Can Dogs Hold Their Breath? Check The Surprising Facts Now

Are you looking for the answer of the question can dogs hold their breath or not? Here in this article we will discuss in detail if dogs can hold their breathe underwater and while sleeping and if yes how long they are able to do so and how they are capable to so. All this questions we will discuss in detail. So, read the post till the end.

Can dogs hold their breath?

can dogs hold their breath

Like some of the non-aquatic mammals, dogs are also able to hold their breath for 6 to 8 seconds underwater. This situation is created at this time when our dogs dive for Toys or wild game play.

This usually happens when they dive after toys or wild play, it is called mammals diving.

The dogs limit their breath depending on the dog’s life and breeds. The time for how long a dog can hold their breath depends upon the dog’s Training and Exercise they use to do.

Generally dogs can normally hold their breath for 6 to 10 seconds long. To make them capable to grasp their breathe for long time you can hold your dog’s breath from time to time and make them participate in Training and other activities.

Survey Results

According to the survey happened Last year’s 23 May 2017 survey by a person from the US with his dog for 1 month.

This survey’s 1 day results was his dog can easily hold its breath for 4 to 5 seconds underwater.

And at Next 2 days of survey, his dog can easily hold his breath 6 to 7 seconds. Next 7 days, dogs easily hold its breath for 8 to 10 second.

On next 15 days of survey the Dog hold its breath to maximum of 10 seconds. So, from the survey we can make an idea that an average can easily hold their breath dog up to 10 seconds at the maximum. This result of the survey may help you to train your dog.

Result from Survey: A Dog Maximum 10 to12 seconds hold their breath.

Can dogs hold their breath by Choice?

Yes, Dogs are capable of holding their breath but probably not in a controlled manner. The time for how long they can hold their breath depends up on Dog’s training and Exercises. You can make your Dog exercise regularly to hold their breath.

Is it possible for dogs to hold their breath?

Yes , According to the last survey , we said on the basis of  survey results  this is possible to limited times. Just as is the case for other non-aquatic mammals, dogs are able to hold their breath underwater.

This usually happens when they dive after toys or wild play, called mammals Diving. Called the mammalian diving response, your pet’s ability to hold its breathe underwater is a survival instinct built into every mammal. In this article below we will check how dogs are able to do so.

Can all dogs swim?

Most of us usually think that all dogs can swim.  But we are not correct. Most dogs usually do attempt to paddle if they find themselves in water. 

All dogs are not good swimmers or are able to swim. Not all dogs can swim. Dogs can swim depending on the breed from which they belong and their body composition.

Here are some dogs breed that can swim are given below:

  • Irish Water Spaniel.
  • Lagotto Romagnolo.
  • Newfoundland.
  • Otterhound.
  • Gordon Setter.
  • Brittany.
  • Portuguese Water Dog.
  • English Setter

How deep Dogs can dive?

The dogs are always ready to dive. They can easily dive from 12 to 15 feet  deep . With a desire to dive, the pups are panting as the anchor sinks and they wag their tails, ready to swim. The dogs can dive up to a maximum depth of 15 feet, much more impressive than most humans.  Mostly dogs like to swim.

Minimum: No Record

Maximum: 15 Feet

Can dogs hold their breathe underwater?

how long can a dog hold their breath underwater

Yes, they can hold their breath for 10 – 15 seconds. They can hold their breath due to certain response from the body. This response which is generally called Mammalian diving response help animals to hold their breath underwater for long time.

Mammalian diving response

This is the response/reaction that the body of a mammal gives when an animal dive into the water. This help the body to function with decreased oxygen intake. It helps the animal to remain longer in the water.

There are many on ways how it works, here we will discuss 3:

Bradycardia: We know that whenever our heart beats faster we also breathe faster right? This is similar for animals as well. So, Bradycardia actually lowers the heart rate of the dog so that they can hold their breathe longer.

Peripheral Vasoconstriction: The body of the dog narrows the blood vessels which cause to reduce the blood flow and which in turn conserve the oxygen.

Spleen Contraction: In this process the spleen gets contract due to low oxygen level and increase carbon dioxide level while diving. This result in releasing red blood cells and it increase the oxygen capacity of the blood.

To read more about this click here to read it from Wikipedia. Other aquatic animals have like dolphins which is also a mammal can hold their breathe for more longer time due to physiological adaptations.

How long can dogs hold their breath in water?

can dogs breathe underwater

The timing that how long can dogs hold their breath underwater depends on few factors like dogs breed, dog’s training, etc. As discussed above, an average dog can normally hold their breath up to 10 seconds.

It is due to their ability of their body which we also call Mammalian diving response.

You can make your dog hold their breath for more longer time. It can be done by more and more training you give to your dog.

Minimum : No Record

Maximum: 10 seconds

Can you teach your dog to hold their breathe?

Yes, you can teach them to hold their breath for longer time. Moreover, they are great learner. They can teach themselves while swimming. You can train them by certain ways. Some we have discussed below.

Take them to a swimming pool: What is better than a swimming pool for a dog to learn swim and holding their breath right? Yes so, take them to swimming pool train them to swim and also train them to hold their breath. Gradually they will get adapt to it.

But always check few things for safety like the chlorine level of the water which can affect the dog’s skin (chlorine should be of required quantity not less or not more), the exit plan in case of any emergency.

Do Dogs Hold their Breath while Sleeping?

Dogs also experience sleep apnea the same way human do. They temporarily hold their breath, then they wake up to take breath and feel in our bodies in a jiffy. And as with humans, this constant night time waking up results in sleep deprivation which can cause short and long-term health risks. They may suffer from other problems too. Its rise on the dog’s realized breath on hold feels a jolt.

Some symptoms of sleep apnea for dogs can be as follows:

  1. Tiredness.
  2. Choking while sleep.
  3. Dogs may sleep more during days.

Do dogs hold their breath in Smoke?

Dog’s hold their breath – more specifically, Smoke inhalation is a serious medical condition and should not be taken lightly.

Chemicals released from burned materials such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and cyanide are dangerous and poisonous for your pet.

Inhalation of these chemicals can result in severe lung injury, burnt airways and death— in smoky or emergency situations, but not for long.

Smoke inhalation injuries are common when dogs are exposed to smoke in large or small quantities. This type of gas is harmful in dogs .It affects dogs breath level.

Can dogs be taught to hold their breath?

Dogs cannot learn new behaviors like humans if they are distressed. … “The first step for dogs is to learn to hold their breath as a way to learn deep breathing and focus, as follows: For the tech, the dog first sits and focuses on a deep or inhaled breathe. They are important places of Focus in breath.


How long can a dog hold their breath for?

All dog’s Nature and Breed are different . Hence it depends upon lots of factors that how long they can hold their breathe for. But in general dogs can easily hold their breath for 7-8 seconds. The time can increase upon training.
Minimum : No Record
Maximum: 10 seconds

Is it bad for dogs to go underwater?

No, it is not bad for dogs to go underwater. But Depend on his health .Dogs can easily cope up themselves in water. Some of breed of dogs also know how to swim. So, for them it is not at all risky. For those breeds or dogs who can swim. They can also cope up but little care should be taken.


To conclude here in this post we learnt that can dogs hold their breath or not? and how long dogs can hold their breathe underwater. We saw all the reasons how dogs are able to do so and etc. Hope all your questions related to this topic has been cleared. Also, you check the answer in Quora. You check our homepage of easydogsupplies for more post of dog care and dog training. Thank You. Visit Again.

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