Do German Shepherds love water? GSD Colony

Do German Shepherds Love Water & Water Games?

Many of us who own German Shepherd dogs know that they don’t like bathing or showering, so we wonder, do they like water or not? Do we harm their health when we shower them? How long can German shepherds be in the water?

All owners want to know the answer to these questions, which we will cover in this article. There are many interesting things behind their “crazy” behavior once they jump into the water.

Let’s now discover all secrets behind their crazy behavior and see do German Shepherds actually like water!

German Shepherds rarely enjoy taking baths or swimming. While water doesn't come naturally to them, training these dogs to become comfortable in the water is still possible. Generally, German Shepherds can learn to tolerate and even love the water, much like a puppy would.

The reasons why some dogs may enjoy the water while others dislike it can be attributed to several factors. Genetics play a role in a dog's affinity for water.

Some breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands, and Irish Water Spaniels, are naturally more predisposed to enjoy swimming. Other breeds of dogs not as naturally predisposed to the water may need more training and exposure before they become comfortable.

In addition to genetics, early socialization and positive reinforcement play a major role in encouraging a dog's affection for the water. If German Shepherds are exposed to swimming early, they can become accustomed to it faster than older dogs.

Positive reinforcement is also important in helping a German Shepherd become more comfortable with swimming, as praise and treats can help reinforce good behavior.

Do German Shepherd drink a lot of water?

German Shepherds are a large dog breed, and on average, they need around 2.5 liters (0.66 gallons or 85 oz) of drinking fresh water daily.

If your German Shepherd loves to play with the water and spills water all around, he will probably need more than 2.5 liters in one day...

This amount of water (2.5 liters) is for an adult German Shepherd, and below, you can find in our table how much water your German Shepherd dog should drink in one single day, based on his weight.

Do German Shepherds drink a lot of water - GSD Colony

Recommend water amount per day for German Shepherd dog (oz)

Dog weight (lb)  Recommended water amount (oz)
16 16
33 33
50 50
67 67
85 85
128 128

Recommend water amount per day for German Shepherd dog (liters)

Dog weight (kg)  Recommended water amount (liters)
7 0.5
14 1
22 1.5
30 2
38 2.5
58 3.7

Your German Shepherd should always have available clean drinking water; sometimes, he will drink less, and in some cases more, like after running, training, or any other activity.

There is not one ultimate rule on how much water should your German Shepherd drink in one day, but try to follow this rule: 1 ounce per 1 pound ( 30 ml per 450 grams).

If you notice that your German Shepherd drinks too much water for a couple of days without any previous activity, this is a symptom that you shouldn't ignore.

Increased water intake can be a sign of some health issues in your German Shepherd like:

  • Fever
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Cushing’s syndrome

We recommend you not wait for any second more and contact your veterinarian if you notice that your German Shepherd drinks too much water for a long time.

How do German Shepherds drink water?

German Shepherds uniquely drink water compared to other animals. Unlike humans and most other mammals, dogs do not use their tongues to tap water. Instead, they curl the tip of their tongue back and scoop up a small mouthful of water, which is then drawn into the mouth, swallowed, and repeated until fully hydrated.

When German Shepherds drink, they usually stay still and slightly tilt their heads back to form a scooping position with the tongue. The process is repeated until the canine is satisfied with its water intake.

Are German Shepherds afraid of water?

German Shepherds can fear water, especially if they have not been properly socialized and exposed to swimming. This fear can manifest differently, from reluctance to enter the water to barking and panicking when submerged.

If a German Shepherd has never had a positive experience with water or has had a traumatic experience such as falling into a deep body of water, they may become fearful of water. In these cases, the dog must be gradually and gently exposed to the water to build trust and confidence.

If your German Shepherd doesn’t like the water, believe it or not, this is maybe because of you.

The first steps are most important, and if you don’t introduce the water to your German Shepherd puppy in the right way, they may be afraid of water later.

Start small and think big.

You should always take small steps if you have a German Shepherd dog. For example, from our experience, the best way to introduce water to your German Shepherd dog is to start with small steps.

Bathing would be ideal for the first time, and always reward your German Shepherd puppy for good behavior. Introducing your puppy to the water this way will make him realize this isn’t scary. Also, a pool is a great idea, if you have the conditions for something like that.

German Shepherd enjoy river water - GSD Colony

Later you can take your German Shepherd into “deeper waters”. The perfect time for something like this is summer, so you can be near your German Shepherd in the water when he makes the first step.

If his first experience with water was great, trust us, he will love water more than anything! Be careful, and never rush, take small steps always.

Does German Shepherd love cold water?

Some German Shepherds love cold water and can adapt easily to swimming in colder temperatures. Many dogs find the cold refreshing; some even seek it out, jumping into icy lakes or running through a cold stream during summer.

