Many Yorkshier terrier families ask the question: Do Yorkies like to swim?
There is no simple answer to this question. As is the case with humans, some Yorkies love swimming while others despise it.
However, it also has a lot to do with early socialization. If you start taking your Yorkie out to the pool or the beach from an early age, it might develop a love for water.
In this guide, we will answer the questions:
- Do Yorkies Like to Swim?
- Why do some Yorkies Dislike Swimming?
- Can Yorkies Swim?
- Benefits of Swimming for Yorkies
- Tips to Encourage your Yorkie to Swim
Also read: Why Do Yorkies Shake
Do Yorkies Like to Swim?
Some do, some don’t
A vast majority of dogs love to swim.
Their bodies are also made for swimming and they inherently begin swimming and paddling when they are introduced to the water.
The same could be true about Yorkies. Most Yorkies love swimming and they quickly take to the water.
However, there are some Yorkies that absolutely detest swimming. It could be because they are afraid of water or haven’t been introduced to it from an early age.
So, there is no single answer to the question: Do Yorkies like to swim? As stated earlier, some Yorkies love the water while others might do everything in their power to stay away from it.
A question of early socialization
Like with everything related to dogs, socialization is key.
If your pet is good with kids, it is because you socialized it to kids from its puppyhood.
The same is true with swimming.
Most strong swimmer Yorkies are known to have been introduced to the activity since their early age.
Perhaps they visited the local pool or the beach with their owners or lived in homes having a backyard pool.
For these reasons, they love water or at least don’t mind it. This is mainly because they are not afraid of it and don’t mind getting their fur wet.
The earlier you socialize your little Yorkie to water, the better it might take to the activity. And this applies to many other aspects of your pet’s personality as well.
Also Read: Are Yorkies Easy to Train
Why Do Some Yorkies Dislike Swimming?
Here are some reasons why your little pet might dislike water and water-activities:
1. Fear of water
Some Yorkie puppies and adults could dislike swimming because they are afraid of water and try their best to avoid it. (Even if that means avoiding baths at home!).
Your pet is aware of its small size and short legs and might even have a fear of drowning. We won’t know what is going on in our Yorkie’s little head, will we!
As explained earlier, this fear of water might stem from their lack of early socialization or even a past trauma related to water.
Alternatively, it could be evolutionary flight-or-fight response that triggers panic in your pet at the sight of water.
You must never force your Yorkie to swim and always make sure it is comfortable in the pool – normal breathing and happy disposition.
Forcing your pet to do something against its will might permanently turn it off from the activity in question.
2. Not introduced to water from an early age
As stated earlier, most Yorkies that aren’t confident about swimming are usually the ones that haven’t been introduced to the activity from their puppyhood.
In short, the earlier you teach your Yorkie to swim, the more likely it is to love water-related activities.
3. They dislike getting their fur wet
Some dogs simply don’t like getting their coats wet. If their coat does get wet, they might run around the house in an effort to dry it quickly.
For the same reason, your pet might not enter the pool or would prefer staying on the shore when you take it to the beach front.
4. They hate getting water inside their ears
Another reason why Yorkies might not like swimming is because they dislike getting their ear canals wet.
Swimming is definitely one of those activities where water is bound to enter inside your pet’s ears.
Your Yorkie might shake its head or rub its ears against upholstered furniture or beds to dry its ears.
This is a clear sign that it hates having water inside its ears.
Can Yorkies Swim?
Yes, like most dogs, Yorkies could have the natural instinct for swimming.
This means that the moment you introduce your pet to the water, it might instinctively learn to kick its short legs and paddle to get back to the shore or the edge of the pool.
Here are the main reasons why your Yorkie has the makings of a great swimmer:
It is small and light
Your pet’s small size and low body weight make it easier for it to float on water. You can also use floatation devices – at least in the beginning – to get your pet to learn to swim with ease.
It has a streamlined body-shape
Your Yorkie’s small and streamlined body shape also makes it like a duck in water! In short, most Yorkies can swim since their body shape allows them this activity.
Its silky coat repels water
Your Yorkie also has a naturally water-resistant coat which makes it easy to dry after swimming.
Due to these three reasons, your Yorkie has the makings of the next Michael Phelps in dogdom!
Let us move on to the benefits of this activity for your Yorkie.
Also Read: Do Yorkies Get Cold
5 Awesome Benefits of Swimming as an Activity for Yorkies
Here are some benefits of teaching swimming to Yorkies:
1. Great physical exercise
Yorkies are known to quickly gain weight if they lead a sedentary lifestyle. That is why, they need regular exercise to prevent weight gain and obesity.
In addition to daily walks with your pet, you can also swim with it to reduce the risk of unhealthy weight gain.
Swimming builds stronger and more toned muscles in your Yorkie so it is able to have better fitness and overall health and well-being.
It is also a great cardiovascular workout and improves your pet’s body condition and physical performance.
