Do Australian Shepherds Like Water? (Real Answers From Aussie Owners)

The Australian shepherd is a friendly and loving dog breed. Aussies are great with families, kids, and other dogs. Their behavior toward strangers may or may not be good. The good thing about this breed is it is very intelligent, which makes the training process easy. If you are planning to adopt an Australian shepherd or if you already have adopted an Australian shepherd recently, there are so many questions you may have in your mind. For a new dog owner, it is obvious to come to different questions regarding the dog breed he/she adopts. Depending on the likes, dislikes, and interests of your Aussie dog, you need to set his daily routine. When you do things that your Aussie likes and interested in, it keeps him happy.

So do Aussies Like Water or not? 

Aussies will sometimes like water and other ones might hate it just like people they are all different when it comes to their temperment. This will also be a product of how they brought up. If you have easy access to water with an Aussie pup get them in that water right away so they get used to it and they will love it forever. If they get to one to two years of age before ever getting into water (besides a bath) then they have more of a chance of not liking it at all. Most Aussies will love the water once they get used to it. 

If you don’t know whether your Aussie will like water or not, it is a good idea to give it a try. At first, your Aussie will be unsure about the water. Over time, most Aussies like swimming & water. If you are an Aussie owner, whose Aussie hasn’t had any experience in swimming in the past, your goal is to introduce your Aussie dog to the water.

If your Aussie has not experienced swimming before, you need to train him. It can be a bit challenging as you have no idea whether your Australian shepherd dog will like to swim or not. The preference for water or swimming may vary depending on the individual Aussie dog as well. After you teach your dog how to swim, the next challenging task that comes is how to actually keep your dog out of the water.

Background On Australian Shepherd

The Australian shepherd is one of the popular dog breeds. From the name of this breed, it might look that the breed is originated from Australia, but this is not the truth. The Australian Shepherd dog breed is originated in the west United States, not Australia, during the 1840s.

Australian shepherds or Aussies have very high energy. This dog breed is happy when they have something to do. The breed is also very friendly. It can easily get along with the family members, kids, as well as other dogs.

When you adopt an Aussie dog, a big responsibility comes in. Due to the high energy level, the most important thing for any Aussie dog owner is helping to burn the excess energy. If you are someone who always has busy schedule and if you can’t manage to get enough time for your dog, then an Australian shepherd breed is not for you.

Due to high energy level, Aussies’ exercise and physical activity needs are also very high. To help your Aussie dog be in a shape and stay happy, the dog owner has to provide regular exercise. Nor providing this breed with regular exercise will lead to so many problems. It will lead to destructive and negative behavior.

When the dog does not get enough physical exercise, he will start chewing excessively, destroy household items, and show other negative behaviors.

Another important thing you should know about this dog breed is it is very friendly and loving. The Australian shepherd is the breed that can’t tolerate being alone. You should not leave an Aussie dog breed alone for a longer period. Doing so will result into problems like separation anxiety.

Aussie Owners Give Opinion On Water-likeness

We curated this information from Aussie Reddit and Aussie Dog Forum websites. This information has not been changed besides any spelling or grammar that was needed.

Our Two Aussies we have one loves the water and the other doesn’t like it. The female Tri colored loves going in the water morning, day and night. While our male blue merle can’t stand the water only sometimes with a kiddie pool that isn’t that deep. But we don’t want you to take our word for it which is why we went out and gathered information from other real owners.

Real Aussie Owners

1. Becca723 “Yes Loves Water” – Mine loves water! She will gladly hang out in any body of water ever. Such a water doggo

2. 1738 “Yes Loves Water” – That’s great! Mine has had 4-5 baths and has been fine with all of them but I didn’t get the feeling that she was enjoying it, but just dealing with it.

I was surprised when she went into the river during our hike.

3. The_Jolly_Skeptic “Yes Loves Water” – My Aussie loves water. She regularly jumps into the pool and if we ever go for a hike near a stream or pond she wants to go in.

4. Freodar_Protar “Yes Loves Water” – My Aussie i had growing up loved swimming. When we were camping he would disappear then come back wet, he just decided he wanted to go for a swim. He would herd us in the water by swimming back and forth to us to keep us together. My parents aussie now isn’t so into it. She will lay in the most shallow part of the lake and let the little waves break on her but she doesn’t really like going out to swim far.

5. No_Log-e “Yes Loves Water” – Oh yes mine love water and they have their own kiddie pool for the summer.

6. OnExtendedWings “No Hates Water” – Our first Aussie tolerated water (waded but never swam) and baths. Our current Aussie hates getting just his feet wet.

But our Aussie/Kelpie mix LOVES water and swimming–we can’t keep her out of whatever lakes or streams we’re near. I swear she’s part Lab.

7. UnrulyCrow “No Hates Water” – It can depend on the dog’s personality, I suppose.

Mine really dislikes water. He only gets his paws wet – maybe his belly in summer. And everytime he gets out of the water, he runs in the nearest patch of grass to dry the imaginary water.

