dog paddle

See also: dogpaddle and dog-paddle


a dog doing the stroke named after him

Alternative formsEdit


dog paddle (plural dog paddles)

  1. A swimming stroke in the style of a dog swimming.
    • 1908, Edwin T. Brewster, “The Bathtub Swimming School,” Good Housekeeping, Volume 46, April 1908, p. 387,[1]
      The self-taught small boy usually begins with the so-called “dog-paddle.” There his instinct is thoroughly right, and the method is especially valuable for children too young to do much formal practicing. Dog-paddle is the most natural of all strokes, and therefore the easiest of all to learn.
    • 1949, “Exit Growling,” Time, 23 April, 1949,[2]
      He would still go down for his daily dog paddle in the faculty swimming pool, and would still nibble the raisins he likes to keep in his briefcase.



dog paddle (third-person singular simple present dog paddles, present participle dog paddling, simple past and past participle dog paddled)

  1. To swim in dog paddle style.
    • 1938, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, The Yearling, Chapter 11,[3]
      He pretended that an alligator was behind him and swam desperately. He passed one spot and then, laboriously, another, dog-paddling.
    • 1965, “Dream of a Bigger Bone,” Time, 23 April, 1965,[4]
      Last week, as the latest escapee dog paddled his way to freedom across the Spandau ship canal, the Grepos machine-pistoled him down with seven slugs. Sinking in mid stream, he became the 58th victim—and the first dog—to die since 1961 while trying to enter West Berlin from the East German democratic workers’ paradise.
    • 1976, Kurt Vonnegut, Slapstick, Delacorte Press, Chapter 2, p. 31,
      They were of course distantly related to Eliza and me, too, since our Vermont ancestors had once been content to dogpaddle endlessly, so to speak, in the same tiny genetic pool.

Further readingEdit