2. Alleviates boredom
Swimming is also known to release endorphins in your Yorkies body. Endorphins are the ‘feel-good’ hormones which alleviate boredom.
This results in a better behaved pet that won’t feel compelled to bark, chew furniture, or engage in other misbehaviors.
3. Reduces pain, strain, and stress
Swimming is a low-impact exercise which is much easier that activities like running, jogging, and hiking especially when it comes to protecting the joints of older Yorkies.
Water provides natural-yet-low resistance to reduce pain and strain on worn out joints. It also increases mobility and reduces stiffness of muscles.
Furthermore, swimming is a wonderful stress-busting activity for Yorkies that may be prone to anxiety, stress-related issues, or have suffered trauma or abuse.
That is why, many rescued Yorkies and other dog breeds are known to thrive after taking up swimming.
4. Provides a chance for you to bond with your pet
You can have so much fun with your yorkie at the beach or pool! Once your Yorkie learns to swim and enjoys this activity, you can take it to water bodies so it can beat the summer heat.
This can help foster a loving bond between you and your buddy.
5. Reduces fear and boosts confidence in your Yorkie
When your Yorkie starts to enjoy its swims, it will naturally have reduced fear of water. This will help it enjoy its monthly baths too.
Your pet will even experience renewed confidence and learn to socialize with other dogs/kids/humans at the pool or the beach.
Also Read: Why Are Yorkies So Hard to Potty Train
How to Encourage Your Yorkie to Swim – 4 Simple Tips
You can teach your Yorkie to swim just like you teach your child to swim. Here are some tips to encourage your Yorkie to swim:
A. Safety First
Always ensure your Yorkie’s safety first.
Make sure the pool is not too deep and has the right water temperature – not too hot or too cold.
Never leave your Yorkie unsupervised in the pool. Most importantly, use a life jacket or life vest on your pet. This will help your pet stay afloat and prevent its back from sagging in the water.
B. Ease your pet into the activity
Never force or yell at your pet when you try to get it to enter the pool. This will only repel it from the activity.
Use your Yorkie’s favorite treats along with interesting floating toys to lure your pet into the pool. Most Yorkies will wade in the pool quite happily as long as it isn’t too deep.
C. Keep the sessions short
Take frequent breaks and allow your pet to get out of the pool whenever it wants.
Always keep each swimming session short and let your pet decide how long it wants to be in the pool for.
Most importantly, if your pet starts breathing heavily, get it out immediately.
D. Rinse it off well
Always end each swim session with some heavy-duty rinsing. This will help get the chlorine off and prevent your pet’s coat from drying.
Take extra care to clean and dry out its ears. If required, use special ear cleaners to prevent ear infections.
If needed, bathe your pet especially after swimming in heavily chlorinated pools.
FAQs on Do Yorkies Like to Swim
1. Do Yorkies like the beach?
Most Yorkies like the beach and most of them love water. They also like to swim but you must never force them.
Since most Yorkies love spending time with their humans, they will love going anywhere with them, even if that means the beach.
Never rush or force your Yorkie to do something it doesn’t want to do. Most importantly, you need to introduce it to the beach right from puppyhood. This will alleviate its fear of the ocean.
2. Do Yorkies like baths?
Most Yorkies do not like baths as they might not like getting their fur wet. That is why, it is best to limit baths to once a month.
Thankfully, Yorkies don’t shed too much and their silky fur also remains odorless (provided you brush it regularly and feed it a healthy diet.)
That is why, they need fewer baths.
Also Read: Best Shampoo for Yorkies
3. Why do Yorkies stink after swimming?
Your dog’s coat might have absorbed some algae, yeast, and fungi after swimming.
It is a good idea to bathe your Yorkie with a mild shampoo after swimming. This will eliminate pathogens as well as chlorine and reduce the post-swimming odor.
4. Why does my Yorkie hate baths?
Your Yorkie might hate bath due to some sensory experience. It might not like the water’s temperature or the unsteady surface of the tub.
Some Yorkies simply hate getting their coats wet. They will run about until they are dry, after having a bath.
You can keep the bathing sessions short and limit bath times of your small dog to once a month.
5. How do I clean my Yorkie’s face after swimming?
You can wipe your Yorkie’s face completely using pet wipes or dry towels. . Alternatively, use a hair dryer on the lowest setting to gently dry its facial hair.
Follow this up with a slicker brush to gently brush its fur without hurting your pet’s eyes and muzzle.
Conclusion – Do Yorkies Like to Swim?
Do Yorkies like to swim? Most do but some don’t.
You must remember that the Yorkshire terrier breed wasn’t born to swim. But you can definitely teach it to swim.
The best thing to do is start early. Early introduction to swimming will prevent its fear of water and also provide your pet with several health benefits.
Make sure you use a life jacket and follow all other safety rules before swimming with your pet.
We hope this guide helps you have fun teaching your Yorkie to swim.