Do Great Danes Like Water?

By Coty Perry

Great Danes are one of the biggest dog breeds in the world. While some dislike water, most love it. Swimming is a good form of exercise for dogs. Great Danes are not naturally great swimmers but can be with proper training and supervision. 

Your Great Dane will not intentionally go in the water but will if you get him excited for a swim. You will notice that your gentle giant will be able to efficiently keep his head afloat, but not for a long time. Your Great Dane will likely enjoy playing in the water to cool off on a hot summer day.

Do Great Danes Like Water?

Great Danes are not considered a “water breed,” like Labs or Golden Retrievers, but many are curious to give the water a chance. Once they explore a bit with your supervision and guidance, they might enjoy spending time in the water. 

Once your dog enters the water, you will see how he naturally knows to keep his head above the waterline and use his front limbs to paddle to avoid sinking. This movement is called the doggy paddle, which is an instinctive behavior in all dog breeds. 

However, you should know that your Great Dane might not like water, even if he can easily paddle in the water. Your pup might enjoy the water because its body is built correctly. They have large legs, which make it easy to paddle, and a long snout to help them breathe along the waterline. These qualities are great for dogs learning to swim or dogs who like to be in the water.

How to Teach a Great Dane to Swim

Your dog will probably be nervous when you teach him to swim, which is normal. You should enroll him in dog swimming classes or hire a trainer if you feel uncomfortable teaching him to swim. 

Start in shallow water and supervise your pup as he gets used to the water. Your dog will want to mirror you, as Great Danes are very attached to their owners. Consider putting a life vest on your dog to ensure he stays safe and allow your dog to get more comfortable with paddling.

What If My Great Dane Does Not Like Water?

Sometimes, Great Danes aren’t interested in water, just like people. Not every person enjoys being in water either. 

Dogs that have dealt with traumatic experiences in the past may be difficult to train to swim, so it is important not to push your dog and make him feel uncomfortable. It is best to train your dog to swim as a puppy, so your adult Great Dane might have more difficulty learning to like water than if he was a puppy.

Final Thoughts

Even though Great Danes are not natural-born water lovers, many dogs of this breed seem to enjoy being in the water and going for a swim. Try to start your Great Dane with swimming lessons as a puppy to increase his chance of enjoying the water.

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Coty Perry
Coty is a self-proclaimed cat whisperer and animal lover. Growing up his mom ran a dog training business out of his childhood home so you can say it was complete chaos 24/7. Today, when he comes home after a long day of writing about animals, he’s greeted by his two loving cats Marley and Cozmo.