Can Great Danes Swim?

You’ve probably watched Scooby-Doo and wondered if Great Danes like him can swim.

Great Danes can swim. However, it takes practice before they can become good at it.

Keep reading to learn if Great Danes are natural swimmers, if they like to swim, some safety tips when swimming, and more.

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Do Great Danes Swim

Can Great Danes Swim? 

Great Danes or German Mastiffs can swim, but there are limitations to their abilities.

Most dogs can learn to stay afloat when they are placed in water. However, some are better than others. 

Great Danes are not bred to do water jobs as well as good as the Poodle or Border Collie.

Despite this, Great Danes can be excellent swimmers if you train them young. It helps if you are patient with teaching them how to swim to use the skill throughout their lifetime.

Their bodies are not built for swimming. And Great Danes cannot stay afloat for a long time because they do not have the physical attributes of a swimmer.

Therefore, Great Danes can swim but only to a certain extent.

Here’s a cool video of Optimus the Great Dane swimming that shows you how to encourage a reluctant dog into the water. 

Are Great Danes Natural Swimmers?

No, Great Danes are not natural swimmers. 

It is a common misconception that dogs have natural swimming skills. 

Instead, they are bred to protect country estates and hunt wild boars. During the Industrial Revolution, Great Danes became opulent guardians of estates and carriages. 

The upper class also trained them for sport. That means Great Danes do not have a long history of swimming.

But it’s good that Great Danes have a physique that lets them tread water without getting quickly tired. They have a solid upper body supporting their weight, muscular legs, and long snouts.

The breed also has a large stature that will make them get to the edge of the pool more quickly. Great Danes use their front legs for motion and back legs to keep the momentum.

Long snouts are essential among dogs because they allow them to catch their breath when swimming. That’s why brachycephalic dogs like Pugs and Bulldogs may have a hard time swimming.

Do Great Danes Have Webbed Feet?

Great Danes have webbed feet, but they are not as complex as a water dog’s webbed feet.

Great Danes come from Mastiff-like dogs who hunted, guarded, and played land sports. Their development of webbed feet is for keeping their grip on land and walking through wet mud or snow. 

It’s also worth noting that Denmark and Germany, where Great Danes used to reside, experience rain and snowfall frequently. That’s why their webbed feet work perfectly in the climate. 

Great Danes’ webbed feet are for stability instead of pushing through water. 

Do Great Danes Dogs Like to Swim?

Great Danes generally don’t like to swim.

Every dog is different. However, some Great Danes can be enthusiastic about swimming. 

They may not be physically built for the activity, but they have an accepting and exciting personality that makes them want to try new things.

Great Danes are also strong. They do not get quickly tired when running or playing, so swimming for a few minutes is not a problem. 

You’ll notice that your Great Dane enjoys swimming when they are wagging their tails and when they propel quickly.

But some Great Danes might have trouble staying afloat despite their stature because of their weight. So make sure to look for signs that they are distressful in the pool.

What if My Great Dane Doesn’t Like to Swim?

You can train your Great Dane to enjoy swimming, or you can accept that their bodies are not made for it. 

First, understand the Great Dane’s temperament. They are known as gentle giants, but that doesn’t mean they never get stressed.

Great Danes can become aggressive when they are not enjoying swimming. They also have anxious tendencies.

Slowly introduce your Great Dane puppy to water at a young age so they can learn to love swimming. 

Your dog may do well in a pool that is just the right depth for them. Don’t take them to the lake or ocean immediately, even if you think they are tall enough to handle it. 

Safety Tips for Swimming with Your Great Dane

Safety should be your number priority when teaching your Great Dane how to swim. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Use a life jacket or life vest. Your Great Dane can still submerge in water no matter how tall their stature is.
  • Please do not leave them unattended. If possible, join your dog in the water so you can guarantee that they are safe.
  • Make sure they know how to exit the pool. Teaching them how to swim can be useless if Great Danes don’t know where the exit is.

Don’t Do This When Introducing Your Great Dane to Water

The most important thing to avoid when introducing your Great Dane to water is throwing them in the pool.

Many dog owners think this is acceptable since dogs will automatically float anyway. However, many dogs lose their balance and weight in water. 

Some breeds can develop anxiety from the situation. 

Also, don’t force your Great Dane to swim if they do not want to. You can take them on walks as exercise instead. 

But it’s undeniable that swimming has several advantages that other physical workouts can’t provide. Find out the benefits of swimming for your dog

Is Swimming Good for Great Danes?

Yes, swimming is good for Great Danes.

However, it would be best to keep in mind their physical characteristics and limitations. Swimming is only suitable for them when done for a short period.

You can try swimming lessons while your dog is still young so they can get better as they grow old. Training young also helps them reap more benefits of swimming as they age.

But make sure your Great Dane has the right swimming gear for dogs before the activity.

How Old Should Your Great Dane Puppy Be Before They Start Swimming?

Train your Great Dane as early as ten weeks old before swimming in the pool.

At this age, Great Danes are slightly taller than other dog breeds because of their genetic structure. Take advantage of this by getting them into the water as soon as possible.

Teaching your Great Dane to swim at a young age will make them more interested in new activities while staying healthy.

Start by introducing them to your tub, then an inflatable pool, then your actual pool. Make sure to be with them every step of the way to stay safe.

Learn the suitable age dogs should start swimming

How Long Can Great Danes Swim For?

Non-water dogs like Great Danes should not spend more than 10 minutes in the pool, no matter how capable they are.

It’s essential to know that Great Danes do not have the innate qualities of a swimmer. So even if they take swimming lessons, they shouldn’t stay in the pool for a long time.

Long swimming sessions can hurt their body and cause distress. Some also develop infections because of water in their ears.

Check out how long every dog should stay in the pool

Can My Great Dane Swim in My Pool?

Yes. Great Danes can swim in the pool.

It’s the best and safest spot to teach them how to swim. Great Danes can swim in your pool because of the adequate depth and water safety.

Do not worry about your pool getting dirty or clogged. Your dog will not ruin your pool filters even if they shed a lot.

Always maintain your pool the right way when you have a dog. Have the right tools for each procedure and do it regularly. 

Great Danes Can Be Great Swimmers!

Now you know that Great Danes can learn how to swim despite not being natural swimmers. 

Some may enjoy the activity and reap plenty of benefits, while others still prefer running or doing land sports. 

Keep training your Great Dane to become a great swimmer. 

Have a life jacket or a life vest to keep them safe, and don’t forget to moisturize their coat and skin after exposure to chlorinated water.

Check out how you can get your dog out of an above-ground pool.