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Do Labradoodles Like Water? [The Real Truth]

A Labradoodle is a water-loving breed. But do all Labradoodles like water?

Learn whether taking a bath or a plunge in the pool is easy-peasy for your dog. Here are the reasons why some Labradoodles don’t like it, and tips to help your Labradoodle be more comfortable with water!

Do Labradoodles Like Water?

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As they come from two water retrieving breeds, the Poodle and the Labrador Retriever, many people assume that Labradoodles like water. Yes, most Labradoodles do like water.

However, since dogs, like humans, have unique preferences, it would be wrong to assume that all dogs who belong to this breed share the same sentiment. 

Some Labradoodles are water bugs and love a quick dip in the pool, but others shun the water and would take a lot of coaxing to get them to dive into a pool. How your Labradoodle reacts to water depends on several factors, such as how often and how early your pet was exposed to water and how their first experience felt.

Naturally, a puppy who was traumatized by an accidental dunking won’t be as enthusiastic as one who experienced a gentle introduction. In contrast, a pup who had water activities incorporated in their playtime will view the water as fun and exciting.

Taking A Bath

Plenty of dogs would rather skip bath time but Labradoodles, provided that they had a pleasant initial experience with water, usually take to it like a duck to, well, water.

Coming from two water-loving breeds, Labradoodles usually find water very exciting. Some will splash around in their bowls even as pups and look like they find getting wet an incredible thrill.

Bonus: Check out the Top 10 Best Shampoo for Labradoodles!


Most Labradoodles enjoy swimming once they know how fun it could be.

Of course, there are those who, upon seeing the water, would dive right in and have a splashing thrill. Others aren’t quite so brave or adventurous and may take some time to realize what an excellent activity swimming is.

What Makes Labradoodles Good Swimmers?

Their heritage as dogs that work on water predisposes Labradoodles to love getting wet.

As such, most instinctively make the right leg motions when they fall into water that’s over their head. They quickly adapt to water activities and will spend hours in a pool or lake if possible.

Their coat protects them from the cold, and some Labradoodles even have webbed feet, making swimming easier for them.

Reasons Why Your Dog Doesn’t Like Water

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While Labradoodles are considered water-loving dogs, don’t be dismayed if your pooch doesn’t easily take to the water.

Like humans, dogs have unique preferences, including their liking for a dip in a pool or lake. Some Labradoodles jump right in, while others need a lot of coaxing.

Bath Time Is Not Fun For Them

As mentioned earlier, many dogs hate baths. So, if your pet encounters water only during bath time, they won’t like getting wet in other situations since they already associate it with something unpleasant.

They’re Faced With Something New

Seeing a large body of water for the first time can scare your pup. After all, they have no idea what it is. Add the sound of the crashing waves and the unfamiliar scents they encounter, and you’ll understand why some cower in fear or even try to run away.

They Had A Bad Experience With Water

If your pet came from a shelter, they might have been traumatized by a bad experience. They may have accidentally fallen into the pool, or their owner punished them for misbehaving during bath time in their former home.

Your Dog Is Naturally Nervous

Their Poodle genes might have given your Labradoodle an anxious nature. As such, they aren’t inclined to try new things.

If you want your Labradoodle as a swimming buddy, there are some things you can do to turn your reluctant swimmer into a certified water-bug.

Tips To Help Your Labradoodle Like Water

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Here are some tips to make Labradoodles stick to their water-loving nature.

Expose Your Pup Early To Water

A lot of dogs hate bathing. So, if your pet’s only exposure to water is through this activity, the odds are high that they may not be so keen to jump into the pool.

You don’t need to bring your Labradoodle to a pool during their early days. Instead, create fun activities that involve water.

Splashes in the tub, playing with water squirting from a garden hose or putting a few toys in a large basin can create pleasant associations with your pup regarding water.

Even then, start slow, so your pet isn’t overwhelmed by the experience. Gauge your pup’s reaction and increase the pace if they seem to be having fun.

Coming from water-loving breeds, your pooch will likely enjoy the activities and will be ready for more.

