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Can Boston Terriers Swim? Breed Preferences & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

boston terrier in the water

Swimming is an excellent exercise for dogs. While many dogs love to swim in summer to cool off the heat, others may not like it as much. This makes the owners of Boston Terriers wonder: do Boston Terriers like water? The answer is yes, they do, especially the juveniles.

Boston Terriers enjoy swimming when introduced to water in puppyhood. However, as they get older, they like it less than before. One reason is that they’re brachycephalic—a short nose, flat head, and big, round eyes—which prevents them from swimming for a long time.

But that’s not a dead end. You can train your adult Boston Terrier and make them habitual of water. This article discusses everything you must know about your Boston Terrier and their likelihood of water and swimming.

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How Long Can Boston Terriers Swim?

Boston Terriers can swim, but their physical features will limit their swimming distance and duration. The most prominent ones include the heavy brachycephalic head, short nose, and big, bulging eyes. However, some dogs can swim longer distances depending on weight and health.

Another factor is that Boston Terriers don’t have webbed feet. This means they don’t have skin or covering between their toes. They do have some sort of webbing, which is called a “doggy paddle.” It only measures 1/2 to 3/4 and isn’t elastic. Since Boston Terriers weren’t bred for swimming, they don’t have specialized webbed feet.

Overall, Boston Terriers can’t swim for longer, but even if they do, they usually tire out faster because of their unique snouts. They actually require more energy to breathe during swimming.

boston terrier on grass
Image Credit: Lenka N, Shutterstock

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Is Swimming Good for Your Boston Terrier?

Swimming is super beneficial for your Boston Terrier from a health perspective. It keeps the dog healthy and active all the time. Here are some potential benefits of swimming for your terrier:

Optimal Weight

Swimming helps overweight dogs maintain their weight. The water allows Boston Terriers to practice low-impact workouts, enabling the dog to keep their legs elevated. Swimming also lets the dog paddle freely without worrying about supporting their weight.

If your pet is obese, you can train them to swim with regular sessions. Exercising also allows your dog to quickly get in good shape and maintain their weight for a long time.

Fast Recovery From Injuries and Sprains

Swimming helps humans and pets deal with injuries and sprains. The water offers them enough resistance for faster recovery without causing further muscle strain. Swimming is also more effective than walking in treating sprains.

If you see your dog limping, consider participating in therapeutic swimming sessions. You will see recovery within a few sessions.

Swimming in heated pools is also beneficial in relieving pain in your dog. It also reduces pain in your muscles through low-impact exercising. In fact, it also increases blood flow!

Boston terrier dog with injury
Image Credit: Ruben PH, Shutterstock

Arthritis Relief

Older dogs usually become prone to health issues like arthritis, stiffness, and joint problems. Fortunately, swimming can treat all these conditions in your dog in just one session a week. Exercising and swimming also help your pet loosen up and build strength.

You will see your dog running actively here and there in just a few sessions. However, keep the swimming sessions short and dry off your dog correctly after every session.

Stress Relief

Boston Terriers have too much energy and don’t like being confined with a leash. Swimming allows your dog to move freely and get all the energy out. They also channel their energy into paddling and playing with stuffed toys.

Swimming also stimulates the dog’s brain. They may get tired from the constant paddling, but you’ll still see them happy!

Boston Terrier
Image Credit: Avi’s Colors, Pixabay

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Tips to Protect Your Boston Terrier During Swimming

Training your terrier for swimming is exciting but can also be tiring. The experience can compromise your dog’s safety, so you must practice a few tips to protect them. Here are the most effective ones:

  • Understand Your Pet’s Comfort Level. You should never force your Boston Terrier to swim when they are unwilling. This situation can become deadly! Also, swimming can trigger past trauma if your dog was previously exposed to drowning. So, always understand your dog’s comfort level. If they seem afraid, don’t push them.
  • Offer a Safe Swimming Area. If you’re taking your dog to a local pond or lake, you should be wary of the marine life already living there. This includes thick seaweed, alligators, turtles, and small fish. These things can restrict your dog’s paddling. So, always offer your dog a safe swimming area.
  • Stay With Your Dog. Your Boston Terrier needs your attention all the time. The same applies to swimming as well. Always stay with your dog and ensure you’re watching them. This way, your dog won’t go too far from the premises.
  • Consider Your Swimming Habits. When swimming with your pet, you should know that you can swim longer than them. But your dog may try to push themself to swim a little more just to spend time with you. You should hold your dog during swimming to help them restore their energy.

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Boston Terriers are quick learners, always willing to pick up new tricks. When it comes to swimming, juvenile terriers love water and swimming. However, they may not depict the same behavior as they grow older. That’s due to their two physical features: the brachycephalic head and non-webbed feet.

You can quickly train your Boston Terrier for swimming in a few steps. Swimming is not only good for your dog mentally but physically, too.

Featured Image Credit: Aneta Jungerova, Shutterstock

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