You might not think that beagles would be very good swimmers, but they are actually surprisingly talented in the water. Beagles were originally bred to hunt small game such as rabbits or rodents, and many of these animals live near bodies of water.
It’s likely that some selective breeding was done so that the dogs had webbed feet and a dense coat which allowed them to swim more efficiently.
Some say Beagles are not natural swimmers, while others say that as Beagles were bred for hunting, they should be comfortable in the water. A Beagle introduced to water in a safe and controlled way will take to swimming quite naturally. Whether a Beagle enjoys being in the water comes down to the individual dog.
Let’s explore can Beagles swim are good swimmers and whether they enjoy being in the water.
A summary of the Beagle dog breed
Beagles are compact short-haired dogs with an ideal weight of around 22-35 pounds (9-16kg).
Beagles generally have a good temperament though they are known to be very stubborn.
Beagles typically make good family dogs and thrive in an active home where they can get plenty of exercise and stimulation.
A Beagle can be challenging to train, though a pocket full of doggy treats can often be the best way to keep Beagle’s attention locked on you until he finds something more interesting that is!
Beagles are scent hounds and are always wanting to investigate smells and scents they find while out and about.
Their instinct to follow scents can make them pull while on a leash and get them into trouble when off the leash. Never underestimate a Beagles hunting instinct around livestock or wild animals.
Beagles have a distinctive bark, or bay, and will often use this to communicate with people and dogs alike.
If you would like to know more about the beagle breed and if a beagle is for you, check out this post, What’s It Like To Own A Beagle? 11 Things To Know Before Getting One
Do Beagles like water?
Like most dog breeds, beagles are not so keen on showers and the rain but may enjoy playing in the water on the beach and don’t mind the occasional bath!
Some are reluctant to water for the first time, once they see some other dog jump in, they may try to imitate and learn to swim.
Once a beagle find themselves in water their natural instinct to swim kicks in and while not natural water dogs they are more than comfortable in swimming to safety.
Do Beagles like swimming?
For hundreds of years, Beagles were bred for hunting small game such as rabbits and hares. Beagles would be used in large packs to track their prey and would often spend all day outside in all kinds of weather and varying terrain.
While on the hunt it stands to reason they would have encountered streams, brooks, creeks and ponds, and other water obstacles.
They would have had to negotiate these water obstructions quickly and efficiently. I can’t imagine the pack stopping at the first sign of water and losing the scent of whatever they were tracking!
So while they may not be the first dog to jump in the water (like a St. Bernard would), my own experience shows that a beagle is comfortable in the water and take to swimming quite naturally.
A Beagles stubborn nature may make it seem like they are reluctant swimmers, but in my experience given a good reason and early training, they are happy to jump on in.
However, it depends on the Beagle. One of my hounds did not like the water at all; it didn’t matter if it was a warm wash down at home, paddling in the ocean, or local brook, no amount of treats would convince her to be in the water was fun.
While most of my other Beagles have loved the water, sometimes to their detriment, jumping in before realizing the current was a little too strong, for example.
I guess like people some Beagles love water, and others keep well clear.
Here’s my wife, Bracken and Polly enjoying a paddle in the sea
Can Beagles swim?
Nearly all dogs can swim, and to most, it comes naturally. However, it’s a good idea to ease a Beagle into the water.
Like with most things introducing them to new experiences is best done when they are still young, eager, and brave enough to try new things.
Beagles are known for their love of exercise and love of the outdoors. But they can be stubborn and can be easily trained to swim in order to please their owners.
A beagle can be trained to be water-ready to swim, and there are many ways to train them to do so.
Some will dive straight in, no need to even tempt them.
The dog’s instincts take over and before you know it their signature white-tipped tail is bobbing away as they merrily swim around doggie paddle style. However, if you have a dog that is nervous about the water, using a doggy life jacket can help build their confidence.
However, in our experience, we’ve not needed one with any of our Beagles.
If you feel your dog is likely to need some help with learning to swim or gaining confidence in the water, then I’d recommend seeking out a local trainer for some help and advice.
Do Beagles need to be trained on how to swim?
Beagles are not the easier dog breed to train as they are quite stubborn. However, with a little patience and a large handful of tasty treats you can train a beagle to do most things. Just don’t run out of training treats!
