Do Bernedoodles Like to Swim? Exploring Their Water-loving Nature

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

If you’ve ever wondered whether these adorable furballs have a natural affinity for the water or if they prefer staying on dry land, you’ve come to the right place.

I can tell you that watching these fluffy companions paddle their way through lakes and rivers is a sight to behold., but I also know that not all Bernedoodles are born with a love for swimming, and that can be a real pain point for some dog parents.

So, do Bernedoodles like to swim? That’s what you will find out in this post.

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Are Bernedoodles Natural Swimmers?

Are Bernedoodles Natural Swimmers

If you are wondering whether your Bernedoodle is going to take to water easily, it would be helpful to look at their parents. 

While Bernese Mountain Dogs can swim, not all of them are fond of the water.

This is not surprising as the breed wasn’t really made for water-related activities. 

On the other hand, Poodles are huge fans of water and they are quite known for their swimming abilities. 

Their heritage as water retrievers armed them with a moisture-resistant coat and webbed feet, making swimming a natural talent. 

As a result, the swimming inclination of a Bernedoodle can vary depending on which traits they inherit. 

Of course, exposing them early to water and providing them with positive experiences can help foster a love for swimming in your pet, especially if they lean more toward the Poodle side in their lineage.

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Is Swimming Something That Bernedoodles Enjoy?

While not all of them will have an inherent love for swimming, providing them with happy memories around the pool or at the beach will go a long way in making your pet love being in the water. 

So if you have a lot of pool parties and beach trips in mind, start exposing your family pet to this enjoyable activity now.

In time, even your hesitant swimmer will learn to have fun making a splash!

How Can You Train Your Bernedoodle to Swim?

If you and your family are water enthusiasts and are eager to train your beloved Bernedoodle so they can join in the water activities, there are a few essential things to keep in mind. 

Conditioning them first

You can’t just dive into swimming activities with your pet and expect magic.

You need to prepare them for this experience gradually. 

Conditioning them to like swimming means starting by letting them become comfortable in shallow water.

You can use a dog pool or large basin and just let them see how the water is a safe thing for them to enjoy.

Gradually increase the depth as your furry pal becomes more confident.

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Entice them with rewards

Positive reinforcement is crucial in training your fur baby to swim.

Use treats, praise, and toys as incentives to encourage them to approach the water, enter it, and engage in swimming. 

The more positive each of their experience with water is, the more comfortable and confident they’d grow.

Soon, you’d see your pet getting into the water on its own without the need for enticements.

Go where other dogs go

Dogs are social creatures, and observing other dogs enjoying water activities can inspire your pet to join in. 

Are there dog-friendly swimming areas near your place?

Bring your pet there when there are other dogs so they can observe and interact with other furry friends who are already comfortable in the water.

Monitoring them while swimming

Supervise your pet while they are swimming.

This is extra important during their initial experiences with water.

Stay close to help keep your pet safe and secure as they explore the new environment and pay close attention to your pet’s body language and energy level.

Cleaning after swimming

Once the swim is done, you’ll need to rinse your pet’s coat thoroughly.

Chlorine and salt can be tough on your furry pal’s fur and skin, so it’s best to wash that away as soon as possible.

Towel dry your pet before continuing with any other fun activities or rest. 

Consider professional help

If teaching your pet to swim is giving you trouble, you can always rely on a professional. 

Look for a qualified doggy swim trainer in your area.

These guys would know how best to train your Bernerdoodle to become a confident swimmer.

Do Bernedoodles Like Water?

do bernedoodles like water

The truth is, some dogs may naturally take to water while others may approach a pool with some hesitation.

It really depends on the training that you provide your pet at a young age.

Those that have been exposed to water early and have had many positive experiences will like water activities.  

Do Bernedoodles Dislike Water?

Similarly, it’s not uncommon for some Bernedoodles to dislike water. 

Their lack of enthusiasm towards water activities may stem from a lack of exposure or from the trait inherited from their Bernese Mountain Dog parent breed. 

But even pets that initially dislike water can be taught to show more fondness for swimming through positive exposure.

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Do Bernedoodles Have Webbed Feet?

No, Bernedoodles don’t have webbed feet.

This can be surprising since the Poodle has this feature. 

Although they may not have this specific physical trait, their swimming ability can still be improved through exposure and training.

What Are the Benefits of Swimming for Bernedoodles?

Swimming is a super fun activity for your kids, both the two and four-legged ones. It can be an amazing bonding experience. On top of that, swimming also comes with tons of benefits for your pet.


Splashing in the water can be a great low-impact exercise for your pet. It engages the entire body without putting too much strain on your furry pal’s joints.

Moving against the water’s resistance also helps build muscle strength and boosts endurance. It will do wonders for your pet’s cardiovascular health and fitness.

Cooling off

Hot days are excessively harsh on our pets. Let them cool off by spending a few minutes in the water. This can go a long way in helping regulate their body temperature.

Swimming offers a fun way to beat the summer heat. Acting as a natural coolant, the water can help prevent overheating.

Mental stimulation

Is your pet feeling bored? Spending a few minutes in the pool can solve that.

Swimming can provide ample mental stimulation for your pet. The challenge of navigating the water and staying afloat engages their minds.

Plus, it’s an amazing way to improve spatial awareness. 

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How Often Should I Take My Bernedoodle Swimming?

Your pet’s overall health and preferences will tell you how often you can take your pet swimming.

Younger, more enthusiastic Bernedoodles would enjoy more time in the water compared to older, less fit dogs.

No matter the age and physical condition, it is best to keep your swimming sessions short and sweet at the beginning. 

Keep a close eye on your furry pal. If you see their energy level dipping, adjust the frequency of your water activities accordingly.

