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Corgis are adorable bundles of fun, energy, and mischief.

They are busy little dogs that want to have a say in everything in their house. They have a can-do attitude that is not always grounded in reality.

As an owner, you need to know the breed to protect them from themselves at times. One crucial issue to consider is water safety and whether corgis can swim.

Corgis can swim, but their body shape and short legs hamper them. They are weak swimmers, and many prefer not to swim at all.

They have no particular aversion to water, but individual dogs will have their own preferences. You should not force your corgi to swim.

Pet-owners love to share their passions with their dogs. If you love being around the water, it is natural to want your corgi to enjoy it too.

Can Corgis Swim?

Corgis can swim. Like most dogs, they have some idea of staying afloat and paddling their legs to propel themselves through the water.

Scientists used to think that the way dogs use their legs in doggy-paddle was similar to how a dog trots.

They have recently found that this is not the case. Corgis move their legs independently of each other to push themselves through the water.

Are Corgis Good Swimmers?

Some corgis will be better swimmers than others as individual dogs have varying abilities just as people do.

In general, corgis have some challenges when swimming based on their anatomy.

Corgis have barrel chests and long bodies. This makes their center of gravity further forward than dogs with more balanced body shapes.

The center of gravity is situated around the heart area in most dogs. A corgi’s center of gravity will be located towards the shoulder.

When the center of gravity is further forward (as seen in corgis), much greater effort must be spent keeping the body level in the water.

The natural tendency is for the corgi to tip forwards as they are front-heavy.

The head and chest will sink towards the bottom of the pool.

It takes enormous energy to overcome the pull on the head and chest. Male corgis that have bigger chests will face even more significant challenges.

Corgis have short legs compared to their relatively large and heavy bodies. The result is that the power of the lever-action of a corgi leg is greatly diminished compared to a dog

with longer legs. Corgis, therefore, cannot swim fast or with any power as their short legs have limited ability to displace water.

Corgis are described as having cat feet. This means that the foot is neatly rounded with toes that are arched and held closely together.

A corgi’s middle two toes are slightly longer than the outer toes, giving the foot an oval shape. The toes are not webbed, which is the usual adaptation seen in dogs that swim well.

Corgi Foot

A corgi’s foot is designed for maneuverability and quick turns. This is necessary as corgis were originally bred as cattle herding dogs, and moving fast was a prerequisite.

This foot is ideal for a herder but does not equip corgis for swimming.

Although corgis can swim, they are not good swimmers due to their shape, center of gravity, short legs, and cat-type feet.

Can Corgi Puppies Swim?

Corgi puppies are the same as most dogs and cannot swim until about 10 weeks. The strength in their legs is too little to affect the water.

If a corgi puppy younger than 10 weeks falls into water, it will try to right itself so that its head is up towards the surface of the water.

It will have difficulty maintaining its buoyancy and will begin to sink rapidly.

Sadly many puppies drown if they fall into swimming pools or ponds. Careful management of puppies is needed when they explore the outside environment.

Corgi puppies are most vulnerable to drowning at 4 to 7 weeks.

They become highly mobile during this stage, but they lack the ability to judge changes in the ground surface which may be related to undeveloped depth perception.

They will often run straight into a pool of water without realizing that it is there.

At approximately 8 to 9 weeks, puppies begin to show some awareness of changes in the ground surface and will become more cautious around steps and changing terrain.

They approach the edges of ponds or pools more slowly and anxiously and are less likely to fall in.

Care should always be exercised when a corgi puppy younger than 6 months is playing around an area where there is water deep enough to drown in.

If you own a swimming pool, it is imperative to drown-proof your corgi puppy by teaching it to swim to the stairs to get out.

Do Corgis Like Water?

As herding dogs, corgis tend to be practical, no-nonsense dogs that do not balk at splashing through puddles.

They were not bred for swimming or working in water, and the breed cannot be described as water-loving dogs.

Specific individual corgis may love the water, others hate it, while others are indifferent.

Some boating families report that their corgis are fanatical about swimming, but this is not the norm.

How To Teach A Corgi To Swim

It is imperative that you teach your corgi to swim if you live in areas where there is a lot of natural water or you have ponds, swimming pools, or dams.

  • Begin by introducing your corgi to warm water in a fun, non-threatening way. Let the corgi sit or stand in shallow water while you feed it treats.
  • You can also use an inflatable doggy vest to help your corgi feel secure in the water and prevent possible accidents. Some people think the corgi should learn to swim without a life-saving vest. The dog must be equipped to deal with the water if it falls in accidentally when it is not wearing a life vest.
Best Life Jacket
Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket
  • Available in a variety of sizes 
  • Front neck float
  • Top grab handle
  • Gradually expose the corgi to deeper water. Encourage it to swim after a floating toy that you throw short distances away from you. Always be close to help your dog should it panic or start to sink in the water. It is helpful to keep your corgi on a lead while swimming so that it cannot swim too far from you.
  • Never force your corgi to swim if he is scared. It will result in a dog that fears the water. Similarly, never throw your corgi into the water as a way of “making it swim.”
  • The main aim is to ensure your corgi enjoys the water experience.
  • Always guide your corgi to the correct place to exit the pool or dam. Use this exit every time. Many dogs drown because they become exhausted and cannot find an easy place to get out of a swimming pool or pond.
  • Do not make your corgi swim for long periods. Swimming is very tiring for dogs. Corgis are not natural swimmers and will tire more quickly than other dogs.


Corgis were not bred as water dogs, but many of them enjoy the water. They can swim but are usually weak swimmers due to their body shape and short legs.  


What Temperature Is Safe For A Corgi To Swim In?

Researchers tested dogs swimming in various temperatures and found the ideal temperature is 33° C  (91.4° F).

Corgis can maintain a good heart rate, respiration rate, and body temperature at this water temperature. [1]

Can Corgis Swim In Pools?

Corgis can swim in pools, but training them on the easiest place to exit the pool is essential.

After swimming, it is best to give your corgi a quick wash to eliminate any chlorine and other chemicals. Dry your dog thoroughly to prevent fungal skin infections.

How Long Can A Corgi Swim?

Generally, corgis should not swim for longer than 5 to 10 minutes. This is dependent on the age of the corgi and the fitness level.

A dog beginning to swim will probably only manage 2 or 3 minutes before becoming tired.

Just like people, corgis need to build up stamina for swimming. They should start with swimming for a few minutes, and as they get stronger, they can swim for more extended periods.

Dogs can swim continuously for about twenty minutes, but after this, fatigue sets in, and they are at risk of drowning.   

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