Do Schnauzers Like to Swim? [Don’t Let Them Sink!]

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.

As a good friend of mine will tell ya, he’s spent many a summer day pondering this very question. And let me tell you, the answer might surprise you.

Now, some might assume that all dogs are natural swimmers, but as any schnauzer owner can attest, these quirky little pups can be quite particular when it comes to water.

In fact, his own Schnauzer, Winston, is a prime example of this. Despite living near the beach for years, he never took more than a few hesitant steps into the water.

But why is that? Do schnauzers have an aversion to water? Do Schnauzers like to swim? Or is it simply a matter of preference?

Well, in this post, we’ll be exploring the ins and outs of schnauzers and swimming, and soon we’ll get to the bottom of this watery mystery.

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Are Schnauzers Natural Swimmers?

Are Schnauzers Natural Swimmers?

While Schnauzers can certainly learn to swim and may enjoy it, they are not considered natural swimmers.

One reason for this is their history – they were originally bred to be farm dogs and catch rats, and that means they didn’t have enough interaction with bodies of water. 

Additionally, their thick coats can become heavy and waterlogged, making it more difficult for them to swim.

Is Swimming Something That Schnauzers Enjoy?


Given that these furry pals find some difficulty in swimming, they do not have a natural affinity for it.

However, they can learn to swim which can be treated as a healthy activity, if their owners take the time to expose them to water.

There are obviously exceptions to the norm, most would be hesitant or downright averse to it.

If you do want your dog (be it a miniature Schnauzer or Giant Schnauzer or in between) to swim with you, it’s best to start them out young to get them conditioned.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Do Bernedoodles like to swim?

How Can You Train Your Schnauzer to Swim?

Conditioning them first

Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to teaching your Schnauzer how to swim.

Before even coming near water, make sure that your pet is safe by making them wear a dog-specific life jacket.

You should always start in shallow water where your pet can touch the bottom.

At this point, a small pool or even a large basin is ideal.

You can work your way to deeper water when your furry friend feels more confident.

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Entice them with rewards

Remember: DO NOT force your pet to go into the water.

This will just scare them and turn them off swimming altogether.

Make wading into the water enticing by offering them treats, their favorite toy, or encouragement.

Go where other dogs go

It is also a good idea to bring your Schnauzer where other dogs are swimming so that they can see how fun it can be.

This will be especially useful if your dog has been socialized and can get along well with other dogs.

If the idea of mixing with dogs belonging to strangers puts you off, try rounding up a few friends with dogs to do this together!

Monitoring them while swimming

Always check their energy level.

Once you notice that your pet is getting fatigued, bring them out of the water.

You should also show them how to exit properly by using the steps or the ramp if you’re playing in a pool.

Cleaning after swimming

After swimming, make sure to rinse your Schnauzer off with clean water to remove any chlorine or salt residue.

Dry them off with a towel and be sure to offer them water to drink.

Consider professional help

There are 2 things here.

One is that your Schnauzer doesn’t show any interest at all, which in this case you should probably just let it go.

The other situation is that they have an interest in it but you’re struggling to teach them.

In that case, consider enrolling them in a swimming class for dogs or working with a professional trainer.

Doggy says, you might wanna read this too: Can dogs get swimmer’s itch?

Do Schnauzers Dislike Water?

It’s not that Schnauzers dislike water.

It’s more like some of them are not used to it.

Puppies who are introduced to water at an early age and given positive experiences can develop a love for swimming. 

However, not all Schnauzers enjoy water activities.

Some may be hesitant or even fearful of the water, and it’s important to respect their individual preferences.

Is It True That Schnauzers Have Webbed Feet?

While some dogs like Labradors, Newfoundlands, Golden Retrievers, and even America Bulldogs have webbed feet that help them swim, the Schnauzer breed is not known for having this unique trait. 

Schnauzers are not water dogs by nature, and they were not originally bred for swimming or water-based activities.

What Are the Benefits of Swimming for Schnauzers?

Taking a dip in the pool or at the lake is an awesome water activity.

Not only is it a fun way to beat the heat and get some exercise, but it also has several benefits for their physical and mental health.

Here are some of the pawsome perks of swimming for Schnauzers:


Swimming is an ideal form of low-impact exercise not just for us humans!

It can do wonders for our furry friends with joint problems or other physical limitations too.

Plus, paddling around the pool could be a great way for your pet to build up muscles, improve heart health, and even shed a pound or two.

Cooling off

Don’t you just feel great after taking a dip in the pool during really hot days?

Your Schnauzer, with their double-layered coat, may share the same sentiment. 

The thing is, they can easily overheat in hot weather due to their thick fur.

