Not all Golden Retrievers like to swim. While the Golden Retriever dog breed generally loves to play in and swim in water, every Golden Retriever is different. You may occasionally find a Golden who doesn’t like water. The fear of the water is often caused by a lack in experience. This can usually be overcome with practice.

Most Golden Retrievers are water-loving and will jump in any puddle or swim whenever it is offered. It’s crucial to introduce a Golden Retriever into water as a puppy in order to make them feel at home around it. Find out more about Golden Retrievers, water and how to help them.

Do Golden Retrievers Like to Swim?


Goldens were bred to be water dogs and most Goldens love the water. Golden Retrievers will be the perfect dog for you if your goal is to have a dog who loves water. Most dogs love swimming right away and are quick to learn. Be sure to look at the history of the dog with water before bringing them home. Ask for proof of swimming experience when you visit a shelter or breeder. Ask if they were introduced early to water, especially if adopting an adult.

Why Do Golden Retrievers Like Water?

Golden Retrievers were once used to retrieve fowl from hunters and ducks. Goldens originated in Scotland. Their original purpose was to locate and retrieve prey while waiting for gunshots. In many cases, they would have to “get wet”, in order to retrieve prey and return it back to their hunting companions.

Golden Retrievers have an extremely dense and water-repellent coat. Their undercoat is thick and insulates the dog against the cold. The top layer is long and flat, repelling water. These physical characteristics make them a great choice for hiking and swimming with their owners.

The initial breeding process that involved crossing a yellow flat-coated retriever with a water spaniel and then crossing offspring with other breeds of water spaniels has given them an inborn love for water. But genetics don’t always apply to these situations. Take, for instance, Golden Retrievers, who are reluctant to swim in the swimming pool.

Most Goldens love water but some Goldens do not like getting their fur wet. There are many pups who hate swimming but become addicted to it as adults. It can be influenced by their environment and their upbringing. It’s likely that her pups will love swimming if their mother is gentle when introducing them to the pool. Golden Retrievers have a very easy training process so it shouldn’t be difficult to teach them how to swim. It’s not just a good way to keep your dog active, but it’s also a great exercise for their mental stimulation.

How Do I Ensure My Golden can Swim?

Most Goldens love swimming, and even though they are young, it’s a great way to get them moving. Introduce them and let them explore the water. You can encourage them by getting in the water and letting them explore. You might find that puppies younger than 12 months old are more resistant to the water than those who were born in the same month. Don’t allow a dog to get in the water if it doesn’t want! It is possible to bring an older dog that is obsessed with swimming to teach your dog the importance of swimming. You might try to give him a toy. But be prepared to take it with you if he doesn’t.

A swimming pool is a good option. However, you’ll need to clean the pool every so often because of dog hair. If you have access to the swimming pool and your dog does not know how to exit, make sure they are supervised.

Why your Golden should Learn to Swim

Golden Retrievers have a natural ability to learn and are very easy to train. This will help you teach them to swim. Golden Retrievers make the perfect companion for water enthusiasts. They will enjoy taking you on a game of fetch to the pond and burning off energy with a water-workout, but they will also love to be accompanied to the beach or favorite lakeside spot. Swimming is a great activity for Goldens, even if they’re still young.


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Introduce them to water and allow them to explore. You can help them get comfortable in the water, but don’t force them to. You shouldn’t toss your child into the water, no matter how resistant they seem at first. To make it even more tempting, you can throw in your favorite toy. Be prepared to fetch it yourself if necessary. Don’t take your Golden with you on a boating trip if they don’t know how swimming. Some dogs jump off boats when they see mooring ball and end up lost.

As we know, Golden Retrievers need lots of exercise to keep their bodies and minds healthy. You can take your Golden Retrievers to the swimming pool, even if you’re unable to get to the beach. The only thing you need to remember is that Goldens shed a lot so you will have to clean it more often. Also, your doggie needs to be able to get out of the swimming pools. Additionally, you should avoid exercising your doggie in the heat of summer and ensure that he is shaded during the hot season.

