Can Whoodles Swim? All You Need to Know

Whoodle swimming

As the proud owner of a pet Whoodle, you definitely know how playful, fun-loving, and excitable your Whoodle is. You also know just how adaptable a breed he is, intelligent like the Poodle and friendly like the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. Whoodles are curious animals that love and crave attention. 

You probably don’t know that like the Poodle, Whoodles are a breed known to have an affinity and fondness for water. Originally bred as water retrievers, Poodles have a natural ability to swim.

So, what about your Whoodle then? Thinking of going down to the nearest dog-friendly waterhole for a day of fun in the sun with your family and your pet, but not sure if he likes the water or can swim?

Can Whoodles Swim?  Yes, most of them can and do swim. But there is still a chance that your Whoodle might not be fond of the water. So read ahead to find out all you need to know about Whoodles and swimming.

Physical traits that help Whoodles swim

Single-coat fur

They have soft, silky fur that is wavy but not as curly as Poodles’ but more like the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers.’ This makes it easier to groom them, but also, this allows them to swim in the water without being laden down by a heavy and wet coat. 

Paws to Pad

Like the Poodle, a Whoodle’s paws are biologically designed to help it paddle and push through the water. Like most canines, their feet are slightly webbed, more so because the Poodles have extra webbed feet that made them great swimmers.


While the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are much smaller in size, a Whoodle, like Poodles, comes in three sizes: toy, medium, and standard, and accordingly weigh anywhere between 20 to 60 pounds.

While you definitely need to watch out for the miniature Whoodle at all times in case it gets tired or can’t swim too well, an average-sized Whoodle can and should be able to stay afloat for a longer period of time and with relatively more ease. 

Love the outdoors

Whoodles love the outdoors, the fresh air, and the sunshine. They are known to be active and love to walk, run, and play. They also have an inbred ability to swim.

People assume that all dogs can swim, but that is not the case. While most dogs, when placed in water, will naturally move their legs to stay afloat, some dogs are not fond of the water. At all.

So, while Whoodles are known to swim, and their size, fur, and paws all provide it with the ability to swim, it does not mean, however, that they can or even want to swim. Your Whoodle might be terrified of the water, and that’s okay.

But if you’re not sure how to tell if your Whoodle can swim, or want to gently expose him to the water and train him to swim, here are a few ways for you to find out if he likes the water and can swim.

It isn’t just necessary to let him feel the water. If you’re taking your Whoodle out to a pool, you need to let him get used to the sight of the water body, however large or small. Let him get a sense of the size and the look of the depths.

Step 1

Before you actually let him swim, check to see if he likes the water. Your bathtub at home is a great way to find out if he likes the water. Slowly lower him into the tub and if he’s comfortable paddling in there, take him to the shallow end of the pool, or the kiddie pool, get into the water with him and gently cradle him in the water to see if he’s able to swim. 

Step 2

Depending on the size of your Whoodle, and his age, you can consider using a float or a doggie-life vest on him, till he gets a hang of it.  If he’s a smaller dog, letting him swim exclusively with a vest on at all times is advisable. This is for his safety and also to make sure he doesn’t tire out quickly.

Step 3

Your Whoodle may be a bundle of energy, but it is easy for him to get tired and feel weighed down when swimming. Allow for breaks and some time on dry land. Let him snooze in the warm sun and make sure he stays dehydrated. Swimming will make him thirsty.

Step 4

You probably already know this but you need to constantly watch out for your Whoodle to make sure he isn’t struggling or getting tired. Watch your Whoodle like a hawk when he’s in the pool.

Step 5

It is advisable to find a dog-friendly pool to take your Whoodle out for a swim. Lakes or ponds are often much colder than what is feasible, and there is a possibility that your Whoodle might meet a weed or two that wants to get a little too friendly. A dog pool is clean, the water temperature ideal and you’ll have a much easier time watching out for him, without having to worry about a goose chasing him.

How to tell if your Whoodle is afraid of the water or cannot swim

1. Look for signs of distress. Is your Whoodle whining, whimpering, or growling? It’s a good assumption that he’s not too fond of the water.

2. Look for signs of hesitancy getting into the water if he is nervous around all water bodies in general.  Monitor how he behaves during bath time. Is he curling his toes away and angling his body in an attempt to get away as you lower him into the water? Does he jump out of the tub, or struggle a lot? This is a pretty accurate way of checking if your Whoodle is afraid of the water, or cannot swim.

3. On the other hand, if he takes to the water, embraces his inner swan and just dives into the water, congratulations, your Whoodle can swim. 

4. If he does like the water, but is just a little on the goofy side and can’t swim all that great, consider talking to a trainer and find out the best way to train your Whoodle. However, don’t try to train him to swim; if he shows signs that he doesn’t like water. 

In the meantime, here are a few things to keep in mind while swimming with your Whoodle

Bathing him after his swim at the pool is absolutely necessary. All that chlorine on his soft, downy coat? Unacceptable. Wash him, and pat him dry with a towel. Pamper him like the baby he is.

All dogs require sunscreen. Yes, sunscreen and no, I’m not kidding. There are dog-friendly sunscreens available at the pet store or you can ask your vet for a good brand to use on your Whoodle.

Final Thoughts 

So, while it might be tempting to just get into the water with your Whoodle and cool off, you need to remember that your Whoodle is also your baby. Don’t expect him to take to the water like a fish, because not all dogs do, contrary to what most people believe. Every dog is different. Your Whoodle? He’s different, too, and you know it. 

So, take your time to introduce him to the water so that when he finally learns to swim, you and your Whoodle can kick back and enjoy a nice day by the pool.

More info on Whoodles


1) Whoodle. Whoodle Complete Owners Manual. by George Hoppendale and Asia Moore(PDF)



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