Make Bath Time Fun For Your Labradoodle

Even though dogs don’t like bathing, that doesn’t mean you can’t turn it into an activity they’ll look forward to. This is more important if your pet has trouble accepting water.

Use lukewarm water, which is soothing to dogs and adjust the water pressure to a low setting to make bath time stress-free and comfortable for your pup. 

High-value treats plus plenty of praise lets your Labradoodle associate bath time with something they enjoy.

Don’t Rush It

Let your pup proceed at their own pace.

Never push or throw your dog into a pool or lake. Even if they manage to stay afloat, the experience can traumatize your pup and ultimately turn them off the water.

Instead, you can start by filling an inflatable pool with a couple of inches of water. Later, when your dog had gotten used to playing in the pool, increase the depth to about half your pup’s height.

Throwing in a few toys can help make the pool a more inviting place. 

Make The Experience Stress-Free

When you finally take your pup into a body of water that’s larger than what they’re used to, let them go in as fast or as slowly as their courage dictates.You can try gently coaxing them in, but it works better if your pet proceeds at their own pace.

Choose a setting or environment where your Labradoodle can easily get in and out of the water.

A sloping lakeshore or a pool with steps is ideal. Being able to get out quickly when their courage falters reduces the stress your pup may be feeling due to the new experience.

Provide The Right Gear

Safety equipment helps your pet gain confidence when they’re in the water.

A life vest, for example, contributes to making swimming a positive experience because it keeps your Labradoodle’s head above the water at all times. What’s more, it reduces the effort your pup needs to expend, so it doesn’t get tired quickly.

You can purchase the Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket from Amazon!

Dive Into The Water With Your Pup

Dogs look to their owners for guidance. If you show your Labradoodle that water is nothing to be afraid of, they’ll be more inclined to dive in and enjoy the activity. Moreover, because dogs are such loyal creatures, they will want to stick by your side. So, if you’re in the water, your Labradoodle will likely want to be there, too.

Stay With Your Pet

Being with your pup not only reassures them and bolsters their courage, but it helps keep them safe, as well. By watching your pet, you’ll quickly notice if they’re in trouble.

Bring Along A Canine Buddy Who Enjoys The Water

Seeing their friend frolicking in the water and having a jolly good time might entice your Labradoodle to sample the adventure.

Dogs are very observant and can interpret their canine buddy’s body language. If your pup sees a lot of tail wagging and expressions of delight, they might jump in without any coaxing.

Tips And Safety Precautions

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As enjoyable as swimming may be for your Labradoodle, keeping their safety in mind should be a priority. When you take your water-bug out for a refreshing spree, here are some important matters to remember.

Make your Labradoodle wear a life vest

Even if your pup has become proficient in swimming, wearing a life jacket may one day save their life.

A dog vest with a handle lets you grab your pet if they become entangled in water weeds or debris, or quickly pull them back to shore if you see signs of flagging energy.

Don’t allow your pet to swim in water with strong currents

Rivers and oceans are not safe swimming areas for your Labradoodle.

It’s okay to let your pup play by the shore in very shallow water. But don’t let them venture further as there are risks of the tide or undercurrents sweeping your pet into deep waters.

To be on the safe side, it’s better to take your Labradoodle for a swim in a pool or lake.

Take a first aid course for dogs

You’ll never know what emergencies you’ll encounter while you’re out swimming with your pup, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Learn CPR and other first aid techniques. Your knowledge might one day save your pet’s life or that of another dog.

Beware of bodies of water that may be contaminated with Blue-Green Algae

Blue-Green Algae are not really algae but instead a type of bacteria. Called cyanobacteria, they thrive in warm bodies of water.

Certain varieties of Blue-Green Algae release toxins that cause illness in humans and animals. Green or brown spots in lakes or ponds may indicate the presence of cyanobacteria, so don’t allow your pup to take a dip or drink the water.   

I hope you enjoyed this post: “Do Labradoodles Like Water? [The Real Truth]”

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Thanks for reading! You can get more tips and tricks for your Labradoodle here.