can yorkies swim

Can Yorkies Swim? How To Make Them Safe In The Water?

So, you’ve got a Yorkie and you’re wondering, “can Yorkies swim?” It’s a great question, especially with summer right around the corner and dreams of beach days and poolside hangouts dancing in your head. Yorkies, with their tiny stature and silky coats, aren’t the first breed you picture when you think of a swimming dog, but don’t let their size fool you.

Read on and discover whether Yorkies can swim without life swimming vests and how to make them comfortable around water.

can yorkies swim

Are Yorkies natural swimmers?

Unlike breeds like Labradors or Retrievers that are practically born with flippers, Yorkies aren’t natural swimmers. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the water.

When it comes to Yorkie swimming, each pup is its own story. Some might take to the water like ducks, while others might look at a puddle and back away slowly. It really comes down to individual personality and experiences. You need to have a lot of patience if it’s the first time you need to introduce your Yorkie to water. 

The first thing you need to do is to play with your dog by the water. It’s important that they feel relaxed and get to know water adventures through play. Start in shallow waters where they can feel the ground under their paws before moving into deeper adventures. 

To succeed in this, the best way is to set up a baby pool in your backyard. Not only will your dog enjoy the cooling effect during the summer, but you can also throw a ball into the water for them to fetch as a prize.

So, while Yorkies might not start off as natural swimmers, with a little help from their favorite humans, they can definitely get there. Who knows? Your Yorkie might just surprise you and turn into a little water-lover!

Essential safety gear when taking your Yorkie to swim

When it comes to keeping your tiny fur buddy safe in the water, picking the right gear is crucial. The star of the show is definitely the life jacket for your Yorkie. Not just any life jacket, though—make sure it’s the right size for your Yorkie, fits snugly without being too tight, and offers enough buoyancy to keep them afloat without effort. Remember, comfort is key because if they’re not happy with their gear, they’re not going to enjoy their swim.

As one of the best life jackets for Yorkies, we recommend you check the Yorkie Shark Swimming Vest. It’s available in vibrant colors and comes with a funny shark fin on the back. Besides, there’s a safety handle that allows you to grab your furry friend in unplanned situations. 

yorkie life vest

“FinTails” Yorkie life jacket vest is another pick that you have to check. It features mermaid design and it’s available in 5 colors. The velcro closure is great to set the size and make sure it gives your dog a snug effect. 

yorkie life jacket

FinnyPaws – Fish inspired Yorkie swim vest will remind you of the ‘’ Finding Nemo’’ animated movie. It comes in gorgeous orange and white color combo and comes with a safety handle on the back. Thanks to high-buoyancy floating panels, your Yorkie will stay afloat. However, don’t leave your dog unsupervised because swimming in rough water is not a safe zone for your dog.

can yorkies swim

Training Your Yorkie to Swim

Training your Yorkie to swim should be a gentle and gradual process. Here’s a simple, step-by-step approach to help your furry friend get their paws wet:

  1. Introduction: Begin by letting your Yorkie explore the water at their own pace. Allow them to walk around in shallow water and sniff around. Keep the mood light and playful.
  2. First Swim: With your Yorkie wearing their new life jacket, carry them into slightly deeper water where they can’t touch the ground but you can. Support their belly gently and encourage them to paddle. Use a cheerful, encouraging tone.
  3. Positive Reinforcement: Every little splash and paddle should be met with heaps of praise and some treats. Make them feel like they’re doing a great job!
  4. Increase Exposure Gradually: As they grow more comfortable, gradually increase the depth and duration of the swims. Always monitor their energy and stress levels—short, positive sessions are better than pushing them too hard.

There’s an important thing to do after taking your Yorkie to swin in salty water. To avoid itchiness and making your dog feel uncomfortable, we recommend you to rinse his coat with tap water. Therefore, if you don’t have an access to a tap water, then you should bring a bottle of water with you.

Recognizing Signs of Stress and Fatigue in Yorkies

When taking your Yorkie out for a swim, it’s vital to keep an eye out for signs of discomfort, stress, or fatigue. Yorkies are spirited but also sensitive, and their small bodies can get overwhelmed by too much activity or anxiety quickly. Here are some key signs to watch for and how to respond:

  1. Yorkie Shaking: If you notice your Yorkie shaking or shivering, it’s a clear indicator that they might be stressed or too cold. This is common in small breeds like Yorkies who have less body fat to insulate them against colder water temperatures.
  2. Whining or Barking: Excessive vocalization such as whining, barking, or crying is another sign that your Yorkie isn’t comfortable. This could be due to fear, stress, or even excitement, but it’s important to assess the context to understand their mood.
  3. Lethargy: If your Yorkie suddenly seems unusually tired, lethargic, or unwilling to move, they could be experiencing fatigue. Water activities can be more physically demanding than they seem, and it’s crucial to give your little one plenty of breaks.
  4. Reluctance to Enter Water: If your Yorkie hesitates or refuses to go into the water, respect their choice. Forcing them can increase their stress and make future swimming attempts more difficult.
  5. Clinging Behavior: A Yorkie who clings to you more than usual might be seeking comfort due to feeling insecure or overwhelmed.

Actions to Take:

  • Immediate Comfort: If you notice any signs of stress, such as yorkie shaking, provide immediate comfort. Remove them from the water and wrap them in a warm, dry towel. Offer soothing words and gentle petting to calm them down.
  • Warm Up: Keep them warm after swimming to prevent hypothermia, especially if they were shivering. A quick dry-off and a warm blanket can do wonders.
  • Shorten Swim Sessions: Reduce the time they spend in the water. Several short sessions are better than a long one that leads to fatigue.
  • Reassess Approach: If your Yorkie consistently shows signs of distress related to water activities, reconsider whether your Yorkie’s swimming is the right activity for them. Not all dogs are water lovers, and that’s perfectly okay!

Can Yorkies Swim? Wrapping up

While can Yorkies swim might not be a straightforward yes for every individual dog, with the right approach and precautions, many Yorkies can indeed enjoy splashing around and paddling in water. It’s important to remember that every Yorkie is unique. Their comfort with water can vary widely. By introducing them slowly, ensuring they have the proper safety gear, and always watching for signs of stress or fatigue, you can help your Yorkie have a safe and enjoyable experience.

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