Can Chow Chows Swim? (Precautions To Take For Your Chow)

Do you love swimming or will you be going swimming soon? Do you want to take your Chow Chow swimming with you but are wondering whether they can swim? While some dogs naturally pick up on swimming when they are in the water, others do not. Are Chow Chows one of those dogs or not?

We will be unpacking the answer to whether Chow Chows can swim. We will also discuss the safety precautions you should take when swimming with your dog.

Can Chow Chows Swim?

Yes, Chow Chows can swim. However, swimming is challenging for Chow Chows because of their fur coats and short limbs, and Chows have uniquely thick double-crossed fur coats that are easily waterlogged, weigh them down, and hinder them from swimming freely. 

Do Chow Chows Enjoy Swimming?

Chow Chows generally do not enjoy swimming and prefer spending time in the comfort of their home. Chow Chows do typically not enjoy swimming because they are physically not predisposed to excel at it. It may take a lot of practice for a Chow Chow to become an excellent swimmer, but it is possible.

Although many Chow Chows do not enjoy swimming, all dogs are unique, and your Chow Chow could love swimming. Hence, be encouraged and introduce your dog to swimming and describe their reaction to it. Additionally, swimming is an essential skill that all dogs should have.

Things That Prevent The Chow Chow From Swimming Comfortably

Short Legs

Like us, dogs must use their legs to stay afloat and more through the water. Chow Chows have short legs, meaning they would have to exert more energy than a dog with long legs to stay afloat and swim. This means that Chow Chows tend to tire quicker while swimming.

Flat Muzzle

Chow Chows have flat muzzles, which makes it difficult for them to breathe. This genetic characteristic makes them prone to several breathing health conditions and prevents them from engaging in strenuous physical activity for too long. While swimming, your Chow Chow’s lungs will tire, and they will struggle to breathe; listen closely for any signs of struggle. 

Thick Coat

The Chow Chow has a thick, double-layered fur coat. This thick fur coat is the main reason Chow Chows cannot swim comfortably. Their fur coats quickly become waterlogged and weigh them down while they swim. For dogs with little energy and are not the best swimmers, their fur coats make the task of swimming that much more challenging and tiring.

Do Chow Chow’s Need Life Vests?

Yes, Chow Chows need life vests. Since Chow Chows are not the most excellent swimmers, wearing a life vest will ensure that they are safe, and you can be more at ease when your Chow Chow is swimming. Since Chow Chows have such fluffy fur that quickly becomes waterlogged, they easily tire while swimming.

Wearing a life vest will help your Chow Chow remain afloat even when tired. Even breeds that are more suited for swimming grow tired while swimming, so wearing a life vest will be an essential safety precaution for your Chow Chow.

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Ensuring your Chow Chow is wearing a bright-colored life vest will allow you to keep a closer eye on them while they swim. The bright color of the life vest makes them easy to spot, especially if your Chow Chow tends to wander off.

Precautions To Take For Your Chow 

Precautions To Take For Your Chow

Keep Him Well Groomed

You should ensure that your Chow Chow is always well groomed, even when they are not necessarily swimming. Although many Chow Chows do not enjoy swimming, some Chow Chows are rather fond of the activity. Since Chow Chows have such thick and long fur coats, you should brush them several times weekly to prevent matting.

Chow Chows generally require regular and intensive grooming to maintain the health and luster of their fur coats. Once your Chow Chow finishes swimming, you should brush through their fur coat to ensure that no foreign objects are tangled. You should also ensure to dry off your Chow Chow properly.

You never know what is in the water that your Chow Chow is swimming in. Drying your Chow Chow after they have swum ensures that you prevent them from developing skin-related health issues. You should also regularly check, clean, and trim your Chow Chows nails.

Safety Vest

If you ever plan on taking your Chow Chow swimming, a safety vest should be the first thing you pack. Every dog owner should own a safety vest and not allow their dogs to swim without wearing safety vests. Since Chow Chows struggle to swim, a safety vest will ensure they remain afloat, and this is especially important when your Chow Chow is still learning to swim.

Since Chow Chows are weighed down by their wet fur when they swim, wearing a safety vest will keep them afloat and make them feel significantly lighter while swimming. Chow Chows have small limbs and are not the most energetic dogs so swimming can be exhausting.

Safety vests ensure that even when your Chow Chow is too tired to keep swimming, they do not just sink and drown, but just float.

Taking It Easy

Chow Chows are not physically predisposed to be excellent swimmers, so it may take them more than a while to learn how to swim correctly. You should be patient with your Chow Chow because swimming is not an easy task for them. Some Chow Chows may even require professional help to learn how to swim because some tend to be annoyed when they are initially learning to swim.

You can also read these tips before taking your Chow Chow into the water – Dogs and Water Safety.

Be Wary Of The Weather

Before taking your Chow Chow out to swim, you should check your weather app. Ensure that the weather is favorable to swim. A rule of thumb is if you would generally not swim in such weather, you should not expect your Chow Chow to endure such weather conditions.

Chow Chows have flat muzzles, so they tend to have breathing issues. Their flat muzzles also mean that they are prone to various health issues. Making your Chow Chow swim in cold weather could make them sick, and you should take your Chow Chow out to swim on a warm day. 

Always Keep An Eye On Them, Swim With Them

You should ensure that you always have a good view of your dog’s location. Ensuring your Chow wears a bright safety vest will make them more visible to you, even from a distance. You should preferably be in the water swimming alongside your Chow Chow.

Having you beside them will make them feel much safer and more confident. Remember that Chow Chows are not good swimmers, offer them some emotional support by being near them. Being close to your Chow Chow while they swim will make the experience much more pleasant. They would also be more open to learning when you are with them. 

How To Teach A Chow Chow To Swim?

Since Chow Chows generally do not enjoy swimming and tire quite quickly, you should ensure they wear a life vest. A life vest will not only help them keep afloat while they swim, but it also takes some weight off their shoulders. Since their fur coats make them feel heavy while swimming, a life vest makes them feel lighter.

chow chow

When teaching your Chow Chow how to swim, make sure that you do so in shallow water and be by their side while they navigate through the water as your Chow Chow becomes more comfortable while swimming, you can introduce them to deeper water. 

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise, and if your Chow Chow enjoys it, it will also prove to be a perfect opportunity for you to bond even more.


Do Chow Chows Love Water?

No, Chow Cows do not love water. While some Chow Chows tend to be rather fond of water and eagerly swim, most Chow Chows do not enjoy it. Swimming is difficult for Chow Chows because they are unnatural, and their fur coats make swimming challenging and uncomfortable.

How Often Should I Bathe My Chow Chow?

You should bathe your Chow Chow at least once every six weeks. Chow Chows have thick double-layered fur coats that require intensive grooming. To maintain the health and beauty of your Chow Chow’s fur coat, you should bathe them frequently. You can bathe them as often as once a week.

Are Chow Chows Easy To Train?

Chow Chows are challenging to train. Chow Chows are stubborn and independent dogs who could be better for novice dog owners. Chow Chows need a firm and experienced hand to train them, or they may become aggressive if they need to be trained properly. 


Although Chow Chows can swim, many of them do not enjoy swimming. Swimming is strenuous for Chow Chows because of their thick fur coats, flat muzzles, and short legs, and Chow Chows are not physically predisposed to be excellent swimmers. However, you could teach your Chow Chow how to swim with patience and a life vest. 

However, ensure that you exercise some safety measures while your Chow Chow swims, like keeping an eye on them; they are well-groomed and wearing a life vest.

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