Do Airedale Terriers Like to Swim?

By John Martin - September 7, 2022

Airedale Terrier swimming in a lake

The playful breed of Airedale Terriers makes excellent companions. These large terriers are quite versatile in the activities they love getting involved in.

If you have an Airedale pup or are thinking of getting one, this thought probably crossed your mind—do Airedale Terriers like to swim?

Let’s find out!

Airedale Terriers and Swimming

When we think of canine breeds that are into watersports, we conjure up scenes of spaniels and retrievers splashing around in lakes and rivers. However, the Airedale Terriers are also well-equipped for swimming.

They are not predominantly a water dog breed, but their versatility means they are capable of swimming. While they may be capable of swimming, it does not mean all Airedales like water. Some enjoy the act of swimming, while others will steer clear of water bodies.

Though Airedales are not included in the category of retrieving breeds, they are capable of following their instincts in locating and retrieving game. As with many pooches in the retrieving breed, Airedales are also prone to joint-related health issues like hip dysplasia.

Swimming has been proven a beneficial activity for dogs with joint problems. This therapeutic activity strengthens muscles and improves range of motion without stressing out the joints.

Also Read: How Much Do Airedales Cost?

How to Introduce Swimming to an Airedale Terrier

All dogs are capable of learning how to swim. The process requires patience and the right technique to be successful. While some are naturally excellent swimmers, like Newfoundlands, others require a proper introduction and training to get there.

If you want to introduce the activity of swimming to your Airedale, make sure to do so gradually. Once they have had a proper introduction, most Airedales enjoy playing and swimming in the water.

Choose a Location

When first introducing the sport of swimming to your Airedale, consider selecting a location that is indoors and specifically designed for dogs. You will find such types of facilities require a small fee.

The advantage of choosing a dog-friendly swimming pool is that it will come with a certified trainer and a controlled, safe environment. This is ideal for your dog’s first water introduction.

If you are picking a more natural environment to teach your dog how to swim, then locate a non-stagnant body of water. Look around for any signs that indicate the presence of bacteria, toxins, and local wildlife.

Blue-green algae is extremely harmful to dogs. If the water body contains any algae, do not let your dog wade or swim in it. Make sure they do not accidentally ingest the water. Exposure to it is often fatal.

If you are introducing swimming to a puppy, you can start off with an inflatable pool in your own backyard.

Also Read: Are Airedale Terriers Good Family Dogs?

Make Introductions

If your chosen training location is a canine swimming pool, your dog’s first introduction to water will generally be done by a certified trainer. However, if you are doing this outside and on your own, you have to be responsible about how you make this introduction.

Most Airedales jump at the chance of being in the water and do not require much coaxing. However, a few of them can be headstrong and resistant to the idea.

The best way to make the introduction is to start off in a shallow area and just walk around with them. Once they have gotten used to it, you can gradually move to the deeper areas.

Make sure they are not overwhelmed. Positive association with water is important. Do not be hasty and try to hurry along the process.

Give them tons of verbal praise, and keep the tone of your voice calm and positive. Be mindful of your dog’s body language. At any point, if they appear agitated, move them to shallow waters and let them calm down before round two.

Take Safety Precautions

It is always important to ensure you take the necessary safety precautions when teaching your pooch how to swim. Your dog should always be under your supervision when they are around or in water.

Airedale Terriers do not know when to quit. Remember this when they start swimming. Until they have proven themselves as an extremely capable swimmer, it is vital they are outfitted in a canine life jacket.

Keep a sharp lookout when they are in uncontrolled natural swimming spots. Make sure there are no distractions around them, such as too much noise or activity.

After every swimming session has ended, make sure to rinse them off with clean, fresh water. It will wash away elements like residual dirt, chemicals, and bacteria from their skin and coat.

Also Read: Are Airedales Smart Dogs?

The Bottom Line

The working breed of Airedale Terriers has a lovely temperament. Though they are not water dogs, they do enjoy watersports, provided they were properly introduced to them.

Airedales adapt quite well and pick up new activities easily with the right form of training. Swimming is one such activity. Most Airedales like to swim and do not require much convincing.