When Can Golden Retrievers Learn To Swim? – At What Age?

Some say 8 weeks. Others say 12 weeks. And some say 3 to 4 months. There are many differing opinions on when Golden Retriever puppies may start swimming.

Many consider swimming and fondness for water to be part the Golden Retriever’s DNA. Because these Golden Retrievers are historical linked to Newfoundland’s fishing industry and the icy waters there, it is natural that this would be thought of.

Many people believe that Golden puppy can swim at any age. People keep asking me if my puppies can swim as young as one month.

Before you determine your Golden Retriever puppy’s age to swim, there are many things you need to consider. You need to consider where your puppy is going swimming. Is it near any public pools, lakes, ponds or beaches?

Swimming and water are a favorite activity for Golden Retrievers. Is it possible for Golden Retrievers to swim at a young age? Can Golden Retrievers swim naturally in the water? Can Goldens enjoy swimming? These are just a few of the many questions we’ve answered. Take a peek.

Things to Consider Before Teaching Golden Retriever Puppy to Swim

There are many factors that you need to take into account before you decide on the Golden Retriever’s age for swimming. You need to consider where your puppy is going swimming. Is it near any public pools, lakes, ponds or beaches?

It’s safe to take a 3-month old puppy to a small lake, but not to the beach. The following information will help you to understand the best age and timing to introduce your Golden puppy swimming in water.

  1. Introducing swimming to your Golden Retriever puppy gradually. You should introduce the puppy to water slowly, either in your tub or your own swimming pool. The puppy should be at least 3 months of age to begin this. Remember to keep your puppy at 3 months. You can buy a mini Golden Retriever swimming pool in your house to habituate swimming for your little one.
  2. Keep in your mind that your Golden needs to have some strength in his legs to swim effortlessly. Allow your Golden to reach 3 months of age before you start to introduce swimming to him.
  3. When your Golden Retriever puppy reaches six months, it can go to larger bodies like beaches. My little puppy took to the ocean waters at 6 months. He enjoyed every minute of it. If you take your puppy too young, he might become afraid of the waves.
  4. Check if the water temperature is not too low. If it seems normal, check that there is a public place where dogs are allowed to swim.
  5. Grab your dog, and get a friend to stand by the shore.
  6. Keep walking until the water reaches your legs.
  7. Maintain a firm grip on your dog as they are lowered into the water. The dog should begin to paddle as soon they touch the surface.
  8. Demand that the other person starts calling for the dog.
  9. Your grip should be loosened, but you must remain nearby to support them when they swim to the other.

How to Introduce your Golden Retriever into Water?

If you have or are going to get a Golden Retriever, you should definitely introduce them to the water soon. If an adult Golden retriever isn’t salivating at the sight of water, I’d be shocked. But, if the Golden doesn’t have much experience with water, it might take some time for him to get used.

Some dogs can be quick to get into the water, but others might shy away. Both are fine and normal. However you must know how to introduce your Golden Retriever to the water safely.

However, it isn’t always easy. These steps will set your Gold Retriever up for a life filled with love of the water.

Start Young If Possible

Begin introducing water to your Golden Retriever puppy as soon you can. The sooner you get your dog used to water, the easier it will become. Even though some puppies won’t want to get in the water you can show them how safe it feels.

It doesn’t mean you have to start your training right away when you get your Golden Retriever puppy. Include it in your weekly or monthly training plan. You can teach your dog that water is safe and healthy.

Take it slow: Learning to swim for golden retrievers

Be gentle with your Golden, whether they’re a puppy or an adult. If you have never taken your dog swimming, it is best to take it slowly. Before you take your dog in, let them explore each side of the pool. You can let your dog look around and smell things to help them get a feel for the place.

Do not force your dog to go in the water before it is ready. You won’t be helping your dog to become more familiar with the water. Or worse, you might have the opposite effect and make your dog hate water.