How Can I Tell if My Bernedoodle is Too Tired While Swimming?

It’s important to closely monitor your Bernedoodle while they are swimming to ensure they don’t become overly tired.

Here are some signs that may indicate your Bernedoodle is too tired while swimming:

Slowed movements

If your Bernedoodle’s swimming speed noticeably decreases and its movements become sluggish, it could be a sign of fatigue.

Struggling to stay afloat 

Is your pet having a harder time keeping their heads above water? That’s one sign that it’s time to take a rest break.

It becomes much harder for your pet to maintain their body position while swimming when they’re already running out of energy.

Excessive panting

Panting heavily, whether your pet is in or out of the water, shows that their body is working too hard.

Lack of enthusiasm

If your pet’s initial excitement diminishes and they display disinterest to continue swimming, it could be because they’re getting exhausted. 

Allow them some time to catch their breath and see if their enthusiasm will go back up.

Difficulty following commands

Another surefire way of telling when your pet has reached their limit energy-wise is when they start missing basic commands.

If your pet stops responding to cues while swimming, stop and help them out of the water.

What Are Some Water Safety Tips for Bernedoodles?

When it comes to water activities, ensuring the safety of your Bernedoodle is of utmost importance. 

Teach your pet to swim

You can’t just bring your pet to the pool and expect them to be an instant Michael Phelps! 

It’s essential to take the time to teach your furry friend basic swimming skills and build their confidence in the water. 

Start small, or shallow in this case. Use lots of encouragement, and make sure to reward your pet for their aquatic achievements. 

Use a life jacket

Even if your pet is already a proficient swimmer, you can always use an extra layer of protection by letting your furry pal wear a life jacket

Life jackets are helpful in keeping your pet above water even if they start to feel tired. Plus, it boosts your pet’s visibility in a busy pool.

Don’t leave them unsupervised

Always watch or monitor your pet while they’re in or near water. Accidents can happen in a blink of an eye, so ensure they are within your sight and reach. 

Don’t let your pet drink pool water 

Chlorinated pool water can be harmful to dogs if they accidentally drink it. It’s best to keep your dog hydrated with fresh water so they don’t get tempted to take a sip from the pool.

Rinse off after swimming

After your Bernedoodle has finished swimming, rinse them off with fresh water to remove chlorine, salt, or any other substances from their coat. 

This helps maintain their skin and coat health. Towel dry them thoroughly to prevent any potential skin irritations and ensure they are comfortable and dry.

How to Keep My Bernedoodle’s Ears Safe While Swimming?

Getting water in the ear while swimming is a common but very uncomfortable experience for dogs.

And this can turn your pet’s swimming time from “woo-hoo!” to “Oh no!” 

Try these tips to keep your pet’s ears dry and their swimming adventures fun and worry-free.

Use ear protection

Try using specially designed ear protection for dogs. Swimmer’s ear powder or earplugs are two good options. 

These products can help keep water out of your pet’s ear canal.

Dry ears thoroughly

After their fun time in the water, make sure to dry your Bernedoodle’s ears thoroughly using a clean and dry towel. 

Gently wipe the outer part of the ears and the ear flap to remove any moisture. This helps prevent the buildup of moisture that can contribute to ear infections.

Check for signs of infection

Keep a lookout for any signs of ear infections. If your pet is suddenly scratching their ears excessively, then that could be a clue that they’re feeling some discomfort. 

Check also for redness in the ear, swelling, discharge, or a foul odor. 

Avoid excessive submerging

While it might be impossible to completely prevent water from getting into your pet’s ear, you can reduce the risk by avoiding submerging your pet’s head.

Regular ear cleaning

Maintain a regular ear cleaning routine for your pet to keep their ears clean and healthy. 

Use a veterinarian-approved ear cleaner and follow the instructions provided. Regular cleaning helps remove debris, wax buildup, and any potential contaminants that could contribute to ear problems.

Are There Earplugs for Dogs?

Yes, there are earplugs specifically made for dogs. 

Even better, these earplugs come in various sizes. They are also designed for a snug and secure fit in a dog’s ear canal. 

They help create a barrier that reduces the amount of water entering the ear during swimming or water activities.

The less water that gets in their ear, the lower your pet’s chance of catching an ear infection.

So, make sure to get those ear protections for your furry pal before your next water adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long can a Bernedoodle swim without getting tired?

The swimming endurance of Bernedoodles can vary, but generally, they can swim for about 10 to 20 minutes without getting excessively tired. However, this can still vary depending on your pet’s fitness level, age, and swimming experience.

Do Bernedoodles enjoy being out in the rain?

Bernedoodles’ reactions to rain can differ. Some may enjoy getting drenched in the rain, while others may prefer to stay dry indoors. It ultimately depends on the individual dog’s preferences and comfort level with wet weather conditions.

How far can Bernedoodles swim?

The swimming distance for Bernedoodles can vary greatly depending on the dog’s physical fitness and swimming experience. Some may have the stamina to swim longer distances, while others may tire more quickly. Always monitor their energy levels and allow for rest breaks to ensure that your pet doesn’t overexert themselves.

Can Bernedoodles swim in chlorinated pools or saltwater?

Yes, Bernedoodles can swim in both chlorinated pools and saltwater. Just remember that they shouldn’t drink chlorinated pool water. Additionally,  rinsing off after swimming is a must to prevent skin irritation.

In Conclusion: Do Bernedoodles Like to Swim?

Bernedoodles can indeed have a knack for swimming, but individual preferences may vary.

What you can do is introduce your dog to water early, using positive reinforcement, and ensuring their safety.

Remember, it’s all about making it a fun and rewarding experience for your furry friend. So, get out there, make a splash, and enjoy the water adventures with your Bernedoodle!

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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