Playing in the water is one of the most rewarding activities in a dog’s life, because some canines were specifically bred to work in the water. They may not be the most graceful swimmers, but these breeds were built to doggie paddle for hours. So if you’re looking for a new swimming partner, or a friend to accompany you to the beach, here’s a list of 5 dog breeds that love water.
Despite having a reputation for being polished and sophisticated, Poodles love to swim — they were originally bred as water retrievers. They have a moisture-resistant coat and webbed feet, which serve them well in the water.
he word ‘Poodle’ is actually derived from the German word, ‘Pudeln’, which means “to splash.” Due to their high intelligence, athletic nature, and solid stamina, it’s easy to see why Poodles are considered one of the most impressive dog breeds.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers were bred in the 19th century near Chesapeake Bay. Often called “Chessies”, these extremely resilient pups were used as retrievers, gun dogs, and for other sporting purposes. Perhaps the most impressive part about them is their coat. A dense under coat and wind-resistant outer coat combine to make them almost completely waterproof.
Like many other swimming dogs, Chessies are durable, agile, and have webbed feet for effective paddling. Their large prominent chests were used to break up ice during duck hunts in cold waters. Although they can be notably difficult dogs to train, consistent obedience can make them wonderful family dogs and an even better swimming partner.
As you can probably tell by their name, Labrador Retrievers were originally a working breed used for carefully retrieving hunted game. Historically faced with collecting a hunter’s prey from icy cold waters, they are powerful swimmers and have a high tolerance for low temperatures.
They are also very durable and can paddle for extended periods of time without tiring. The beach is definitely a Lab’s happy place. Toss a stick in the water and they’ll play fetch for hours — in fact, they may never want to leave.
Big and powerful, Newfoundlands hail from the icy cold landscapes of Eastern Canada. Originally used by Fisherman for pulling fish nets and hauling carts and various other equipment, today they are still frequently used as water rescue dogs. Many tales have been shared about their lifesaving abilities in the water. Even untrained Newfoundlands have been known to fearlessly save drowning people out of sheer instinct.
If you’re looking for a lifeguard to keep an eye on the family, this may be the dog for you. Characterized by their docile, loyal and loving nature, they make wonderful house dogs. In addition to a tremendous swimming ability, they are also known for their high intelligence, muscular build, webbed feet, and thick seasonal undercoat.
Perhaps the most famous Newfoundland in history was Lewis and Clark’s dog, Seaman, who accompanied them on their famous expedition.
Portuguese Water Dog
The name says it all. Their innate love for the water comes from their history of working on Portugal’s long coastline. Portuguese Water Dogs were trained to herd fish into nets, recover lost fishing equipment, and to deliver goods from ship to shore. Often compared to Poodles, they share many similar characteristics, including webbed toes and curly coats. However, these pups are much sturdier, with a more muscular build and denser bone structure.
They don’t shed much hair, which has increased their popularity in recent years. Another reason for their surging popularity is President Barack Obama’s Portuguese Water Dogs, Bo and Sunny! Because of their working history, they have a lot of energy to spend and a high drive for activity. Adding swimming to their weekly routine will keep them happy and healthy.
Most canines enjoy a good swim, but dog breeds that love the water usually have a family history of retrieving or working for fisherman. However, even some of these breeds aren’t able to swim right away. Make sure to take it slow when introducing your puppy to the water for the first time. Dogs may panic or become fatigued while swimming. It’s important to supervise them and make sure they always have a safe way out of the water.