Do Border Collies Like Water?

Water can be a dog’s nemesis. You may want to know if Border collie can swim or like water? 

Border Collie can swim but whether he likes water depends on the mood of each dog. Some of the Border Collie dogs love to swim and cool off while others are not that enthusiastic about water! 

The Border Collie is a working breed, used for herding livestock. Prevalent throughout the world, they also serve as an intelligent and loyal companion dog breed.

Are Border Collies Good at Swimming?

The Collie has a sleek athletic build and is capable of swimming. That is if he wants to swim! Most owners say their Border Collie puppy hates baths at first but grew up to love swimming.

Either way, water is not the common variable here. I guess it is up to your dog to decide if he likes water or not. He may prefer baths over swims. All you can do is try to explore water when he is young. This can help him adapt more to swimming when he is an adult. 

How To Start Your Border Collie Swimming

You can help your Border Collie swim by offering a chance to explore water first. Here are some ideas:

Get a Backyard Kiddie Pool

These small portable pools help to get kids to swim, perhaps it can make your dog like water. The water can be kept low and shallow as he plays around inside. 

In addition to this small inflatable kiddie pool, give your Border Collie puppy a game of fetch in water to encourage him. Make sure to give him an edible reward if the trick works!

Use Life Jackets or Floating Aides

Based on your dog’s comfort level, you may want to make him feel safe. You can do this by fixing a life jacket or floating object on your Border Collie puppy. This will give him more confidence to try swimming in the water.

Live Near a Lake/Beach?

Do you have outings near a lake or a beach? Bring your dog along. Shallow water is the best starting point to make him familiar with water. Who knows, maybe he will see you having fun in the water and might decide to join in! 

border collie swim

Benefits of Swimming and Water Therapy

People often love to swim not just because it is fun. There are several advantages of taking up this sport/pass-time. Here are a few benefits of water for Border Collie dogs:

Cooling off

The Border Collie wears a double-coat meaning he could use some cooling off in the hot summer. Getting in the water would greatly help, whether it is a pool, pond, or lake.

They prefer to remain in shallow water. As the dog’s confidence and skills increase, he will feel more confident to go deeper into the water.


A regular day for any dog is filled with a variety of exercise activities. This includes walks and games, sometimes something different is needed to make each day unique. Swimming is one of the best exercises you could give to your Collie. 

It is a good way to pass time, and get the required amount of daily exercise. Besides, it is a fun time to bond with your canine!

Energy Burner/Relaxation Activity

Border Collie dogs are highly energetic. To help calm him, you require a sport that uses the whole body in coordination. Burning all this extra energy helps to control weight, improve mood, and also calm the mind.

This is where water acts as a great therapy!

Prevents Joint and Muscle Issues

Swimming is one activity that is known to utilize almost the whole body. It will be a great workout for your Border Collie.

Muscles, bones, and joints, all are put to work. Implementing this activity into your Collie puppy’s routine from a young age can make him healthier.

Swimming can help to develop strong muscles and mobility during puppyhood. During adulthood, it helps to prevent muscle and joint-related diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia. 

Important points

Do keep below in mind while looking to introduce your Border Collie to water or swimming.

  1. Let them decide and do not force them. If they like it, they will enjoy it. And if they don’t, your pressure may make them nervous.
  2. Border Collie is a herding dog who loves to herd with his intelligence. He is not a water retriever so may not like water which is very natural.
  3. Always start slowly and encourage him while you introduce him to water.
  4. If he starts panicking try and relax him with your affection or a treat.


So your Border collie may or may not love water but it is a good idea for you to start introducing him to water since puppy age. This may help him to build the skills and confidence to get deeper.