Do Great Pyrenees like water

Do Great Pyrenees Like Water? A Splashing Connection?

With their thick, lush coats and sturdy build, the Great Pyrenees are undeniably built for harsh, cold climates. But when it comes to water, do these mountain dogs carry the same affinity? Do Great Pyrenees like water?

The answer to this question might not be as straightforward as you think. It’s influenced by a myriad of factors, including their historical background, physical attributes, and individual personality traits. Let’s dive in and explore this fascinating topic further.

Historical Background and Physical Attributes

Great Pyrenees have a long history dating back to 18th century B.C. (1) Originally, they were found living in the mountains and are still considered mountain dogs today.

They were used as hunting dogs initially, but soon after, they became shepherd/guard dogs, used to herd and guard flocks of sheep. They also have an interesting royal history, being used to guard the houses and castles of nobles during the French Revolution.

Despite their mountainous origins, Great Pyrenees have physical attributes that make them potentially good swimmers. They have webbed feet, which are useful for swimming, and they are strong and athletic, which helps them propel their large bodies through the water.

Their thick, double-layered coat is also waterproof, which aids in swimming.

Factors Influencing Their Affinity for Water

Several factors can influence whether a Great Pyrenees likes water. Their thick coat, while beneficial for swimming, can become heavy when wet, which might discourage some dogs from entering the water.

Also, some Great Pyrenees might be afraid of water, especially if they were not exposed to it at a young age. Lastly, their generally low-energy temperament might make them less inclined to engage in energetic activities like swimming.

However, there are ways to help a Great Pyrenees enjoy water. Introducing them to water in a safe and controlled environment, like a kiddie pool, can help them become comfortable with water.

Also, allowing them to play with water from a garden hose can make water seem fun and less intimidating.

Benefits of Swimming for Great Pyrenees

Swimming can be beneficial for Great Pyrenees in several ways. It’s a low-impact exercise that’s good for their heart, lungs, and muscles, and it can help them burn off excess calories.

It’s also beneficial for their joint health, helping to prevent arthritis and other joint issues that can develop as they age. Additionally, swimming can be a good form of stress relief and a way to manage pain for dogs with chronic issues.

Teaching a Great Pyrenees to Swim

If you want to teach your Great Pyrenees to swim, it’s important to be patient and let them discover water at their own pace. Start with shallow water and gradually increase the depth as they become more comfortable.

Reward them for their bravery and progress, and keep the swimming lessons short to prevent them from becoming too tired.

Safety Tips for Swimming

When taking your Great Pyrenees swimming, it’s important to prioritize their safety. Never leave them alone in the water, especially if they’re new to swimming.

Be vigilant for any signs of fatigue, and make sure they don’t drink the water, especially if it’s from a natural source like a lake or ocean, as it could contain harmful bacteria or chemicals. After swimming, it’s important to thoroughly dry your Great Pyrenees to prevent any skin issues.

Can Great Pyrenees Swim?

The Great Pyrenees, despite their mountainous origins, are capable swimmers. However, their ability to swim and their enjoyment of it can vary greatly from dog to dog.

It’s important to remember that while they have the physical attributes to swim, not all Great Pyrenees will take to water naturally.

Physical Attributes That Aid Swimming

Great Pyrenees have several physical attributes that can make them good swimmers. They are large, strong dogs, which can help them move through the water.

Their webbed feet can act like paddles, aiding in propulsion. Their thick, double-layered coat is also waterproof, which can help them stay buoyant in the water.

However, these same attributes can also pose challenges. Their thick coat can become heavy when wet, which might make swimming more difficult. Also, their large size can make them tire quickly, so it’s important to monitor them closely when they’re in the water.

Training Your Great Pyrenees to Swim

If you want to teach your Great Pyrenees to swim, it’s important to introduce them to water gradually.

Start by letting them play in shallow water, and slowly increase the depth as they become more comfortable. Always supervise them closely when they’re in the water, and never force them to swim if they’re scared.

Using a dog life jacket can also be helpful, especially in the beginning. It can provide them with extra buoyancy and make them feel more secure. Always reward them with treats and praise for their progress, and make sure to keep the training sessions short and fun.

Swimming Safety Tips

When taking your Great Pyrenees swimming, always prioritize their safety. Never leave them unattended in the water, and always be aware of the water conditions. Avoid areas with strong currents or waves, and always have a plan for getting your dog out of the water quickly if needed.

After swimming, make sure to rinse your dog thoroughly to remove any salt, chlorine, or harmful bacteria that might be on their coat. Also, dry them thoroughly to prevent any skin issues.

Great Pyrenees and Their Relationship with Water

The relationship between Great Pyrenees and water is a complex one. While they are capable swimmers, their affinity for water can vary greatly from dog to dog. Some Great Pyrenees may love splashing around in a lake or pool, while others may prefer to stay on dry land.

Why Some Great Pyrenees Love Water

There are several reasons why some Great Pyrenees may love water. For one, it can provide a great source of exercise. Swimming is a low-impact activity that can help keep your dog fit without putting too much strain on their joints.

Water can also provide a great way for your dog to cool down, especially during the hot summer months. The thick coat of the Great Pyrenees is designed to keep them warm in cold mountainous regions, so they can get quite hot in warmer climates.

A quick dip in the water can be a great way for them to cool off.

Why Some Great Pyrenees Don’t Like Water

On the other hand, there are also reasons why some Great Pyrenees may not like water. For one, their thick coat can become quite heavy when wet, which can make swimming more difficult and less enjoyable for them.

Additionally, some dogs may simply not like the sensation of being in water. This can be due to a variety of factors, including past experiences, fear, or simply personal preference.

