Are Goldendoodles Good Swimmers?

Yes, Goldendoodles are good swimmers. Since they are bred from two water-loving dog breeds, namely the Golden Retriever and Poodle, one of the traits that they inherit from the family tree is their non-committal approach towards the water. Therefore, they can be regarded as being swimmers to a certain extent, provided they have been adequately initiated.

Once comfortable in the water, Doodles tend to enjoy swimming, whether in a lake, at the beach, or in your backyard swimming pool. Since they are intelligent and can be easily trained, swimming and water-play are achievable tasks. 

Can GoldenDoodles Swim?

They are known as “designer dogs,” Goldendoodles, as such, do not have an aversion towards water. They might start off feeling scared, but owing to their bloodlines, they have strong limbs and slightly wide feet, both of which render them self-sufficient in water. Another good reason is that they have webbed feet. 

This enables them to pull through the water as though they were paddles. The webbed skin between the toes also grants them unique speed and controls direction while in water.

You are not likely to face any significant difficulties while teaching your Goldendoodle to swim as long as you go about it in a stepwise and gradual manner. Exposing your pet to water and swimming early in life will ensure positive results.

Goldendoodles and Swimming

Do not assume that your Goldendoodle would know how to swim. The chances are that it would cling to you on account of being in unfamiliar territory.

A safer idea would entail introducing your Goldendoodle to the joys of swimming in a smaller body of water as against the lake or the ocean for their first swim. 

Whenever any new concept is introduced to your pet, take puppy steps such as: 

  • Ensuring that they are familiar with the entry and exit points so that they can get out of the water without assistance;
  • Not letting your Goldendoodle swim alone and actively supervising its time in the water;
  • Building their confidence slowly over time for long-term results;
  • Taking your Goldendoodle for an initial relaxed visit to a dog beach and letting them play in the waves or close to the waves;

Tips Teaching Your Goldendoodle To Swim

No matter how talented, energetic, and vigilant your Goldendoodle might be, do remember that water can be dangerous. Rather than expecting them to swim all by themselves, you can improve the situation by following these necessary steps:

  • Introduce them to water as soon as they are old enough;
  • Use positive reinforcement during the process and reward them with praise and even treats;
  • Don’t force your Goldendoodle if it does not take to the water immediately, preferably retreat and try again later;
  • Start in warm, shallow water wherein they can stand safely; 
  • In the early stages of swim training, do not overwork them to the point of exhaustion; 
  • Swimming sessions should not be too long;

Water-Sport Options for Goldendoodles

Once your Goldendoodle is comfortable being in and around water, you can consider the following water-sport options that will be fun and physically stimulating –

Water Retrieval – Does your Goldendoodle love to fetch stuff? If yes, then it can translate into an entertaining water-sport. This is especially becoming fun for pups and can become a sport with a competitive edge if there are other pets involved. 

In addition to enabling your Doodle to swim better, it can be a lot of fun if adequately handled. 

An interesting variation would be dock-jumping, wherein the Goldendoodle jumps off a standard-sized dock and lands on the water with a big splash. 

In competitions, a toy is thrown as an incentive for Goldendoodles or other breeds to fetch it as quickly as possible. 

Disc Dog – A Frisbee-type flying disc can be thrown to be caught by the Doodle It is a great way to let Goldendoodles run around and get some exercise.

The term “disc dog” includes several types of competitive disc games, one of the most common beings to compete with each other in catching and earning points.

Kayak/Boat Outing – The first step is to teach your Goldendoodle the basic commands like sit, lie down, and stay, as these would all come in handy during a kayak outing.

Next, teach your Goldendoodle how to climb into the boat while on land or tied to the dock and then when it is in water. Also, make sure the surface of the water is sufficiently calm to prevent any unwanted rocking. 

Stand-Up Paddle-boarding – Once your Goldendoodle becomes a proven swimmer, you can try to get it to balance on the board. Then the two of you can look forward to hours of fun on the water.

Goldendoodles being small-sized, while paddle-boarding, make sure that your pet remains in your line of vision all the time. 

Canoe Trip – Although this sport is similar to paddle-boarding, it requires no prior training. Just going out in a canoe with your Goldendoodle will afford both of you hours of peaceful relaxation and entertainment. 

You can go canoeing in the river or a stream, and as long as there are no dangerous rocks or strong current ahead, the ride could be pleasant.

Post Swimming Concerns

After your Doodleswim, rinse him thoroughly with clean and fresh water. Dry with a towel, and then apply another thin layer of conditioner to keep the skin moist. Post swimming, you need to be concerned about – 

Exhaustion – Goldendoodles might start limping as a result of overexertion. It is usually challenging to determine what is too much is for your pet as they can’t express themselves and tend to be quite energetic.

That being said, limping is indicative of muscle soreness and goes away after adequate rest. 

Water intoxication is also known as hyponatremia. It occurs when dogs ingest large quantities of water quickly while diving open-mouthed into the water to retrieve a ball or a toy. Excessive water in the system causes electrolyte levels to drop, thins blood plasma, and leads to swelling of the brain and other organs. It is relatively rare but can become fatal at times. 

Swimmer’s tail – Sometimes, the Doodle tail might droop after too much water play, and this is known as a limber-tail syndrome. It can strain the muscles that keep the tail up and wagging. Along with tail limpness, the tail’s base is often stiff and painful, which is why you need to be aware of it. 

Final Thoughts

Goldendoodles may love water, but never assume that they know how to swim. Introduce your pet to water in a safe and non-threatening way. Find a shallow pool and keep things fun. Regular bathing can help your Doodle swim, always supervise while swimming, and keep a dog life jacket handy. 

For families that love getting out on the river or lake, c can be an excellent option for those who love water sports.  

An article you may find helpful: How to choose a Goldendoodle?

Are Goldendoodles go swimmers?


Diane is a lifelong owner of Labs, Retrievers, a Poodle, Labradoodle, and, more recently, a Goldendoodle. She loves dogs and enjoy's taking her Goldendoodle Nala for walks in the woods with her daughters.

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