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11 Dog Breeds that Like Water

Golden Retriever jumping in water

Most dogs have the natural ability to swim, but some of the breeds are born for the water. These canines were bred to work in the water, and that’s the reason why they make excellent swimmers. If anyone needs a pup who loves to splash around in the pool, we will recommend the following dog breeds.

American Water Spaniel

American Water Spaniel resting

This charming, little breed was developed in Wisconsin and is regarded as one of the best lake dogs. These canines offer a combination of retriever and spaniel traits. Consequently, they are equally efficient in the marshes of the Great Lakes and the icy expanses of mountains.

Thanks to their webbed feet and powerful bodies, American Water Spaniels can make water retrieving look like an easy job.  

Boykin Spaniel

Boykin Spaniel running on beach

Hailing from South Carolina, this medium-sized spaniel was discovered in the early 20th century. Over the years, they have been used to hunt a variety of game on land as well as in water.

Boykin Spaniels are extremely popular for hunting wild turkeys and ducks in the southern parts of the United States. Despite the marshy and swampy terrain, these waterfowl hunters have the skills to get the job done. Other than that, this dog breed is an amazing companion, especially for active families.  

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever sitting on marsh shoreline

This dog breed was developed at the Chesapeake Bay of Maryland for retrieving ducks. These retrievers have endless stamina and waterproof coat that allows them to tolerate harsh conditions. Although the coat of these dogs is quite dense, it dries up within minutes (even after a bath). As a result, they stay dry and love to spend long hours in water.   

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are famous for their extraordinary swimming and retrieving skills. These energetic athletes require intensive exercise and swimming is one of their favorite activities.   

Flat-Coated Retriever

Flat-Coated Retriever standing on beach

This gundog was originally used in the United Kingdom for hunting purposes. They were equally proficient on land and in water. Nowadays, these active and outgoing dogs have turned into great family companions, but they haven’t lost their love for swimming. It is still the most preferred physical activity of this energetic breed.

The puppy-like enthusiasm of Flat-Coated Retrievers stays with them even in adulthood. These loving pets are always happy and like to spend time with their families.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever laying on beach

Developed in the Scottish highlands, this dog breed is well-suited to handle the harsh conditions, like climate and terrain. In addition to that, the bushy tail and webbed feet of these dogs make them excellent swimmers.  

Being one of the most popular dog breeds of the world, Golden Retrievers are known for their affectionate nature, loyalty, and gentle temperament. All these qualities make them an ideal companion for every family.

Irish Water Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniel standing on rocky shoreline

Hailing from the Emerald Isles, this water spaniel is one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. This is one of the reasons why these dogs have done so well as family dogs. Having said that, this agile breed needs plenty of exercise to keep their abundant energy in control.  

Irish Water Spaniels are among the oldest spaniel breeds that are present in today’s world. They were originally bred as a sporting dog and water retriever. The double, water-repellent coat of these dogs allow them to survive in the harsh outdoor conditions.  

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever running through water with a stick in its mouth

Due to a broad tail and webbed feet, the most popular dog of the United States makes an ideal swimmer. The ancestors of this water-loving breed used to retrieve fish from the chilly waters of the North Atlantic. Labradors are also quite handy when it comes to hunting. In the modern world, hunters use these canines to retrieve waterfowl.

Other than their duties as working dogs, Labs make wonderful family pets. The lovable and friendly nature of these canines means that they are easy to train. Similarly, the stable temperament of these pets is an example in itself.  

Lagotto Romagnolo

portrait of Lagotto Romagnolo

It is believed that all the water dogs descended from this Italian breed. This breed is also known as the “Lake Dog of Romagnolo” because it comes from the Romagna sub-region. These dogs were originally developed as a gundog to hunt waterfowl.

Nowadays, they are regarded as one of the best dog breeds for hunting truffles. Lagotto Romagnolo is the only purebred dog that is specialized for truffle searching.  


Newfoundland dog walking on beach

It may seem a bit surprising (given the size of this breed), but these giant dogs were originally bred for water rescue. Although the fur of these canines is quite thick, its water-resistant nature makes it ideal for swimming. Similarly, webbed feet and large lung capacity help Newfoundlands to swim long distances.

In contrast to their humungous bodies, these dogs are a complete sweetheart. Their adorable nature and loving attitude make them an ideal companion for active families. On the other hand, they are not suited for apartment life.  

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia dog standing in water

The smallest retriever is an intelligent breed that was developed to lure waterfowl within gun range. Likewise, these water dogs would then retrieve the hunted game back to their owners. The double coat of these canines is water-repellent that allows them to play in the water all day.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever has an affectionate and patient attitude towards children. Consequently, they make a magnificent family dog if you could provide them with sufficient exercise. The favorite games of this breed include swimming and playing fetch.

Portuguese Water Dog

As evident from its name, this dog breed was bred in Portugal to herd fish into the nets. Other than that, they also helped the fishermen by retrieving broken nets and lost tackle. Similarly, they kept birds away from the caught fish and also transferred messages across boats.

In recent years, Portuguese Water Dogs have shown that they can do well exceedingly well as domestic pets. The working background makes them obedient and they love to please their people. Therefore, it is not very demanding to train this pup.

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