So, you want to know if corgis like water and swimming.
Or you want to MAKE your corgi like water.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- The breed history in regards to water
- How to socialize your corgi to not be afraid of water
- What to do if your corgi is scared of swimming
- And more
Sound good? Let’s “dive” in.
Are corgis good swimmers?
Corgis are similar to most other herding breeds.
They may or may not like water depending on how they were socliazed during the first 6 months of their puppyhood.
By nature, their short stature and legs aren’t necessarily made for paddling waves on the ocean.
They do have double-coats as many other herding dogs do. This allows them to adapt to colder temperatures to continue herding- whether in the rain or snow.
But even then, they have short and powerful things that can help them doggy paddle their way across the water.
Corgis were bred for herding animals on land, not the sea, ocean, river, lake, or pond.
So that means they weren’t really used for water sports.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy watching your corgi paddling across the water.
Or watch your corgi carry another corgi floating on a corgi float, like this:
Can corgis swim?
Almost every species of dog can swim to some extent.
Corgis are no exception. If you drop your dog in a baby pool, it’ll probably swim across with no problem, whether he enjoys doing the splish splash or not!
My corgi is afraid of getting wet and hates water
The important part is to slowly and gradually allow your corgi to get used to water.
Pairing swimming with positive reinforcement will help him learn to associate water with good times.
Sadly, most dogs absolutely hate getting wet.
So unless your corgi naturally likes water, he’ll probably grow up to avoid it.
This is why you need to socialize your corgi early on.
Here’s the problem.
Before exposing their dogs to water slowly and one step at a time, new owners will just dunk their dog into the bath and make it a traumatic experience.
This is completely wrong and just frightens the dog. And this is why so many dogs end up hating bathtime.
People are compelled to wash their dogs after they bring them home for the first night. Or after they go outside. Or they’re just not used to paw prints all over their home so they excessively shower their dog (which strips the natural oils of the skin).
- The trick is to FIRST expose the dog to water and gradually work your work up to a full shower.
- NOT spray and hose down your corgi. Or just dunk him right into a bathtub.
This is why most dogs hate water and getting wet. It’s because of the initial exposure to it. And this is why you need to properly show your dog that bathtime and water lead to rewards.
Sadly, most newbie owners won’t read this advice before they blast their dog with the hose.
And then they learn after the corgi is out of the critical period and hard to fix bad behaviors.
Socialize and expose your dog to water
Exposing him to water and pairing it with good rewards makes him enjoy the process.
In the future, he’ll associate that water means to treat or praise, which corgis will strive for.
- The key is to take it one step at a time and slowly raise your expectations.
- Do NOT spray your dog with water or put him into a tub.
- Use baby steps even if he can’t get a full shower at first.
- And constantly reward and praise him during the ENTIRE process.
Should your dog ever start to hate water and struggle, go back one step and expect less.
This will take time.
How to get your corgi to like water
Here’s how you should approach getting your corgi to like water and swimming:
Expose him to water as young as possible. Ideally, this should be done in the socialization period (between 12-16 weeks).
At the beginning, just get some water on your fingers and let him lick it off.
Constantly reward your dog with treats during this part. Repeat on a daily basis and slowly increase the volume of water.
If you’re using a hose, faucet, sink, or something that has a control mechanism for the water flow, slowly make it louder and increase the flow over time.
After your corgi is used to the water, start petting him with a wet hand.
Again, reward with treats. If your dog struggles or tries to run away, lower your standards and go back to the previous step. You can try distracting him with some food while petting.
The next step is to get your corgi to walk into water. Form a puddle outside and reward your dog for walking into it.
Pet him in the puddle. Give him treats. Continually make it a positive experience.
After he’s comfortable with walking into water by himself, you can try placing him into water.
You may have already done this a few times by giving him a bath. If you didn’t use treats or positive reinforcement, he may already have a few phobias.
You’ll have to break this and dissociate the water with negative experiences as much as you can.
You can start with placing just his limbs into an inch or so of water. Reward and praise him throughout the process.
When he’s comfortable, you can slowly increase the amount of water. Using a sink, bathtub, or kiddie pool are all excellent.
A small pool works perfectly. You can go with your corgi into the water and swim with him.
Practice having him swim towards you, fetching small floating toys, and moving around the water.
Praise him with treats and positive association.
This is just a sample water socialization plan.
Not all corgis will like to swim or get wet
There are many different ways to do this.
NOT all corgis will respond positively, nor can all dogs be trained to like water. If your corgi hates it and can’t move to the next step, he may just be a dog that doesn’t like water.
Similar to how humans definitely have their own personality, your dog has his own.
He may just never like water or swimming. And that’s okay.
Unless you’re competing in a dog sport, there’s no need to force your corgi to swim.
You may be able to convert him to enjoying a dive in the pool with repeated exposure.
And if you just can’t get him to budge, consider hiring a professional dog trainer. They may be able to help get your corgi to swim.
Does your corgi love water yet?
Not all dogs can be trained to enjoy swimming. If your corgi is struggling, take it easy, and lower your standards.
Keep it light and playful. Reward with treats and praise.
Don’t ever force your dog to swim- this just does the complete opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below!
Roy has owned 14 dog breeds, with corgis being his absolute favorite. He’s a self proclaimed “corgi whisperer,” whatever that means. He enjoys hiking, videogames, binging on shows, and writing (that’s why he’s here).