Do German Shepherds Like to Swim?

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We all know how trainable German shepherds can be. That’s why there’s no surprise when someone asks if German shepherds like to swim.

However, this matter is more complicated than most think. You may hear some saying that German shepherds DO like to swim because they love water, but you’ll also hear some saying the exact opposite. Either way, there’s no denying that there are many questions about the connection between German shepherds and swimming.

Today, we’ll answer those questions once and for all. That way, you can be assured that you won’t be harming your German shepherd by exposing them to water. Before answering the question “Do German shepherds like to swim?”, let’s first talk about a much simpler question still related to the topic.

Do German Shepherds Like Water?

You may be thinking “German shepherds don’t hate water because it’s usual with dogs”. However, the same goes for loving water. Some hate water, some love it.

There are also those that don’t particularly like or hate water. This is also the type of German shepherds that can swim if trained properly.

While some may view this as an insignificant fact, there are actually sophisticated reasons behind their reaction to water.

Who Do German Shepherds Like/Hate Water?

There are many connections between German shepherds and loving or hating water. One such connection is how they grew as puppies. This can go into three ways:

  • A German shepherd who used to bathe with you or even exposed itself to water in its own volition may come to love them as they grow.
  • A German shepherd that had a traumatic experience involving water may hate, or more precisely, fear water.
  • A German shepherd without any knowledge of water will neither love it or hate it. You can then assume that the German shepherd can swim if they intend to.
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Of course, the personality of the German shepherd also matters. Particularly, a courageous or adventurous dog may want to explore what water is.

Different Types of Water

Despite how great it is to learn that German shepherds like to swim, you should remember to limit your adventurousness.

There are different types of water, including saltwater and freshwater.

Since German shepherds usually swallow a bit of water when they swim, it’s recommended to only let them roam in freshwater.

Plus, ingesting salt water can lead to health problems such as dehydration or vomiting. Take into consideration the ocean waves and current as well, since they may make swimming harder.

So even if your German shepherd likes water, remember to take precautions.

Can German Shepherds Swim?

There isn’t a specific answer to this question. However, in general, German shepherds can swim. It’s just a matter of loving or hater water that determines whether they can be trained. That’s why we talked about the previous topic first.

Regardless, you might be having many questions in your mind. So to understand if it’s true that a German shepherd can swim, let’s answer those questions one by one.

Are German Shepherds Natural Swimmers?

German shepherds can swim because they’re athletic and strong swimmers. However, they are not natural swimmers. Unlike other breeds, they weren’t made for swimming.

However, through practice and training, German shepherds can be great swimmers. Still, they can’t achieve the level of swimming that natural swimmers have.

A prime example of natural swimmers is Labrador and Golden Retriever, which leads us to the next question.

Can You Breed Natural Swimmer German Shepherds?

There are some German shepherds that are natural swimmers, but these dogs are mixed breeds. In short, it all comes down to genetics.

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For example, if you’ve been asking yourself if German shepherds have webbed feet, the answer is no. They don’t have the proper genetics.

However, Labrador and Golden Retriever have such traits. So if they were bred together with a German shepherd, you’ll get a natural swimmer German shepherd dog.

There are many other traits that a natural swimmer breed has. This includes leg length, coat, and more. Either way, you can still teach your German shepherd to be swimmers.

How to Teach German Shepherds to Swim

Teaching a German shepherd to swim can be difficult, especially if your dog had some bad memories of water. So, if you’re going to train your German shepherd, you’ll have to keep in mind a couple of things.

But first, make sure that your German shepherd can swim without fear of the water.

Step-by-Step Guide to Dog Swimming

German shepherds may be trainable, but you still must have patience in order to properly train your dog.

Don’t worry, though. There are only a few steps in teaching your German shepherd to swim. But keep in mind that you need to do it several times.

  • Firstly, you must settle on still water for your dog’s training ground.
  • Let the German shepherd’s toes should touch the water. Then, slowly submerge your dog in the water.
  • Consider getting in the water as well so you can monitor the movements of your German shepherd’s limbs. They must be actively kicking and moving.
  • Give your German shepherd treats after accomplishing your goals.

After doing the aforementioned steps repeatedly, the German shepherd should already get used to swimming. If that happens, you may proceed with exposing your dog to moving waters.

Necessary Equipment

When teaching your German shepherd to swim, it’s important to have the equipment necessary. The following are some of the necessary equipment:

  1. Dog Life Jackets: To avoid drowning, a life jacket is necessary for your German shepherd. Make sure your dog fits perfectly in the jacket so it won’t cause problems later.
  2. Dog Goggles: Your German shepherd’s eyes are also sensitive to water. It is therefore recommended that you buy goggles for your dog.
  3. Dog Collar: A dog collar is used for two reasons: to spot your German shepherd instantly and to have something to grab on when your dog is drowning.
  4. Dog Swimming Leash: A swimming leash is a great way to monitor your German shepherd without getting yourself wet. Just make sure you don’t make it so tight to the point where your dog gets suffocated.
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This equipment is for preparations with common problems involving dog swimming. That’s why it’s important to know these problems in advance.


After reading this blog post, you should already know the answer to the question, “Do German shepherds like to swim?”.

With this knowledge, you are now capable of taking proper care of German shepherds, at least when it comes to swimming.

Plus, your many questions about German shepherds and swimming are now answered. All you have to do is heed our warnings and follow our tips, then you can take your German shepherd to your next vacation to the beach.

With that, you can now help your dog on its way to learning how to swim. Just make sure that your German shepherd likes to swim, otherwise, you’ll be forcing him to do so.

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