If you are planning to have a Poodle, or you already have one, it’s perfectly normal to ask questions like, do Poodles like water? Will they enjoy swimming? Can I bring them to our next family beach getaway?
The quick answer is – YES, they love the water. And while they are known to be show dogs in the modern days, they used to be hard-working retrievers. Poodles are known to work with hunters, and they retrieve fowl from rivers and lakes. Its coat is perfect for the job because it tends to dry quickly and is considered low maintenance.
History of Poodles and Water
Poodles originated in Europe. Some say it came from Germany, while others claim that the breed is from France.
Their name came from the German word pudel, which is translated as to splash. In French, they are known as Caniche, which comes from Chien Canard or duck dog.
During the older times, once the hunter killed their prey, they will command their Poodle to retrieve the fallen birds from the water.
You probably noticed their fancy haircut, but that has a purpose too. Their hair on the back and legs were trimmed to lighten their weight. Plus, this can avoid snagging in debris. The fluff spots, on the other hand, are covering their vital organs. This helps in protecting them from the cold water. Lastly, the pompoms on the top of their heads made it easier for hunters to locate them
Poodles Hair Is Made For Water
We’ve already mentioned this briefly, but allow us to explain further how the breed’s hair is perfect for water. Remember that their coat is dense, curly, and even water-resistant. Because their hair won’t get soggy, it allows them to swim better and faster. Take note that most dogs have two coats while Poodles only have one.
It is not just their hair that made them ideal for swimming. Are you familiar with the skin between our fingers? Most dogs have that too. But in the case of Poodles, they have more webbing, which gives them the advantage when swimming as it acts like natural flippers.
You can expect the same characteristics from your Miniature and Toy Poodles.
Poodles Have High Energy
Poodles are naturally energetic, and you can expect that they have a lot to spare. Apart from taking them for a swim, you could also have a quick walk or run with your pet. If you don’t do this, your Poodle might become agitated and restless. They tend to be destructive in such cases, and you have the power to avoid that.
Particularly with swimming, it’s a great activity that can help them burn their energy. It’s not just for their body but also for their mental health because it stimulates the brain.
Best Poodle Size for Swimming
Among the three sizes of Poodles, the Standard breed is the largest and the oldest. They are also known to be the best in water. Don’t get us wrong. As we’ve said, even the smaller breeds will do well in water. However, because of their size, it’s easier for them to get tired compared to the bigger ones. Make sure that you don’t go to the deep end of the waters or pool unless you are 100% that they are good swimmers.
Teaching Your Poodles to Swim
If your Poodle hasn’t experienced swimming, the good news is you can easily train them. We recommend using your pet’s favorite toys when teaching so that they will be motivated. Plus, you would want them to have a positive experience and to reduce traumatic incidents.
Choose Natural Body of Water and Shallow Areas
Generally, you should bring your Poodle in a natural body of water instead of a swimming pool. If they don’t see the ground, they will be more trusting and will try to learn faster. On the other hand, if they can see the bottom of a swimming pool, they could feel anxious, and that will be harder for you to train them again.
Think about teaching your Poodles in lakes with shallow parts or slow-moving rivers. And if you live in an area where it constantly rains, playing in the puddles should do the trick in the meantime.
Invite Other Pet Owners
Take note that your Poodle may enjoy being with other dogs. Because of this, you can invite other pet owners to bring their fur buddies. Chances are, your Poodle will learn faster being surrounded by friends. In addition, the experience will be more enjoyable for them.
Take it Gradually
One of the worst things you can do for your Poodle is to force them to swim. Instead, allow them to wade first in the water. Now, when they have already reached the part where they could actually swim, call them using an encouraging and positive tone. You can even give them treats or throw their toys so that they will be highly encouraged.
Do Quick Trainings
Again, there’s no need to force your dogs. What’s more ideal is to have short swim intervals, especially on the first few days. You have to be patient if you want your Poodle to learn how to swim.
Observe Your Poodle
Even if the breed is naturally good in the water, you must also observe if they are already tired. Do not let them stay in the water longer than they want to. Respecting your Poodle’s boundary is a must.
Safety Tips for Poodles
Here are a few safety tips when you are training or swimming with your Poodles in a pool.
