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  • Writer's pictureHat Creeks Agustus McCrae

Can All Dogs Swim???

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

Back in the early 90s a friend had a Bassett Hound. Bassett are actually hunting dogs but their M.O. is “door stop”. They have very short legs, very thick and dense bones, and a low center of gravity. I hope that description helps describe some if their physical characteristics. They are shaped like door stops and people often treat them that way. But as hunting dogs they have very keen eyes and sense of smell. They seek prey instead of just retrieving their masters kill. They are fabulous vermin hunters!

Anyway, a Bassett that is not allowed to laze all day will have plenty of energy and will be quite alert. One day they took their dog rowing across a local lake. His body turned out to be ideal in a row boat. He just planted himself on the bow and remained quite immobile and well balanced.

Can All Dogs Swim?
Not All Dogs Can Swim...

They had crossed the lake several times that day but one one occasion he spotted a fish near the surface. Suddenly he launched himself off the bow and into the lake hunting his “prey”. That dense Bassett body sunk like a stone! His flailing legs were no match for the water. Though he made the right movements with his legs he just sank!

So, no, not all dogs can swim.

dog swimming with life jacket
Life Jackets Are A Wonderful Idea...

Most stocky “Molosser” breeds have high muscle density and low body fat, making them negatively buoyant. These dogs can swim just fine, but they have to expend more energy to stay afloat than most other breeds; if they stop paddling they will sink quickly.

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