Last Updated on January 4, 2022 by Griselda M.
Even though it’s generally known that most dogs can swim instinctively, some people still wonder can American Bulldogs swim. This confusion is pretty common, given that most other Bulldogs don’t enjoy swimming. Believe it or not, some Bulldogs outright can’t swim! Let’s dive into the problem of Bulldogs and swimming and see exactly what’s the problem.
Can American Bulldogs Swim?
Unlike most of their cousins, American Bulldogs can indeed swim. Even though these dogs were bred on farms and are fairly muscular, they can still hold themselves atop.
One could also argue that American Bulldogs actually like water. This is because they’re a flat-faced brachycephalic breed – this means that they have trouble cooling down during high temperatures. Water is a natural coolant for all animals, so they’re naturally attracted to it during the summer.
There was no intention, however, for the American Bulldog to be a swimmer. When the settlers were breeding these dogs, their purpose was to protect the farmland and the people on it. However, this breed of dog is very strong, agile, and intelligent – it didn’t take too long for them to master swimming.
American Bulldogs also develop webbed feet fairly quickly, which makes them much better at swimming. Given how muscular they are, swimming isn’t difficult for them. However, they can’t swim very far. This is why some owners use a dog life vest to help their dogs stay above water.
Can Bulldogs Swim?
This question is where it actually gets tricky.
Bulldogs have the ability to swim, but it’s very difficult for them, with the American Bulldog being the exception.
The reason American Bulldogs can swim easily in comparison to their cousins, the French and English Bulldogs, and the Pug, is anatomy. These dogs are all brachycephalic, with this feature being much less prominent with the American Bulldog. This means that their skulls are short and wide, while their face is characteristically smushed. Even though most dog owners find it cute, the dogs themselves don’t.
These dogs are basically genetically conditioned to have trouble breathing ever since they’re born. Their short nasal passages are the source of this problem, so it’s quite common for a dog’s pathway to get obstructed, at least partially. Vets often remind owners that this can lead to long-term respiratory problems.
Now, since their necks and snouts are so short, they have a lot of trouble keeping their heads above water. Their legs are also shorts, with their torsos being heavy and round.
When you compare this to the American Bulldog, a breed with longer legs, less round torso, longer neck, and snout, it becomes obvious why it can swim more easily.
These dogs still enjoy the everyday puddle, but it’s best for them not to move around deeper bodies of water – rivers, lakes, etc.
Do some people wonder do bulldogs have webbed feet? The English and the French Bulldog have some webbing on their feet, but it’s incomparable to swimming breeds. The American Bulldog, for example, has more webbing on its feet than its English and French cousins.
Helping Your American Bulldog Swim
Even though American Bulldogs are better at swimming than English and French Bulldogs, you should still practice caution. The best method is the slowest one!
Don’t ever let your Bulldog wander too far away and always keep them on the leash. If you want your dog to learn how to swim, start slow. Take your pup to the shallows and let it get used to the feeling of water. With time, you can let it get to deeper and deeper waters. However, you should stick with your dog – this means that you have to go swimming as well.
This is the best safety precaution out there. In case something happens, you’ll be close by. American Bulldogs aren’t as confident in the water as other species.
Some dogs are so uncomfortable around water they don’t even want to step into a puddle. You might have to start by playing with a water hose or a sprinkler first!
However, don’t try to force water on your dog – if they don’t enjoy swimming, then they won’t swim and there’s nothing wrong with that.
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Tips And Trick
There are many things you can do to teach your dog how to swim!
There are two great props you can use for your dog’s swimming! A dog pool and a dog life vest.
Whether you’re trying to acquaint your dog with water or just help them cool down, a dog pool is a very useful training prop. These pools are usually small, foldable, and difficult to rip, so you don’t have to worry about their claws ripping through the fabric. Letting your dog get used to water in a safe, calm environment can be a great first step towards teaching them to swim.
Another great addition to your swimming training can be a dog life vest. There are life vests made especially for dogs. These vests can be literal life-savers and they’ll prove to be immensely useful to your dog. It becomes much more difficult for your dog to drown or get into any different sort of trouble!
There are many dog trainers who have experience with dogs that simply refuse to swim. If you can’t teach your dog how to swim, consulting with an expert should be the next step. However, we still want to stress that the inability to swim isn’t a handicap to Bulldogs and it’s nothing to be worried about!
To sum up, no Bulldog is really good at swimming, but the American Bulldog is the best out of all the Bulldogs and they can swim. English and French Bulldogs have too short necks and snouts and that makes swimming very difficult. American Bulldogs have longer necks and snouts, as well as longer legs and more muscular bodies. However, you should still take swimming training step by step, slowly and safely. Consider consulting an expert for professional advice and training, since water is no joke.
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