Invest in Dog Safety Equipment and Tools
We’re not scaring you, but dog drowning is possible. This happens for older and weaker Poodles and for the young ones that are untrained. We suggest that you include a dog ramp in your pool so they can get in and get out with ease. If you are using a boat, it might be ideal to have a doggy boat ladder or even a dog life jacket.
Use the Right Chemical for Your Swimming Pool
Most swimming pools use chlorine, and fortunately, it’s not harmful to dogs except if ingested in huge amounts or consumed directly as chlorine tablets. With this, make sure that these are far from their reach. Also, bromine is a safer alternative if you are to use a chemical in your pool.
In addition, you can prevent them from drinking pool water if you place their bowl with fresh water nearby.
Rinse Your Dog After Swimming
Chlorine can dry your Poodle’s skin and may strip their natural oils. That is why you need to rinse them quickly after swimming in the pool as it washes the unnecessary substances or chemicals. Plus, you can spray a leave-in conditioner before they jump into the water. You can also get a high-quality moisturizing conditioner perfect for your Poodles.
As for their diet, don’t forget to add omega 3-fatty acid supplements to replace the oil that they lost in the pool.
Remove the Damp From the Dog’s Ears
Ear infections could also happen, especially that Poodles have long ears. As a solution, prepare a towel and gently dab out the dampness from their ears right after they swim.
If they swim regularly, don’t forget to clean their ears every week. You can use a gentle cloth in doing so, and this could prevent infections.
Don’t Stay Out For Too Long
Even if you believe your Poodle is enjoying the waters, do not expose them too much under the sun because that could lead to skin cancer.
Caution Your Kids While Swimming
The swimming motion is natural for Poodles, and if your children go too close, they might get scratched. If you plan to swim with your entire family, don’t forget to remind your kids to keep their distance. That way, no one will get hurt, and your Poodle will not get traumatized as well.
Can Poodles Swim in the Ocean?
Poodles can also swim in larger bodies of water like the ocean. But if you plan to do this, you need to bring plenty of fresh drinking water. If you must know, too much salt water can be harmful to your dogs. In addition, don’t forget to bring shade or a beach umbrella to avoid overheating.
Can Poodles Hate Water?
As we’ve said, Poodles are naturally lovers of water. However, if you do not expose your puppies while still young, their response might be different. We’ve seen this in Miniature and Toy Poodles because they are often pampered to the extremes.
As a rule of thumb, you should make your pet feel that getting in the water is part of their normal lives.
Below are a few tips to consider if you think your Poodle hates or is scared of water.
Throw Treats Into the Bathtub
You can start by filling your bathtub with shallow water. From there, throw the treats, and this should help them get used to having wet paws and wet noses.
Teach Them Their Escape Route
Check if your Poodle knows where to get out of the water. Often, they can’t climb pool ladders, and you need to demonstrate how they can do it on their own.
Never Yell at Them
Even if Poodles are generally clever, there is still a chance that it will take longer for them to love water. Just be patient and do not yell at them if they resist at first.
Can Poodles Hate Bathe Time?
Remember that swimming or playing in the water is a different experience from bathing. Some Poodles might dislike it due to different reasons. For example, you are using the wrong type of products. Also, if your pet is not used to taking a bath, that can be a contributor. Lastly, if you don’t brush their hair regularly, it might have tangles, and that could hurt them as you give them a bath. Be conscious of these as well.
You must give your Poodle a bath every 3 – 4 weeks while they are still young. If you do, expect it to be easier and more enjoyable for them as they grow older. Another technique to improve their bathing experience is to combine it with other fun activities. For example, you can give them a good massage or give them treats after.
Use Hose-Water or Sprinklers
If you don’t have a pool, your Poodle can still enjoy playing in the water. All you have to do is use your hose or your sprinklers. This can help them, most especially during hot days. Plus, it burns their energy. Yet again, make sure that they are indeed enjoying it. You shouldn’t force them on an activity that they don’t love, or it will backfire.
Conclusion, Do Poodles Like Water?
In general, Poodles love the water. History tells it all, and even their physical attributes are perfect for swimming. But this doesn’t mean that all Poodles will enjoy it. As always, it depends on their personality or individual attributes. That is why you need to be dedicated if you want them to learn how to swim. Also, the way you bathe your Poodle can contribute to how they would react towards the water. Make sure that you do it properly.