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swimming boxers

Discussion in 'Boxer Anatomy and Physiology' started by boilerupking, Sep 6, 2013.

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  1. boilerupking

    boilerupking Boxer Booster

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    We recently found a small stretch of beach perfect for our boys to enjoy. Stanley, our 2 year old, really wants to swim instead of just wading into the water like his older brother.
    He's not a bit afraid, it just seems like he physically can't figure it out. If I stand with him and hold him under his chest, he swims beautifully. As soon as I let go, he's a mess. His back end sinks and his front paws stop paddling and just flail and splash. He remembers to keep his head up, but loses whatever balance, or ability to float or whatever mojo was working.
    Is there some physical attribute of boxers that makes them such awkward swimmers? I thought perhaps their deep chests or cropped tails?
    Of course from here on out, Stanley will wear a life vest and he will pretend he can out swim any lab, but I was hoping his inability to swim well is due to his physiology and not because he's as big a dork in the water as he is on dry land. :)
     
  2. trc4941

    trc4941 Super Boxer

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    Our first 2 boxers Rocco and Dino (both at the Rainbow Bridge) loved the water but couldn't swim at all. They would "panic swim" - front paws flailing around and would eventually just sink like rocks. They were more than happy to just wade around. Our new little guy, Romeo (5 mos) swims like a champ! He paddles as smoothly as his Lab mix friend!

    I'm sure boxers' deep heavy chests and not having a good rudder (tail) make it difficult for them to swim. Romeo is probably still light enough that he doesn't have a problem. I'll be interested to see if he loses the ability when he gets older.
     
  3. Jan

    Jan Reasonable Moderator Staff Member

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    Boxers can swim, but they don't do it well. A life vest is definitely recommended. Because boxers have a heavy chest and they are a very lean breed they tend to sink if they don't swim. :) I have heard of boxers jumping into a pool and sinking to they bottom. :( and had to be rescued.
     
  4. whiskers

    whiskers Boxer Insane

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    They certainly aren't known for being the most graceful in the water :) I'd imagine something about their build probably affects this but I'm not sure what - for some reason the first breed that popped into my head here is the standard poodle: they are large and deep chested, but were originally water retrievers and swim just fine.

    Juno is a pretty good swimmer, it is our favorite form of exercise (er, it's MY favorite way to exercise her - she might have other preferences lol). She certainly is nothing to the labs that she swims alongside, but her form seems pretty good and she can go long distances. I introduced her to the water as a puppy thought and encouraged her to swim.

    http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/SingedWhiskers/Dog/moar/463f8348.jpg
     
  5. rena

    rena Boxer Booster

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    We went to the lake all the time when Roxy (at the Bridge) was young. She started out as you described - pawing water and mostly sinking. We worked and played with with her along the shoreline holding her back end up as she practiced. Her favorite ball was a good motivator (fortunately it floated). There were also other dogs she could watch. I seem to recall getting her to consinstently kick her back legs was one of the keys. It took a couple of summers but she finally learned to swim like a champ. This was one of the activities she enjoyed into old age and was good for her when she got arthritis.

    Our boy Mick is a sinker - we don't spend summers at the lake anymore so he hasn't had same opportunity to learn.
     
  6. BostonGeorge

    BostonGeorge Super Boxer

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    Boston loves to swim! That sounds like him when he first started then eventually he figured it out. Practice makes perfect??
     
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