Why your Golden Retriever doesn’t like swimming


If your Golden Retriever doesn’t like water then you’re probably wondering how you can get it to like it. This post will give you some reasons why your Golden Retriever might not like water and what you can do about it.

So, why does your Golden Retriever not like water? Reasons include it being an inherited trait, it being an unfamiliar situation, being uncomfortable and having had bad past experiences with water. 

And, how do I get my Golden Retriever to like water? To get your Golden Retriever to like water you can try to ease it into it. To do this start by luring it into the shallow part of the water using treats, when it’s comfortable with that gradually increase the depth that you lure it into until you can get it to go all the way in. 

Even though your Golden Retriever may be afraid of water it can be made to love it with enough patience and persistence.

Possible reasons why your Golden Retriever doesn’t like water

There are a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might not like water that I will mention below.

It’s an unfamiliar situation

One reason that your Golden Retriever might not like water is that it is unsure of what will happen. If your Golden Retriever hasn’t been in water before then it won’t know whether or not it is safe so it may choose to avoid it since that is the safest option as far as it is aware.

Bad past experiences

It could be that your Golden Retriever has had bad past experiences with water. Maybe it was thrown into the bath as a puppy and sprayed with cold water and now it is fearful of water since it associates it with coldness.

If you think that this is the case then you will need to change its feelings towards water using some of the techniques in the section below.

It’s uncomfortable

It could simply be that your Golden Retriever doesn’t like water because it doesn’t like how it feels. It might be that it doesn’t like its coat being wet or that it doesn’t like the feeling of the water on its skin.

Ways to get your Golden Retriever to like water

If your Golden Retriever doesn’t like water then there are a few things that you can try to get it to start liking it.

Take it to a dog beach

One option would be to take your Golden Retriever to an area where there are other dogs that it can play with in the water. If your Golden Retriever sees that the water is safe and that other dogs are playing in it then it will help to persuade it to go in.

Train it

Another option that you could try would be to train your Golden Retriever to like water by easing it into it.

You can do this as follows:

  1. Start out by going into the shallow end of the water with some treats that it likes. If you’re concerned about how your Golden Retriever will react to the water then you can put a dog life vest on it as well.
  2. Ease it into the shallow end of the water by luring it with treats. This might take some time but be persistent.
  3. Once you’re able to lure it into the shallow part easily then start luring it into slightly deeper areas using the treats.
  4. Once you’re able to get it to go into deep areas using the life vest take it off and get it to do it without the vest.

You can watch the video below to see how

Also, it helps if you have already taught your Golden Retriever to come to you on command which I have previously written how to do here.

Teach it to like getting bathed

Teaching your Golden Retriever to like getting bathed can be a difficult task and it’s normal for all dogs not to like it.

You can do it by following the steps below:

  1. Start out by just letting your Golden Retriever explore the bathtub lure it in with treats if needed
  2. Get it to stay in the tub and turn the tap on slightly
  3. Gradually increase the pressure of the tap
  4. Then build it up into washing the Golden Retriever use lukewarm water that won’t cause it to flinch away due to the coldness.

Watch the video below to see how.

Why to teach your Golden Retriever to like the water

There are a number of benefits to having a Golden Retriever that likes the water that I will mention below.

It would help to keep it cool in the summer

Since Golden Retrievers are a dog breed that can get hot more easily in the summer being able to get it to go into water without needing to encourage it to will help to cool it down a lot more easily.

Can give them lots of exercise

Since Golden Retrievers require a lot of exercise to be properly stimulated getting them to like swimming will help to give it a lot of exercise without a lot of effort on your part. Swimming requires a lot of effort on the Golden Retriever’s part so the act of swimming will wear it out quickly.

Easier to bath it

Getting your Golden Retriever to be comfortable around water will also make it a lot easier to bath it. This will help you to wash it more quickly and it will make it a more pleasant experience for your Golden Retriever.

Things to consider

When you’re getting your Golden Retriever to like water there are some things to keep in mind.

Some do like it

Even though some Golden Retrievers are hesitant to go into water at first there are many that have learned to like the water after having previously been scared of it. So, just because your Golden Retriever doesn’t like it now it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to teach it to like it in the future.

Be patient

Teaching your Golden Retriever to like water is unlikely to be something that you’ll be able to do in one training session. So, if you have not been able to get your Golden Retriever to go into the water the first time then don’t despair and try again.

Some just don’t like it

It could also be the case that your Golden Retriever might not be scared of water rather it might just prefer not to get wet.

Stary young

If your Golden Retriever is still young then it will be helpful for you to start teaching your Golden Retriever to like the water now since the older it gets the more its fear of water will compound on itself.

Related Questions

Why is my Golden Retriever afraid of the water hose? Your Golden Retriever might not like the water hose because the water is cold. If your Golden Retriever is ok with swimming in warm water then this is more likely to be the case.

My Golden Retriever hates baths what can I do? If your Golden Retriever doesn’t like baths then you should try the method in the video above. In addition to that, you can employ the following tips. Take it for a long walk first, if your Golden Retriever is hot and exhausted then it will be more likely to want to get wet. Have a positive attitude, by being positive you’ll be able to soothe your Golden Retriever anxiety when it gets wet. Make sure to use lukewarm water so that it doesn’t shock your Golden Retriever.

If you would like learn everything that you need to know about how to have a happy, healthy and well-behaved Golden Retriever, take a look at this Golden Retriever ebook.

Recent Content