Can Pugs Swim?

When summer comes, we all want to beat the heat and feel cool. But it takes more for pug lovers. They want their dogs to feel refreshed as much as they do. So they think of having their pugs with them around the swimming pool because they say that dogs have that inherent instinct to swim. Though teaching dogs how to swim might sound fun for the summer season, some are curious, “Can pugs swim?”

Are Pugs Good at that Doggy Paddle?

Some pug owners say that their dogs at good at swimming, while most express disappointment and say that their pugs sink faster than a rock when in water. Which is generally true for pugs? We need to understand that in order to be a good swimmer, dogs must have longer legs and should keep their mouth and nose above the water line. Pugs have shorter legs and short muzzled face. Thus, in order to breathe while swimming, they need to tilt their head upwards. But when they do, their body becomes almost vertical, because their back end would be pointing downward. Due to shorter legs, they also need to paddle extra hard, making them tire easily. What happens next? You guessed it, they begin to sink. Therefore, the body structure of pugs do not allow them to be good swimmers.

Teach a Pug How to Swim

Though pugs are not so good at the doggy paddle, you can still bring him around a pool, or a lake. As mentioned, dogs have the instinct to swim in order to survive. When in water, they would naturally paddle. Because of this fact, you might want to just throw your pug in the water and let him swim, but that would not be a great idea. Yes, your pug would try to swim, but it may not be enjoyable – your pug would only swim for his life. So when thinking of training a pug how to swim, you need to consider a number of safety precautions.

teach your pug to swim

How to Make the Swimming Experience Enjoyable

You need to keep in mind that a pug in water also means water safety hazard. So never be complacent thinking that your pug would do well in the water without your constant supervision. As first impressions have lasting effects, make your pug’s first swim as enjoyable as possible.


  • To prepare, make sure that the water temperature is at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You may also want to place floating toys so your pug can play with them. Make sure that the water is clear of obstacles.
  • To get your pug into the water, you can ask him to join you or you may hold him. Observe if your pug enjoys the water. If he doesn’t, you can take him out and just let him watch you for a while before putting him into the water again. Be patient, as your pug may initially not find it interesting to swim.
  • Others use life jackets to make sure that their pugs don’t drown.
  • If your pug eventually enjoys swimming, that’s an achievement. However, you should take him out of the water before he gets tired.
  • Once out in the water, remember to dry your pug’s wrinkly face. Also, give him water as he needs to be hydrated.

Pugs may not be the best swimmers, but they are the best companions. If you want to teach your pug how to swim, make sure he enjoys it, and don’t take your eyes off him while he’s in the water. Otherwise, experiment with other activities that your pug might find interesting. Just make sure that the activity is not only fun, but most importantly, safe for your pug.