Breeds

Do Poodles Like Water? [Can Poodles Swim?]

In the heat of summer there is nothing like a cooling swim! Many dogs love to swim and play in the water along with us.

As a new pet owner, one of the first things you’re wondering is, can my dog swim? In this post, we will discuss do Poodles like water and, if they can swim, how often you should bathe your Poodle once they hit the beach or pool.

Are poodles good swimmers? Can they swim? Do they like water?

do poodles like water
Do Poodles like water? Can Poodles swim well?

Yes, Poodles do love swimming (well mostly) 

The answer is yes! Poodles are excellent swimmers and love to be in the water. They were bred for hunting ducks back in Germany hundreds of years ago, so swimming is their DNA!

It is a dog breed that appreciates it when you take them with you swimming with you at the beach, river or pool on hot summer days. It’s an excellent way for them to enjoy themselves and burn excess energy.

If your Poodle does like to play around in the water with you, they mustn’t get too much sun exposure while swimming as this could cause skin cancer later on in life. So make sure they have access to shade when playing at the beach or poolside during extra hot summer days!

Poodles are bred to be water dogs and enjoy swimming in lakes or the ocean 

a black poodle at the beach
A Black Poodle at the beach

The Poodle originated from Germany, where it was bred for hunting. It had to be able to dive into the water after the ducks and then swim back with them in its mouth. Poodles are still used today for that purpose by some hunters.

For the vast majority of us Poodle lovers, our water dogs will not be retrieving birds or used as a hunting dog. They will be playing and having fun in the water!

You should always supervise your Poodle when letting them play around water. There’s always a chance that they’ll fall in accidentally if you’re not paying attention.

If you have access to a lake or pond where there aren’t any waves at all, then this would be perfect. Like any new experience, supervise your Poodle until they have enough training and make sure they don’t blindly jump in after other animals (or people!).

If you have a pool at home, this can give your pooch hours of (supervised) enjoyment every day during the summer months. 

Poodles also love playing in sprinklers or hose-water on a hot day 

poodle puppy swims in a pool
A Poodle puppy swims in pool. Some Poodles love water from puppyhood!

I was at a friend’s house the other day, and we were just relaxing in front of her pool. As I looked around, I noticed one of her Poodles going back and forth between us on the lawn. He was going nuts over the sprinkler!

She turns it on for 10 minutes (tank water) a day, and her Poodle goes nuts playing. It cools him down, and he burns a great deal of energy.

Not all Poodles will love it though, her other Poodle wants nothing to do with the sprinkler (but loves the beach). Don’t force a dog to participate in a water activity that it does not enjoy.

Other owners will turn a hose on their Poodle (in a friendly manner) and have cool down playtime in the warmer months.

What to do if your Poodle is scared of water

A dog lover emailed me recently about her new Poodle (who she named Arthur)

I recently adopted a new poodle from the humane society. He’s adorable, but I noticed that he is not a great swimmer despite being called a water dog. It seems to me that it’s something ingrained since his first few years of life and not fear of the unknown since he was fine with bathtub and shower water when we got him.”

Some poodles are very scared of the water, but there is a way you can help them overcome their fear and enjoy swimming.

Here are some strategies and tips on how to deal with Poodle water fear

“So you’ve decided to take Arthur swimming. It’s a great idea! Swimming is a wonderful way to get exercise and spend quality time with your Poodle.” (I love reading and responding to emails – shoot me a photo of your puppy or any questions to hello[at]oodlelife.com)

do poodles like water red curly coat
What do we do if a Poodle does not like water?

However, some dogs are scared of the water or nervous about it, which can make the experience not as enjoyable for everyone involved. With some preparation and practice, there are several ways that you can help make swimming easier for both of you. Here are 3 tips on how to do just that:

Tip One:  If your Poodle is scared of water, you can help them get used to it by throwing treats into the bathtub. Start simple and small! Keep the water shallow. This will practice your Poodle getting all four paws wet AND their nose wet (as they go for the treats)

Tip Two: Make sure the dogs know where they can get out of the water. For safety, it is essential to make sure the dogalways knows where it can get out of the water body. Poodles typically cannot climb pool ladders! Demonstrate to your pup that it has a pathway to safety, and its confidence will increase.

My puppy loves to take a dip in the ocean during summer. But be sure to teach your pup where it can get out of the water safely.

This includes places that might seem obvious to humans. When we think of the beach it seems like there will be an obvious escape – but dogs cannot realise this! Even the beach can be frightening if your poodle puppy does not understand it can “escape” the water at any time.

Tip Three:  Always keep it positive – yelling at a dog will not make it more comfortable with swimming

I know it’s tempting to just yell at your dog when they’re scared of the water, but that won’t make them less afraid. Yelling actually makes dogs more fearful and anxious around you.

The best way to make a dog less afraid of the water is to simply take it in and get it used to being wet.

Walk into the water yourself and call the dog. Your Poodle might not rush in the first or hundredth time you call its name – but this is a game of consistency!

Poodles will need extra grooming after swimming

a gray poodle in the grass outside
A Miniature gray Poodle enjoying the outdoors.

Poodles are a lot of fun on the water; they love to swim and play all day long. However, their coats will require more care after hours of exposure in salt water or chlorine pools. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself brushing and grooming your Poodle more often than before they learned to love to swim!

As Poodles are water dogs, there is a degree of coat resilience when they swim. Other water dogs include the Irish Water Spaniel, the Portuguese Water Dog, and the Lagotto Romagnolo.

These water dogs have webbed paws and a resilient coat. However even a water dog coat is not designed to withstand full immersion in water or mud and sand exposure. This means that there will be more brushing needed after swimming than with other dog breeds.

How to Groom a Poodle After Swimming

If your dog is going swimming or playing on the beach, then you will need more than just a quick rub with a towel afterward. You should be prepared beforehand with all the tools needed for post-swim grooming and cleaning up after an outing.

BEFORE swimming, regular brushing can help reduce the amount of work required on your part after a swim session

AFTER swimming, you will not be able to brush until the coat is fully dry. It would cause discomfort!

Rinse your Poodle will fresh cool water thoroughly. Wash all the way down the skin. Saltwater, mud, sand, dirt, and other debris can get trapped deep in the coat.

For the paws – we recommend having a towel or high-quality pet wipes at hand. These can be used to clean paws (and near the eyes) while the dog is still wet.

Whether your dog is a miniature poodle, toy poodle or standard poodle, their grooming requirements will be similar. This goes for Poodle mix dogs like the Labradoodle or Goldendoodle too. Most will have a Poodle’s coat of wavy or curly hair. A curly coat will absorb the least water but also trap sand and debris.

Will you need to shampoo your Poodle after every swim?

The hypoallergenic dog coat has natural oils that can be stripped away by “over-shampooing.” So we don’t want to wash our dogs too often

However, saltwater is not ideal for this breeds skin or coat, so you should rinse them off thoroughly and anticipate needing shampoo. If your Poodle has played in mud or sand, give them a good bath with shampoo to remove any residue.

Your Poodle will likely be a good swimmer and will love splashing around in the ocean and on the beach. Still, it’s important to remember the extra grooming afterward! This particular care will protect the coat and making sure your puppy looks as handsome as ever!

Poodles: The Ultimate Family Water Dog

As you can see, Poodles are excellent swimmers and love to be in the water.

Poodles are a great dog breed for active families. They love to swim, run, and play fetch. If you have an active family that loves the water, consider adopting a companion dog and becoming a Poodle owner!