Encouraging Your Great Pyrenees to Enjoy Water

If you want your Great Pyrenees to enjoy water, it’s important to introduce them to it in a positive and gradual way. Start by letting them explore shallow water, and gradually increase the depth as they become more comfortable.

Always make sure that the water is safe and clean, and avoid areas with strong currents or waves. Using toys or treats can also be a great way to make the experience more enjoyable for your dog.

In the end, whether or not your Great Pyrenees likes water will depend on their individual personality and experiences. It’s important to respect their preferences and never force them to swim if they don’t want to.

Teaching Your Great Pyrenees to Swim

If your Great Pyrenees shows an interest in water, you might consider teaching them to swim. This can be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you, and it can also provide your dog with a great form of exercise. Here’s how you can go about it.

Start Slow

The first step in teaching your Great Pyrenees to swim is to start slow. Don’t just throw them into deep water and expect them to swim. Instead, start in a shallow area where they can touch the bottom.

Let them explore the water at their own pace, and give them plenty of praise and encouragement.

Use a Life Jacket

Even though Great Pyrenees are capable swimmers, it’s a good idea to use a dog life jacket, especially in the beginning. This can give your dog a sense of security and can also make it easier for them to stay afloat. Make sure the life jacket fits properly and is comfortable for your dog to wear.

Practice Regularly

Like any new skill, swimming takes practice. Try to make regular trips to a safe body of water where your dog can practice swimming. Over time, they will become more confident and comfortable in the water.

Keep Safety in Mind

Always keep safety in mind when your Great Pyrenees is around water. Never leave them unattended, and be aware of potential hazards, such as strong currents, deep water, or dangerous wildlife.

If you’re swimming in a pool, make sure your dog knows how to get out using the stairs or a specially designed dog ramp.

Teaching your Great Pyrenees to swim can be a fun and rewarding experience. However, it’s important to remember that not all Great Pyrenees will enjoy swimming, and that’s okay. Always respect your dog’s comfort level and never force them to swim if they don’t want to.

Water Safety Tips for Great Pyrenees Owners

Keeping your Great Pyrenees safe around water is of utmost importance. Whether your dog loves to swim or prefers to stay on dry land, there are several safety measures you should take to ensure their well-being.

Supervision is Key

Never leave your Great Pyrenees unsupervised around water, even if they are a strong swimmer. Accidents can happen quickly, and it’s essential to be there to intervene if necessary.

This is particularly important in the case of pools, which can be difficult for dogs to climb out of, or rivers and oceans where currents can pose a danger.

Use a Dog Life Jacket

Even if your Great Pyrenees is a confident swimmer, a dog life jacket is a good safety measure. It can provide extra buoyancy, making swimming less tiring and helping your dog stay afloat if they get into difficulty.

Make sure the life jacket fits correctly and that your dog is comfortable wearing it.

Be Aware of Water Temperature

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from hypothermia if they spend too long in cold water. Be aware of the water temperature and limit your dog’s swimming time accordingly. If the water is too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your dog.

Rinse After Swimming

Whether swimming in a pool or natural body of water, it’s a good idea to rinse your dog off afterwards. Chlorine from pools can dry out their skin and coat, while natural bodies of water can contain parasites or harmful bacteria. A quick rinse can help to remove these potential irritants.

Teach Your Dog to Exit the Water

If your dog is swimming in a pool, make sure they know how to get out. Teach them to use the steps or a dog-friendly ramp. This is an important safety measure, as dogs can become tired and struggle to get out of the pool, leading to a potential drowning risk.

By following these safety tips, you can help ensure that your Great Pyrenees stays safe and enjoys their time around water, whether they’re taking a dip or simply enjoying the view from the shore.

Alternatives to Swimming for Great Pyrenees

While swimming can be a great form of exercise for some dogs, not all Great Pyrenees will take to it. If your dog isn’t a fan of the water, there are plenty of other ways to keep them active and entertained.

Walking and Hiking

Great Pyrenees were bred to be working dogs, and they have plenty of energy to burn. Regular walks are essential for their physical and mental health. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try hiking?

The varied terrain can provide a good workout, and the new sights and smells can keep your dog mentally stimulated.

Fetch and Tug-of-War

Games like fetch and tug-of-war can provide a good physical workout and are also great for bonding with your dog. They can be played in your backyard or at the local park. Just make sure to use dog-safe toys and to let your dog set the pace.

Agility Training

Agility training can be a fun and challenging way to exercise your Great Pyrenees. It involves guiding your dog through a course of obstacles, such as jumps, tunnels, and weave poles. Not only does it provide a physical workout, but it also requires mental concentration from your dog.

Doggy Daycare or Playdates

If your Great Pyrenees enjoys the company of other dogs, consider arranging playdates with other dog owners or sending them to a doggy daycare. Playing with other dogs can provide both physical exercise and social stimulation.

Mental Stimulation

Don’t forget about mental exercise! Puzzle toys, training sessions, and interactive games can keep your dog’s mind sharp. Mental stimulation can be just as tiring as physical exercise for dogs, so it’s an important part of their routine.

Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one Great Pyrenees may not work for another. It’s important to find activities that your dog enjoys and that suit their individual personality and fitness level.


Understanding your Great Pyrenees’ relationship with water can be a complex task. While these dogs are physically capable of swimming, their affinity for water can vary greatly from dog to dog. Some may love splashing around in a lake or pool, while others may prefer to stay on dry land.

The key is to introduce water activities in a positive and gradual way, always prioritizing your dog’s safety and comfort. Whether your Great Pyrenees turns out to be a water-lover or a landlubber, there are plenty of ways to ensure they get the exercise and stimulation they need.

Always remember, the goal is to make sure your furry friend is happy, healthy, and enjoying their life with you.

Read Next: 10 Great Pyrenees Behavior Problems to Be Aware Of

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