Does an Irish setter like water?

The Irish setter is a highly active, good-sized dog that was bred primarily for hunting. Many owners who plan to adopt or already have an Irish setter have a query that, “Does an Irish setter like water?”

They were originally bred to hunt waterfowls, so they enjoy the water and are good swimmers. Though they are good swimmers, still we recommend supervising your dog while swimming or around the water. As they can get themselves drown down in the water. 

Do Irish setter like water?

Yes, the Irish setter was bred to hunt waterfowls. Thus they are good swimmers and enjoy being around water. Also, swimming in the water can offer them great exercise and help them stay fit and strong. 

Like humans, they do take time to learn swimming, but will soon learn and enjoy being in the water. We never recommend you to toss your Irish setter in the water directly. 

You can easily teach your canine buddy to swim and enjoy being in the water. It is also a good idea to encourage them to play in the water by throwing some of their favourite toys and treat in the water. 

After completing training, never leave your puppy alone in the water, as they might get themselves drown in water. It is recommended to supervise your buddy while in water. In the case, when your Irish setter doesn’t know the way to come out of the pool, then there is a need for more attention while your dog is swimming. 

Ensure the pool where your puppy is playing is chemical-free or having very few chemicals, as it may harm your buddy’s coat. Bathing is also fun for this furry boy. They love playing with water. They can spend hours playing in the water. 

What can make Irish setter dislike water?

Several reasons can make your furry friend afraid of water. Some of these are:

Unpleasant prior memories:

  • There are chances that your pup is associated with some unpleasant memories related to water. These bad memories may have left a traumatic impact on your dog, and they will start avoiding get in touch with water. 
  • Bad memories like getting drowned in the puppy stage can make your canine buddy afraid of large water bodies. There are chances that this fear will carry into adulthood. 
  • o There are also some reported cases where owners used water as a way for their punishment. This can impact negatively on your pup, leave traumatic memories, and they will start avoiding water 

Anxiety: Anxiety is another reason that can trigger your dog to run away from the water. We cannot explain the exact cause of anxiety. But this anxiety can be as much potential that can trigger your dog to run away from even the drinking water bowl. 

Climate: When it is too cold outside, your dog may avoid water activities. 

When your buddy is not feeling well: In the case when your dog is sick, it will resist fun water activities. 

What to do when an Irish setter hates water?

Luckily it is possible to train your dog to enjoy being around water. You can get a pet bathtub. Fill it with Luke warm or comfortable water and get your dog in this tub. This will realize them that water is fun. 

With treats, positive reinforcement, and fun activities, you can offer a good experience to your pup while swimming and bathing. Avoid fun water activities when it is the cold or rainy season, as it may lead your dog to get sick. Also, make sure that your buddy is feeling well. Avoid water activities when he is not well. 

How to teach swimming to your Irish setter?

  • As they are already good swimmers, it is easy to train them to swim. All you need is patience and make water activities fun. 
  • The first thing you should do is make your dog comfortable in the water and the pool. 
  • With positive reinforcements treats and fun activities, you can encourage your puppy to enter the pool and learn swimming. 
  • Use of safety measures and floatation devices will reduce the chances of water accidents, and your dog will feel safer. 

What are the precautions you should take while teaching your dog swimming?

  • Always keep your puppy’s safety as the priority. 
  • Make sure your buddy is not afraid. 
  • Avoid swimming and water fun activity in too cold or rainy weather. 
  • Ensure that your pool is safe and not so deep. 
  • Water should be chemical-free
  • Never throw them into the pool directly, and clear supervision is always recommended
  • Slowly increase the level of water in the tub or pool.
  • Just don’t be hard towards them while teaching. Utmost patience is necessary.


The Irish setter is a highly active, energetic dog who loves playing with water. If you are having an Irish setter, then the water activity will be too much fun. 

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