Can Bernese Mountain Dogs Swim?

Do you have a Bernese Mountain Dog? Then you probably asked yourself if they could go swimming with you.

Bernese Mountain Dogs can swim, but they’re not fond of it.

Continue reading to find out whether Bernese Mountain Dogs like to swim or not, how to introduce them to water, and some safety tips when swimming with your Bernese Mountain Dog. 

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Do Bernese Mountain Dogs like to swim

Can Bernese Mountain Dogs Swim?

Yes. Bernese Mountain Dogs can swim.

Bernese Mountain dogs can be great swimmers. However, one thing that stops the breed from being a good swimmer is their dislike for the activity.

At the same time, their bodies are not built for swimming, nor are they physically capable of staying afloat for a long time. 

Swimming is not an intuitive or natural skill among Bernese Mountain Dogs, contributing to why they do not like water. 

But there are plenty of ways to teach your Bernese Mountain Dog how to swim. It will take a lot of patience and supervision when you’re getting them in and out of the water. 

Here’s proof that Bernese Mountain Dogs can swim! Watch as this dog treads water for the first time.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Natural Swimmers?

No, Bernese Mountain Dogs are not natural swimmers. 

Natural swimmer dogs are those who were bred to work in water. And as a result, their breed develops physical characteristics over time that allow them to swim excellently.

Unfortunately, Bernese Mountain Dogs are not natural swimmers because they worked in the farmlands of Switzerland. They herded cattle, pulled carts, and became loyal watch dogs. 

From the name itself, Bernese Mountain Dogs come from mountains with little to no water access. They are one of the four Swiss Mountain Dogs and the only breed with long hair. 

But they have a long coat that allows them to regulate their body temperature in water. The only downside is its heaviness which might push their weight down while swimming.

From its looks, the Bernese Mountain Dogs can push more water than short-legged dogs. However, they may quickly get tired because they would rather walk and run than swim. 

Bernese dogs need to develop enough strength to play in the water without drowning. 

Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Have Webbed Feet?

Bernese Mountain Dogs have webbed feet, but they’re not meant for swimming. 

While it is a familiar concept that all dogs have webbed feet, they are not alike.

Some of the webbed feet are more noticeable than the others. Bernese Mountain Dogs do have a thin webbing in between their toes. 

Their webbing does not help propel underwater. Instead, they use it to walk on snow on the Swiss Alps and explore the muddy land while their paws stay stable and steady.. 

Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Like to Swim?

No, Bernese Mountain Dogs do not like to swim.

Their dislike for swimming is the main hindrance to their ability to swim.

Bernese Mountain Dogs have enough physical attributes to learn swimming. But their personality makes them dislike the water activity. 

Some may like playing in shallow water to splash around, but they don’t spend much time there either. 

But Bernese Mountain Dogs can learn to love swimming if you train them at a young age.

What if My Bernese Mountain Dogs Don’t Like to Swim?

Not being able to convince your Bernese Mountain Dog to swim should not be an issue.

Instead, you can take them walking or running. Bernese Mountain Dogs enjoy exercises that involve their owners.

They are protective and playful when you’re around, so try a game of fetch and tug of war with them.

If you’re determined to train them to swim, do it gradually and as early as possible. All dogs have more chances of enjoying an activity when they learn it as a puppy.

Make sure to reward them for every small accomplishment, whether it’s getting in the pool or catching a toy from the pool. 

Safety Tips for Swimming with Your Bernese Mountain Dog

  • Give your dog a life jacket or life vest. Learn the difference between a life jacket and a life vest to see what your Bernese dog needs.
  • Take it slow when they are still learning. You can start letting them play in the tub to familiarize them until they can swim in the pool.
  • Never leave them unattended. Even if you have an expert swimmer, you still need to supervise them.
  • Make sure your Bernese Mountain Dog knows where the exit is. 

Don’t Do This When Introducing Your Bernese Mountain Dogs to Water

Now that you know the safety measures to take when swimming, here’s a list of things you shouldn’t do when swimming with your Bernese Mountain Dog. 

  • Do not throw them in the water in an attempt to train them.
  • Do not let them swim when they are sick, scared, or anxious to avoid negative associations with the activity. 
  • Do not force them to swim if they do not want to.
  • Do not start training them in a large body of water, like the ocean. 

As always, patience and positive reinforcement are key to teaching your Bernese Mountain Dog how to swim. 

Is Swimming Good for Bernese Mountain Dogs?

Yes. Swimming is good for Bernese Mountain Dogs. 

Swimming is only bad for brachycephalic dogs or dogs with short snouts. That’s because they have difficulty breathing underwater. 

Swimming is a healthy activity that provides more advantages than running and walking. That’s because all of your dog’s body parts are moving at a low intensity.

However, it would help if you didn’t let your dog swim for a long time. Even the most athletic dog can get tired after hours of swimming.

Find out more benefits of swimming with your dog.

How Old Should Your Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy Be Before They Start Swimming?

You can start teaching your Bernese Mountain Dog pup how to swim as early as ten weeks old.

Your Bernese Mountain Dog needs to develop their legs and lungs before being ready to swim. 

At ten weeks, you can try letting their paws touch the water. Slowly make the tub deeper until they are ready for a slightly bigger pool. 

Continue training them as they grow old to be prepared to swim in large pools and oceans.

Find out more about how old dogs can be before they start swimming

How Long Can Bernese Mountain Dogs Swim For?

Bernese Mountain Dogs can swim for 10 minutes at a time once they are capable swimmers.

If your Bernese Mountain Dog is still a beginner, three to five minutes of swimming is enough. 

There’s no reason to let them undergo long swimming sessions because they can get sick from the water. They can also start disliking swimming right away.

You can increase their time in water up to fifteen minutes if they become a good swimmer. But make sure to let them rest from time to time.

Check out how long dogs can stay in the pool for more information.

Can My Bernese Mountain Dog Swim in My Pool?

Yes. Your Bernese Mountain Dog can swim in your pool. 

The pool is the safest way to let your dog swim because of the depth and water safety. But spending too much time in the pool can lead to skin irritations, so rinse and moisturize after swimming.

You may also spray their coat with a dog conditioner to avoid irritation before swimming.

Your Bernese Mountain Dog should still have a life jacket or life vest even when they are only swimming in pools.

Discover how to maintain your pool as a dog owner.

Supervise Your Bernese Mountain Dogs When Swimming

Let your Bernese Mountain Dog experience the fun of swimming! They may not be natural swimmers, but they can indeed learn if they have the right temperament.

Swimming is a good form of exercise for their whole body. But make sure you know how to maintain their hygiene post-swimming,

Check out whether you should wash your dog after swimming or not.