8. Henry575 “Yes Loves Water” – My aussie right here. Loves ponds and puddles but the bathtub wont go near it.

9. TheReadyRedditor “Yes Loves Water” – Mine only loves it when someone else is in it. 😂 He will whine at the bathroom door when my husband is in the bath or shower, and cries because he can’t get in the tub. But put him in there alone and he acts like it’s torture.

10. KitteeKattz69 “No Hates Water” – My Aussie hates all water. Baths, puddles, rain, the lake. Not a water dog.

11. CrazyCatLadyTiff “No Hates Water” – My Aussie is terrified of water

12. Becca723 “Yes Loves Water” – Mine only likes dirty water. If it comes out of a tap, no way José!

13. LittleBluePills “Yes Loves Water” – Lol my boy loves water. And he loves the tub. But putting the two together is unacceptable

Aussie Water Loving Results

We only put 13 people on here but went through almost 50 postings from real Aussie owners. Right around 70% of all the posts said their Aussie either loved water or at least didn’t mind it most of the time. Around 30% of Aussie owners said that their dogs either hated water or just didn’t prefer to get in it ever. Although this is a small sample size of the actual amount of owners you can kind of get the gist that Aussies have their own personalities that they will either get right in and have a blast or it may take some time and patience to get them used to it and living it. The last thing you want to do is force it on them then they will hate it.

Do Australian Shepherds Like to Swim?

If your Aussie has never experienced swimming before, it is a good idea to give it a try. As we know, the personal preference will vary from one Aussie dog to another, you may not know how your Aussie will react to water and swimming.

Australians are playful. When it comes to Aussies, some of them love swimming, while some Aussies don’t like approaching water. In research, different Aussie owners were asked whether their Aussie enjoys swimming or not. In that research, it was found that the majority of Aussies actually enjoy swimming. When you find your dog enjoying open water or pool, the chances are, he will enjoy swimming as well.

To check out whether your Aussie enjoys swimming, you need to take him to swim. By introducing your Australian shepherd to swimming, you can observe whether he likes it or not.

Why You Should Teach Your Australian Shepherd To Swim?

As we know, whether an Australian shepherd likes to swim or not is totally based on his individual preferences. As most Aussies enjoy playing with water and swimming, the chances are your Aussie will enjoy it. But, teaching your Australian Shepherd to swim can benefit in different ways.

The Australian shepherd is a playful and energetic dog breed. When you adopt a highly-energetic dog breed like Aussie, it is very important that you provide him with regular physical activities. Not providing enough involving your Aussie in exercise and different physical activities will lead to changes in his behavior.

As Aussies have a high energy level, it is essential that the energy is utilized in the right place. Not helping your Australian shepherd dog to burn his energy will lead to destructive behavior. Your Aussie will be likely to do destructive things like excessive chewing, destroying household items, etc. Apart from this, it can also lead to problems like separation anxiety.

Another problem is the prey drive or the herding instincts of Australian shepherds. The herding instincts of Aussies are very high. Providing regular exercise and involving in different physical activities can help to reduce the herding instincts or high prey drive of Aussies.

The best exercise you can provide to your Aussie dog is swimming. With the help of swimming, you can fulfill the exercise needs of your dog. This way, you can utilize your dog’s energy in the right place and avoid him becoming destructive. As compared to other exercise and physical activities, swimming is considered as the best option. Through swimming, your dog won’t just be able to utilize his excess energy, but he will also have fun.

One of the major problems you may have to deal with when you don’t provide enough exercise to your Australian shepherd dog is weight gain. Aussies are prone to quick weight gain. Without providing sufficient exercise, your Aussie will keep gaining weight. Hence, by teaching your Aussie to swim, you can also control the problems like weight gain.

Another great benefit of teaching swimming to an Aussie dog is, during the summer season, swimming can help the dog to get relief from the sun. As Aussies are double-coated, dealing with summer and heat can be a bit tough for them. By teaching your Aussie to swim, you can help them to keep their coats cool, during the summer.

The Australian Shepherd is a highly intelligent and smart dog breed. Due to their high intelligence level, it is imperative to provide them regular mental stimulation. Swimming can help with that as well.

In short, teaching an Australian shepherd to swim can help in so many ways. Apart from cooling down the coat in the summers, it can also help to avoid gaining excess weight, getting regular exercise, mental stimulation, etc. Hence, if you are an Australian shepherd owner, you must teach swimming to your canine.

How To Teach Swimming To Your Australian Shepherd?

Now you know teaching swimming to your Aussie dog can be very helpful. It can help him physically as well as mentally. The important thing is how you can teach swimming to your dog. You will find varying temperaments, from one Aussie dog to another. Some Aussies like involving in new activities, while some may don’t like it.

When it comes to teaching new activities like swimming to your Aussie dog, it is best to teach when the dog is young. You can start teaching to swim when your Aussie dog is around 10 weeks old. When your dog is young, it is obvious you have to keep the water level low. When your dog gets older and starts learning, you can gradually increase the water level.

