Basset Hounds are considered large dogs, even though they are low to the ground. This article will dive deep into Basset Hounds and swimming; Can Basset Hounds swim, and Should you let a Basset Hound anywhere near water? I have been around Basset Hounds for the past decade and let me tell you, not all Basset Hounds love the water. It is more of a personal choice, to be honest.
Can Basset Hounds Swim?
Basset Hounds have the ability to swim. However, because of the way their bodies are built, Basset Hounds are not the best swimmers in the dog world. Your Basset Hound might enjoy the water, but because of their large body and short legs a.k.a paddles, they are going to get tired very fast and sink. Even with practice and patience, the Basset Hounds will not enjoy swimming.
Basset Hounds are a lovable and loyal breed of dog with big personalities. They are easily recognizable by their comically long ears and droopy eyes, but one less well-known trait is that they do not enjoy swimming very much. While some breeds may be natural-born swimmers, Basset Hounds typically have shorter legs that make it difficult for them to swim in deeper waters.
Additionally, many of these dogs have excess skin or heavy fur which make it almost impossible to keep them afloat. As a result of these factors, owners should avoid taking their Basset Hound for a dip into the pool unless it is necessary for medical reasons.
Even though Basset Hounds are not known as water dogs, they can still learn how to swim with patience and guidance from their owner. There are a couple of ways to teach your Basset Hound how to swim and have a swim buddy on hot summer days.
Basset Hounds and Swimming
Many Basset Hounds can swim, however, they do not have the required stamina to stay afloat for long periods of time. Basset Hounds are heavier-set, muscular dogs with short legs and are not well-built for swimming. Basset Hounds were bred to be hunting dogs and water was not part of the equation, so swimming is something that isn’t natural for them.
However, even though Basset Hounds are not built for swimmers, they will still enjoy the water on hot summer days. They are not very physically active dogs and you will probably end up carrying your Basset in the pool. If you want your Basset Hound to have fun around water, additional training will be required.
Supplies You Will Need To Teach Your Basset Hound How To Swim
Basset Hounds are very stubborn dogs. Because of this, training them to swim is harder than training other breeds of dogs. It is important to make sure your Basset Hound has a positive experience while learning, otherwise, it will push them away from the water for good.
Having the proper tools and supplies will be very helpful in teaching your Basset Hound to swim. First things first, a life vest is something that you must have. A life vest is both a safety precaution and a tool that will keep them from submerging under the water. To be honest, dog life vests are very inexpensive. I got this life vest for my Basset Hound on amazon.com. Size L or XL will be the best fit for your Basset Hound.
Basset Hounds love treats! So, this puts treats on the list of supplies that you need to teach your Basset Hound how to swim. Always have some treats and reward your Basset Hound every time he does a great job. You have to pay attention to which treats you will choose because some of the treats will turn gross because of the water. It’s a great idea to bring your Basset’s favorite toy and give them that instead of a treat.
How To Teach Your Basset Hound To Swim
Basset Hounds are very smart dogs and will learn new things only if they are interested in them. However, their large bodies and short legs make swimming a more difficult task, but still, there are ways to teach your Basset Hound to swim:
- Take your Basset Hound directly to the water. Make sure that you find a calm shallow spot.
- Put on the life vest and slowly introduce them to the water. It really helps if you are also in that water. That will make them feel safer.
- Move around the water and encourage your Basset Hound to follow you around. Make sure that you are not moving very quickly. You can get away from them and then show them the treat or their favorite toy.
- Once you feel that your Basset Hound is comfortable in the water, go little bit deeper. Show them how to move their paws and paddle with them.
- Acquire a kiddie pool and place it in your backyard. This is a great way to get your Basset used to water.
- He might hesitate to get into the pool and you will have to place a treat or a toy inside the pool.
- After you get your Basset Hound to get inside the pool once, keep placing treats and toys inside until they do it without hesitation.
- Once your Basset Hound gets used to the kiddie pool, move to a larger pool. Make sure to put on a life vest before they enter a larger pool. Since this is a new location for them, start off by placing treats or toys inside the pool.
- Great way to speed up this process is to bring another dog that enjoys swimming.
Tips for swimming with your Basset Hound
- Don’t force your Basset Hound to swim if he is not in the mood. If you rush your Basset Hound into swimming just because you want it, you might discourage him and make him hate the water even more. Go slowly at their pace and be patient. You will know in the beginning if your Basset is enjoying the water or not.
- Be there with them. Your Basset Hound trusts you and is more likely to follow you inside the water thinking it is safe. Get in the water and call them. Again, be creative and patient. Bring treats and toys to lure them into the water.
- Bathe your Basset Hound after swimming. Always make sure to bathe your Basset Hound after you finish swimming with them. The water in the pool has chlorine that might irritate the skin of your Basset Hound. If you swam into a sea or ocean, the salt can have the same effect. Here is how to bathe your Basset Hound.
Please share your experiences in the comment section.