If you enjoy spending time at the lake or beach, you’ll have seen plenty of dogs diving right in and loving the experience as much as their owners do!
So, if you’re thinking of buying a Goldendoodle to join you on your outdoor adventures, you’ll need to know if your Goldendoodle buddy can swim. Do Goldendoodles enjoy the water? And is it safe for your Doodle to swim in the lake, river, or ocean?
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Goldendoodles and water.
Can Goldendoodles Swim Well?
Yes, Goldendoodles are pretty good natural swimmers, and many of them just love to spend time in the lake.
So, why do Goldendoodles love the lake so much? It comes from both sides of his parentage and is largely to do with genetics.
As you know, all Goldendoodles, regardless of their generation, are part purebred Golden retriever and part purebred Poodle. Since both these breeds are known to be avid water lovers, it’s no surprise that Goldendoodles usually love water, too.
Golden Retrievers And Swimming
Golden retrievers are usually very strong swimmers and are card-carrying water dogs.
The Golden retriever was originally bred to retrieve shot game birds, specifically waterfowl, such as geese and ducks. Often, a shot bird would drop into the center of a lake or marshy area out of reach of a hunter on foot. So, the dog would be sent to find and retrieve the bird, carrying it carefully in a soft mouth so as not to damage the flesh.
Golden retrievers have a double coat. The soft, fluffy underfur, which is what your Doodle sheds all over your home, is there to keep the dog warm, while the outer guard coat is water-repellent. So, the Golden is able to swim in cold water for relatively long periods of time without getting chilled.
Also, the retriever’s powerful, athletic build and long legs make the breed perfectly designed for swimming.
Do Golden retrievers enjoy swimming? Check out this video to find out!!
What About Poodles?
Poodles originally came from Europe, where they were bred to retrieve shot ducks for hunters. In fact, the Poodle has the characteristic pompom on the tip of its tail so that the hunter could see their dog in the water.
Another interesting physical trait that the Poodle has developed is that it has webbed feet, which the dog uses as paddles to propel it through the water. Those webbed feet enable the Poodle to swim extremely well, which was essential for the animal’s original job.
Unlike most dogs, Poodles have a single coat that’s made of tight curls. That dense coat helps to keep the dog warm and dry in the water and is also quick-drying.
In this video clip of a Dock Diving competition, you can see just how efficient the Poodle is at swimming and retrieving, making these ideal dogs for water sports and other kinds of water activities.
And Goldendoodles …?
Goldendoodles are, therefore, bred to be excellent swimmers by virtue of their parents’ genetics.
These natural water dogs are powerful, athletic animals that have a well-insulated double coat. Look closely, and you’ll see that your Doodle has webbed feet, too! So, given that your Goldendoodle is bred from two breeds of water loving dogs, it’s little wonder that he loves to get his feet wet.
Exceptions To The Rule
All that said, it’s important to understand that there are exceptions to every rule and not all Goldendoodles enjoy the water, especially when it’s bath time and the shampoo comes out!
If your furry friend is happy to watch from dry land or from your boat while you take a cooling dip, that’s fine. You should never try to force your dog to swim if he really doesn’t want to.
How To Introduce Your Goldendoodle To Water
Don’t rush things when introducing your Goldendoodle to water for the first time. Although many dogs just can’t wait to dive right in and start splashing around, some don’t, and you could frighten your pet if you try to hurry him.
If your Goldendoodle is hesitant about entering the water, take your time. Motivation is another essential part of teaching your dog that water and swimming mean fun! So, use treats and your pet’s favorite toys to entice your pup into the water and make a huge fuss of him when he finally gets his feet wet. A life jacket could be an excellent investment as well, especially in deeper water.
Start by encouraging your dog to paddle in some shallow water until he’s confident and he wants to go in deeper.
Use common sense, and never force your dog to go in if he doesn’t want to! If your dog has a bad experience, you could put him off swimming altogether and even make him afraid of water forever.
How To Teach Your Goldendoodle To Swim
Once you’ve introduced your dog to a few inches of cool water, you can progress to some swimming lessons.
At What Age Can A Goldendoodle Puppy Learn To Swim?
It’s generally recommended that puppies should be three to four months old before they learn to swim. Again, that really depends on the individual dog’s personality and whether he wants to play in the water or not.
I advise you to check with your vet on what age they recommend teaching your Doodle puppy to swim.
In the meantime, you can introduce your pup to an experience with water by filling your bathtub or a kiddie’s paddling pool with a few inches depth of water and putting a few of your Doodle’s favorite toys in there. That way, your puppy can safely have fun paddling around but without having to swim physically.
Where To Teach Your Goldendoodle To Swim
When it comes to choosing where you’re going to teach your Goldendoodle to swim, safety first is your primary consideration.
