Can Bulldogs Swim?

Can Bulldogs swim is a question that has many answers but overall, Bulldogs can’t swim, at least to a great extent. There are varieties of Bulldogs, these include the likes of English Bulldog, French Bulldog, American Bulldog, and of course the Old English Bulldog. Each of these Bulldog breeds come with a distinct set of characteristic, including weight and size. However, similarities still exist among them, including “smooshed” faces like Pugs, heavy bones, and thick muscles. You would agree that all of these features only add up to a canine that is not built for swimming.

Nonetheless, there are still Bulldogs that are capable of swimming, but not too well. Compared to other breeds of dogs with a different set of features, swimming is a herculean task for the Bulldog breed. However, this does not mean that it is impossible for members of the breed to learn how to swim. Continuous training, patience, and close supervision should be your watchwords if you want your Bulldog to perfect the act of swimming.

Is swimming good for Bulldogs?

Swimming as a sport is not considered to be good for brachycephalic dogs. Brachycephalics include those members of the canine population with a short, wide skull. English Bulldog, Pug, and French Bulldog fall into this category.

One characteristic of this category of canines is that they have short nasal passages that often lead to breathing issues. The snoring habit of brachycephalics is an indication that they suffer from partial obstruction of the airways which can possibly worsen, leading to respiratory issues.

Brachycephaly has made it difficult for Bulldogs to swim competently. Because of their short snout, these canines must keep their faces tilted up higher in order to keep them above water level. Combining the task of tilting up its face and staying afloat on water, the Bulldog is likely to encounter difficulties and when you factor in the pup’s heavy torso and short limbs that are never conducive to floating, they easily sink to the bottom.

Any dog you introduce into the water will naturally begin “dog paddling” – a swim style where the canine alternates its limbs back and forth. With that said, any dwarf dog will find this paddling difficult because of its short limbs. Bulldogs are not the only canine breeds in this category – the same applies to Basset Hounds, Pugs, Dachshunds, Corgis, and Maltese. The best thing for dogs that fall into this group is to leave them out of the water.

Can some English Bulldogs swim?


The English Bulldog is a breed that is not adaptable to water, however, that is not to say that all English Bulldogs are non-swimmers. It is just that the physical attributes of the breed don’t allow them to do well in the water. The short legs prevent fast paddling, enough to stay afloat. Their robust body and wide head that must be tilted up for air all work against the breed in water and for this reason, it sinks very fast and can drown if no help is in sight.

When you take time to train an English Bulldog to swim, it may be able to swim for short periods with relative ease. Some of them may even enjoy the experience but there are some that will just be struggling in the water. Nevertheless, the case of one English Bulldog will always be different from the next one.

Because of their compact and heavy body mass, your Bulldog must be closely monitored while swimming. The reason for this is that, if the canine can no longer hold its head above water and sinks, it can take in excessive water with a force that is far from good.

With all that said, the fact remains that the English Bulldog breed of dogs isn’t a natural swimmer, However, there is always the possibility of training your pooch to get acclimatized to the water but pet parents must never neglect to use a life vest. Below is a list of reasons why English Bulldogs don’t take naturally to water;

  • Bulldogs are heavily built and there are many that are obsessed.
  • The short legs of the English bulldog won’t aid it in dog paddling, rather, the pup can only struggle with the water.
  • Bulldogs are prone to short breaths out of the water, talk less of submerging them in water where there is no air.

Can Bulldogs float?

Bulldogs weigh roughly 50 pounds and all that body mass is crammed into a 14-inch tall frame. What this means in essence is that the breed is compact with a lot of muscle tones. We all know that muscles are naturally denser than fat, thus, they are more likely to sink than float. The component of fats is saturated oil that will likely float when exposed to water and remember, fat happens to be less dense than water.

Even if the Bulldog does not sink to the bottom of the water immediately after you drop it into the pool, all that muscular tone will work against the dog’s effort to remain afloat.

For instance, get a piece of wood and a rock of similar weight and put both into the water. It is most likely that the rock will sink and it will sink very fast. That is exactly what can happen to a Bulldog in water if there is no supervision. Even the small-sized French Bulldog is not exempted from this mishap.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you assume that your Bulldog can stay afloat in water. Its brachycephalic nature demanding it to raise up its head for air while in water is another setback for the Bulldog. It just cannot stay afloat while doing this.

Read Also: The Bulldog (English Bulldog) Breed Information and Personality Traits

Do bulldogs like baths?

Members of the canine population hardly like taking baths and the Bulldog breed is no exception. However, pet parents need to get their canine companions acclimatized to bathing before they can enjoy baths. There are steps to follow for this. Always endeavor to make bath time a happy experience, such that the dog would love to have a repeat performance.

Bathing your Bulldog once or twice a month should be good enough. The wrinkles on the dog’s body should be carefully cleaned while bathing and pet parents should look for mild and dog-friendly shampoos that won’t irritate the dog’s skin.

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