Most people think that all dogs instinctively know how to swim. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Some dog breeds do, while some do not.
Take Malteses, for instance. Maltese dogs can swim, but they need to be taught how to.
Find out whether Maltese are natural swimmers and if they even like to swim.
Learn how to teach your Maltese how to swim safely, and what not to do when introducing them to swimming.
Can Maltese Swim?
Yes, Maltese can swim.
They are an intelligent dog breed. They’re also athletic, and talented.
But that doesn’t mean they automatically know how to swim,
While they may not be natural swimmers, they can easily learn with a little bit of training and patience from you.
It’s important to teach your Maltese to swim while they’re still young and full of energy.
Are Maltese Natural Swimmers?
While it is true that Maltese can swim, it is not in their nature to do so.
They are not very fond of water as their long fur soaks it up quickly and weighs them down.
They were bred to be a status symbol and a fashion statement for royalty.
These days, maltese make for great show dogs for competitive dog sports.
Because of their athleticism, agility, and obedience, they can be easily trained to swim.
Do Maltese Like to Swim?
Maltese do not enjoy swimming.
They are not very fond of water. They don’t like pools or the sea, except for a necessary bath.
The appreciation for water varies for each dog, but the more they’re exposed to water, the more they’ll appreciate it.
Their lengthy fur is another reason why your Maltese avoids water. The Maltese fur absorbs water, making them heavier.
Your Maltese would rather be indoors, chilling by your side or napping. They were bred for royalty, after all.
With that said, if you want your Maltese puppy to learn how to swim, you can still teach them the basics, and see where you go from there.
Check out this adorable Maltese’s first swim ever.
Do Maltese Like Water?
Unfortunately, Maltese do not like water.
Some Maltese can be taught to love the water and swimming too. Their obedience and athletic traits make them great students of swimming.
Encourage them to play in shallow areas of the pool or on the beach to help them get used to the water. Alternatively, let them play with the sprinkler or hose.
Can You Teach a Maltese to Swim?
Yes. You can teach your Maltese to swim.
It will be easy for them to learn because they are intelligent, competitive, and obedient.
Maltese dogs are also easy to train. They respond well to positive training methods.
They can view swimming as a competition, or an activity they need to excel at.
When teaching your Maltese to swim, you have to be patient. They can’t learn to swim as fast as Labrador Retrievers or Poodles.
Some Maltese may be stubborn, but they are determined. So if they see a challenge, they will be encouraged to participate.
Additionally, each swimming class should incorporate positive reinforcement.
If they dislike the water or are unable to swim, do not punish them.
As they swim, supervise them, even if they already know how to. As always, equip them with a life jacket to make it easier for them.
Watch Obi and Owen swim with their safety gear on:
How to Teach a Maltese to Swim
You must be patient when teaching your Maltese to swim, as previously stated.
Begin by introducing them to shallow water, such as a bathtub or a pool’s shallow end. Make it a point to stay with them.
Because Maltese are competitive, they will like learning as long as they can see you doing it with them.
Introduce them to water by holding their stomachs while they paddle. Do this in the pool’s shallow end.
Go to the deeper end of the pool gradually as they learn to paddle. You can use toys and treats to encourage and praise them for doing a good job.
Repeat this process as they paddle and stroke in the water. Make sure to give them treats so they stay motivated.
Safety Tips for Swimming with Your Maltese
When swimming with your Maltese, here are some safety tips you should consider:
- Invest in a life jacket, and equip them with it when they swim, or whenever they’re near a body of water.
- When they’re in the water, stay by their side, even if they already know how to swim.
- To make things easy for them, show them where the entry and exit points are.
- Before and after swimming, make sure they’re well hydrated.
- Make sure they’re adequately hydrated before and after swimming.
When swimming, make sure your Maltese is wearing a life jacket. Without one, they’ll struggle to stay afloat and paddle.
Maltese must wear a life jacket whenever they are near water in case they fall in.
Don’t Do This When Introducing Your Maltese to Water
There are some things you should never do while exposing your Maltese to water, in addition to the safety precautions.
Here are some of them:
- If they are not comfortable swimming, do not force them to do so.
- Allow them no access to or use of the pool unless they are wearing a life jacket, especially if they are still learning.
- Pushing or shoving them into water is not a good way to introduce them to water.
- Even when they already know how to swim, do not let them go to unfamiliar parts of the water.
- And lastly, don’t leave them unattended even if they have a life jacket on.
Is Swimming Good for Maltese?
No, swimming is not good for your Maltese, especially during the cold season.
Maltese are prone to health conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, and chills when they’re exposed to cold water in cold weather.
Swimming is only advisable during the hot weather, such as summer season, and in warmer climates.
Maltese, as well as other dog breeds, are also prone to ear infections.
Ear infections can occur when water gets trapped inside your dog’s ear and bacteria start to build up.
To avoid this, make sure to clean your Maltese’s ears after swimming.
Learn more about the pros and cons of swimming for dogs.
How Old Should Your Maltese Puppy Be Before They Start Swimming?
You should train your Maltese puppy to swim when they are around ten to twelve weeks old.
Your puppy has begun to explore their environment at this age. At this age, they are more inquisitive and active.
They are also more energetic at this age, which allows you to teach them without exhausting them.
They are not required to swim in the pool immediately. First, try the tub or the kiddie pool.
When they’re comfortable in the tub, transfer them to the shallow end of the pool, then move to the deeper end.
How Long Can Maltese Swim For?
When they’re learning to swim, Maltese can only swim for five minutes at a time.
To prevent overwhelming your Maltese, keep your swimming lessons to a minimum.
If they’re still a beginner, swimming for too long can make them feel cold and exhausted.
Recognize that Maltese were not bred to swim. As a result, limiting swimming classes to under 5 minutes is enough.
Water breeds, on the other hand, can swim for up to 30 minutes without getting tired.
Can My Maltese Swim in My Pool?
Yes. Your Maltese can swim in your pool if they want to.
It is, in fact, one of the safest areas for them to swim because there are no erratic waves or high tides.
They will also be considerably safer in a pool than in a lake, which may contain deadly blue algae and other hidden dangers.
However, the amount of chlorine in your pool should also be a factor to consider.
If you have a show dog, it’s not advisable to let your dog swim in chlorinated water. It can affect their coats.
After a swim in the pool, give them a good rinse with fresh water to remove any pool chemicals.
You Can Teach a Maltese to Enjoy Swimming
You can teach your Maltese to swim, but there’s no reason to force them if they don’t want to.
It’s important to remember that teaching your Maltese to swim should only be done for safety reasons.
If you’re taking them outside or anyplace near deep water, make sure they have a life jacket.
There’s no other reason to make your Maltese adore swimming besides that.
If your Maltese loves swimming, then that’s a great start. Just make sure to keep their swimming sessions short.
Find out here if you should wash your dog after every swimming session.