The Australian Shepherd is a highly intelligent and smart dog breed. So, teaching swimming to your Aussie won’t be a big stress. Still, it is advisable to teach swimming when the dog is young. Here are some tips that will help you teach your Aussie:

Start little

When it comes to teaching swimming or any other activity to your pup, it is always advisable to start little. You don’t need to put the pressure of mastering swimming starting from day one.

Keep the water level low

Another important point to keep in mind is you must keep the water level low when you are just starting to teach. Keeping the water level low will make your Aussie able to touch his feet on the ground.

Keep it fun

Make sure to keep the swimming sessions fun and enjoyable. Don’t put pressure on your dog for learning to swim. Having fun will help them learn faster. You can give your dog’s favorite toy during the training session.


Patience is important when you are teaching something new to your dog. As we know, Australian shepherds are very intelligent & smart, so teaching swimming to them should not be difficult. However, if it takes longer than expected, keep putting effort and don’t give up.

Should I Bathe My Australian Shepherd After Swimming?

No matter of the dog breed, whether your dog needs bathe will be ideally based on its lifestyle. Dogs do smell a bit musty after having a few dips in the ocean or river. However, this should not be the main reason why you bathe your dog very often. Talking about Australian shepherd, giving a bath once every 2-3 months is okay. Again, as we have said, it is also based on the lifestyle of your Aussie. If you think that your Aussie is clean after some months, then you need to wait for some more time, to provide him a bathe.

If you find your dog’s coat getting dirt very often, then regular brushing is the best option. Through regular brushing, you can remove the dirt from your Aussie’s undercoat as well as the topcoat. For removing the dirt from Aussie’s coat, brushing is considered as a better solution, as compared to bathing. When you provide bathe to your Australian shepherd, it makes his skin dry. However, when you focus on regular brushing, it removes the dirt & matt from your Aussie’s coat, without removing important oils from the dog’s coat.

Hence, it is not essential that you need to provide bathe to your Australian shepherd dog every time after swimming. If your dog took dips on a polluted river, then you need to provide him bathe. But, if you think there is just some dirt on your dog’s coat, then brushing is an effective solution.

Do Mini Australian Shepherds Like To Swim?

Mini Australian Shepherds or Mini Aussies are just like Aussies. They do enjoy swimming and playing with water. However, whether or not a particular Mini Australian shepherd likes to swim or not also varies on the individual dog.

Just like Australian shepherds, Mini Australian shepherds are also playful and love outdoors. When they are left alone for a longer period, they create separation anxiety.

Mini Aussies can also enjoy swimming. Just like Aussies, you need to introduce Mini Aussies to swimming and teach them how to swim.

Do Australian Shepherds Like Snow?

The Australian shepherd is a double-coated dog breed. This dog breed has a water-resistant coat, which helps to be comfortable in water and snow. The undercoat of Aussies is in such a manner that they can fight with cold climates and snow.

The Australian shepherds in snow and cold climates have the heavier undercoat as compared to Australian shepherds that are in sunnier regions.

Most Australian shepherds enjoy water and snow. But, as we humans have different preferences, same is with dogs. Whether or not a particular Australian shepherd will like snow will be based on his preferences.

As Aussies have double coats, the mistake so many Aussie owners make during summers is shaving their dog. They think completely shaving their dog will help them fight during the summer. But, this is not true. Shaving a double-coated dog breed doesn’t help the dog fight with the weather. In fact, it may lead to many other problems like sunburn, skin cancer, irritation, etc.

Some Water Activities For Australian Shepherds

As we have seen, the majority of Aussies enjoy swimming and playing water. The chances are your Aussie will also enjoy it. Here are some water activities for Australian shepherds:


The Australian shepherd is a loving and affectionate dog breed. Aussies don’t miss any chance to spend time with their dog owners. One of the best water activities for Australian shepherds is hiking. This is the best way to get your dog used to the water.

By taking your Aussie for hiking, you are not just getting him used to the water, but you are also helping him to burn his excessive energy. Apart from this, this is also a great way to build a bond with your canine.

Kiddie Pool

Another best way to get your Australian shepherd used to water is by getting a kiddie pool for him. Going inside the kiddie pool will be a new experience for your Aussie, hence, it may take a bit time to get used to it.

Make sure to test the water before getting your dog inside the water. You can make the swimming session enjoyable and fun, by putting some toys inside the kiddie pool. By making the session enjoyable, your dog will get used to the water.

Take your dog with you on the water

Taking your Australian shepherd with you on the water is the best way to build the bond as well as getting your Australian shepherd used to the water. If you enjoy boating or kayaking, you should take your dog with you. Many people think surfing, boating, etc. are just for humans, but they are fun for dogs as well.

Final Thoughts

Not all Australian shepherds enjoy playing with water and swimming, but the majority of them do enjoy it. Teaching your Australian shepherd to swim can benefit in so many ways. It can provide physical and mental stimulation. It is advisable to teach an Aussie to swim when he is young. You can teach your Australian shepherd to swim when he is around 10 weeks old.

Tab Winner

Hello my name is Tab Winner. My wife and I have been around Australian shepherds for 20+ years and we definitely love them. We currently have a pair of Toy Aussies one is a Tri-color and the other is a blue merle that are both 10 and 11 years old.

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