Can Beagles Swim? [With Photos & Video]

Beagles are no dolphins; generally speaking, they take to water the way fish take to bicycles.

Like all living things, though, no two beagles are exactly the same.

So, can Beagles swim? 🤔

The short answer is YES.  Some of them are naturals.  Others . . . may need a little help.👍

Do Beagles Like Water?

Most Beagles aren’t too thrilled about being in the water.  Some will wade until it hits their stomach and then turn around, and others may not make it past their knees.

If you do need to put your Beagle in or near water, make sure to watch its response; being taken out of its comfort zone with regards to submersion in water can create a panic response in Beagles.

Even if your Beagle naturally takes to swimming, this isn’t necessarily the same as enjoying being in the water.  Survival instincts are different than actions done for pleasure, after all.

How much a Beagle enjoys water may also differ depending on what form that water takes. Most Beagles hate showers and the rain but may enjoy playing in the water on the beach.

The main difference between these two scenarios is that the dog can control how much water they’re in contact with when having fun in the ocean.

They may not go for a full swim, but don’t be surprised if your Beagle enjoys dipping its paws into the sea!

At the end of the day, though, you can lead a dog to water, but you can’t make it drink.

If your Beagle is really averse to H2O, there’s not much you can do to change its natural predilections.

You should still be able to get it to swim, but it may never enjoy doing so, and that’s just something you’ll have to accept.

Are Beagles Natural Swimmers?

Beagle dog swimming and crossing a pond

You guessed it…

Swimming in Beagles varies from individual to individual.  Some Beagles will take to it quite naturally and immediately, but others will refuse even to get their paws wet.

They do not have a reputation as water dogs—quite the opposite, in fact—but liking being in the water and knowing how to move through it are two different things.

You may not ever get your particular Beagle to enjoy swimming, but that doesn’t mean it can’t learn how to do it.

Beagles may not be the first breed that comes to mind when thinking about dogs that are good swimmers, but most of them can be trained to keep their heads above the water.

Michael Phelps, they are not, but if all you’re looking for is for your pet to be able to move through water without going under, then no fear: hope is not lost.

And like most other dogs, swimming is a natural skill for Beagles, and most can do it quite well without any specialized training.  Just because they can swim, though, doesn’t mean they’re going to be enthusiastic about it.

Can Beagles swim?  Sure.

Are they water dogs?  Nope, and they never will be.

Even if you have a Beagle that swims like an Olympian, the breed as a whole will never be known for its positive relationship with water.

How Do You Know If Your Beagle Can Swim?

Figuring out whether your Beagle can swim follows the same method as any other breed.

Do dogs automatically know how to swim?  Most do.

That’s where we get the doggie paddle from, after all.  If your pup naturally takes to this swimming stroke, then you know they’re a natural swimmer.

To test this on your Beagle, place it in a pool of water deep enough that it can’t stand.  If it starts a perfect doggie paddle, congratulations—your Beagle swims!

If it looks to be struggling, or if its butt falls under the water, then it’s not doing so hot, and you need to take it out of the water and put it back on dry land asap.

Check out the video below! 👇

How Can You Teach Your Beagle to Swim?

As mentioned above, some Beagles take to swimming quite naturally, while others may find it difficult to stay afloat.

Seriously…

If you really think it’s important that your Beagle knows how to swim, the most helpful thing you can do is to start getting it used to be in and around water while it’s still young.  Habits that are formed as puppies will be taken with your dog into maturity.

The key is to always make swimming—and just being in water—a pleasant experience.

Some people think exposure therapy is the best way to get over mental hurdles, but what works for humans may not work as well for dogs.

If your Beagle, like many of its breed, has a natural disdain for the water, don’t toss it into a deep pool all at once.  Try to persuade your Beagle to join you in the water; if it wants to come, it will do so in its own time.

Beagle puppy swimmimng for the first time

Remember: a single negative experience can traumatize your pup and undo all of the progress you’d been able to make before it.

It’s best to start small: rather than a pool, wait for it to rain and try your Beagle out in a puddle.

Before even thinking about submersion, be sure to get your dog used the idea of simply being wet.  With the Beagle’s natural aversion to water, this first step will be a challenge on its own to overcome.

Once it gets used to being wet, you can start it in shallow pools when they can still stand without any difficulty.  Use a dog lifejacket to take away any concerns you may have about safety in this critical training stage.

Once it adjusts to that, it’s time to try your Beagle out on the big leagues: deeper pools in which its paws can’t reach the bottom.

Although most Beagles will automatically start to doggy paddle, it’s essential that you stay close by, both in case anything goes wrong, and as a form of moral support.

Don’t underestimate the depth of canine emotion!  Having mommy or daddy there to support it may make all the difference between a Beagle’s success and failure maneuvering through the water.

You can always offer a helping hand if needed by supporting your Beagle with a hand on its stomach or by gripping its lifejacket.

Speak in a calm voice and project as much peacefulness as you can manage; a Beagle is much less likely to panic if it sees its owner has everything under control.

Like with any other training, you should have rewards for your Beagle when it does well. After your dog takes its first steps in the water, give it lots of love and kisses and reward it with a treat.

Keep the association with entering water as a positive experience, and soon your Beagle will be wagging its tail as it approaches a tide.

Benefits Of Swimming For Beagles

Beagle on leash standing near the lake

I finally understood that…

Regardless of how naturally they take to it, there’s no denying that there are lots of benefits that come from Beagles swimming.

The particular muscles that are used during swimming help promote better toning and protect against bone frailty, both of which are prevalent health concerns when it comes to adult Beagles.

As a “no impact” activity, swimming also offers Beagles an opportunity to get all the exercise they need without jostling joints.

The short legs on Beagles can come with some chronic joint pain, and swimming is a great way for these dogs to stay in shape while not making those conditions worse.  It’s also excellent cardio and aerobic exercise, strengthening their hearts and lungs.

Swimming also can help a Beagle calm down and get better sleep.  Beagles are energetic dogs, and swimming is one of the best ways to burn that excess energy off.

After a swim session, most Beagles will be ready for laydown and deep, uninterrupted sleep.

Finally, as frequently forgotten as it is, swimming is a great form of temperature regulation for Beagles.

Without the ability to sweat, dogs are left to disperse heat through panting and via their extremities, but in the height of summer months, these methods may simply not be enough.

Taking a swim is a great way for your Beagle to cool down fast and prevent the serious side effects of overheating.

Swimming is a fun (especially during summer) activity for you and your Beagle but keeping your pet safe in the water needs to be a priority. 😉

 

Audrey Silverman About The Author: Audrey Silverman is an experienced editor and writer based in New York. Previously, she worked for Penguin Random House, editing books by Anne Rice, Art Garfunkel, Toni Morrison, and more. She is also a lifetime dog-lover and has been the proud owner of two rescue pups. When not writing or editing, she can be found working in non-profit development.