Watch this raccoon give Penny the dog a swimming lesson


Originally published at:


I think that Tito is an excellent name for a raccoon.
All US raccoons are Italian American.


I’d love to hear an animal behaviorist’s explanation of the raccoon’s actions. Why does he keep dipping his paws in the water? Is he intimidated by the dog, or does his crouching indicate something completely different? Do raccoons in the wild swim?


He is telling the dog, “Wash your paws you big mutt, you have the hands of a peasant”


The crouching sure looks like fear/submission to me, but usually I see raccoons when I’m chasing them out of my house or away from our garbage, and those rarely show fear. More often they’re either complete blase, or like

(BTW, I’m impressed with how easily the dog jumps out of the pool. I’ve had dogs who were fabulous swimmers, but completely baffled by swimming pool walls.)


Finally, a swimmer that I compare favorably to!


Probably close to the reason for why raccoons wash their food. They have relatively poor eyesight, but incredibly sensitive paws. And the “washing” motion is pretty deeply ingrained. In fact, it’s been observed in raccoons handling food nowhere near a body of water.


“But… why did you sting me? Now we shall both drown!”

“Because I am a scorpion rabid raccoon.”


Rabid Raccon…walks into a room…only to …OMG RABID RACCOON.


Raccoons look like they were designed by Tove Jansson.


Holy crap, you’re right! Snufkin!
(Snufkin that looks to have lost a fight with a wolverine, but hey, things happen…)


I tricked this dumb dog into the water- now I’ll jump on his back and try to drown him?



I also watched the update about Tito at a year old. Lots of good pointers here (and warnings) about what it’s like when that cute, dependent babby grows up into a mischievous, sharp-clawed thief.


All the nope. Raccoons are gross. I’ll take rats over raccoons any day!


Raccoons wash everything because they don’t have saliva glands (also because they eat garbage). Tito riding on the dogs back is a raccoon attack move. They totally love water because they live in swamps & will lure hunting dogs in to drown them by riding on their head. The cringing shown when the dog comes up is qualified submission w/ a warning not to get too fresh.


Yeah, my grandfather lost 2 dogs that way. But the coon has to be a lot bigger and heavier than this one was when this was recorded.


Raccoons have perfectly normal salivary glands. The prevalent opinion used to be that the washing behaviour was due to the lack of saliva, but newer research has shown that not to be the case.


I think both of them were pretty good swimmers when this video was shot. Just Tito wanted Penny to come swimming with him, and once in the water, the baby-raccoon instinct to climb on board mama kicked in.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.