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Do Boerboels like to swim, and do they like water?

In this post, we address a question that is surely on the minds of many of you: Do Boerboels like to swim? Do these impressive dogs like water? As a proud owner of a Boerboel, it is only natural that you would like to know more about the preferences of your beloved four-legged friends.

The answer is unclear, as Boerboels’ approach to water can be individual. Some Boerboels naturally have a water affinity and splash exuberantly in lakes or streams. Others may be more reserved and show less interest in wet adventures.

In the following blog post, we will take a closer look at Boerboels’ behavior around water and give you some tips on how to introduce your dogs to swimming if they’re not yet water lovers. Because as we all know, splashing and frolicking in the water can be a great way to cool off on a hot day and strengthen your bond with your faithful companion.

So join us on this wet journey of discovery and learn more about the water world of Boerboels!

Many Boerboels like to swim and enjoy the water. Swimming is a great way to exercise a Boerboel. Easy on the joints. It is also a great way to protect them from heat on hot summer days. However, you can’t say that all Boerboels like to swim and like water because it is not a general breed that works in or around water.

Do Boerboels like to swim and like the water?

You can’t make a blanket statement that Boerboels like to swim and like the water – as you can for other breeds, such as the Newfoundland.

However, after doing some research, I can say that many Boerboels like the water, and some like to go for a real swim.

If you intend to get a Boerboel puppy and would like to spend time with him in and around the water, you should get him used to the cool water very slowly and from the beginning.

Can Boerboels swim from birth?

Basically, all dogs, including the big Boerboel, can swim from birth. An extra swimming course is not necessary.

So if your Boerboel falls into the water, he will normally be able to stay afloat.

If you are unsure or want to give him a sense of extra security, a dog life jacket* is another option to help your Boerboel swim in deeper water.

Advantages if your Boerboel likes water

If your Boerboel likes water and enjoys swimming, this definitely gives you some benefits that you can target:

  • When it’s too hot for walks in the summer, you can take your Boerboel swimming to give him the activity he needs. Too little exercise, in the long run, means stress, which can cause your Boerboel to shed more than normal.
  • A cool dip in the lake, river, or dog pool* is ideal to protect your Boerboel from heat. Even though they come from South Africa, have short coats, and are used to warm weather, high temperatures will eventually get to them. Because, like all dog breeds, the Boerboel cannot sweat (except at the paws) to regulate its body temperature. This is mainly done by heavy panting.
  • The Boerboel is a huge mastiff-type breed that is unfortunately prone to joint disease (HD/ED). Swimming is a good way to tire out a Boerboel that is easy on the joints.
Boerboel likes water

Getting Boerboel used to the water

If you don’t want your Boerboel to become water-shy later on and you want to take advantage of the benefits of water described above, you should get him used to water early but very slowly.

Go with your Boerboel, when he is about 4 months old, for example, to a lake, with a shallow place. Alternatively, of course, a suitable dog pool* or similar. Just try to lure him into the water somehow. Throw a stick, a ball, or his favorite toy into the water and animate him to fetch it.

Important is. That you do not push or shove him into the water, but it is completely voluntary. If you do something wrong, you can ruin it right at the beginning.

Give yourself and your dog time. If you have to, just repeat it over and over again.

With Malou – our Cane Corso – it also took until she went into our dog pool* on her own. Now she is in it as soon as we let the water in during the summer. This is exactly how it is with a creek near us.

Read next: Do Boerboels like to be left alone?

What do you have to consider when you go swimming with your Boerboel?

Here are some things to keep in mind when you go swimming with your Boerboel:

  • Make sure the water and outside temperatures are not too cold. Boerboels have thin coats and are not as well protected from the cold and wet as, for example, the Labrador.
  • When you are at the seaside with your Boerboel, ensure he does not drink water. Saltwater, even in small amounts, can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Large amounts can be life-threatening.
  • Don’t let him jump into unfamiliar waters. You never know if he might jump on it somewhere and hurt himself.
  • Before your dog goes into the water, take off his collar and leash so he doesn’t get caught.
  • Don’t let your Boerboel swim unattended. If something happens, you should be ready to rescue your dog.
  • A dog life jacket* can provide the necessary safety, if only at first.
  • If your Boerboel doesn’t want to go in the water, don’t force him under any circumstances. Even if he usually likes to swim.
  • Swim only in safe waters. Rivers with strong currents or rough seas should be avoided.
  • After swimming in a lake or the sea, you should rinse him with clean water and clean the fur from salt, germs, or dirt.

Conclusion: Can Boerboels swim and like water?

Many Boerboels can swim and like water too. They love to play in it, get objects out of it, etc. However, you cannot apply this statement across the board to all Boerboels. It is important that each dog has time to get to know the water on its own and get used to it. (Contributed image)

I am Marco with my Cane Corso and my Broholmer


I am Marco, and I am very lucky to live with 3 big Mastiff-type dogs. In this blog, I want to share all my experiences and knowledge about dogs.

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