Can Irish Setters Swim? – What You Need To Know!


If you’re planning on going to a beach, a pool, or a lake and you want to take your Irish Setter with you, you’re probably going to ask, “Can Irish Setters swim?” This is a great question.

The answer is yes! Irish Setters are known to be amazing swimmers who love it too! Do note, however, that you still need to train them to swim as you will still encounter some who are hesitant about swimming. The fact is, while most dogs are born swimmers, some still need a little help getting into the water.

How Long Can An Irish Setter Swim?

As to how long an Irish Setter can swim, it really depends on the individual. Some will like to play in the water a lot, while others may be a bit tired on that day.

However, I wouldn’t let your Irish Setter stay in the water more than an a few hours at a time, though, it’s likely he won’t want to be any longer than that anyway.

The reason why I say this is because land animals aren’t meant to be in the water for extremely long periods of time and may develop hypothermia if they do.

How To Teach Your Irish Setter How To Swim

If you want to be extra sure your Irish Setter can swim well, you may want to take him to swimming lessons, but you can do this yourself.

With dedication, persistence, and some supplies, it is possible to get your dog used to the water. If you want to go this route, I have listed a few tips and reminders to make sure you know what you’re doing.

Get A Life Jacket 

This is more of a must than a tip or trick. You should always get a life jacket if you’re worried that your Irish Setter won’t be able to swim well (not that it would happen, but just to be on the safe side), but it can also make your dog just a little more confident.

Once he realizes that he actually floats, he should be more likely to try to swim, but he won’t feel panicked either.

He may or may not like the life jacket at first, but getting a life jacket is a must if you want your Irish Setter to get used to the water.

Use A Toy To Encourage Him To Swim

Sometimes, if your dog seems a bit hesitant to get into the water, a toy (like a ball) can help encourage him to go into the water.

This method seems to be preferred over others, and the method makes a lot of sense too.

Dogs naturally like to chase things, whether the thing they’re chasing is running on the ground or even flying close to the ground. So, another great way to encourage him is to just throw his favorite toy into the water.

Get Him A Swimming Buddy

Ever got really nervous to try something new, but once a friend did it you realized it wasn’t actually so scary after all? This is common amongst people and the same goes for dogs as well.

So, consider getting a swimming companion for your dog that already knows how to swim. This can help encourage your dog to get into the water and swim with the other dog.

What If My Irish Setter Is Still Hesitant?

If your dog is still hesitant about swimming, don’t force him. Some dogs just don’t like the water. But, if you want to be sure he just doesn’t like water, try taking him swimming another day.

It’s possible that your Irish Setter just isn’t feeling up to getting in the water and would rather try another day.

What’s The Best Place To Take My Irish Setter Swimming? 

2 Irish Setters running into a lake

Now, we know that Irish Setters can swim, and we also learned about some tips and tricks to get your dog into the water and swimming, though you still may wonder, “What’s the best place to take my Irish Setter swimming?”

That’s a great question. Let’s find out.


The first most popular place to go swimming that we will be talking about are pools.

Pools are readily available and you yourself may even have one, though they are also very expensive to buy and maintain.


Lakes are also a popular place to go swimming, and they’re also fairly common. I know I live less than half an hour from a lake, and it’s possible you live close to one also.

Though, there are also a lot of other people who like to be on lakes, especially in the spring and summer, So, you may want to avoid them if your Irish Setter doesn’t like people.


The last place we will be talking about is beaches. Beaches are great places to take your dog swimming if you’re looking to also take a lot of pictures, though there are some cons as well.

First off, you may not live by a beach, so it may cost a lot of money to go to one. Second, there are a ton of people during the summer, and even if your Irish Setter love people, you may not.

Of course, whether or not you should go to the beach is your decision. Just consider the pros and the cons.

Preparing Your Irish Setter To Swim – What To Do

Now, what should you do when you’re preparing your Irish Setter to swim?

First, if you’re worried that you don’t if your Irish Setter will want to swim (not that you would have to that much), get a life jacket and a few toys to help encourage him to get into the water.

And lastly, get a few towels to help dry him off. If he isn’t properly dried, it is possible he can get hypothermia so much sure he is dry enough.

What To Do After Your Irish Setter Swims

As your Irish Setter gets out of the water, make sure you properly dry him off.

Then, check his ears and skin as dogs are generally sensitive to chlorine so it can irritate their skin

Lastly, give your Irish Setter some food and water. It’s likely he’ll be hungry and thirsty, especially if he swam for very long.

You may also want to get a drying agent for your dog’s ears. If his ears aren’t dry, it’s possible they can get ear infections.

Do Irish Setters Like To Swim?

As I mentioned earlier, Irish Setters love to swim. It’s generally known that Irish Setters not only are great at swimming, but enjoy it as well.

Though, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t come across some individuals that won’t like the water. While it’s not likely you will, there is a chance.


So, can Irish Setters swim? Not only can they, but they also love it too! Just remember you may still need to encourage them to get into the water.

Do you have an Irish Setter? If so, how often do you take your Irish Setter swimming?

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