Wondering if Boston Terriers like water? Would they stick a paw into a pool? What about swimming?
Can Boston Terriers swim? Yes, Boston Terriers can become great swimmers providing they are taught to swim. However, they cannot swim for great distances or a long time.
Let’s see how to introduce your Boston Terrier to water and how they can learn to swim!
There’s a misconception about Boston Terriers not being able to swim due to being a brachycephalic breed.
True enough, not all dogs are natural swimmers. Dogs like spaniels, retrievers, and poodles, for example, love water and are great swimmers.
However, some dogs like Boston Terriers can easily learn to swim when they are introduced to water, especially from a young age, and can go on to become great swimmers.
Continue reading to know how to train your dog to swim!
Although Boston Bull Terriers can swim, there are two physical characteristics that limit the distance and the time they can swim.
First, due to their short and heavier heads, Boston Bull Terriers cannot and shouldn’t be allowed to swim for great distances or a long time.
Some can do longer distances than others depending on health and weight. But they will tend to tire out fast due to their snouts being abnormally-shaped (a brachycephalic breed trait).
It takes a little more energy for them to breathe. So, you should always supervise your pooch.
Secondly, Boston Terriers don’t have “webbed feet” (skin between their toes that covers the entire opening). Their webbing only goes about 1/2 to 3/4 between the toes and it’s not as elastic.
Dogs with webbed paws such as Labradors are able to swim much stronger and longer than non-webbed feet dogs.
Many Boston Terriers will love water if you just introduce them to it when they are young.
You can start by taking a garden hose and sprinkling water near her and see if she approaches. Encouraging your pooch to play in a foldable pool in the garden is the next step.
Think of introducing water surfaces like lakes, beaches or a swimming pool as part of your pup’s socialization. Do it gradually. Let your pooch explore the area at her own pace and encourage her with a game.
But of course, never force her into the water. Boston Terriers are sensitive to negative reinforcement and harsh tone. So forcing them into an unknown situation can traumatize them and make them afraid of water.
This is something that depends on your Boston Terrier’s preferences.
Once you know if your Boston Terrier likes water, you can progress to swimming lessons.
Just remember that not all Bostons will like water. Some will fight you tooth and nail before getting in the water!
The fun part is teaching your Boston Terrier how to swim.
The earlier you introduce your dog to water the easier it will be for her to learn. However, you should wait until your Boston Terrier is 4 to 6 months old before teaching her to swim.
This is to ensure that your Boston Terrier is strong enough to be able to swim. Also, it will warrant that she’s able to withstand temperature changes.
Follow these steps for teaching your Boston Terrier to swim:
Regardless of how great of a swimmer your Boston Terrier is…
Never leave your dog alone in or around water. Swimming should always be a supervised activity.
Basically, do the same that you would do with kids. You either join your dog for a swim or be as close as you can possibly be to her. i.e. you are her lifeguard, so stay on duty ;).
Since Boston Terriers are not natural swimmers, they are at more risk of drowning than other dogs.
Life jackets, as mentioned before, are a great safety tool. Bostons are good swimmers but they tire easily. Plus, dogs can get themselves in situations where it may be difficult to swim out of (for instance, in a wavy sea).
They do great on low-intensity exercise likes walks and also in mental stimulation games. Since adult Bostons are active dogs, they are able to go for high-intensity exercise like agility. Find out more by looking into different, suitable Boston Terriers Activities.
Boston Terriers have high energy levels and adults generally require an hour of daily exercise, although some are happy to go longer. Understand Boston Terriers' Exercise Needs for age-specific exercising routine and safety tips.
According to the AKC, they are an easy breed to train. Regardless of them being stubborn at times, they are always eager to please their owners. Since they are sensitive to punishment, reward-based training method works best for them. When addressing Boston Terrier training, housebreaking (or house-training) your dog is the first step.