Give Consistent Exposure

Even if your dog doesn’t get in the water the first time, you should keep taking them back. You should allow your dog multiple chances of getting in the water. To ensure your dog becomes a confident swimmer, you should take him to the water multiple times per week or month.

Note: Make sure you swim in calm waters with no current if you are going to be swimming in a stream or lake. Golden Retrievers are usually strong swimmers but even newer swimmers have limits. Safety is the most crucial thing.

Always be safe when you take your Golden Retriever swimming

Your Golden must be taught how to get in and out of the water. Your dog should never be allowed to swim without supervision. Although dogs can swim, you never know what could happen.

To increase safety, I always recommend to your dog that they have a life jacket. Dogs that love to swim are often unaware of their limits. This is especially true if the currents are unpredictable and you’re swimming in a river, ocean or lake.

How to Keep Your Golden Safe in the Water – Swimming Precautions

Swimming with your dog is great fun. But there are some things that you can do to ensure safety. Your dog and you will have a great time swimming together.

Do not throw your dog in the water. While Golden Retrievers may be fond of the water, they will become traumatized by it. Allow your dog to have fun with water by introducing it slowly.

Pay attention to the temperature. Golden Retrievers are protected by their thick undercoat, which means they don’t get cold as much as other dogs. However, your dog might not be able withstand cold temperatures. If the water gets too cold, it’s a good idea to bring your dog home.

Don’t go too deep. Don’t teach your dog swimming if you don’t want them to. The perfect depth for puppies to learn to swim is up to their thighs.
Be vigilant. While your dog swims, be sure to watch them. You should pay special attention when you are swimming with current. You never know when they may get into trouble.

Stop if your dog seems stressed. Swimming is not something you want to make your dog feel bad about. Keep swimming positive and entertaining at all costs.

Always start from the shallow end. In other words, your Golden should be able to raise his head and neck without being submerged. They won’t be swimming at this time, but it’s vital that they adjust slowly to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Dogs can learn from their human partners very well. If you want your Golden to come, it’s worth getting out of the house. Be sure to give him the best treats and the most beloved toys to “bribe” him into coming. Positive praises are a must!

Never force your Golden retriever to get in the water. If your Golden Retriever does not enjoy the water, they can be forced to go back in after a few minutes. If you force them, it could cause scarring. For them to want to get out of water again, it only takes one incident.

While swimming, do not push your Golden Retriever too hard. Sometimes, he may be able get far enough to the shore but will eventually tire. Watch out for Golden Retrievers in puppyhood as they can become more tired.

Swimming in unknown waters can be dangerous. Unknown waters pose a risk for dangerous snake bites.

It’s always a great initiative to bring a dog friendly first aid kit, in case your dog cuts his paw (or other body part) on something.

Do Goldens Need Life Vests?

First of all, make sure your Golden Retriever has a life jacket. It is unlikely they will use it. At the very least, they won’t use it for long. It’s also quite affordable, so it could be a good option for timid dogs who need extra confidence.

While teaching your dog to swim, you might want to use a doggy-life vest. This can be an excellent tool for you and your puppy to help them learn. It is especially helpful for adult dogs who are more anxious.

Make sure you are looking for sharp objects and trash.

Many rivers, streams, and beaches are littered. Be sure to keep your dog away from sharp or dangerous objects that could cause injury if they come into contact.

Swimming is Good Exercise for Golden Retrievers

Swimming with a Golden Retriever in the water is fun. But it also offers some great health benefits, such as exercise and pain relief. It is also a great way of keeping your dog cool in the heat.

Golden Retriever: Swimming For Exercise

Golden Retrievers have a lot to gain from the water. It is important to provide enough physical activity for your dog each day, so they don’t become too wild in your home.

It’s possible to take your dog for walks and even to the dog park. But, it can be nice to take them to the pool or lake. Swimming provides your dog with the exercise they need and there is no risk of them getting bored. Your dog may enjoy a fun day at the lake if it is close enough.

