Can Irish Doodles Swim?

Irish Doodle’s are known for being social and friendly, but you may wonder if they do well swimming or if they can even swim. So can Irish Doodles swim?

Today, many people feel drawn to the Irish Doodle breed of dog, which is one of the newer breeds and considered a designer dog.

can irish doodles swim
Can Irish Doodles swim?

We’ll take a look at the Irish Doodle’s abilities to navigate water and provide some insight to those who want to introduce their Irish Doodle dog to the water. 

A Look at the Breed

A Irish Doodle is a mix of the Poodle and the Irish Setter. The Poodle is a swimming dog or a good swimmer, but the Irish Setter aren’t meant for swimming usually. However, some things to keep in mind are the Poodle’s uncanny ability to swim like a pro due to their web paws

Much like a poodle, the Irish Doodle also has those webbed feet, which is a plus for any dog needing to swim. Another feature that speaks to answer the questions of whether they can swim is their coat, which is a single, thick coat and is lighter than breeds with a double coat such as northern breeds or shepherds. 

So, Can an Irish Doodle Swim? 

Now here’s where it gets tricky. Just because the Irish Doodle has some traits of a dog suited to swimming doesn’t mean your particular dog will do well in the water. 

Just like people, each dog is different and may or may not do well swimming. Yes, generally speaking, the Irish Doodle can swim; however, that may not be the case in every situation. Some considerations include the following. 

  • The personality of the dog
  • Past experiences
  • Current training

Many factors go into the answer. It’s not a simple yes or no, but rather a few factors that determine desire rather than ability. 

irish setter poodle origins
Irish Doodle Vs Goldendoodle breed comparison

Factors to Consider

As previously mentioned, a few factors play a part in whether the Irish Doodle is willing to swim. 

Sure, in theory, they should swim fine. They have the features and are a lightweight breed that shouldn’t have any trouble in the water; however, attitude is everything. 

Past experiences

Depending on the dog’s previous experience, they may not want to swim. If the dog had a traumatic experience with water when they were a puppy, it could create a fear of the water. 

When you expose them to water, rather than naturally attempting to swim, they may freeze up and sink. Although some time and patience can fix these issues sometimes – that’s not always the case. 

Working with Traumas

When a dog has traumas from specific experiences, the best course of action is extreme patience. Dogs will act in various ways when they experience fear. Some dogs freeze up while others may bite or growl. 

If your dog acts fearful or confused around water, it may have experienced an unfortunate event involving water. Remember that you can try to work around the fears and slowly introduce the concept; however, they may never come around. So, be realistic when attempting to work with dog traumas.

irish doodle cost puppy price
How much would you expect to spend to buy an Irish Doodle puppy?

Introducing Your Irish Doodle to Water

The first step to introducing water is to expose them to it when they drink. Try to encourage your dog to play with their water or put a toy in it. Perhaps you can get them to get their feet and face in the water to get the toy or try to retrieve it with their paws. 

You can slowly expose them to the water hose or a very shallow pool in small, slow steps. Get in to show them it’s ok. Make sure the water is very shallow. Eventually, try to take them to a shallow creek or pond and hold them while encouraging them to get in.

 If they do eventually get in, hold them up until they show signs of swimming. Stay close to them when they swim until you feel confident that they are comfortable and can stay afloat. Always stay close when they swim because they might not be a strong swimmer and get tired quickly. 


Some dogs don’t like water, whether they are a water breed or not. Your dog’s personality plays a huge role in whether they swim or not. If your dog shows fear of the water, it may not be a passing phase. 

You can slowly introduce them to the water and allow them to see you get in to ease fears. If you introduce them to water and you are holding them, they may warm up. Just keep in mind that some dogs will never like water. 

You may be able to teach them to swim, but they won’t like it.  The dog will probably avoid it, but it’s best to make sure they can if they ever get into a situation where they need to swim. 

Current Training

Your training style and approach may make all the difference in the world. If you’re patient and calm through training and the introduction of water, your dog will have a better chance of learning. You can also incorporate a few techniques to boost results. 

One technique is the rewards system. Just as you would give the dog a treat for learning a new skill, you can also use treats for learning how to swim. Each time they may make significant progress, offer them a treat they like. 

Don’t treat them every time you give a command, and they don’t comply. That defeats the purpose of training. However, when your dog does what you ask, be sure to treat and give plenty of affection and encouragement. 

cavapoo and maltipoo side by side
Cavapoo and Maltipoo puppy comparison


Even if your Irish Doodle becomes a good swimmer, you always want to take safety measures. These dogs are small and become tired quickly. Continuously monitor your dog when they swim. This point is especially true if you have a swimming pool. 

Some dogs will jump in and not be able to get out because the water weighs them down, and they get tired. Ensure you have a way for them to get out easily or a low platform they can swim to rest. 


The Irish Doodle has traits that make it ideal for swimming if necessary; however, small dogs get tired quickly when they swim for longer than a few minutes. Depending on the personality, they may not like it or refuse for reasons either known or unknown. 

Training and consistency are the keys to get them used to swimming at an early age. Get in the water and let them know you’re there to help them, so they feel confident. Don’t force them in the water, but rather let them get in willingly and give them plenty of love and treats when they do. 

Try working with them as early as possible to get them used to the water. Introduce it slowly and take precautions to make sure they stay safe. You also want to make sure you have safety features if you own a pool in case they fall in. 

If you’re patient, you can teach them to swim for emergencies, but don’t push the issue if they resist or freeze up in the water. With some effort and patience, it’s possible to get them to swim if they need to, but let it be an option.