German Shepherds can learn swimming easily if they are provided with proper training because it is a smart dog breed and active learner. They are sharp enough to grasp the swimming basics on their own.

German Shepherds are not natural swimmers but as they are very sharp and intelligent, they can learn how to swim. Not all dog breeds can learn swimming but the German Shepherds can learn swimming with proper training.

Gsd Swimming

The German Shepherds are highly strong and energetic dogs with a perfect athletic body. Some times their owners think if their German Shepherd can swim or not?

Training GSD for swimming isn’t impossible but it requires time, patience, and correct guidance. Although swimming is not an inherited trait of a German Shepherd, they may love being in the water when they start learning swimming.

Can German Shepherds Learn Swimming?

GS can easily excel in swimming if they get good practice and training. It is easier to train a German Shepherd for swimming when compared with any other breed as they are very sharp.

GSD Puppy provides you a better chance and more favorable for you to teach them how to swim. A puppy shows more interest in learning as an adult German Shepherd. If you keep on training a puppy for swimming side by side, it will make them feel less afraid of water and they will start enjoying the activity of being in the water.

German Shepherds, as new learners, must use their four limbs while doing practice for swimming. Only using front paws or only using back paws can be unhelpful and may delay the learning.

Things To Keep In Mind

If you are planning to train your German Shepherd for swimming, here are a few things that you need to keep in mind before starting the training. These points might be helpful for you and the training.

  • Just have a firm belief that this is a process. It is like training a human child for something like riding or swimming. For teaching a child or a dog, you must need to have patience and make yourself ready to tolerate their mistakes.
  • Don’t start with long sessions of training right in the beginning. German Shepherds get tired soon and lose interest. Begin with short sessions and when your dog starts showing interest, you may increase the session as long as your dog remains interested.
  • If you take your German Shepherd to a chlorinated pool or a dirty water lake, make sure that you rinse your dog every time after the training session. It will keep your dog safe and clean.
  • Never leave your dog unattended in the water. German Shepherds get overwhelmed and might get into deep water and get into trouble.

Do German Shepherds Love or Hate water?

The answer to this question depends on what kind of experience they have with water. There might be the following possibilities.

  • A German Shepherd who has been with you in the water since its puppyhood and had a safe experience, they will love to be in the water.
  • A German Shepherd who had a drastic experience being in the water at any time of its life will develop a feeling of fear and will probably hate being in the water.
  • A German Shepherd having no prior experience with water will neither love it nor hate it. It can be expected that this German Shepherd can learn swimming if it wants to.

Can German Shepherds Swim in a Chlorinated Pool?

When you plan to start training your German Shepherd for swimming, the only option you have for still water may be a chlorinated pool. People often get concerned if their dog can swim in a chlorinated pool or not. German Shepherds can swim in a chlorinated pool but you need to make sure of the following safety measures.

  • Start training your dog for swimming in a chlorinated pool when it has learned not to drink the water while swimming.
  • Do not play fetch with your dog in a chlorinated pool as it will cause a lot of water to go inside the dog in search of the object.
  • Rinse your German Shepherd properly when it comes out of a chlorinated pool so that no part of chlorine is left on its body.
  • Make sure to properly clean and dry the ears of your German Shepherd when it leaves the pool. If chlorine gets inside the ears, it can cause ear infections leading to serious issues in the future.
  • Never leave your dog unattended in the chlorinated pool. Otherwise, this training can become a regretful experience for the rest of your life.

How To Train Your German Shepherd for Swimming?

Training a German Shepherd isn’t hard, it requires time. Especially if your dog has a bad experience with water earlier and has developed a sense of fear with water, it will be a challenge for you to train your dog for swimming.

For safe and sound training, follow the following steps, and make the training experience safe and enjoyable for you and your dog both.

  1. The most important thing in the training of a German Shepherd for swimming is safety. So, do not forget to use a doggy life-vest. It will keep your dog safe and will help it get comfortable with water in less time.
  2. Always start training your German Shepherd for swimming in still water. Never start training with running water. It can be dangerous.
  3. Do not just throw your dog in the water. Make the German Shepherd get its toes wet with the water. This will give a nice introduction of water to your dog and it will feel comfortable with it.
  4. When the dog feels comfortable, then submerge the dog completely in the water.
  5. It will be better if you too get into the water. It will be easier for you to monitor the movements of the dog and keep a check if your dog is using all of its limbs or just the front or back paws for swimming.
  6. When your dog gets familiar with water, take it to the moving water. You can also remove the life-vest when you feel that swimming has become safe for your dog.
  7. Reward your dog with a treat after every training session. This will encourage your German Shepherd and will speed up the learning pace.

Necessary Equipment Required for GSD Swimming

Safety must be your priority while training your German Shepherd for swimming. While training, you might need some equipment that will ensure a safe experience for your dog in the water.

Dog life-vest

To save your German Shepherd from drowning in the water, you should provide a dog life-vest or life-jacket to your dog. Make sure that the life-vest or jacket fits the dog properly and it can move all of its limbs freely.

Dog Goggles

The eyes of a German Shepherd are very sensitive to water, especially the chlorinated pool water. So, whenever you put your dog in the water for swimming, make sure that your dog is wearing the dog goggles.

Dog Collar

Dog collar is the necessary swimming equipment as it helps to spot your dog in the water. so use sharp colored dog collar. This dog collar lets you have something to grab your dog when your dog is drowning and needs your help.

Dog Leash

If you do not want to get into the water, you can use a dog leash. It will help you monitor the movements of your German Shepherd in the water. Use the leash loosely so that your dog can move freely in the water and doesn’t get suffocated.

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Concluding Discussion

Now you might have got the answer to your question that can a German Shepherd swim. A German Shepherd can learn swimming if trained properly. Just make sure to make this experience safe and enjoyable for your dog.[/box]

Nathan Carlton

Nathan Carlton is an executive editor at He is an avid dog lover and holds a degree in "Holistic Health & Puppy Care" from The British College of Canine Studies. He has been parenting dogs since age 10, when he developed a strong bond with his father's Bull Dog. Today, he has a German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever, who he calls Joani and Saga, respectively.