Are Beagles Good Swimmers? How to find it out?

Yesterday I was reading a piece of news where a Labrador jumped into a river and saved a drowning cat. Being a beagle parent, a thought provoked my mind, are beagles good swimmers?

With enough training, beagles can be taught to swim. But do not expect them to be great swimmers. They are a breed of hounds and prefer running in the forest and chasing scents over getting wet.

Beagles can swim, few from birth, and few need to be thought. However, they do not particularly like to get wet, so do not expect them to get excited about jumping in the water.

I was curious to find out if my beagle could swim adequately or not. So I put on a lifejacket and took him to a nearby lake, and guess what? He swam but, within a few minutes, came back to the shore. Well, this proved two things; first, my beagle knows how to swim from birth, and second, he hates water.

Although I know a couple of parents whose beagle couldn’t swim at all, so it depends on whether or not your beagle has inherited swimming. But as we all know, beagles are intelligent and quick learners, and you can teach them to swim with few lessons.

Can Beagles Even Swim?

So, beagles can swim, but they usually don’t love water the way some other dogs do. They’re really good at sniffing and exploring on land because that’s what they were originally bred for.

Some beagles might know how to paddle in water right from the start, but others might be a bit nervous or unsure about it. If you want to teach your beagle to swim, you’d need to take it slow and make sure they feel safe.

They can definitely learn to swim with a bit of help and encouragement, especially if you use a dog life jacket to make them feel secure. Just remember, even though they can learn to swim, beagles usually prefer keeping their paws on solid ground.

Do Beagles like to swim?

Generally, beagles do not like to swim. They belong to the hound group of dogs and just like most of the hounds, they were bred to chase scent in the jungle. Beagles would prefer to run in the open than to get wet.

There are three types of dogs out there:

  1. Dogs who can swim
  2. Dogs who can swim but hate water
  3. Dogs who will sink like a rock in the water.

Beagles come in the second category. They don’t hate to swim. They hate water.

My Experience:

One day, I took my beagle, Groot, to a park with a small pond after our usual car ride. Curious to see if he’d like the water, I equipped him with a doggy life jacket.

At first, Groot was hesitant, sniffing cautiously around the pond. Eventually, he dipped his paws in and waded a bit, but quickly returned to dry land, shaking off vigorously.

It was clear that while Groot tolerated the water, his true joy came from playing on land, especially when we got back to his favorite game of chasing his rolled towel.

How to know if your Beagle can already swim?

To know whether or not your puppy has the quality to swim by birth, you will have to put him into shallow water. Most dogs will start paddling in the water as soon as they realize that their paws don’t touch the surface.

Beagles have many qualities but swimming is definetly not top on the list.

However, the chances of a beagle inheriting the quality to swim are 50-50. So before taking your dog on a test swim, make sure to put a dog’s lifejacket on him.

How to Teach a Beagle to Swim?

Beagle swimming

You can start with the beagle’s swimming lessons right from his childhood. It is highly recommended that you start teaching him to swim from his puppyhood. This is because puppies are more open to learning new things and trying something out of their comfort zone.

Step 1

Most importantly, put a dog life jacket on your puppy. It will not only keep your pup safe but also boost his confidence.

These jackets have a handle on them so that you can raise them in case your beagle is feeling anxious in water. Here are the best lifejackets for beagles.

Note: It would be great if you could get a portable kid’s pool for the training.

Step 2

On day one, put your puppy in shallow water. The water level should not be higher than his nose.

Your pup must enjoy the experience of being in water rather than getting scared of it. So try to make it as fun as possible.

Do it for a few days until you feel that your puppy is comfortable and confident being in the water.

Note: If your dog starts panicking or gets overwhelmed, take it out and allow him to take some rest. 

Step 3

Increase the water level of the pool until his feet don’t reach the bottom. Lifejacket won’t allow him to drown and hence, build up his confidence. As soon as your dog realizes that his paws don’t reach the ground, he will start paddling.

Note: In the beginning, hold the handle of your puppy’s lifejacket, and if you see that your puppy’s rare end starts to sink, raise him. When a dog’s rear end starts to sink, their entire body will sink eventually. So make sure to hold him and raise him as soon as you notice it. 

Step 4

When the puppy beagle is in the water, show a treat and let him try to reach it.

Step 5

It is essential to make your pet feel safe in the water, or he will end up hating it. So make sure you are around your puppy, calling out its name.

Well, that’s it, be patient with your beagle, and it will be swimming around within no time. Usually, puppy beagles will learn to swim within a couple of sessions in the deep water.

Benefits of swimming for Beagles

Swimming is a great full-body exercise for a dog. And for a super-active breed like Beagle, it’s the best. Ten minutes of swimming is equivalent to 40-50 minutes of walk. Swimming will drain the energy of your beagle and strengthen its muscles.

If your beagle has minor joint injuries, swimming could do wonders. Swimming in water will help your beagle stretch his joints and quicken the recovery.

Swimming for dogs with elbow or hip dysplasia will keep their heart and lungs healthy by giving them needed exercise. You can read more about this here.

Additionally, swimming will help your pooch cool down during hot summers.

Drawbacks of Swimming for Beagles

As I said, beagles are hounds and not great swimmers. Don’t expect them to swim for more than 10 minutes. This can be dangerous if you take your beagle in deep water. After 15-20 minutes in the water, they will give up on swimming and drown if they are without a lifejacket or support.

NOTE: If you notice your dog drowning, get it out of the water ASAP. If he seems unconscious, then perform CPR. You can give a call to your vet and ask him to guide you to perform CPR. You can also refer to this video of How to Perform CRP on Dogs:

Saltwater in the sea or algae in the lake can damage your dog’s skin and its fur. So make sure you wash him properly with fresh water as soon as you take him out of the water.

Chlorine in a swimming pool can irritate their eyes. Your dog might drink the chlorinated swimming pool water if he feels thirsty, which can be harmful. To avoid this, you can give your dog fresh water before taking it to the pool.

What Other Beagle Parents Have to Say:

I took it to our Instagram community of 19k Beagle Parents and asked them to share their experience with Beagle and swimming.

My beagle, Max, was a bit unsure about water at first, but we took it slow, and now he can’t get enough of it! Every time we’re near a pond or a lake, he’s ready to jump in. He’s not the best swimmer, but he sure enjoys the paddle.

Sarah from Portland, USA

I tried teaching Bella to swim, but it turns out she’s not a fan of water. We gave it a couple of tries with a kiddie pool in the backyard, but she always kept heading back to dry land. It’s okay though; we find other fun activities to do.

Jake from Austin, USA

Oliver surprised us all by taking to swimming really well. I was worried at first because I heard that not all beagles like water, but he was paddling around happily after just a few tries. We always make sure he wears his lifejacket, though, just to be safe.

Olivia from London, UK

I’ve found that swimming is a great way for Daisy to exercise, especially since she has some joint issues. It’s low-impact and really helps her move without too much strain. Plus, it tires her out in a good way!

Vivek from Mumbai, India

Our beagle, Toby, is definitely not a water lover. We’ve tried a few times, and each time he’s more interested in running around the edge of the water than getting in. We respect his preferences and just enjoy walks and fetch instead.

Mia from Atlanta, USA