Can Jack Russells Swim? [The Details to Understand] is reader-supported. If you buy a product through a link on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Before adopting any new dog, most individuals often wonder what activities and what a dog may be capable of doing.

I was the same way and was curious about which of my current hobbies may accommodate or provide an additional activity for me and my new Jack Russell to enjoy.

More specifically, before adopting my Jack Russell, I was curious if a Jack Russell could swim.

After 2 years of owning my Jack Russell, here are the details I can share with you on this topic.

Yes, Jack Russell’s can swim. Jack Russell’s are capable of swimming and in most situations, enjoy swimming. For a Jack Russell to enjoy swimming and for a Jack Russell to be capable of swimming, it’s recommended that you begin introducing your Jack Russell to water and swimming situations at a young age. Most dogs, including Jack Russell’s, can adapt and learn to love swimming and water activities.

That’s the fastest and most direct way to answer the question at hand today.

However, instead of only providing the minimum amount of information that you should understand, I also wanted to dive into the details a bit more and give you a full overview of a Jack Russell when it comes to swimming.

I’ve even created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to skip to any specific section of this post that you desire to learn more about.


Here are the details that I intend to cover in today’s brief 2-3-minute post.

As stated previously, if you are short on time or only desire to get limited information today, feel free to use the links directly above to skip around in this post.

Otherwise, if you have 2-3 minutes to spare, stick around, and I’ll break down everything that you need to understand about a Jack Russell swimming and how to get your Jack Russell acclimated and enjoying the water as fast as possible.

Here are the critical details to understand.

Can Jack Russell’s Swim Recap?

The critical thing to understand on this topic is that most dogs, if introduced to water and swimming at young ages, will enjoy swimming.

The key to that answer above is the age.

Typically, with new adventures, training and correcting behaviors, the older a dog gets, the less inclined they are to try something new or enjoy it.

This can apply to much more than just swimming.

Some dogs who have never ridden in a vehicle at a young age, will struggle and have anxiety with riding in a vehicle later in life as well.

It’s always best to get your Jack Russell into the environments you plan on living within from puppyhood on.

When you do this, your Jack Russell will be much more comfortable and have a better chance of enjoying the water and having less fear in general.

Overall, the good news is that Jack Russell’s, in general, will love and know how to swim.

Not only that, but it serves a great purpose with a Jack Russell.

Jack Russell’s are naturally hyper dogs and build up a lot of energy.

Having the ability to perform such a physically demanding activity can keep your Jack Russell happy and healthy.

It’s also going to help significantly to reduce negative behaviors with your Jack Russell.

In most situations, Jack Russell’s may display negative behaviors due to needing a way to release energy and out of overall boredom.

Use your Jack Russell’s ability to swim and put it to good use, enjoying a day in the sun with the entire family.

Now that we know that Jack Russell’s are capable and enjoy swimming let’s move into some of the keys you need to implement to start enjoying this hobby correctly.

Here is what you should know.

Introduce Your Jack Russell to Water Slowly

Outside of introducing your Jack Russell to water at a young age, you also want to acclimate your JR to swimming and water slowly.

This means not to go to a deep area of a lake and just toss your JR into the water and hope for the best.

You can start in a swimming pool or even use the shallow area of a lake or body of water.

Let them get comfortable with the feeling of the water and ensure that they begin paddling naturally to keep themselves afloat.

Ideally, it’s best to be close by as well just in case they struggle the first time around.

Clearly, none of us want to see these loving dogs accidentally dip under the surface of the water.

You can also consider using a doggie life jacket if you are worried about their ability in the initial days of trying swimming.

In most situations, it won’t’ necessarily be something you need and I can nearly guarantee that they instantly start doggie paddling.

Still, if it relieves a bit of your anxiety, there is no harm in doing so.

Once you have broken into this new hobby and activity that you can enjoy with your Jack Russell, you can begin to have more fun with.

Perhaps find a nice pond or lake where you can throw a toy, ball, or frisbee into the water that they can race in and retrieve.

Especially on a hot day when your Jack Russell may love to take a nice cold dip into the water and enjoy some exercise.

The point of the story here is simple.

Keep things safe, start slow, and realize that your Jack Russell is going to enjoy this swimming hobby, and they are going to gain many benefits from taking part in it.

Let’s cover some of those benefits now that you may not be fully aware of yet.

Understanding the Benefits of Swimming for Your Jack Russell

Many individuals don’t quite understand why swimming can be such a great benefit for your Jack Russell.

We won’t dive into many of the scientific terms in this topic, but we will touch on the crucial information.

First and foremost, swimming is considered a no-impact activity.

This means that you can get a ton of exercise in for your Jack Russell without causing joint pain, impact on their small bones or complicate issues further with things such as arthritis.

Clearly, the more activities such as this that are possible are overall better for your health.

Additionally, swimming requires a lot of effort for a dog to perform.

For a dog that has this built up energy, it’s a great exercise to exhaust your Jack Russell, which in turn, is going to help dramatically for your Jack Russell to be calm the rest of the day and become a better-behaved dog in general.

Overall, I can’t think of many activities that you can offer or do with your Jack Russell that will be more beneficial than swimming.

Trust me, give it a try, and you won’t regret it.

And of course, feel free to jump in and enjoy the cold water on a hot summer day with them.

Final Thoughts

Clearly, swimming for Jack Russell’s offers many health and other benefits for your Jack Russell.

It’s an excellent exercise for them, can reduce bad behavior, and provide a lot of fun and happiness for your JR.

Not to mention, it’s a great activity and way for you to share a close and affectionate bond with your Jack Russell.

Keep it safe, start slow, and enjoy this ability you have with your JR.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your new Jack Russell and enjoy the water!

Share Your Thoughts

Do you have any further recommendations you can share with the readers about swimming with your Jack Russell’s?

Do you have any further safety recommendations that the readers should implement?

Be sure to share those thoughts, concerns, and stories by dropping a comment below.

As always, Luna and I appreciate you stopping by and reading.

Thanks again, and we will see you next time.

Wondering if other terrier breeds can swim? Check out the articles below:

Josh Martin- Founder and Creator of Terrier Owner

Josh Martin is the proud owner of a female Jack Russell Terrier Named Luna. Josh founded to share the stories of owning a Terrier and to help all terrier owners with the struggles, excitement and common questions that come with being a new terrier parent.

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