Can Chow Chows Swim?

Can Chow Chows Swim

There is a great variety of dog breeds, and each one presents different characteristics regarding its physical appearance, abilities, personality, and behavior. Many people adore animals of this type for their physical and emotional benefits. 

Many people buy or adopt a dog either because of its physical appearance, personality, or ability. That is why, before bringing a canine home, we have to know every aspect of it.


One of the most interesting dog breeds in terms of their physical characteristics and temperament is the Chow Chow. 

The Chow Chow is one of the oldest dog breeds. Its origin dates back more than 2,000 years in northern China. These canines were used as temple guards during the Han dynasty.

They were used not only as guardians of the sacred temples but, on many occasions, also as herding or hunting dogs. 

It is essential to know that this dog has an adorable appearance. That’s because its fur is fluffy, making it look like a teddy bear. Also, this animal has a plump face, erect ears, facial wrinkles, and a reddish or black coat.

These physical characteristics make many people think that Chow Chows are enthusiastic and friendly with everyone, but they can become aggressive in certain situations. 

People with an active lifestyle, especially those who like to swim and want to acquire a Chow Chow, must know perfectly some aspects of this canine and whether it can swim or not. 

Can Chow Chows Swim?

Technically, Chow Chows can swim like most dogs. However, that does not make them excellent swimmers. Therefore, leaving our Chow Chow in the water unsupervised is not recommended, mainly due to its coat. 

Chow Chows have a thick double coat that makes them heavier when wet, so they tend to tire quickly. In addition, these dogs do not have the most athletic body, so they will quickly run out of energy.

Also, we have to say that these canines do not like swimming as they prefer to be in the comfort of their home undisturbed. 

Simply put, it is difficult for a Chow Chow to swim and bear excess weight when its thick coat is wet. 

Characteristics That Prevent the Chow Chow from Swimming Comfortably

We have already mentioned that this canine’s double-layered coat is the main reason they have difficulty swimming. The hair of a Chow Chow is very dense and fluffy, so by absorbing a lot of water, it becomes saturated and adds a lot of weight to the animal’s body. 

The coat of this canine is not the only reason for this situation: 

  • Short Legs: Instinctively, humans and dogs tend to move their legs quickly to stay afloat in the water. Chow Chows’ legs are very short, so they will have to make a greater effort moving them compared to other dogs. That will make them tire quickly. 
  • Flat Muzzle: A Chow Chow’s muzzle is flat. This characteristic makes them have difficulty breathing while staying afloat in the water. Not only will their legs get tired, but so will their lungs. 

These characteristics combined can cause a lot of fatigue in the animal, making it difficult to perform when swimming. That is why Chow Chows are not considered good swimmers. 

How to Teach a Chow Chow to Swim?

We have said that this breed of dogs does not like swimming as they prefer to spend time in the comfort of their home. However, we have to remember that not all dogs are the same, so it is normal that some Chow Chows like to swim. 

These dogs are not designed for swimming due to the characteristics discussed in the previous point. Therefore, if we want to allow our Chow Chow to swim, we have to take certain security measures to avoid any problems. 

The most advisable thing is to buy a life jacket for our pet. That way, it can float and swim calmly without its body feeling heavy when wet. It should be noted that this type of training should be carried out when our Chow Chow is a puppy since, at that age, it will learn faster. 

We have to make sure we teach our Chow Chow to swim in shallow water. Then, as it learns and becomes comfortable, you can allow it to swim in deeper water. You should always be by its side, guiding it and helping it so that it feels supported and confident. 

If you practice enough with your Chow Chow, it will become an excellent swimming dog. That is an advantage since it will exercise a lot while in the water, and thanks to training, it will tire less often. 

It should be noted that you should always supervise your Chow Chow while it is swimming.