Can Shih Tzu Swim? Everything You Need To Know


Have you ever wondered if Shih Tzu are born with a natural ability to swim like some other dog breeds or if they prefer to stay out of the water? If so, then this is the blog post for you! Despite their small size and fluffy appearance, these adorable pups have a surprising relationship with swimming that might just make you rethink everything you thought you knew about them. So strap on your floaties and dive into “The Surprising Truth About Shih Tzu and Swimming: Everything You Need to Know.”

Can Shih Tzu Swim?

Yes, Shih Tzu can swim! In fact, they are quite good swimmers. However, you should keep a few things in mind if you’re considering taking your Shih Tzu swimming.

First of all, make sure that the body of water you’re planning to take your Shih Tzu swimming in is safe and clean. There’s no need to put your dog in danger by taking them somewhere where there could be harmful bacteria or pollutants.

Secondly, it’s important to introduce your Shih Tzu to the water gradually. Don’t just throw them in and expect them to start swimming – that could cause them to panic and drown. Instead, start with short sessions in shallow water, and let them get used to the sensation of being wet before moving on to deeper water.

Always supervise your Shih Tzu when they’re swimming, even if they’re good swimmers. Dogs can tire quickly when swimming, so it’s important to be there in case they need help getting out of the water.

Understanding Shih Tzu Anatomy:

One of the reasons why Shih Tzu are not natural swimmers is their anatomy. They have a short snout and a relatively large head, which makes it difficult for them to keep their head above water. Additionally, their short legs and compact body make it challenging for them to paddle effectively.

Introducing Your Shih Tzu to Water:

While Shih Tzu may not be natural swimmers, it doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the water. If you want to introduce your Shih Tzu to swimming, it’s important to do it gradually and in a safe environment. Start by allowing your Shih Tzu to explore shallow water, such as a kiddie pool or a calm lake. Always keep a close eye on your furry friend and provide them with a life jacket for added safety.

Teaching Your Shih Tzu Swim:

If you want your Shih Tzu to become a confident swimmer, you can teach them how to swim with patience and positive reinforcement. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Start in shallow water: Begin by letting your Shih Tzu get comfortable with the water in a shallow area where they can touch the ground.
  • Support their body: Place one hand under their belly and the other hand on their chest to provide support as they paddle.
  • Use a flotation device: A doggy life jacket can give your Shih Tzu added buoyancy and help them feel more secure in the water.
  • Encourage and praise: Offer treats and lots of verbal praise to motivate your Shih Tzu and make the swimming experience positive.

Basic Swimming Safety Tips for Shih Tzu:

Most people think that because Shih Tzu are small, they can’t swim. This isn’t true! In fact, Shih Tzu are great swimmers and love to play in the water. However, there are some basic safety tips you should follow to make sure your Shih Tzu has a safe and fun time swimming:

  1. Always supervise your Shih Tzu when they are swimming. Even though they are good swimmers, they can still drown if they get tired or get into trouble.
  2. Make sure the pool you are using is shallow enough for your Shih Tzu. They should be able to touch the bottom with their feet so they can rest if needed.
  3. Don’t let your Shih Tzu swim in cold water. They can get hypothermia just like humans!
  4. Be cautious of strong currents in rivers or lakes. Your Shih Tzu could get swept away quickly and drowned.
  5. If your Shih Tzu does get wet, make sure to towel them off well and put a warm blanket on them until they are completely dry to prevent them from getting cold.

Water Safety Tips for Shih Tzu:

While it’s great to see your Shih Tzu enjoying the water, it’s important to prioritize their safety. Here are some water safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Never leave your Shih Tzu unattended near water.
  • Invest in a doggy life jacket for added safety.
  • Choose calm and shallow water for swimming.
  • Rinse your Shih Tzu’s coat thoroughly after swimming to remove any chlorine or saltwater.
  • Monitor your Shih Tzu for any signs of fatigue or distress.

What Supplies Do You Need to Take Your Shih Tzu Swimming?

If you’re like most people, you probably think that all dogs love swimming. But the truth is, some dogs are better swimmers than others. And Shih Tzu are actually not very good swimmers at all. In fact, they can even drown if they’re not properly supervised.