If the temperature is above 7 °C (45 °F), then this is fine for your German Shepherd dog.

If the temperature is below 7 °C (45 °F), your German Shepherd can suffer later from hypothermia, and also can lead to frostbite.

The average body temperature of German Shepherds is 38-39 °C, and they have a bigger tolerance for cold than humans, but this doesn’t mean that your German Shepherd should be in all day into the water.

Suggestion: German Shepherds and Snow: Cold-Weather Myths Debunked

According to the World Health Organization, the recommended water temperature for dogs is around 70 °F (21 °C).

Everything above that is fine (not counting extremely hot water), and if the water temperature is below that, your German Shepherd shouldn't spend too much in the river, sea, or lake.

If outside it’s cold, and the water temperature is too low, don’t let your German Shepherd enter the water.

How much time German Shepherd can spend in the water?

The amount of time German Shepherds can spend in the water depends on several factors, such as the water's temperature and the dog's health. Generally speaking, it is safe for them to spend up to an hour in water temperatures between 70°F (21°C) and 80°F (27°C).

This depends on many factors. For example, if your German Shepherd jumps into the water the whole time he swims, ensure he pauses after 2-5 minutes. 

If your German Shepherd explores the river, lake, or sea without too much swimming, it is absolutely fine to let your German Shepherd as much as you want to explore and sniff around.

But, before you let your German Shepherd explore, ensure he is well-trained and has security equipment. 

When we say well-trained, we mean that your German Shepherd will get back to you after you call him (recall). This is the basic command, and you should teach your dog that if you plan to visit a place like this.

Most dogs can’t predict how far they can get. Unfortunately, the German Shepherd that went swimming did not manage to return to the shore but got tired and drowned.

German Shepherd safety life swimming jacket - GSD Colony

Water currents are their main problem because their body has a large surface, which disrupts their swimming direction.

That is why we recommend to every dog owner to provide his dog with a safety life jacket when he is near the deeper waters.

Do Black German Shepherds love water?

Each dog has his personality, but with the proper training and socialization, Black German Shepherds can love water, swimming, and any other water game.

This rule applies to all types of German Shepherds. Regardless of whether you have a working line or show line, you must properly socialize your German Shepherd and introduce him to water correctly.

Why do German Shepherds love water?

German Shepherds love water for the same reasons as we do, it relaxes us, is healthy for our body, it’s fun, and they can explore the whole new world near the water.

If you bathe your German Shepherd inside the house, he will probably enjoy less than, for example, running near the river during a summer day.

This may be one of the most important reasons why German Shepherd loves water. Outside, near the water, they can explore a new world they can’t find anywhere else. 

That’s why they are so excited outside near the lake, river, or sea. They love to explore new stuff.

Why do German Shepherds hate water?

Some German Shepherds may seem to dislike the water particularly, and there could be a few reasons behind this. The main reason why your German Shepherd hates water is because of the lack of exposure or some trauma.

Unlike their wolf ancestors, domestic dogs don’t need to swim to survive or escape dangerous predators. Over the years, they moved away from the water, and one of the reasons why German Shepherds hate or are afraid of water is because they think water poses a danger.

What about bathing? Why do my German Shepherds hate bathing? Like cats, some GSDs don’t love to wet their fur against their will, and one of the main reasons they don’t like bathing is because they lose their body smell.

We highlight the 4 main reasons why German Shepherd doesn’t like too much bathing:

  • They hate the noise
  • It’s unfamiliar to them
  • They don't like being wet
  • They don’t like not being in control

Did you know that only one negative experience during the bathing can traumatize your German Shepherd dog and make him start hating bathing for the rest of his life?

Be careful while you bathe your German Shepherd dog, and be patient. Use only trusted shampoos, and be careful which areas you apply.

How to get my German Shepherd to like water?

If your German Shepherd doesn’t like water, making him like water isn’t a simple process and requires much time and patience.

Before you start training your German Shepherd to like water, have one thing in mind, be gentle

Here is how you can make your German Shepherd like water more:

  1. Try to make every time bath time fun and memorable
  2. Start with a kiddie pool
  3. Be in the water with your German Shepherd
  4. Invite a water-loving friend
  5. Give treats for every step closer to the water

Try to make every time bath time fun and memorable.

If your German Shepherd doesn’t like too much water, try to make every bathing memorable and fun. Bring his favorite toys and some delicious treats, and don’t be so serious. Be fun and interesting to your dog!

Do German Shepherds like water - GSD Colony

Start with a kiddie pool.

When your German Shepherd doesn’t like water too much, taking him on the beach near the lake or sea maybe isn’t the best idea. As we mentioned, start small, and once your German Shepherd dog becomes comfortable with the kiddie pool, you can move to the next thing.

Be in the water with your German Shepherd.

