Can Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Swim?


A lot of us love to swim and want to swim with our dogs, so when you’re planning on getting a Cavalier, a logical question you’d ask is “Can Cavalier King Charles Spaniels swim?”

Yes, Cavaliers can swim, though it is generally recommended that you know your dog can swim well before you take him out in any deep bodies of water. Consider taking your dog to swimming lessons if you’d like to ensure that your dog is good at swimming. You can also teach your dog how to swim on your own.

How Often Can My Cavalier Swim?

Personally, I wouldn’t take your Cavalier to swim more than once a day. Swimming is a very fun activity for your dog, and it shouldn’t matter how often your dog swims for the most part.

Just make sure you are always with your Cavalier so you know he is safe. The more he swims, the more chance he has of drowning, even if he is good at swimming.

Do Cavaliers King Charles Spaniels Like To Swim? 

It really depends on the individual. Some love to swim, while others don’t even like the water.

If your dog doesn’t like swimming, it’s best that you don’t force them. While it’s a good activity for your Cavalier, there are also other activities that they can do as well.

Pools, Lakes, Specialist Dog Pools & Beaches – Which Is Better?

A brown and white Cavalier King Charles Spaniel looking up at the sky on a beach of white sand by the ocean
Image by Fran • @thisisfranpatel from Pixabay 

Now, what is the best place to take your dog swimming? Typically speaking, the most popular places to take dogs swimming are pools, lakes, and beaches, though there are also specialist dog pools.

Let’s look at each one.


Swimming pools are a great place to take a dog swimming. Pools are generally clean, safe, and while they can be deep, as long as you keep your dog on the shallow end, you should be able to easily retrieve your dog in case of an emergency.

– Pros

  • Common
  • Generally sanitary
  • Fairly shallow on the shallow end

– Cons

  • Expensive
  • High maintenance


Common bodies of water are also nice places to take your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel swimming, though do note that lakes can be unsanitary. Also, lakes can get fairly deep, and if you don’t watch your cavalier carefully, you can lose them.

– Pros

  • Common
  • Cheap to go to
  • Offers other activities for your Cav
  • A place for your Cav to meet other dogs

– Cons

  • Can be unsanitary
  • Deep body of water


Beaches are beautiful and very picturesque, but they are also a great place to take your dog swimming. Just note that you can lose your Cavalier if you aren’t watching them carefully.

– Pros

  • Very beautiful place to go to
  • A place for your Cav to meet other dogs
  • Offers other activities for your Cav

– Cons

  • Your dog can get lost
  • Can be unsanitary
  • Can be expensive to go to

Specialist Dog Pools 

Also, there are dog or pet pools. These pools are generally smaller, but that is fine for Cavaliers. Getting a dog pool is a great option for someone who doesn’t have a pool or isn’t around any lakes or beaches.

– Pros

  • Cheap
  • Not too deep
  • Portable

– Cons

  • Generally not very big
  • Not all dog pools are durable

Teaching Your Dog How To Swim

You can take your dog to swimming lessons, but if you don’t want to spend the money, you can actually teach your dog how to swim yourself.

Now, you may be saying, “Why teach a dog how to swim? I thought they were born swimmers! ” While most dogs can swim, the fact is, some dogs are better than others due to their body proportions.

For example, a Siberian Husky is a lot better swimmer than a French Bulldog. Why? Siberians have long legs and can propel themselves in water, while French Bulldogs are short and stubby and have short legs, which is, of course, not good for swimming!

So, what are some tips for teaching a dog how to swim? Let’s look at a few.

Get A Life Jacket

Getting a life jacket is a must when you’re teaching your dog how to swim. When your dog has a life jacket on, he can feel more confident and will be more inclined to go into deeper water when he knows he’s safe.

Use A Toy To Encourage Him

Another way to encourage your dog to get into the water is by throwing a toy into the water.

This is preferably a ball, but another toy can do as well. This, along with a life jacket, should perk your dog up and get him into the water.

Get A Swimming Buddy

If all else fails, another way to encourage your dog to swim is to get a swimming buddy.

Have you ever felt scared of doing something, but then a friend did it and showed you there wasn’t anything to be afraid of? Well, the same goes with dogs.

Additional Tips

While you probably don’t want to think about it, you should always be prepared in case of an emergency.

For one, you must know how to perform CPR on your dog. I recommend checking out this article from the AKC about how to perform CPR.

Second, make sure that if you are going to swim outside, the weather is not severe. Choppy waters and heavy rain are not conditions that are suitable for swimming.

Swimming Safety & Health Precautions

So, before you start swimming with your Cavalier, there are a few swimming safety and health precautions. What are they? Let’s find out!

  • As mentioned before, never swim in severe weather conditions. Swimming in heavy rain, choppy water, or a thunderstorm is just not good swimming weather.
  • Always use a life jacket when you are first swimming with your dog, especially in deep bodies of water.
  • Always thoroughly dry your Cav after he has been swimming. If you don’t, it is possible that he could get hypothermia.
  • Lastly, get pet insurance. The brutal fact is, no matter how good you or your dog is at swimming, mistakes can and will happen (We Are Not Affiliates With Geico).

What To Do If Your Cavalier Doesn’t Want To Swim

Okay, but what if you tried everything and your Cavalier still doesn’t want to swim?

Personally, I wouldn’t push your dog. The fact is, some dogs just don’t like water, as I said earlier. Some dogs don’t even like getting a bath, so it’s no wonder some dogs wouldn’t want to swim, especially if they’re unsure if they can even swim!

Consider taking your dog swimming on another day. If he still doesn’t want to swim, then I think it’s best if you just don’t force him, as he probably doesn’t like water.


So, can Cavaliers King Charles Spaniels swim, then? Absolutely. Just note that not all dogs are perfect at swimming and that some dogs don’t even like the water at all.

So, do you have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? If so, does he like to swim? If so, let us know in the comment section below!

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