Do Belgian Malinois Like Water? 

By Britt Kascjak

Have you recently adopted a Belgian Malinois? If so, you may find yourself wondering whether your dog likes water. Especially if you are a fan of water activities such as boating!

The good news is that most Belgian Malinois love spending time in the water. 

Can Belgian Malinois Swim?

Are Belgian Malinois natural-born swimmers, or do they have to be taught how to swim?

The muscular and athletic body type of the Malinois is well suited to water. They also possess water-resistant coats, long legs, and webbed feet.

In fact, Belgian Malinois are often great competitors in dock diving events and other water-based sports.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that your Belgian Malinois is going to be able to swim the first time that he sees water.

Even with all the physical attributes that will make your Belgian Malinois a good swimmer, he may need some help. This includes introducing water and teaching him to use his natural-born gifts.

How Do I Teach My Belgian Malinois to Swim?

Start by spending some time on the shore of a local body of water, getting used to the sounds and smells.

When your Belgian Malinois is comfortable being around water, you can then take the next step by going into shallow water. Your dog should be able to walk around at this stage.

Over time, introduce deeper water a little at a time. Don’t push your Belgian Malinois, let him lead the pace. With a natural athlete like the Belgian Malinois, he is likely going to pick it up quickly!

Benefits of Swimming for Your Dog

Great Exercise

The Belgian Malinois is a high-energy breed that needs a lot of exercise for a happy, healthy life.

Veterinarians and breed experts recommend at least 90 minutes of high-intensity exercise daily. Even with all that exercise, they may still have energy to spare!

Swimming is a great way to burn off some of that excess energy.

Incorporate a game of fetch with a floating bumper toy or a tennis ball to add to the fun.

Low Impact

If your Belgian Malinois is older or experiencing joint pain, exercise can be difficult. It may make injuries worse or cause unwanted pain.

This is where swimming really excels.

Unlike running or jumping, swimming is a low-impact exercise.

The resistance of the water challenges your dog’s muscles.

This provides a physical workout without the force of your Belgian Malinois’ foot hitting a hard surface.

It’s also a great choice for Belgian Malinois that are overweight and trying to get in shape.

Cool Off in the Summer

If you are spending time outdoors in the hot summer sun, swimming is a great way to cool down.

This is a popular choice for those who enjoy camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. If there’s a body of water nearby, it’s easy and readily available.

But, be sure to also give your dog plenty of fresh, cool water to drink.

Drinking from a lake or other natural body of water could make a Belgian Malinois sick. The water could contain bacteria, algae, or other harmful substances.

Fun Shared Activity

Your dog is your best friend. It’s only natural to want to spend time together!

Swimming is a fun activity that you can both share.

This includes swimming in the pool at home or heading out to your local lake for a day of swimming or paddling.

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Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.