So, if you’re thinking about taking your Shih Tzu swimming, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First of all, you’ll need to get your dog used to the water gradually. Don’t just throw them into the pool and expect them to swim. Start by letting them splash around in a kiddie pool or the shallow end of a lake or ocean. Then, once they’re comfortable with that, you can start taking them out into deeper water.

You’ll also need to make sure they have the proper supplies with them when they go swimming. This includes a life jacket or floatation device specifically designed for dogs. You don’t want to use a human life jacket, as it won’t fit properly and could actually put your dog at risk of drowning. There are many different types and styles of dog life jackets available, so take some time to find one that’s right for your Shih Tzu.

In addition to a life jacket, you’ll also need to bring along some dog treats and toys that will float. This will help keep your dog entertained while they’re swimming and will give them something to focus on other than.

How to Teach a Shih Tzu to Swim:

If you’re like most people, you probably think that all dogs can swim. After all, they have fur coats, webbed feet, and a natural love of water, right? Wrong. While it’s true that some dogs take to the water like a fish, others are naturally afraid of it. And, contrary to popular belief, not all dogs have an instinctive ability to swim. In fact, some breeds are better swimmers than others. One of those breeds is the Shih Tzu.

While Shih Tzu were originally bred in China as companion animals for royalty, they quickly became popular in the Western world for their loving dispositions and charming personalities. Today, they’re one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States.

Despite their popularity, there’s one thing that many people don’t know about Shih Tzu: they’re not natural swimmers. In fact, if you don’t take the time to teach your Shih Tzu how to swim, he or she could be at risk for drowning.

So how do you teach a Shih Tzu to swim? The first step is to get them used to the water. This can be done by taking them for walks near bodies of water and letting them play in shallow pools or sprinklers on hot days. Once your dog is comfortable around water, you can start working on swimming lessons.

There are a few different ways to go about this depending.

Making the Most of Swimming Time with Your Shih Tzu:

If you’re like most people, you probably think of swimming as a great way to exercise your Shih Tzu. And while it’s true that swimming is a great form of exercise for dogs, there’s more to it than that. Here are a few things you should know about swimming with your Shih Tzu:

1. Swimming is a great way to bond with your dog.This is because swimming requires trust and cooperation between you and your dog. In other words, it’s the perfect opportunity for some quality bonding time.

2. Swimming is also a great way to socialize your dog.If you take your Shih Tzu to a public place like a dog park or beach, they’ll have the opportunity to socialize with other dogs. This is important because it helps them become well-rounded and confident dogs.

3. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for dogs.Not only does it provide them with cardio benefits, but it also helps build muscle and stamina. Plus, it’s low impact, so it’s easy on their joints.

Know When Not To Let your Dog Swim:

While it is true that Shih Tzu love the water, there are certain times when you should not let your dog swim. If the water is too cold, your dog could get hypothermia. If the water is too deep, your dog could drown. Also, if there is a strong current, you should not let your dog swim because he could be pulled under and drowned.


While Shih Tzu may not be natural swimmers, they can still enjoy the water with proper supervision and safety measures. Remember to introduce your Shih Tzu to water gradually and provide them with the necessary support and encouragement. With time and patience, your Shih Tzu may even become a confident swimmer!

Can Shih Tzu Swim: FAQs

  1. Are all Shih Tzu Natural Swimmers?

    While many Shih Tzu have a natural inclination for swimming, individual preferences vary. Some may require patient encouragement and gradual introductions.

  2. Can I Teach My Shih Tzu to Swim?

    Absolutely! With patience, positive reinforcement, and gradual introductions, most Shih Tzu can learn to swim and enjoy the experience.

  3. Do Shih Tzu Need Specialized Swim Training?

    In general, Shih Tzu don’t need specialized swim training. However, ensuring a positive introduction to water is essential for their safety and enjoyment.

  4. How Often Should I Take My Shih Tzu Swimming?

    The frequency of swimming sessions depends on your Shih Tzu preferences. Regular but not excessive swimming can contribute to their overall well-being.

  5. Can Shih Tzu Swim in Cold Weather?

    While Shih Tzu may enjoy swimming in warmer weather, it’s advisable to limit cold-water exposure to prevent discomfort. Ensure the water is at a comfortable temperature.

  6. Are There Shih Tzu That Dislike Swimming?

    Yes, just like humans, some Shih Tzu may not enjoy swimming. It’s crucial to respect their preferences and not force them into water activities.

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