When things look too scary, we want someone to stand near us. This step can be crucial. If your German Shepherd doesn't like water, or even worse, he is too scared, be near him. Show him that water isn’t scary at all!

Invite a water-loving friend.

Sometimes, your German Shepherd can realize that water isn’t scary when he sees other dogs in the water. You can try to take your GSD with your friends, which are also dog owners, near some rivers and together enjoy water games. But remember, safety comes first. Always bring your muzzles, leash, collar, and life safety jacket.

Give treats for every step closer to the water.

Treats can be a great way to show your German Shepherd that water isn’t dangerous or scary. Whenever he comes closer to the water, give him some treats and praise him for his good behavior. It will help him build more trust in the water!

Do German Shepherds like to play in the water?

The simple answer is yes! German Shepherds love to play in the water and are quite good swimmers. Some of them enjoy playing in the water more than on land!

Playing with your GSD near or in the water can be a great activity for both of you. It is also an excellent way to bond with your furry

It’s hard to choose which place is their favorite when it comes time for water games. We believe they enjoy playing in the river, sea, or lake a little bit more because they are in nature and can explore more.

The best activities to do with your German Shepherd in the water?

The best activities to do with your German Shepherd in the water are fetching, swimming, and playing with a water gun!

Fetch is a great way for you and your pup to bond while enjoying time in the water. You can throw a stick or a floating toy for them to retrieve from the water.

Swimming is also a great activity that your German Shepherd can enjoy. Ensure your pup knows how to swim and has a life jacket on.

Finally, playing with a water gun is another excellent way for you and your pup to enjoy some time in the water or refresh him during a hot summer day.

How well German Shepherds swim?

German Shepherds have strong legs, which help them swim quite fast and easily. They are excellent swimmers and can be a great companion for any water activity. However, always remember to keep your GSD safe when swimming.

Have a life jacket ready in case he needs it, especially if you go on swimming with your German Shepherd dog in deep waters.

If you notice that your German Shepherd is scared of water, don’t force him to swim. Try some of the tips mentioned above for making your GSD more comfortable with water before you take him for a swim.

Can German Shepherd dog dive?

Yes, a German Shepherd dog can dive underwater. Some well-trained German Shepherds can dive to a depth of 15 feet (4.5 meters).

However, just because they can dive underwater doesn't mean they should.

It's dangerous for German Shepherds to dive underwater because they risk drowning if they can't return to the surface. Dogs also have limited vision underwater and may not be able to see well enough to avoid obstacles that could hurt them.

Additionally, their ears can easily become clogged with water, leaving them unable to hear any sound cues that could help guide them back up safely. Finally, diving deep into cold water can cause shock or hypothermia if the dog isn't properly acclimated. For these reasons, it's best for dogs to stay closer to shallow waters when engaging in aquatic activities.

Frequently asked questions

What dog breed loves water the most?

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular breeds that love water. They have a strong affinity for swimming and playing in the water, making them perfect companions for any aquatic activity.

Great Danes are another breed of dog that loves swimming. They have strong, muscular bodies and webbed paws, making them excellent swimmers. Great Danes also love playing in the water and like to retrieve toys and sticks from the water.

Here is the list of 10 different dog breeds that like the water most:

1. Labrador Retriever

2. Golden Retriever

3. Newfoundland

4. Irish Water Spaniel

5. Portuguese Water Dog

6. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

7. Poodle

8. Italian Spinone

9. Vizsla

10. Great Dane

How long can a German Shepherd go without water?

A German Shepherd can typically survive without water for about 72 hours before they start to experience serious dehydration. However, lacking water can cause serious health problems in any breed if it is not provided soon enough. Therefore, it is important to provide your GSD with ample clean drinking water daily and ensure they are well-hydrated.

Can I shower my German Shepherd?

Yes, you can shower your German Shepherd. It's important to give them a bath every once in a while to keep their fur healthy and clean. Ensure the water is not too hot or cold, and use a mild shampoo specifically for dogs. After the bath, dry them thoroughly with a towel or blow dryer.

Do German Shepherds like rain?

German Shepherds enjoy rainy weather and may even love playing in the rain. They have thick, waterproof coats that keep them warm and dry during bad weather, so they can still spend some time outside. Always bring a towel or blanket when it's raining so you can dry off your GSD when he gets wet.

Do German Shepherds like winter?

Yes, German Shepherds love the winter weather. They have a thick double coat that helps keep them warm and insulated during cold days. However, you should always monitor your GSD in extreme temperatures to ensure it is not getting too cold or uncomfortable.

Final words.

If you have treated your German Shepherd dog nicely, we are almost 100% sure that he will love water and water games.

Remember, when you have a dog, trust is everything. If your German Shepherd doesn’t love water, be gentle, start nice and slow. 

Once you build a strong bond with your German Shepherd and prove to him that water isn’t something scary, it will almost be impossible to bring him out of the water! 

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