Splash! 9 Water-Loving Dog Breeds
Looking for an enthusiastic Dock Dog partner or a pup that would like nothing more than to join you at the dog beach? Gina DiNardo, American Kennel Club Executive Secretary and expert on all things breed related, gives us her shortlist of the dogs that ju
Looking for an enthusiastic Dock Dog partner or a pup that would like nothing more than to join you at the dog beach? Gina DiNardo, American Kennel Club Executive Secretary and expert on all things breed related, gives us her shortlist of the dogs that just can't get enough of the water!
9 Water-Loving Dog Breeds
1. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
“Chessies”, as they’re affectionately called, are the toughest of the water retrievers. They actually swim and dive into ice cold water. Their waterproof coat consists of a dense undercoat and a rough, wind-resistant outer coat.
2. English Setter
Originally bred as a bird dog to point and retrieve game in English moors, the English Setter’s happy place is in the water. This breed needs plenty of exercise, and of the breed’s most recommended activities, swimming is one of its favourites.
3. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was bred to toll, lure, and retrieve waterfowl by playing on the shore. Their water-repellant double-coat makes this breed a natural for cold water swimming.
4. Portuguese Water Dog
The PWD was used mainly to herd fish into nets and retrieve lost fishing equipment. Their webbed feet make them stellar swimmers, even if they just swim recreationally nowadays.
Poodles were originally bred as water dogs and excelled as a waterfowl retriever. The name Poodle was derived from German word “Pudelin,” which means “to splash.”
6. Spanish Water Dog
The Spanish Water Dog was always a dual-purpose breed, utilized as both a waterfowl retriever and a sheepherder. Their love of the ocean can be best shown through their participation in water sports.
7. Irish Water Spaniel
One of the oldest spaniel breeds around today, the Irish Water Spaniel was originally bred as a sporting dog and water retriever. The tallest of the spaniels, these active and energetic dogs are one of the most clever and intelligent breeds around. Their coat is naturally water-repellent.
8. Labrador Retriever
Although the Labrador Retriever's forefathers were used to haul ropes through water, tow boats, and retrieve fish and nets from the chilly waters of the North Atlantic, most water-work performed today leans more towards retrieving waterfowl for hunters.
Despite their size, Newfoundlands are a water-loving dog breed, they were born to swim, thanks to their heavily webbed toes and thick coat designed to keep them warm against chilly waters. Originally bred to help fishermen haul their nets, this 100-plus pound breed is now primarily used for water rescues.
For more information on dog breeds, check out our breed profiles here.