Whether or not a dog can swim is less a result of their breed and more to do with the individual dog so, some Maltipoos can swim where others cannot.
What Is A Maltipoo?
A Maltipoo is a designer breed and the result of a Maltese and a Poodle breeding. When breeders cross breeds this way, they categorize the offspring by generation. For example, a first-generation Maltipoo is the result of a Maltese and Poodle breeding. A second-generation Maltipoo is the result of two Maltipoos breeding.
Can Maltipoos Swim?
As we mentioned previously, a dog’s ability to swim is dependent on the individual dog and not their breed. There are, however, some characteristics that make a dog a better swimmer, for example, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever’s webbed toes.
Swimming and the Maltese
The Maltese are not partial to the water, and between their long silky fur and short tail, they are not designed for swimming either!
Swimming and the Poodle
Unlike the Maltese, most Poodles love to swim! They have webbed feet, which makes paddling in the water much easier, and their moisture-resistant coat is another plus.
Swimming and the Maltipoo
So, does the Maltipoo take after the Maltese or the Poodle when it comes to swimming?
Since the Maltipoo gets a mix of genes from both parents, they may, or may not, inherit the Poodle’s love of water. Most Maltipoo pups inherit the Poodle’s webbed feet, which is conducive to being a strong swimmer. Merely having webbed feet, however, does not mean that the Maltipoo will love the water, though!
When it comes to their coat, the Maltipoo does not tend to inherit the double-layered coat of the Poodle, but they do have a partially water-resistant coat.
The Impact of Experience on Swimming
Some breeds have that primal instinct and evolutionary features that draw them to the water. The most significant influence on a dog’s preference for swimming, however, comes from experience.
Introducing a dog to the water early in their life is one of the best ways to acclimate them to being around it. The same is true of swimming – the earlier your dog begins swimming, the less likely it is that they will fear the water.
Experience can also drive a dog away from water. For example, a young puppy that almost drowns may carry a lifelong fear of water. Fortunately, dogs can overcome this type of fear with the assistance of a behavioral trainer and a lot of positive reinforcement!
Introducing Your Maltipoo to Water
One of the most important things to remember is that not all dogs can instinctively swim! So, if you think throwing your pup in the pool will “make them learn how to swim,” you are mistaken. It is up to you to teach your dog how to swim if they do not naturally take to the water.
Before you even step foot near the water, invest in a lifejacket that fits your dog snugly (but not too tight!) This jacket will give you both peace of mind and more confidence, making learning to swim much easier!
You should also install a ramp in the pool. A ramp will give your dog an easier way to get out of the water when they are tired.
Once you have installed your ramp, get into the shallow end of the pool, and encourage your pup to join you. Try calling out, luring your dog to you with toys, or offering treats. Allow your dog to come to you in their own time and never force them to come near or get into the pool (this can cause further fear.)
If your dog is willing, encourage them to join you in the shallow end. If your dog is unwilling, be patient and try again later. The more you encourage your dog by showing how fun the pool can be, the more likely it is that your dog will realize that the water isn’t so bad and join you!
If your pup does get in the water with you, stay close in case they need you. Use encouragement to get your dog to swim to you while walking backward (but remain in the shallow end of the pool!) As your dog begins swimming, guide them over to the ramp and show them where it is so that they can get out of the water when they need to.
The more time you spend working with your dog in the water, the more confident they will be, and soon enough, they won’t need a lifejacket at all! (At least, not in the home swimming pool!)
Conclusion / Summary
Maltipoos may swim, or they may not! While their genetic makeup may draw them to water thanks to their Poodle genes, the experience can also drive them from it. The best way to acclimate your Maltipoo to water is to start working with them early and always use positive reinforcement!