Can Scottish Terriers swim? Some do, some don’t

Bella is a swimming champ but the Scottie Dog News is just a little bit uncomfortable with the sudden ending of this video which reminds us of Open Water.

And here’s Lana the Scottish Terrier swimming in Vis, Croatia, where I wish I were headed.

Unfortunately, I’m off in Toronto on business, so dear readers, comment away. Is your Scottie, a swimmer like these two female athletes or do you have a dog that sinks like a brick?

Update: Read the amazing story of the Scottish Terrier girl who fell off a boat and swam half a mile (almost 1 km) to shore.

For more Scottish Terrier and Scottie Dog videos, click on the video label directly below.

18 thoughts on “Can Scottish Terriers swim? Some do, some don’t

  1. My scottie, Abby, loves to swim. If we go to a park with a creek or lake shes in. On a walk with puddles, she’s rolling around in it. She once tried to jump in the Ohio river.

  2. My Angus loves to swim now since we bought him a good life vest; otherwise he sinks after about 2 minutes. My Westie, on the other hand, can’t get enough of the water. He totally freaks out until we let him jump in off of our boat and then he just wants to get out so he can jump back in — over and over…

  3. We live near a lot of lakes in Western MN, and our Scotties like to swim for short periods of time. Since you always hear how bad of swimmers the Scottish Terrier breed is, I am going to invest in a life jacket for each of them.

  4. My wife and I were swimming in the Delaware water gap. We were about 10 meters from shore and about neck deep. Our Scottie, MacDuff stood on the shore barking and running up and down, when all of a sudden He jumped in swam to us. I believe He wanted to “rescue” us and follow him to shore.

  5. I wouldn’t know if Cambria could swim or not, because she absolutely hates water. She despises bathtime & is terrified of the ocean (though she loves to run around on the beach). She is kind of skittish though about the weirdest things, plastic bags in particular.

  6. My little 3.5 month SUNNY drown out …I was looking for the good hands and it seems to me-found them. I was sadly mistaken.
    It was tragedy for me and his new owners – little boy was seld as very perspective guy for breeding. I never sell my puppies for people who have pools at home, but from know I’ll tell to the new owners “they are not swimmers, they can drown in any kind of water, including the lakes, river etc.!”
    Just stop a minute and look:

  7. We have had several Scotties and agree with the postings – some swim, some do not. We live near the beach. Our current Scottie hated water for her first year and then suddenly one day while on a walk, jumped into a shallow stream and looked so happy that she had “discovered” water. Now I take her to the beach regularly, but always have her on a leash, just in case she gets tired. She can hardly wait in the spring for the ice to thaw!

  8. Our dear Angus was a water addict. He had to wear a life jacket (they make them for dogs) because he loved the water so much he wouldn’t get out, even if he was so water logged he could hardly keep his head up. And you’re right..that video of Bella is disturbing for how long she’s in and panting and sinking…scary.

  9. This is the first I’ve heard of Scotties being bad swimmers. I thought it was just my dog. My Scotty loves to swim, how ever he can’t swim very good. I have rescued him on two occasions. I purchased a life vest (which took 4 different style for a fit, but that’s another posting) for him and when we are in the boat he has it on. My family said I was the over protected mom, until it happened in front of them. I now let him swim with the big dogs for a short amount of time and then the life vest goes on. He can run and swim all day long.

  10. I have a Female that loves to swim as well, she wont get out of teh pool! No problems at all, also have a male puppy that swims, hes not as into it as his mom, but he love the water. My other male the dad, can take it or leave it.

  11. My fiance fell in love with Scotties the summer he visited his cousins about 10 years ago. The neighbors at the time had a litter of 5 Scottie pups which he found out later had all drown. On a hot summer day they had all jumped off the dock into the lake and swam quite well actually. The problem was being the stubborn lil' Scotties they were, they would not come out of the water other than the way they all went in! Poor little things all drown when they couldn't climb back up the dock:( We have two Scotties now that both have float coats. I would die if anything were to happen to them so we don't take any chances.

  12. I got a nasty surprise when one of our Scottie boys fell in the swimming pool.
    He just sank straight to the bottom & made no effort to try swimming.
    So I keep an eagle eye on him & his brother & “cousin” when they follow us into the pool area.
    Unlike English Cocker Spaniels, who are fantastic, confident swimmers in all waters, creeks, rivers & pools.

  13. My previous Scottie “Clyde” wasn’t the best swimmer, but at least he’d try – one time he swam to the dock but then simply stopped paddling … it was like watching the Titanic go down (I know I shouldn’t laugh, but …) Anyway … nothing a lifejacket wouldn’t solve. Clyde’s buddy “Bonnie” (a Westie) would swim out after the ducks or loons, and as others have noted it was only prudent for her to wear a lifejacket for when she inevitably realized she was overtired and would then turn towards shore. Both Clyde and Bonnie would bravely jump in and try to rescue me if I splashed about as if I were in trouble … brave wee pups!!! Haven’t figured out if the two new Terrier-ists are swimmers yet (but I’m guessing Watson will give it a try … and Sherlock, well … he’s a “stocky” boy … chuckle!) – both will wear lifejackets, however … especially after I learned the painful way that swimming out to rescue your dog means you’ll be covered in claw marks unless you’re wearing a wet suit … ha! Now … have to find that photo of them on my back, on the sailboard …

    1. Having originated from Scotland to my knowledge, is it possible something from the Scottie’s ancestor’s experience of all that rain, might sit latently ready to pop out, convincing some that they can swim like fish? Obviously not true for all, it might seem, though for others an experience not to miss, as your texts portray. Nothing ventured nothing gained might be the bold little swimmers’ moto. Good on them for having a go, but n’ae shame on those that plunge not in, but sit and look with wonder down their aristocratic noses at those that do.

  14. Our beloved Scotties were bred to go to ground not to chase fishies. They are not loonies but Terriers (from the latin word
    ”terra” meaning ”earth”). I felt painfully distressed watching this video; the poor creature is fighting for it’s life and probably drowned as a result. Perfect example of irresponsable behavior from yet another reckless dog owner out there. Please people, please, respect your dog for what he is.

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