Are Beagles Good Swimmers?

By John Martin - August 11, 2022

Beagle nervous about swimming in pool

Beagles are a unique breed of dogs. They are very social and active. They are excellent on land. But how do they fare in water?

This article will explore beagles and their relationship with water. It will also guide you on how to teach them to swim while shedding light on the many benefits of the exercise.

Can Beagles Swim?

Beagles were not bred for swimming. However, this does not mean they cannot swim.

Their prey instincts allow them to run around and chase anything on land. But they will not chase something into the water.

Just because they are not natural swimmers, it does not mean they cannot be trained to like water and enjoy swimming.

Most dogs can swim in a survival situation, but that does not mean they do it enthusiastically. It is the same with beagles. Some may enjoy it, and some may be averse to it.

Most beagles are not big fans of water. They are not drawn toward it. However, a proper introduction could make water appealing to them.

Beagles are quick learners. They can be taught. However, it is not likely they will be exceptional swimmers like Golden Retrievers. But they do surprisingly well.

Why Can Beagles Be Good Swimmers?

What are some reasons why beagles can take to swimming and become good swimmers?

They Are Extremely Active

Beagles come from a hunting background. These tenacious dogs are scent hounds. Their sharp nose allows them to sniff out anything.

Primarily, they accompanied humans on hunting trips that lasted a while. Despite their size, they had enough stamina to keep up on these long trips.

They needed to stay on the scent of the animal for miles across varying terrain and in all kinds of weather. This required serious stamina.

Their high-level energy puts them in the top 15 list of most active canine breeds—in the same league as Border Collies and German Shepherds!

They usually have a calm temperament, but their extremely active side shines through when they are in work or play mode. These high energy levels mellow out a bit once they are four years old.

Also Read: Why Do Beagles Howl So Much?

They Are Naturally Curious

Their phenomenal sense of smell makes them really inquisitive about things around them. They are in no way a timid breed.

They love to explore and can come off as adventurous. Their sense of curiosity means they are more likely to try out new experiences like swimming.

They Are Great Learners

Beagles are also intelligent. They like to imitate the behavior of other dogs and are great at following their lead. It is more of a ‘doggy see doggy do’ type of behavior.

Beagles are pack dogs, so the allelomimetic behavior, or a tendency to stick together with other dogs, is true for them.

Their pack mentality means they have a tendency to learn from others. This can be used as an advantage when it comes to learning new things like swimming.

When they spot a seasoned swimmer, it is likely to give them confidence and teach them how to enjoy swimming in no time.

How to Teach a Beagle to Swim

It is difficult to pinpoint if a Beagle is naturally inclined toward swimming. Some puppies are natural, while others have to be taught.

If you want to learn whether your dog can swim, you can try a shallow water test. If they start to paddle, they have the necessary swimming skills, and if they do not, then you should train them.

However, teaching them will not be a difficult task. Though every dog is different, most of them will be able to learn in a short while.

Either way, the process will require a certain level of patience since this breed of dog is known to be stubborn. With proper training, beagles can overcome their fear or dislike of water and become good swimmers.

To begin teaching your beagle how to swim, follow these steps for an efficient learning experience.

Get a Life Jacket

Before you get to the water, you need to make sure your beagle has a life jacket. This will boost your canine friend’s confidence and give you peace of mind.

According to the American Kennel Club, a floating device is a must when learning to swim, regardless of the breed. Since beagles are not a swimming breed, it is even more important a proper life jacket is selected for them.

This will provide extra buoyancy if the dog gets disoriented or tired, in addition to ensuring safety and increasing confidence.

Introduce Water

The next step is introducing them to water. Some dogs can be intimidated by water, but a beagle’s curious nature may make them willing participants in the training process.

The first water introduction must be done using shallow water. Starting off with a kiddie pool or a shallow tub is a great way to kick off swim training.

The goal is to get the beagle used to and comfortable around bodies of water. Let them soak in the feel of water. If they seem averse the first time, try again later. Do not fight them into the water.

Increase Water Level

Once they have grown accustomed to water after a few consistent interactions, you can increase the water level. Do it slowly. Do not raise the level all at once.

A rise in water level is nothing to worry about even if the beagle is not a swimmer because the life jacket will keep them afloat.

Once they realize their feet have left the ground, they will attempt to paddle to stay afloat.

Also Read: 18 Beautiful Beagle Colors and Markings

Get a Swimming Buddy

If the beagle seems reluctant to get into the water, it is a good idea to bring along a canine swimming buddy. This dog should already know how to swim and enjoy the act.

As mentioned above, beagles have a pack mindset. They are more open to picking up cues from other others and imitating them. If they see a canine friend swimming confidently, it may get them curious enough to try.

However, this swimming buddy should already have a good relationship with the beagle. Trust will make the process easier.

Stick Around

Since teaching a beagle to swim can be a huge task, given beagles are not naturally drawn to water, you should always stick around to supervise them.

Use positive reinforcement like snacks and lots of praise to train them. Stay close to them when they are in the water. Do not leave them alone, especially in deeper bodies of water.

Additionally, having the pet parent around will work to boost the beagle’s confidence.

Sticking around will also allow you to ensure that your furry friend does not inhale the water, especially if you are training in a pool.

Try to avoid chlorine-infused pools and saltwater bodies as these can have an adverse effect on their fur and skin.

Why Is Swimming Good for Beagles?

Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is excellent for all dogs. A brief swimming session provides a great workout and tones down energy levels.

Swimming provides multiple benefits to a beagle.


A swim session is a great way to provide physical and mental stimulation to a dog. Since beagles are very active pets, they need at least 60 minutes of workouts every day to tire them out.

If they do not get sufficient amounts of mental and physical stimulation, they will direct their energy towards destructive acts. Therefore, it is important the pent-up energy has a place to go.

Teaching them to swim is a mental activity. It will take up their focus while working out their body.

Temperature Regulation

Beagles are a double-coated breed. Double coats help dogs regulate body temperature according to the season. They shed to grow lighter coats during summer and thicker coats during winter.

However, in extreme climates, this natural process of temperature regulation is sometimes not enough. The double coat makes it difficult for them to cool down since their furry areas cannot sweat.

Besides being a good exercise, swimming can also help the beagle cool down.

Good for the Joints and Muscles

The low-impact activity is great for the joints. Since beagles are active most of their lives, they may have joint issues. Swimming provides them with a way to stay active without straining their joints.

It also helps them build up necessary muscles and strength without wreaking havoc on the joints. It is considered a great rehabilitation exercise for dogs with arthritic joints.

It also helps them get into shape and lose excess weight.

Swimming also strengthens the muscles around the heart and lungs, increases metabolism, improves circulation, and decreases inflammation.

If these are not the best reasons why swimming is good for beagles, then what are?!

Also Read: When Do Beagles Stop Growing?

The Parting Thought

Beagles are not famous for their love of water. However, they can be taught to like water and the act of swimming with proper guidance and patience.

This active breed is innately curious and has an adventurous spirit. This personality trait makes them good candidates for learning how to swim.