Can Pugs Swim? – The Answer Will Surprise You!

Can Pugs swim as other dog breeds? Even though it is inevitable for dogs to be able to swim, that is not the case for Pugs. But why?  Can you find ways to let them learn to swim? If you are wondering about these questions, scroll down to read detailed explanations and useful information around Pugs!

Can Pugs Swim? And How To Let Them Swim?

Can Pugs Swim?
Can Pugs Swim?

In detail, Pugs must keep their nose and mouth above the water. This requires its head to point upwards, then its body will be downward, and the whole body will form a vertical line in the water, which causes it to sink. They also have some following traits of their body preventing them from swimming, unlike Poodle mixes that are best at swimming.

However, all Pugs will have the ability to swim because of a natural and innate tendency. Even though most Pugs are terrible at swimming because of their body’s traits, you can teach them to swim gradually. 

Some dog owners simply throw their dog into the water, expecting him or her to instinctively know what to do and cheerfully paddle around. Unfortunately, the dog will most likely spend his whole life swimming in this case. It’s ideal for introducing your Pug to water gradually.

Your Pug’s first time inside the water will affect their feelings towards this pastime. Hence, the way you introduce how to swim for them is extremely important. To prepare, ensure that:

  • The water temperature is at the least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.55 Celsius)
  • The pool or lake is apparent.
  • The space pool is distinctly quiet and scattered with other swimmers and kids. To make this a fair better experience for your dog, you should try it with an older Pug or experienced Pug. 
  • You should give float toys that your dog loves to encourage them to swim better. Of course, you could teach your Pug to enter the pool themselves, or you could hold her or him as you enter the water.

Why Are Pugs Not Very Good Swimmers? 

Happy dog pug breed wearing Aloha shirts sitting on beach
Happy dog pug breed wearing Aloha shirts sitting on beach

Pugs aren’t terrific swimmers because of some of the following traits:

Short Snout 

As mentioned above, the appearance of the Pug is one of the main factors which prevents them from becoming master swimmers.

Dogs with these physical structures, which include English dogs and bulldogs, are known as brachycephalic dogs. In detail, because of their small nasal passages, these races are prone to many health problems. When they are in certain unnatural positions, their facial structure causes breathing problems.

Due to this physical nature, Pugs tend to bend their heads upwards when swimming. This position can make it hard for them to remain afloat.

Lap Dogs Trait 

Pug is one of the best lap dogs, so it isn’t half as active as other dogs. If you are a Pug owner, you can easily notice that sleeping for up to ten hours or more is normal for them.

Pugs don’t like to exert the energy necessary to swim. And in comparison with other dogs, they only need minimal physical activity.

Experts recommend one daily Pug walk. If you take two short walks, your Pug will love it even more. However, some Pugs are more active than others, and that is fine!

Body Structure 

The shape of the Pug is also unsuitable for swimming. It does not mean an animal that has small legs is automatically a bad swimmer. Corgis, for example, have the same body structure but are great swimmers. The only difference is that the legs of corgis are strong, which is important in cattle breeding. And they need a great deal of power to push their bodies.

Meanwhile, with Pugs they were not bred to be hunted or retrieved, so their core and agile speed are quite weak.

Further reading:
Everything You Need To Know About Rottweiler Puppies!
Parti Yorkies: What You Should Do to Keep Them Healthy

What Are The Tips About Water and Health Care For Your  Pug?

Dogs wore life jackets and caught the poolside in the outdoor pool
Dogs wore life jackets and caught the poolside in the outdoor pool

Firstly, you need to know what to do to protect your dog’s health and avoid some problems of being exposed to water regularly when your baby spends a lot of time in the water.

The dirty water may cause ear infections, called the ‘ear of the swimmer’ (Otitis externa). Specifically, this can lead to inflammation of the ear duct, jokes, redness, and extreme malaise and pain.

When your Pug is exposed to water on a regular basis, and the ears are not properly dried, ear infections may occur. You have to make sure that after being around the water, you dry the dog’s ears and correctly use a towel to minimize the risk of infection.

Secondly, your pug can easily make pottery of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). Even a cup of water is fatal for Pugs with this bacterium. Its symptoms include vomiting, coma, shock, seizure, and even dangerous drugs. 

Another disease is leptospirosis. It is transported through the urine of wild animals. Besides, your dog can have diseases associated with gastroenteritis, which is a consequence of dirty water pathogens and bacteria.


In summary, “Can Pugs swim?” – Yes, they can, but not so well. 

You can teach your beloved Pugs to swim, but please always remember to do it with patience! In addition, the ability to adapt to heat changes in Pugs is very poor due to the short snout structure that makes it difficult to ventilate and regulate the temperature in the Pug’s body; do not let your black Pug swim in hot weather!

Hope you find some useful things; see you again in the next post!

Further reading:
6 Dog Breeds That Don’t Do Well in the Water – SheKnows
10 Dog Breeds That Can’t Swim – PetGuide
Why Some Dogs Can’T Swim – Wag!