Swimming For Pain Relief

As your Golden Retriever ages, it is possible for them to develop arthritis or joint pain. If your Golden Retriever has trouble walking on the streets, it is time to take them to a pool of water.

The water and swimming pools are great for Golden Retrievers. Your dog will move easily in the water, as well as on the ground, as long as it is comfortable.

Swimming is a great way to keep cool

Golden Retrievers can cool off in the hot water, no matter what their joint problems are. If the weather is hot or there is no breeze, it is possible to go into water.

Fetch in the Water

As we mentioned swimming isn’t just an instinct Golden Retrievers have. They are also some top retrievers worldwide. Consider playing fetch if the dog is having trouble getting into deeper parts of the body.

They can also bring the object they are used to playing catch/fetch, such an old tennis ball or another toy. Try throwing it slightly deeper in the water. Most often, their instincts override and they follow the object.

These Golden Retrievers make some of the best swimmers! Top 5 Reasons

Swimming Ears

Golden Retrievers have long, floppy ears that can cause problems for your dog’s ears. After swimming, certain breeds of dog can develop ear infections just like humans.

Swimmer’s ears are most prevalent in breeds with long ears that hang down. This will cause a decrease in air circulation which, in turn, can encourage yeast and bacterial growth.

Swimmer’s ear will cause redness, itching and sometimes pain. It may be possible to tell if your Golden Retriever is constantly shaking his/her head. You may also notice if your Golden Retriever is scratching at their ears after a swim.

Swimming Coats

Golden Retrievers are water-resistant. Actually, they are only water-resistant because of their coats. Goldens were designed to have two coats instead of one, which is atypical among dog breeds. To maximize warmth and protection, they have two layers.

The undercoat on a Golden Retriever is similar to a wool coat. It is, in fact, designed to keep the dog warmer than a woolen coat. This means that these dogs can swim in colder waters for longer periods.

The second layer of fur known as “guardhairs” is the topcoat. It protects the Golden Retrievers from dirt, debris, and other elements. The best part about the topcoat is that it repels water, keeping your dog’s skin clean and dry.

Powerful, Long Legs

Dog breeds with long hind legs will do well in water. They are more stable in water and better at maneuvering through large bodies of water.

Golden Retrievers are one such breed. They are strong, sturdy, and muscular. Their legs are strong enough to swim long distances without difficulty and can stay above the water for longer periods.

Active Lifestyle of a Retriever

Golden Retrievers, as the name implies, are very active dogs. According to the American Kennel Club they are among the 15 most active dog breeds. This means your retriever needs to get plenty of exercise.

Swimming is a low impact activity that’s great for Golden Retrievers. With little strain on the dog’s body, they can get high-intensity exercise. This is likely because of their active nature.

Swimming seems like a great idea, but it’s not for all dogs. This physical activity takes a lot of energy, and not every dog is ready for it. For example, it is probably not a good idea to let a Pug who is laid-back and loves to sit on your lap, get into water.

Things to Do after Swimming

After Swimming, clean Golden’s ears

To avoid an ear infection, keep your ears clean after swimming. By drying your ears, you can prevent yeast growth and bacteria. This can be a simple way to prevent discomfort for your golden, and keep you from going to the vet.

Drying a Golden Retriever after Swimming

Drying a Golden Retriever who loves swimming on a daily basis can be a tedious task. You can use this Dog Grooming Dryer. If your golden retriever is a swimmer and will jump into any pool or pond you open, then we have some advice on drying them quickly. It works, but it is not the fastest way to dry them. We wrapped him in big, absorbent beach towels which absorbed the water. After 3 towels, he felt “dry”. That’s because they don’t feel dry. Then we move on to the next method.

Final Thoughts

The water is what Golden Retrievers enjoy. This breed enjoys splashing in water at high temperatures. Goldens can’t be left alone when you take them to the pool. Avoid harsh training methods because they don’t like to be disciplined or taught harsh words.