With that in mind you shouldn’t have to train a beagle how to swim as the doggie paddle is a natural instinct for nearly all dogs, but perhaps train them to get them used to be in the water.
Teaching beagles to swim
Teaching a Beagle how to swim won’t be an incredibly hard task. All individual Beagles are different and training times can vary.
Some will be natural swimmers and others will take more patience.
No matter which your Beagle is, there are best practices to swim-training a dog which is better carried out in a safe environment, such as a swimming pool for doggie swimming lessons!
If you decide to take your dog out on a boat remember that they will also require a dog lifejacket.
Benefits of swimming for Beagles
If a dog swims for only 1 minute, it is equal to 4 minutes of running. Swimming in water will help your beagle stretch his joints and quicken the recovery.
Ten minutes of continuous swimming is the equivalent of going for a 30 – 40-minute walk.
Swimming for dogs with an elbow or hip dysplasia will keep their heart and lungs healthy by giving them needed exercise.
If you have a dog that does have joint or tendon injuries or is recovering from surgery swimming is great for rehabilitation.
5 reasons why swimming is good for Beagles
- Exercise & Stimulation
- Health & Rehabilitation
- Weight loss
- Low impact – joint friendly
- Cooling down
1. Exercise & Stimulation. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for all dogs. Swimming will quickly tire out your Beagle and give him plenty of extra stimulation.
I’ve read that 10 minutes of swimming is the equivalent of a 30-40 minutes walk. As most will already know, they have a lot of energy, so any extra help burning that pent-up energy is welcome.
You can read our post, what to feed a beagle, a complete guide.
Our first Beagle, Bracken, was a real water baby. From a very young age, I encouraged her to doggie paddle in the local stream near our house and would like to swim whenever she could.
In the summer, we both enjoyed walking up the ankle-deep deep in water to our local park.
Whenever we saw water, she would look at me for approval for her to jump in, as long as it was safe I’d give her the nod, and off she went!
Bracken would have no issues following a stick, or another dog into the water. She would always sleep well after any time of being in the water!
2. Health & Rehabilitation. Warm water swimming or aquatic therapy can help with dog rehabilitation or manage a condition such as arthritic joints. An article on PETMD says that;
Another common reason why dogs are brought in for aquatic therapy is to help them recover following surgery (for something like an ACL tear) or to help arthritic dogs work their joints, maintain muscle mass, and move around comfortably all while minimizing discomfort.
According to Top Dog Health, swimming provides many health benefits for dogs, including;
- strengthening the heart and lungs
- decreasing inflammation
- increasing metabolism
- improving circulation keeping the skin and coat healthy.
3. Weight loss. Beagles love food, and it’s effortless to overfeed your dog, and before you know your Beagle buddy looks more like a balloon than a dog.
If your Beagle is overweight, the low-impact nature of swimming can help them get back into good shape without the stress placed on an overweight Beagle by long, arduous walks.
4. Low impact – joint-friendly. If you have an older Beagle or Beagle with some kind of joint issue, then swimming could be beneficial.
Your Beagle has probably been active for most of their life, but as they get advanced in years, they may struggle with stiff joints, causing them to slow down or limiting how active they can be. However, rather than staying home and your Beagle becoming bored, swimming could be the answer.
Try and find a local warm water pet-specific pool; they are more common than you might think. Before you know it, your Beagle will love their weekly trip to the pet hydro pool, keeping your dog active and stimulated for longer can only be a good thing.
Bracken loved to swim, she’d be in the water at every opportunity!
5. Cooling down. In the height of summer, we all love a dip in a refreshing pool or a paddle in a babbling brook. Your Beagle is no different.
If you are lucky enough to live near some natural water then great, if not, buy a cheap children’s paddling pool, fill it with clean water and watch as your Beagle completely ignores it.
Just joking, most Beagles are inquisitive and will investigate while some will get in and enjoy the freshwater around their feet.
Polly, our second ever Beagle used to do this thing where she blew bubbles in the paddling pool. For no real reason, she would just put her nose in the water and blow! Was funny to watch!
Beagles are naturally strong swimmers, but that doesn’t mean they like the water. Some beagles will need the training to get used to swimming and being in or around water. If your dog is one of these dogs, it may take a little more time for them to adjust than if you have a natural swimmer on your hands. Give them time–be patient with their process! You can also train them by throwing small toys into the pool so they chase after those items and learn how to enjoy themselves while in the pool too!