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Do Great Pyrenees Like Water? Breed Preferences & Facts

Misty Layne Profile Picture

By Misty Layne

close up great pyrenees dog at the beach

Traveling with dogs can be a great experience and a lot of fun for you both. But if you’re traveling somewhere like a lake or the ocean, you want to be sure your pup will have as much fun as you in the water.

There are many dog breeds that enjoy splashing and playing in the water (especially those that were bred for water activities). But many others don’t want anything to do with water. Where does the Great Pyrenees fall? Do Great Pyrenees like water?

Honestly, it depends on the individual dog. This breed wasn’t bred for water activities, so they don’t tend to like it as much as some other dog breeds. But some pups will love a good romp in a river or lake, while others will avoid it.

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Can Great Pyrenees Swim?

Regardless of whether a Great Pyrenees likes water or not, if you’re planning on bringing yours out on a lake or other body of water, it’s important to know whether the breed is a good swimmer. The good news is the Great Pyrenees can swim, but they aren’t generally big fans of it (again, individual dogs have different preferences). And these canines aren’t ones that can swim for long periods; due to having only moderate energy levels and huge, heavy double coats, the Great Pyrenees won’t be able to spend a lot of time paddling around.

That lack of energy and huge coat also means your pet should always wear a life vest when in the water!

great pyrenees dog swimming in the lake
Image Credit: Cindy Crewdson, Shutterstock

Can I Teach My Great Pyrenees to Like Water?

If your Great Pyrenees isn’t a big fan of water but you’d like them to be, you may be able to teach your pet to enjoy it. Just remember it’s always best to start teaching your dog new things when they’re a puppy rather than waiting until they are an adult! Also, keep in mind that patience is required when teaching a pup something new, and you should always be careful in larger bodies of water as your Great Pyrenees won’t be able to swim long distances.

You can help your Great Pyrenees learn to like, if not love, water by starting them out slowly with the whole getting wet thing. Don’t just toss your poor pup into a pool; let them get used to water slowly. If your pet seems uncomfortable getting wet, back off and let them get away from the water. Your dog might initially be nervous around water, so give them plenty of time to get used to it. Repeated introductions to water will eventually help your dog relax around it.

Another excellent tip for teaching your canine companion to enjoy hanging out in water is to utilize doggie treats. Treats are used in training your pet to do other things, like obeying commands, so why not use them to teach them to like water?

great pyrenees dog in the lake
Image Credit: Cindy Crewdson, Shutterstock

If your dog dislikes the feel of water, playing with your water hose is a good way to get them used to being wet. You can play chase in the yard and spray your pup whenever they get near, or let them drink from the hose while you splash some water on them. As long as your dog is getting at least a little wet, they should get used to the sensation.

When introducing your Great Pyrenees to bodies of water, start with something small like a kiddie pool. Kiddie pools are fantastic because the water is shallow, so your dog should feel much safer while in the pool. Plus, these pools are easy to get in and out of, so your dog can leave whenever they want. You can work your way up to a backyard pool, lake, or ocean from there.

But remember to be mindful of how your dog is reacting to the water. If you have been trying to get them used to small bodies of water or getting wet for some time and the dog seems really uncomfortable, it is best to try another dry activity.


Final Thoughts

If you have a Great Pyrenees, they may or may not like water. It really depends on the individual dog. However, this isn’t a breed that was bred for water-related activities, so they tend to like water less than other dog breeds. If you start out when your dog is a puppy, though, you should be able to teach your dog to like (or at least tolerate) water.

If you can teach your pet that water is okay, you can even take them swimming! But you need to remember that these are large dogs with heavy coats and little energy, so they won’t be able to swim longer distances (like swimming after a thrown ball). Put your pup in a life vest before they get in the water to be safe, too.

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Featured Image Credit: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock

Misty Layne Profile Picture

Authored by

Misty Layne lives out in the woods in small-town Alabama with her two Siamese—Serafina and Jasper. She also has an array of stray cats, raccoons, and possums who like to call her front porch home. When she’s not writing about animals, you’ll find her writing poetry, stories, and film reviews (the animals are, by far, her favorite writing topic, though!). In her free time, Misty enjoys chilling with her cats, playing...Read more

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