Siberian Huskies were bred to help the Chukchi tribe in Siberia with relocation. They were nomadic, so they wanted helpers to pull their sleds.
The temperatures were freezing and there was ice all around, even now this breed is used for the same purpose.
So, the dogs didn’t either get time to swim, or taking a plunge into the freezing water was indeed a bad idea. This should explain why my huskies were so reluctant to get into the pool.
So, to answer your question: do huskies like to swim? No, they don’t. A shallow pond or water body would not deter them. However, you have to train them to jump into the pool with you.
See also: Are Huskies good for first-time owners?
Why Don’t Huskies Like To Swim?
Discover the reasons that may save your pooch from the extra stress of swimming.
1. They Are Sensitive
The breed may look resilient to the outward changes, but the truth could not be far away from this. Huskies are sensitive to the point that you have to keep them pampered with the right temperature, food, and shelter – not to mention fence safety.
My huskies, Camila and Joe, were two of the best representatives of the breed. But they were only best when they were kept in a less noisy, less cluttered, and less chaotic neighborhood.
I couldn’t keep them in my apartment because of their tendency to explore. When it came to bathing or going into the pool, I had the hardest time.
The water had to be a little chilly, not too warm. They had to be mentally prepared first. I had to be with them right in the water.
2. Cannot Tolerate Warm Water
Warmness tolerance: ⅗
That’s nothing out of the blue. Huskies are built for ice and below-freezing temps. So, it’s natural for them to avoid warmth. Not that they have some DNA malfunction but the coats they possess allow for maximum conservation of energy.
I’d make sure that the temperature of my house was well enough in the range of what my dogs could bear. Anywhere between 20 to 25 was acceptable and I lived in Florida back then. You can imagine the hardships of living with two huskies in that part of the world.
3. Not Very Easy To Train
The dogs are not easy to train – be it swimming or anything else. If they put their minds to not doing something, making them do that thing is akin to summiting Mount Everest.
I had spent many long weeks getting the two of them into the pool but they would stop at the sides of it and look reluctantly into the water. With shallow ponds, however, they had no problem.
They would happily bounce back and forth in a dirty mud pond in the backyard after rain and come back home messing up everything.
They have inflexible personalities and swimming isn’t a part of them. So, training them to do that is not only hard but tiring, too.
Even when I had trained my dogs to swim, they would only do so for a bit and then hop out of the water. With time and effort, however, things swung my way. They got used to being in the water for a long time.
See also: Do Huskies like to cuddle?
How To Train Huskies To Swim?
These dogs may have come from a place where thick ice prevails but that doesn’t mean that they are completely reluctant to swim. They swim and they enjoy it.
However, as I said, you’ve to put in hours to teach them to do so.
1. Introduce Them To Water Early
Teaching a dog to do things in puppyhood lasts for adulthood as well. I prefer training dogs when they are little as compared to when they’ve cemented their personalities.
So, introduce your pup to the pool after 4 months. They would have vaccinations completed and ready to wade into the unknown.
I would have done the same to my huskies but I got them from the shelter when they were already adults.
With them, however, you have to be extra cautious.
2. Increase The Depth Gradually
Taking a plunge into the depths of water isn’t a good idea for a husky learning to swim. Start with a small pond and increase the depth to the point where they could get used to the pool.
This way you wouldn’t put a burden on their senses and repel them to the point where they plot their escapes. You may have an idea that dogs are quite escaping artists.
3. Don’t Forget The Safety Measures
Needless to say, you should take help from a life jacket. I’m guilty of slightly pushing Joe with a life jacket into the water after two weeks of training. Camila was such a brave girl.
She would start jumping on her own when she realized that the jacket was helping her stay afloat. With Joe, I had to take the extra step. But after that first push, things started to go smoothly with him.
I do not recommend that you should do this, though. Look at the signs of your dog’s willingness and act accordingly.
4. Remember That It’s A Process
Just like anything else with this breed, teaching swimming is also a process. It will take time and effort as I said.
You must be well prepared to act according to the scenario. Make sure that the dog’s safety–both emotional and physical–is kept at the highest priority.
Related: Dogs That Like Swimming
Let’s look at some of the frequently asked questions from owners.
Do Huskies like the beach?
The dogs were meant for freezing temperatures. On a beach, the sidewalk and anything asphalt could get way hotter to get their paws blistered. The sand could be hotter, too. Therefore, make sure that you use dog shoes, keep them hydrated, and look for any signs of distress.
Do Huskies like to get wet?
When trained properly, they would love water. Naturally, though, they avoid water bodies. However, splashing, or getting dirty in small mud puddles doesn’t hurt them at all.
Do Huskies like baths?
They aren’t much of a bath lover. Their outgoing personality may cause them to resist getting into the bath. Use plenty of treats to bathe them once a month because they don’t need cleaning like the rest of the dogs.
How Often Should Huskies Have a Bath?
You should bathe them once or twice a month. They aren’t like other dogs, which means they don’t smell heinous when they get wet or something. Their coat is super thick, so after the bath, make sure to rinse it well for any residue-cleaning agents or to repel anything that would like to thrive in the water.
Do Huskies Like To Swim – Conclusion
Huskies do not love swimming naturally because they were bred to do so.
However, you could train them right from their puppyhood, which will increase the likelihood of them liking swimming in adulthood.
Make sure that you use precaution and safety measures when you’re introducing them to the pool.