Puppies and very young dogs won’t have the physical strength to cope with learning to swim in a body of deep water where there’s a current or waves. And, remember, a bad experience could put your Goldendoodle off swimming for life!
If you’re teaching a small puppy to swim, an inflatable kiddie pool is your best starting point as an introduction to water. Adult Goldendoodles will do better in a large pool or some other safe environment where they can swim properly. However, you must ensure that there are steps so that your dog can gradually enter the water and easily get out again.
Never throw your dog into the deep end and assume that they can swim! Use positive reinforcement to encourage your dog rather than forcing the issue, which could simply frighten your pet.
Goldendoodle Swimming Lesson
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to teach your Goldendoodle to swim like a true water baby!
Your Goldendoodle will need to wear a fabric harness and leash, and you should get kitted out in clothes that are suitable for taking a dip!
Step 1 – Introduce Your Dog To The Water
Have your Goldendoodle on his harness and leash so that you can lead him into the pool, using a treat or toy to encourage him if necessary. Let your dog splash around for a while so that he gets used to feeling the water around him.
Step 2 – Go Deeper!
Once your dog seems happy, lead him a little deeper.
Stay beside your dog at all times so that you can hold and support him if necessary. Your pet will most likely start paddling with his front legs first. That’s okay, but it can be very tiring for your dog.
Step 3 – Swimming!
Go into deeper water until your dog is all the way in. Hold your pup around his belly.
Once your dog is completely out of his depth, he’ll begin kicking with his back legs, as well as paddling with his front legs. So, now your Goldendoodle is swimming!
Take Things Slowly
Throughout the process, be ready to take a step or two back. If your dog becomes at all anxious or seems to be afraid, immediately lead him out of the water and back onto dry land.
Once your dog is swimming confidently, remember that swimming is hard work for a newbie. Again, insist that your pet takes plenty of breaks to recover before allowing him to go back into the water.
Essential Safety Tips
No matter how good a swimmer your dog is, the water can still be a dangerous environment, and the safety of you and your pet is paramount.
- Don’t Get Out Of Your Depth
Even if you’re teaching your dog to swim in your home swimming pool, never go so far out that your feet can’t touch the bottom of the pool. If your dog panics, he could try to climb up on you for support, pushing you under the water.
- Use A Doggy Floatation Device
A correctly fitted dog personal floatation device is an excellent idea to keep your dog safe in the water.
The device helps to support your dog’s weight in the water, saving you and your pet the effort of continually swimming to stay afloat.
If you’re planning on taking your Goldendoodle with you on a boat or kayak, always kit out your pet in a life vest, and make sure that you’re strong enough to lift your pet out of the water to safety if you need to.
Swimming In The Ocean, Lakes, And Rivers
Swimming with your dog in your home pool is one thing, but swimming in open bodies of water can present a danger to your pup.
Whether you’re at the beach, the lake, or by the river, water can be unpredictable. Sudden squalls can blow up, creating waves and riptides can lurk unseen beneath the surface. Before you head to the beach, check the tide tables for the current strength at that spot, and ask lifeguards about the present conditions and whether it’s safe to swim.
As a general rule of thumb, the tides and surf levels should be safe enough for small kids before you consider taking your Goldendoodle out.
What’s Underneath The Surface?
Even though it might appear calm on the surface, you don’t know what’s hidden underneath. There could be logs, branches, thick vegetation, sharp rocks, or garbage there, all of which could injure your dog or hamper his swimming.
So, never encourage your dog to jump into the water unless you can see exactly what’s underneath the surface.
Leave Wildlife Alone!
Don’t allow your dog to lick jellyfish, sea urchins, dead fish, or any other creatures that you come across during your visit to the water.
Discourage Your Dog From Drinking The Water
If possible, don’t let your dog drink the water. Ocean water is very salty, potentially causing dehydration and diarrhea.
Lakes, ponds, and rivers can harbor dangerous bacteria that could make your pet sick. So, take fresh water with you for your dog to drink rather than letting him lap water from a river or lake.
Blue-Green And Red Algae
If lake water is a blue-green color and has scum on the surface, keep your dog out! It’s likely that the water has a bloom of potentially toxic blue-green algae that could harm your pet.
At the ocean, red tides sometimes occur, which are basically blooms of dangerous algae. Again, keep your Goldendoodle out of the water.
Did you enjoy our guide to Goldendoodles and water? Please share if you did.
Goldendoodles are natural-born water babies and most love the joys of water games. However, you should never hassle your pet into swimming if he isn’t keen. Take your time to slowly teach your Doodle to swim, ideally in a backyard pool or somewhere safe where there are no tides, surf, or waves to worry about. When boating or on trips to the lake, fit your Goldendoodle with a life vest for safety.
Does your Goldendoodle love to swim? Tell us about your furry baby in the comments box below!