Do Rottweilers Like Water?
[Everything you need to know]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

Are you someone who dreams of doing fun things with your dog? Like hiking, camping, swimming, and more. First of all, you are the dog owner that every dog deserves. We appreciate your willingness to learn about your dog’s preferences, so we have gathered data from our experts to fulfill your needs.

Rottweilers are an excellent dog breed. They are intelligent, loyal, brilliant guard dogs and fast learners. Understandably, you would also expect them to learn swimming as soon as possible. However, we suggest that you should not rush the process and let your Rottie adapt to the feeling of being in the water. You can do many things to make your rottweilers swim, and we’ve compiled some of the best methods that will help you in the due process.

What Are Rottweilers Like?

Rottweilers love to take charge and responsibility; this dog breed is powerful and robust. Their intellectual capacity, endurance, and ability to perform makes them ideal service dogs, police dogs, therapy dogs, and herder. They are devoted to their owners which make them an excellent and obedient companion.

They have the wait-and-see attitude in them, speaking volumes about their self-confidence and influential qualities. When it comes to their appearance, they are medium-sized dogs with a beautiful black coat that has mahogany and rusty marks.

There is also an adorable side to these dogs, who tend to behave in a rather clownish manner around their family and loved ones. On the other hand, they are highly protective and territorial. They will not allow strangers and uninvited people to trespass on your property.

As dog owners or people interested in having a rottweiler, you must know that they require extensive socialization and obedience training. These dogs are not high maintenance, they require minimal grooming, but daily exercise is necessary. Now let’s look at how good rottweilers are with water.

Can Rottweilers Swim?

To answer the question you are eager to know about, yes! Rottweilers can swim, and they do swim. They are not the best swimmers out of the many dog breeds due to their build. However, a good amount of practice should be enough to make your rottweiler a decent swimmer.

But rottweilers won’t swim with enthusiasm because they are not fond of this activity. As a dog owner, you must put in extra effort to get your rottweiler to swim. Eventually, they might need the extra push to get in the water, but they will learn to swim well.

Why Is It Difficult For Rottweilers To Swim?

Rottweilers aren’t necessarily a fan of swimming. You would not find a lot of rottweilers that have an inbuilt talent or drive for swimming. But they do swim well enough without putting their lives at risk. Guard dogs are built heavy with large muscles; people bred them to enhance this quality specifically. Their build hinders their swimming ability and makes it challenging for them.

Our experts say that rottweilers were not bred for swimming because the breeders believed that this would not be an activity they would encounter. According to them, their only role was protecting and guarding. Albeit, this does not stop them from jumping into the water and enjoying a little bit of splashing.

Do Rottweilers Like To Swim? 

They might have their physical limitations, but does that leave an impact on rottweilers liking towards swimming? Let us learn together. We have observed that many rottweilers love swimming! A good reason for that could be the athletic nature of the activity, which helps in quickly burning energy.

Dog breeds like poodles have an innate talent for swimming; this might not be the case with most rottweilers. Therefore proper guidance, surveillance, and encouragement are required. So far, we know that rottweilers might enjoy a good swim, but they are not the best swimmers, so keep a close watch and make them wear a life west.

We would also like to add that there have been reports by other rottweiler owners whose dogs refuse to swim. You must find out what better suits your rottweiler because it entirely depends on the individual dog rather than the breed in this case.

How To Know If Your Rottweiler Enjoys Swimming?

Before taking the big step and assuming that your rottweiler will enjoy swimming, try to observe and recognize their needs. There are chances that your dog feels threatened by water, and in such cases, you must work with patience. Let them take their time and encourage them for every little step they take.

If you find your dog’s body language more stiff than usual, they are not having a great time. Another sign is to look for the tail; the tail will tuck downwards between the legs. You can also tell by their head, which will be lowered and positioned forward.

Some dogs can also react by whining, and if you notice your dog doing this, please try to calm them down immediately. Avoid being forceful if your Rottie is not interested. It is alright for them to feel this way, and you should understand that they are not interested in swimming or playing.

How To Get Your Rottweiler To Swim?

If you are lucky enough and get the green signal, here’s what you can do to teach your rottweiler swimming.

Like most dogs who instinctively ‘doggy paddle,’ rottweilers are least likely to do that, so you must teach them with patience and use the methods given by our experts.

How To Get Your Rottweiler To Swim?

If you are lucky enough and get the green signal, here’s what you can do to teach your rottweiler swimming.

Like most dogs who instinctively ‘doggy paddle,’ rottweilers are least likely to do that, so you must teach them with patience and use the methods given by our experts.

Tag-Along Method

1) First, you need to find a dog who loves water and make your Rottie socialize with them. Make sure they are enjoying each other’s company and monitor closely for any unfriendly actions.

2)Use a life vest before you enter the water with your rottweiler. Have your dog’s new friend tag along with you.

3)Start by playing in shallow water and make it a fun session for your dog without much pressure.

4)Gradually move towards deeper water by playing fetch. Once you feel your dog is comfortable in the water, see if your Rottie is paddling in the water. The life vest should be helpful for this, so do not skip that step.

Treat And Trick Method

1) For this method, you will need a kid’s pool, a leash, and a rottweiler. (duh!)

2)Carry some water-resistant treats with you and throw them in the pool. You can use a piece of sausage, carrots, or anything that your dog likes.

3) Keep repeating the fetch game until your dog feels comfortable with stepping into the pool.

4)Now, you can find another body of calm water. Put your dog on a leash and use a life vest before you enter. Use the water-resistant treats to lure your dog and reward them for stepping in the water.

5)Slowly move into deep water as you feed them treats with your hands. You can also use a floating toy if necessary.

6) When you have successfully lured your Rottie into deeper water, hold one treat above their head. This step will get them accustomed to keeping their head out of water.

7) Let them paddle, but make sure you do not remove the life vest. Once your rottweiler gets used to being in the water, reduce the usage of treats and withdraw support.

Slow But Straightforward Method

1)Start with taking your rottweiler out on walks, and make sure to put on a life vest, so they are familiar with the feeling.

2) Search for an ideal location with calm waters. You should look for a quiet body of water without steep banks and a shallow entrance.

3) Calmly introduce your dog to the water body and let them explore in the shallow water. Take note of whether your dog is comfortable with the feeling.

4)Once you know your dog does not have a problem, approach deep waters with caution. Support your dog with arms and hold their rib cage above.

5) Ensure the life vest provides enough support before moving them around and encouraging them to paddle. Keep repeating these steps until your rottweiler learns to swim.


We sincerely hope that this gives you a brief idea about what you should do to get your rottweiler to swim. You might be a little less clueless now, and all the credit goes to our dog experts who extensively study topics like these for your convenience. Please follow a safe and sound approach while getting your dog accustomed to the water.No matter how enthusiastic you are, your dog’s safety and respecting their natural temperament should always be your priority. 

If your rottweiler refuses to swim and shows unnatural signs during the session, then stop immediately. And this goes without saying, but keep a close watch on them whenever they are near any water body where there is a risk of drowning. Now that you know everything about rottweilers, water and swimming, we hope you have an excellent pool sesh with your Rottie!