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Do Border Collies Like Water? Here’s How Well They Can Swim

Melissa Gunter

By Melissa Gunter

black and white border collie in the water

If you’re a lover of the great outdoors, having a canine companion that shares your passion is ideal. This is especially true when it comes to aquatic adventures. One dog breed that many people are curious about when it comes to a love of water is Border Collies. This breed is known for its love of the outdoors, but do Border Collies like water?

While every dog is different, overall, this breed is a fan of the water. Considered an athletic dog breed, Border Collies love to be outdoors with family, running, exercising, and swimming. They are an ideal companion if you’re looking for a dog who will enjoy a day at the lake or on the beach. Let’s take a deeper look at Border Collies and their enjoyment of water so you can decide whether choosing one of these beautiful dogs is the right choice for your next water adventure.

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Meet the Amazing Border Collie

While most dog lovers fall in love with the gorgeous look of the Border Collie, there’s more to this breed than meets the eye. This breed hails from the Anglo-Scottish border region and was originally bred to herd sheep in the area. Border Collies are known as one of the most intelligent dog breeds, often scored at the top of the list, and can learn quickly. This quick wit has made them the perfect dogs for most jobs given to them. While most are content when given a job to perform, the appeal of Border Collies as family dogs has grown significantly over the years due to their great temperament and love of family.

Border Collies are also one of the most energetic dog breeds around. These working dogs love to run and can go for miles a day if you allow it. They also love exercise. When they can’t find something to do, problems can arise. Often, people bring these dogs into their homes due to the ease of training and their striking appearance. Owners soon find out that if you can’t keep up with a Border Collie’s need for work or exercise, they can be a handful. Like many breeds, if they get bored, they’ll find something to get into. They’ll try to herd the children, other animals, or anything that moves. If you’re into outdoor activities like hiking, running, or swimming, these dogs may make the perfect companion and give you someone to try and keep up with.

Border collie running in the water
Image Credit: ANNA TITOVA, Shutterstock

Do Border Collies Like Water?

Yes, overall this breed loves the water. You’ll even find Border Collies who compete in aquatic sports such as dock diving. This is not surprising considering this breed’s love of activity. You’ll find that swimming offers a Border Collie a low-impact workout that can help burn off the natural energy these dogs possess. As we already mentioned, however, while the breed overall may enjoy the water, this doesn’t mean every Border Collie will be a fan. You may meet other Border Collie owners who describe their dog as hating water, even bathtime. You’ll even find that some dogs have bad experiences that make them fearful of the water. This can happen with any breed.

Introducing Border Collies to water at a young age can significantly help influence whether they enjoy time in the water. You may notice a pup take to the water quickly while others are more hesitant. This is natural. As with any dog breed, when you introduce a Border Collie to the water for the first time, no matter the age, proceed with caution. It may be best to use a life jacket in the beginning until the dog is comfortable. Never force your Border Collie, or any dog, into the water if they show fear or hesitation. Allow them to enter the water willingly, while you stay nearby to keep a watchful eye until they learn the ropes.

Can Border Collies Swim?

Lots of dog owners out there are under the misconception that every dog can swim. While dog paddling is often instinctual, that isn’t true swimming. Dog paddling is a way for your dog to stay afloat until it can get out of the water. When it comes to Border Collies, the act of swimming is natural. This is why they excel in water sports, along with so many other activities. Their natural draw to the water can leave owners having to closely supervise their Border Collies, especially puppies, around water.

Young pups may not be strong enough to swim as well as they think they can. To avoid issues with this, while your pet is learning the ropes, life jackets are your best friend. Soon, however, you’ll be able to leave the lifejacket behind and hit the open water with your pooch.

Red border collie enjoying the beach
Image Credit: KaylaJoy, Shutterstock

What If My Border Collie Won’t Swim?

For lovers of outdoor activities, having a dog that doesn’t enjoy the same activities can be difficult. The appeal of spending quality time with your pet while doing things you love is great. This doesn’t mean every Border Collie will like the same things you do. We’ve already mentioned how every dog has a different personality. If swimming isn’t something your Border Collie shows interest in, you’ll need to find another activity both of you enjoy. This will ensure your pet gets the exercise it needs, and the two of you can make the most of your quality time.

Should I Be Concerned If My Border Collie Doesn’t Swim?

You may think something is wrong with your Border Collie if they aren’t fans of things the breed normally enjoys. That isn’t necessarily the case. The water can be scary. Perhaps your Border Collie is timider than others you’ve met. They could have also had a bad interaction in or around water when they were a pup that stayed with them.

The only time you should truly be concerned with your Border Collie not wanting to swim is if they are showing disinterest in all activities. These dogs aren’t couch potatoes. If your Border Collie loved swimming and hiking but now prefers to lay around, they could be feeling under the weather. If this behavior continues, reach out to your veterinarian for a checkup.

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Final Thoughts

As you can see, Border Collies are naturals when it comes to hitting the water. For people who have a love of all things aquatic, this could be the perfect dog breed for you. They are active, intelligent, and loyal. Not only will you have a great best friend, but you’ll have a dog that will enjoy keeping up with everything you want to do.

Featured Image Credit: peppermint0, Shutterstock

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