Do Chihuahuas Like To Swim?

Last Updated on November 27, 2021 by Marco

Do Chihuahuas like to swim? Do these petite creatures love to do a few doggie laps just as much as other breeds do?

Swimming is a fun activity to do with dogs, especially active breeds. It’s great exercise and dogs have a natural tendency towards swimming. It would be great to have a fun day splashing about with your pets, especially in the hot summer weather.

If you’re curious if you can have a pool party with your Chihuahua, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn if your pet is a beach buddy or a regular landlubber!

Are Chihuahuas Active Pets?

Contrary to their typical lap dog image, Chihuahuas are high-energy pets who enjoy exercise with their owners. They may look like they are fond of lounging around for hours on end, but they are really playful creatures who are always looking for a playmate.

According to the American Kennel Club, Chihuahuas have a high energy level and playfulness level, which are complementary traits for any owner who is looking for an active dog. Maybe Chihuahuas weren’t built for the rough-and-tumble sports life, but they surely crave some fun every so often.

Can Chihuahuas Swim? Do They Enjoy It?

Chihuahuas can swim, but there are limitations to their swimming prowess. Do Chihuahuas like water? It turns out the first time in the water is always expected to be a resounding “no”.

Much like most dogs, Chihuahua can do a paddling motion in the water that allows them to move around. This is natural instinct and they will likely have their head above the water at all times.

The problem lies in the Chihuahua’s natural tendency for anxiety. Combined with their small size, a large body of water definitely takes a lot of courage to approach, even if you, the beloved owner are there every step of the way.

Swimming Risks For Chihuahuas

Do Chihuahuas like to swim? The answer is a “maybe” and is something you should discover for your Chihuahua. What are some of the reasons for Chihuahuas not taking to swimming that well?

Chihuahua Anxiety

Chihuahuas are known for trembling and other nervous ticks and suffer from separation anxiety easily when they are away from their owners. It’s not a scientific study just yet, but anxiety in Chihuahuas seems to be a well-observed nature in the breed. This anxiety may lead to negative behaviors while in the water.

Pool Toxins and Bacteria

Of course, this is potential harm to any dog that will go swimming in a human pool, but due to the small body of the Chihuahua, it’s important to take extra care. Many pool owners are not aware of how polluted the water they swim in is, so you can assume that taking your pets inside is a risk. As long as your Chihuahua isn’t taking big gulps of chlorinated water, swimming in the pool should be fine.

High Energy But Not Enough Energy

We have established that Chihuahuas are high-energy dogs, but that quality considers their size and the number of activities they could push through in a day. Their energy simply could not compare to that of Retrievers, Huskies, and even Jack Russell Terriers. Being made to swim for a long period of time could tire them, making them more susceptible to drowning.

Inability To Paddle Hard Enough

Connected to the previous item, Chihuahuas might have a hard time paddling in the water for a long time. This is not just because they don’t have enough energy to sustain them for a long time, but they have the disadvantage of their tiny body.

Not only are their paws really small, but their legs are short as well. There could be extra energy exerted into keeping their head above water.

How To Introduce Chihuahuas To Water

Would you like to try if your Chihuahua might have the aptitude for swimming, especially for health reasons? Here are the steps that you can take so that you can practice your Chihuahuas swim skills!

How To Introduce Chihuahuas To Water

Read more about: How Fast Is A Chihuahua In Comparison To Other Dogs?

Set Up A Shallow Pool

Don’t go straight into your 6-foot deep pool just yet! Prepare a shallow basin to start off your Chihuahua’s swimming practice. It’s also a good idea to keep the water at a warm temperature so that your dog can stay longer in the makeshift pool.

Once you’ve had a few sessions like this, you can move your practice to the shallow part of the pool where you can keep an eye on your pet. Take it slow and easy during the first few rounds of practice.

Outfit Your Chihuahua With Floaters Or Life Jacket

As an extra safety measure, you should get your dog a specialized flotation device that they can wear while they are swimming in the water. You will have peace of mind while you are in the pool with your Chihuahua. Make sure that it has a good fit and that it is secure against the body of your dog, double-checking the locks that come in place.

Hold Your Dog While In The Water

While in the water, you should have your Chihuahua in your arms, especially when you are entering. Make them feel safe and secure, and that you are there to hold them throughout. You can gradually loosen your hold on your dog – perhaps just holding them around the middle of their body to do some free paddling. 

Don’t Force Your Dog In The Water

Your Chihuahua is likely to struggle and panic as its gets into the water for the first time. If this happens, hold them safely and securely to let them know that you have them. This may work well and will allow them time in the water.

When your dog starts free swimming without you holding onto them, let them come out of the water on their own. Never throw them into the water! They will just end up hating it even more.

Train Regularly

As your Chihuahua starts to accept life in water, you need to make it a habit that they can’t forget. Do some water training in regular intervals, taking care to see how tired your dog becomes.

Learn more about: Dog Chokes After Drinking Water; 4 Possible Reasons


Chihuahuas, due to their small size, have the tendency to fear water rather than enjoy it. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy a dip once in a while. Take care and know the risks of bringing your Chihuahua into open water. Chihuahuas swimming is not a strange sight, so best of luck on the adventure.

Is your Chihuahua a total water baby, or do they refuse to go anywhere near wetness? Have you ever experienced training your pet to enjoy water? Let us know in the comments below!

Leave a Comment