Swimming can thus be an effective way to keep them cool and prevent suffering from heat stroke. 

Mental stimulation

Did you know that swimming can give your Schnauzer a mental workout as well as a physical one?

As they paddle around, they’re constantly using their minds to adjust their movements and stay afloat.

This helps to engage their problem-solving skills and keep their minds active. 

Plus, if your furry friend hasn’t had much experience with water before, swimming can be a new and exciting experience for them.

All the new sights, smells, and sensations can be super stimulating and help prevent boredom.

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How Often Should I Take My Schnauzer Swimming?

How often you should take your Schnauzer swimming will mainly depend on your furry pal’s individual needs and preferences.

Some Schnauzers love swimming and could do it every day if given the chance, while others might prefer a more occasional dip in the pool. 

It’s important to pay attention to your pet’s behavior and physical condition to determine how much swimming is right for them.

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

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

There are a few signs to watch for to let you know that your furry friend needs a rest or has had enough swimming for the day.

Most importantly, you need to keep an eye out for when your Schnauzer starts breathing heavily, looks tired, or has difficulties keeping their heads above water.

If they start bobbing in and out, it’s definitely time for a break.

See them swimming sideways or in circles? Put a stop to the activity for the time being!

What Are Some Water Safety Tips for Schnauzers?

If you enjoy swimming and would love to take your furry pal along with you, make sure to heed these suggestions.

These will keep your pet Schnauzer safe and happy while in the water. 

Teach your pet to swim

Not all dogs know how to swim instinctively, so it’s important to teach your Schnauzer how to swim properly.

Start with shallow water and gradually move into deeper water as your dog becomes more comfortable.

Get in the water with them, and offer lots of encouragement or treats to help them enjoy the experience.

Learning how to swim will allow your Schnauzer to move in the water more confidently.

Use a life jacket

Even if your Schnauzer is a strong swimmer, a life jacket can provide an extra layer of safety in case of an emergency.

Check to see that the life jacket fits properly and is comfortable for your dog.

Don’t leave them unsupervised

Always keep an eye on your pet while they are in the water, even if they are wearing a life jacket.

This will allow you to quickly notice if they are struggling or in distress.

Don’t let your pet drink pool water

Chlorine and other chemicals found in pool water can be harmful to dogs if ingested.

Make sure your Schnauzer has access to fresh water to drink any time they are out of the water.

Rinse off after swimming

Again, as I’ve pointed out earlier, saltwater and chlorine can be irritating to your furry pal’s skin and coat, so it’s important to rinse them off with fresh water after swimming to prevent any irritation or infection.


How long can a Schnauzer swim without getting tired?

The length of time your Schnauzer can swim comfortably can depend on their age, health, and preference. Some can swim comfortably for 20 or 30 minutes. Others may tire out in less than 15 minutes. 

Do miniature Schnauzers enjoy swimming?

Yes, while miniature Schnauzers are not naturally water-loving dogs, some can grow to enjoy swimming with proper training and patience. However, some dogs may never enjoy swimming, so it’s important to respect your pet’s preferences and provide alternative forms of exercise.

Do giant Schnauzers like to swim? 

Yes, while giant Schnauzers are not known for their love of water, like any dog, they can learn to like swimming with the proper training and introduction to water at an early age. With patience and positive reinforcement, some giant Schnauzers can grow to love this water activity just like any other breed. 

Do Schnauzers enjoy being out in the rain? 

Schnauzers generally don’t like getting wet so being out in the rain for a long time may not be the most enjoyable experience for them. However, just like with other dogs, they could have different preferences. Some may not mind getting wet, while others could even enjoy the experience. 

How far can miniature Schnauzers swim? 

This would largely depend on the individual miniature Schnauzer’s age, health, and swimming ability. Some may be able to swim longer distances than others, but it’s important to monitor their energy levels and not push them beyond their limits to prevent exhaustion or injury.

Can Schnauzers swim in chlorinated pools or saltwater?

Yes, Schnauzers can safely swim in chlorinated pools or saltwater. However, it is important to rinse your pet thoroughly with fresh water after swimming to remove any chemicals or salt that may irritate their skin and offer them plenty of water for them to drink.

In Conclusion: Do Schnauzers Like to Swim?

The question of whether or not Schnauzers like to swim or not is about as complex as a calculus problem.

Nah, just kidding!

The bottom line is, with the right approach and a few doggy paddles, even the most hesitant schnauzers can become champions of the water.

Just don’t forget to show your furry friend lots of love by prioritizing their safety and comfort above all else. A little patience goes a long way – and a lot of treats don’t hurt either!

Enjoyed this post? Check out these other pawsome ones too:

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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 Daily Dog Drama!

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