When we think of dogs swimming we inevitably think that all dogs can at least do the doggy-paddle and be fine. But this is simply not true.
There are specific breeds of dogs that are less capable swimmers than others due to their facial structure, anatomy, and limb movement. So, what about Pitbulls? The sad truth is that Pitbulls are not able to swim as well as other breeds.
Their limb movement, anatomy, and facial structure make it incredibly difficult for them to keep their heads above water and swim at the same time.
Pitbulls specifically are bred to be quite heavy dogs with thick fur, short muzzles, and heavy heads which all contribute to the fact that this breed would struggle to keep their heads above water and swim as they should.
So why would these things affect a dog’s ability to be able to safely swim? Well, let’s take a look at some contributing factors that make dogs more or less able to swim.
Why Are Some Breeds Better Swimmers Than Others?
It all comes down to the physiology of certain breeds of dogs. While all dogs may have an innate ability to swim some breeds have physical traits that make the process harder and more difficult to do successfully.
So what affects a dog’s ability to swim? Well, there are actually two main reasons for this. The first reason applies to Brachycephalic dogs and the second reason is due to the weight and size of a dog’s head.
In this section, we are going to talk about these two main points in more detail. So, let us get started!
What Is A Brachycephalic Dog, And How Does It Affect Its Ability To Swim?
In short, a dog that is Brachycephalic will have a short muzzle or snout. So breeds that have that signature look of a squashed face like Pugs, and Bulldogs are under this umbrella of Brachycephalic dogs.
Dogs with this feature are unable to flat or swim properly or safely due to their inability to keep their nose and mouth above the water.
In order to swim, they would need to compensate for their short and flat muzzle by pointing their pose upwards which then makes their back end point downwards.
So when they are swimming they are almost vertical with the water which can cause them to sink. The flatter a dog’s muzzle the harder time it will have swimming.
But, there are some breeds that are Brachycephalic that may be able to swim properly but they would never be as good as other breeds that do not have this feature.
How Does The Size And Weight Of A Dog’s Head Affect Its Ability To Swim?
According to some breeds of dogs, it is standard that they have a head that is larger in comparison to the body. One obvious case of this is seen in the English Bulldog which has a large head.
This feature is why so many of them need to be delivered via cesarean section. But there are a few other breeds that have a larger head as a part of the breed standard.
These dogs have a tendency to also have a compact or dense bone structure which is also a factor in their inability to swim properly.
Dogs that have large heads and a heavy muscle mass will leave forward when in the water which can make it harder for them to keep their head above water.
These features in particular can also impact the animal’s buoyancy which is obviously a key factor in a dog’s ability to swim.
That being said, there are exceptions to this rule even in breeds of dogs that are bred to have bigger heads and denser muscle mass.
There may be dogs within the breed that have smaller heads and are more balanced which can mean that they would be able to swim more easily than other dogs of the same breed that are more compact and have larger heads.
Are Pitbulls Able To Swim?
Pitbulls are quite large and muscular dogs with heavy heads and stocky builds. This means it makes the breed quite top-heavy and thus it is harder for them to swim as well as other breeds of dogs.
Their build can make it harder for Pitbulls to stay afloat and keep their heads above water which means that they may sink quickly if they are not able to get out of the water fast enough.
Because of this, it is recommended that Pitbulls that like water are given a life jacket when you take them out on the water.
But when you are considering what life jacket to get for your pitty it is important that you make sure that it fits them properly and they have a full range of movement in it.
Otherwise, it may hinder them from swimming. Other than that you will need to make sure that the life jacket you have chosen is high visibility so that if something happens you will be able to easily spot them.
A life jacket for a Pitbull should look for a product that has a flotation device under the chin which will help to support their large and heavy head.
Do Pitbulls Like Water?
So, do Pitbulls like water? It entirely depends on the dog you have. Even breeds that are known to love swimming may have some dogs that do not like it. The same can be said for breeds like the Pitbull.
While they are not known for their swimming there will be dogs that like to swim and those that do not. It is entirely dependent on the personality of your dog.
We hope that you enjoyed reading our article on whether Pitbulls like water or not. We hope that you have learned everything that you need to know on this topic.
As we have discovered, Pitbulls are not amazing swimmers and may struggle to swim like other dogs due to their build.
But this will not stop dogs that like water so you need to take precautions to make sure that your dog is safe when they swim even if they are not built for it.