Do Beagles Like Water?


Beagle standing next to water

You might have heard that dogs love playing in the water and getting wet. But your beagle starts running away from you whenever it’s time for his bath. Why is that, do beagles like water?

Even after being playful and fun-loving dogs, most beagles do not like water. They have not inherited excellent swimming skills, and that’s why they find water dangerous for them. It is quite common for beagles to show tantrums for baths.

However, associating good things with water and teaching them to swim can help them enjoy being in the water. Further, we will look into why beagles don’t like water and understand things you can do to make them like it.

History of Beagles and Water

Beagles are scent hounds. They were bred specifically for hunting along with humans. Their role was to track scents of small animals like rabbits and chase them.

Some dog breeds like poodles and Golden Retrievers love water. They are ever ready to get wet. They have excellent swimming skills. This is because poodles were bred to hunt ducks and Golden Retrievers to retrieve waterfowl.

Whereas, beagles were bred to chase small animals in the open forests. As small animals don’t run away in the water, beagles hardly had any chance to get in contact with water bodies and develop swimming skills.

So they never got a chance to develop a liking for water,

Reasons Why Beagles Hate Water

There can be more than one reason why beagles can hate water. Let’s have a look at them.

Natural Instinct

As we discussed above, not liking water is just in their instinct. They were never bred to do any water activity. Due to this, they didn’t have any chance to get comfortable in the water.

That’s also the reason why they do not have excellent swimming skills.

They find it dangerous

We don’t jump off the roof because we know we cannot fly, and it’s dangerous for us. Similarly, beagles realize they cannot swim, and that’s why they find water scary.

Negative Association with Water

If your beagle has had a bad experience with water in the past, it will stick in their mind. They will start hating water.

Beagles usually do not like the experience of baths. They cannot stand properly as the floor is wet. Sometimes, the shampoo goes in their eyes. They can associate these bad experiences and start hating water.

Thunder

Beagles are scared of thunderstorms. Your beagle may start associating thunder with rain. This can make them fearful of rain. In such cases, they may refuse to go out to pee.

How to Make your Beagle like Water

beagle in a lake

Just like every other training, the general idea behind this is to associate good things with water. We don’t want our beagle to be fearful of it; we want our beagle to enjoy being in the water.

Gently sprinkle some water on their face. They may try to catch it in mid-air. You can even get a water spray and let them drink water while you spray it. Trust me; dogs enjoy this.

After doing this consistently for a week, sprat water on their entire body; get them wet. But while doing it, make sure they are enjoying it. Try to make it a game out of it. And don’t forget to dry their body and ears properly once you are done.

You can even try bathing them with just the spray. It may take a while, but your beagle will enjoy it.

Tips to make your beagle like Bath

Beagle bathing

I don’t know a single beagle parent whose dog likes to bathe. Beagles just hate the entire bathing experience. I don’t want to brag, but I successfully managed to make my beagle enjoy bathing.

Here are some things I did to make Groot feel comfortable in the bathroom.

  • Do not bathe them outside. First of all, beagles have a short coat, and keeping a wet beagle out in the open will give them cold. And second, keeping them on a leash while bathing can make them feel restrained. So bathe your beagle inside your bathroom, in the bathtub.
  • The primary reason why dogs hate bathing is because the floor is slippery. So put a cloth or a mat on the floor or in the bathtub.
  • Keep them distracted. Ask one of your family members to keep your beagle distracted by offering some treats.
  • Give them some toys to play in the bathtub.
  • Keep the water lukewarm. Not too hot, not too cold.
  • Shapoos can hurt your beagle’s eyes and make it a bad experience. So use a tearless shampoo for a while.
  • Keep talking to your beagle.

Note: If your beagle has some serious anxiety while bathing, then consider seeking the help of a professional groomer. 

Teach Them Swimming

beagle swimming in a pool

Beagles hate water because they cannot swim and find it dangerous. You can help them like water by teaching them to swim.

Here’s how you can teach your beagle to swim:

  1. First and foremost, get a life jacket for your beagle because safety comes first.
  2. Now for the training, you can use a mini pool or even a bathtub.
  3. Put your beagle in the shallow water which no higher than his nose. While doing this, don’t force your dog. Try to make it fun, encourage him to come inside the mini-pool.
  4. Offer him some treats. This will help associate good things with the mini-pool.
  5. After practicing this for a week, increase the water level until his paws don’t touch the bottom. Put your pooch insider the water by holding the above handle on the life jacket.
  6. Once your beagle realizes that his paws don’t touch the ground, he will automatically start paddling.
  7. Gradually allow your beagle to paddle around the mini pool.
  8. After practicing it for a week, take him to a swimming pool or a nearby lake and perform the same thing there.

You may want to take things slow as getting in a large water body can be scary for your beagle. Doing it the right way will ensure that your pooch enjoys the entire experience.

Final Thoughts

With correct motivation and positive reinforcement, you can teach your beagle to like water. However, if your pooch gets anxious or stressed out during the training, please consult a professional training.

Raaj Mehta

I am a parent of two adorable beagles and I share everything I learn about them, along with lots of tips, tricks, and advice.

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