Can Basset Hounds Swim?

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Despite their small stature, Basset Hounds are considered huge dogs because of their weight. With their physical stature, it’s reasonable to wonder if they can swim.

Yes, Basset Hounds can swim, but they’re not the best at it.

Continue reading to find out whether Basset Hounds like to swim or not, how to teach them how to swim, and some safety tips when swimming with your Basset Hound. 

Do Basset Hounds like to swim

Can Basset Hounds Swim?

Yes. Basset Hounds can swim.

But it is not ideal for them to swim regularly, or for a long time.

The bodies of Basset Hounds are not built for swimming. They are not physically built for the activity. 

Here are some of the reasons why:

  • They have large heads and short legs that make it hard to stay afloat.
  • Their large, floppy ears are prone to infections when water gets in their ear canal.
  • They have a hard time keeping their heads afloat in the water.

Check out these adorable Basset Hounds learning how to swim.

Are Basset Hounds Natural Swimmers?

No, Basset Hounds are not natural swimmers. 

They were not bred for swimming. They were originally bred to hunt.

Basset Hounds have incredible scenting skills. They are second to Bloodhounds when it comes to scent tracking.

Nowadays, Basset Hounds are common family pets. 

But they still enjoy the occasional tracking & hunting games to keep them active. 

Because they are not natural swimmers, do not expect your Basset Hound to excel in swimming. 

It’s still important to teach them basic swimming for their own safety.

Do Basset Hounds Have Webbed Feet?

No, Basset Hounds do not have webbed feet.

While it is a common concept that all dogs have webbed feet, they are not all the same.

Some webbed feet are more prominent than others.

And a Basset Hound’s feet are not built for swimming, unlike other dog breeds such as Labrador Retrievers and Irish Water Spaniel.

Their webbed feet are designed to help them in the field when they’re hunting. 

Do Basset Hounds Like to Swim?

No, Basset Hounds do not like to swim.

Most Basset Hounds are calm, and they enjoy resting or napping. Swimming can be too much physical activity for them.

They would rather spend time walking instead of swimming. However, it still depends on each individual dog.

For instance, look at Dean the Basset enjoying some time in the water.

What if My Basset Hound Doesn’t Like to Swim?

When compared to other water breeds, Basset Hounds are not as naturally adept at swimming. They weren’t bred for it, after all. 

There is no reason to force your Basset Hound to swim if they do not enjoy it. 

There are, however, some things you can do to encourage them to swim.

  • Teach them while they are still young. 
  • Encourage them by giving them treats and compliments. 
  • Make swimming a fun activity for them. 
  • Participate in swimming lessons at all times. 

When teaching your Basset Hound how to swim, you need to be patient. They are not the easiest breeds to train.

Not all Basset Hounds enjoy being in the water. If yours is hesitant, keep a positive attitude and let them go at their own pace.

Safety Tips for Swimming with Your Basset Hound

Because Basset Hounds are not natural swimmers, you must go above and beyond to teach them how to swim.

Here are some precautions to take when teaching your Basset Hound to swim:

  • Use a life vest or a life jacket. A life vest is necessary, especially if they’re in large bodies of water.
  • Join them in the water. Your dog may follow you if you enter the water first. However, if they refuse, never force them in.
  • Begin at the shallow end. It’s best if they can swim in a shallow pool or lake up to their chests. Once they’re at ease in the water, you can progress to something more challenging.
  • Finally, show them where the exits are so they know where to go if they get tired.

As previously mentioned, Basset Hounds will have a difficult time maintaining their balance and weight in the water.

It’s important to equip them with a life vest or a life jacket even when they already know how to swim.

Find out the difference between a life jacket and a life vest to see what your Basset Hounds need. 

Don’t Do This When Introducing Your Basset Hound to Water

The water may not pique the interest of Basset Hounds. When introducing your Basset Hound to water, there are some things you should never do.

  • Don’t push or throw them in. Pushing them into the water instills anxiety and fear in them.
  • Don’t force them to swim. If they are not yet comfortable swimming, do not force them to do so.
  • Never leave them alone in the water.

Positive reinforcement is the most effective method for teaching a dog to swim.

Keep in mind that each dog learns at a different pace.

Some dogs may require a few sessions and a lot of encouragement before they feel at ease in the water.

Is Swimming Good for Basset Hounds?

Yes. Swimming for a short time is good for Basset Hounds.

Swimming is a good form of exercise for most dog breeds, as you may know.

For dogs, swimming equals four minutes of running. It also aids in the relief of stress in dogs.

It’s also beneficial for overweight Basset Hounds who need to shed some pounds. It also improves physical performance and body condition.

Find out more benefits of swimming with your dog.

How Old Should Your Basset Hound Puppy Be Before They Start Swimming?

You can start teaching your Basset Hound pup how to swim as early as 10 weeks old.

Getting them into the water as soon as possible can help them become used to it sooner. 

As they get older, this will help them improve their swimming skills. 

Basset Hounds are not the easiest dog breeds to train, but they are naturally curious, and they do love a good challenge.

If they see you swimming around in a pool, they may be enticed to go in the water with you.

Find out how old puppies can be before they go swimming

How Long Can Basset Hounds Swim For?

Basset Hounds can swim for up to 10 minutes once they are capable swimmers.

Even if your Basset Hound already knows how to swim, it is best to keep their swimming sessions short.  

Swimming for an extended period of time during training will exhaust them and make them associate water with negative experiences.

Once they are capable swimmers, you can let them play in the water for up to 10 minutes.

After swimming, make sure to immediately clean their ears. This will assist them in avoiding ear infections. 

Excess water in the ear caused by water activities can be problematic in Basset Hounds.

Find out how long dogs can stay in the pool.

Can My Basset Hounds Swim in My Pool?

Yes. Your Basset Hound can swim in your pool. 

Your pool is the best place for your Basset Hound to swim because you can always supervise them.

However, if your pool is chlorinated, the natural oils in your dog’s coat may be affected. This can result in dry, irritated skin.

Here are some pointers to keep your dog’s coat safe when swimming in a chlorinated pool:

  • Before they go for a swim, spray their coat with some canine conditioner.
  • After swimming, rinse them off with clean water to get the chlorine out. 

Find out the tools you need for pool maintenance when you have a dog.

Basset Hounds Can Learn to Swim

Basset Hounds may be excellent hunters and trackers, but they are not the best swimmers.

Their heavy bodies do not allow them to stay buoyant in the water. This is why it’s important to equip them with a life jacket or a life vest.

And remember, clean their ears right after swimming to avoid ear infections. 

Check out these tips on how to get a dog out of an above-ground pool.