogs with long bodies and short legs.

Here are some examples of breeds that can't swim, often for the same reasons as the French Bulldog:





Which Dogs Are Good Swimmers?

Other dogs, on the contrary, are like fish in water.

Labrador (webbed toes, dense coat, real ducks!)

Golden Retrievers


Irish Setters

Splash! All About Swimming For Dogs

A desire sounds right now: a good dip in clear and fresh water. At the beach, by the lake, or in a small stream, swimming can be as beneficial for us as it is for our dogs. However, it requires some precautions so that our little four-legged friends can enjoy it safely.

Does Your Dog Know How To Swim?

Yes, dogs do not necessarily know how to swim! They are, after all, land mammals. For some, swimming will be automatic: as soon as they are in the water, they move their legs. This is often the case with certain breeds known as good swimmers, such as Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Setters, Newfoundlands, and Border Collies. For others, a little learning may be necessary or not if it turns out that your dog just doesn't like water (so don't force it!).

So, before letting your dog dive headfirst, ensure he's had his first water dip. This is especially true if you have adopted a dog from a shelter: you may not know what relationship it has with water.

Should Dogs Learn To Swim?

Are you sure your dog can swim? Let's go for a splash! But where? Keep an eye on local regulations: some places do not allow swimming, or even the presence alone, of animals. This may particularly be the case for certain beaches (especially in summer), leisure centers, or even nature reserves.

In authorized areas, choose a place where the water is healthy and, if possible untreated (be careful with swimming pools, which are often treated with chlorine). The ideal for less experienced swimmers is calm water: pond, calm sea, lakeside, avoiding stagnant water.

Did you know that there are canine swimming clubs? Dogs can swim there in complete safety and supervision and water adapted to their skin. If you and your dog are swimmers at heart, you can also indulge in (recreational) water work, paddle boarding, and even, for the most experienced only, surfing!

At the beach, simply avoid swimming if the sea is very rough. However, torrents and small rivers can offer very bucolic swimming opportunities on a nature hike, with full knowledge of the risks and precautions.



Swimming And Dogs: Basic Precautions

Know your dog's swimming level. Start in a safe, shallow place to test its abilities; never force it.

Beware of the risk of thermal shock or hydrocution, which can occur during a sudden entry into the water when the animal is already warm. If this is not taken care of, it can cause unconsciousness and drowning.

Always keep an eye on the bathing dog. For this, the mastery of recall is essential.

Check the bathing place: where are the potential exits? Are there other animals or people there? What are the water's temperature, depth, and currents?

Make sure your dog is always well hydrated, with a transport bowl, for example. With exercise, he can quickly become dehydrated.

Oblige the most enthusiastic about taking breaks: excited by swimming; dogs can get tired without even noticing it.

What Are The Risks Of Swimming İn White Water?

The natural elements can surprise even the best swimmers.

Who says living water says current potential, even if it is not immediately apparent? Even large lakes can be subject to it due to the wind. Mountain torrents, even shallow ones, can flow strong enough to carry an adult person. At sea, pay attention to the outflow currents of baïne and other underwater currents, which cause numerous accidents yearly.

A rule of thumb: if you wouldn't venture there, your dog probably shouldn't either. However, it should not be forgotten that our dogs are not wild animals necessarily used to different terrains, so unless your dog is used to it, do not hesitate to backtrack.

In addition to currents, also beware of aquatic vegetation (or rubbish) in which the dog can be trapped, as well as submerged obstacles: rocks, trunks, and wrecks.

Dogs can drink from the cup too. This can be harmless but can also lead to diarrhea and, in severe cases, present a veterinary emergency (weakening, lethargy, vomiting, abdominal bloating, excessive drooling, convulsions). If yours intentionally ingests sea or lake water, stop swimming and make sure it consumes fresh water.

What Are The Risks Of Swimming İn The Pool?

The swimming pool has the advantage of being in a controlled environment. But that said, he shouldn't necessarily be the first choice for our dogs. Indeed, our swimming pools are often treated with chemicals (including chlorine) that get in between the folds and hairs or even in the orifices and can cause itchy skin.

Go for it if you can fill a small pool with clear, untreated water! Even a plastic paddling pool will make many happy in hot weather. However, be careful to change the water regularly, as bacteria and algae develop in stagnant water.

Finally, if your dog bathes in the pool, he must be able to get out (by steps or a slope). Otherwise, the risk of drowning from exhaustion is high since the dog cannot pull itself out of the pool as we can. For this reason, block access (by covering, for example) to the swimming pool in your absence to avoid accidental falls.

The swimming pool: under certain conditions.

Before And After Swimming

Before the session: avoid feeding your dog before swimming. The risks are vomiting, stomach upset (veterinary emergency), and exhaustion.

During: make sure it is well hydrated, and take breaks. Always supervise a bathing dog.

After: obligatory rinsing, Sea salt, sand, treatment products, algae, and surface bacteria are not allies of the skin, the hair, and even less of the digestive system (the dog licks itself.), ideally, rinse your dog with clear water immediately. Otherwise, dry it carefully until you can shower it. Dry the ears well to prevent ear infections.

Your dog has had a great time! Do not hesitate to offer him small treats or fruit to replenish his energy.

Teaching Your Dog To Swim

Swimming is not something innate in dogs, even if most doggies have this reflex of using their paws to move forward in the water. It is learned gradually. Your support, your understanding, and your encouragement facilitate this learning process.

As with humans, some dogs are better at swimming than others. This is because they have more facilities to evolve in this water element and move in it. Whatever their predispositions, all dogs can learn to swim. You must accompany them during this learning process and ensure that it happens gradually, always in a good mood. How to teach your dog to swim? Our few tips will help you achieve this.

Are Dogs Born Swimmers?

Dogs are not born with the ability to swim. So even if some are much more comfortable than others in the water and find it easier to learn to swim, they all have to go through the first stages of this learning process. Simply, some dogs learn it faster than others.

The relationship to water that dogs have is not the same as ours. But, unfortunately, neither does their depth perception. So you should give your 4-legged friend plenty of time to get used to this element.

Where To Teach Him To Swim?

Of course, choosing a whitewater site for your dog's first contact with water would be counterproductive and even dangerous. The current may be too strong for the animal, even traumatizing it and making this experience harmful for your dog.

It is better, on the contrary, to opt for a calm river, a small lake, or a shallow dog pool. But, of course, ensure that the place is not forbidden to dogs beforehand.

How Do You Get Him Used To Water?

After choosing the ideal place to start learning to swim, it will be a question of getting him used to contact with water little by little.

The key is associating this experience with a positive event in your dog's mind. You will have to lead by example by going into the water (dipping your feet in it) and encouraging him to join you there. Give him time to immerse his paws and familiarize himself with the element. After a few minutes, you can motivate him by using a ball or a floating toy. Throw the object a few centimeters from him to push him to join him and catch up with him. Do not throw him too far so as not to discourage him.

Guide Him Through The Water

Advance gradually in the water to reach a level of depth a little more critical, just enough so that the dog has more feet. Some dogs will instinctively move their legs to float. Others will struggle, which may tire them quickly and cause them to swallow water. If you have difficulty swimming, do not hesitate to help by carrying: one hand under the chest and the other under the abdomen. Observe his progress and let him go for a few moments if you see that he begins to float and swim on his own.

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