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Ever imagine your dog running through the ocean waves or swimming alongside you on a hot summer day? You may be in luck. Certain breeds are natural born swimmers. Take a look and see if your pup is ready to get his paws wet.
The quintessential water-friendly breed is the Golden Retriever. Early retrievers were crossbred with water spaniels to create the Golden Retriever, which means the breed’s skill for swimming is a biological trait descended down through its ancestry. They’re so suited to water; they even have water-repellent coats!
Irish Water Spaniels
Irish Water Spaniels are one of the most intelligent breeds in the world. The tallest of spaniels, these spunky and lively dogs have curly ringlets, which help form a naturally water-repellent coat. Irish Water Spaniels were trained to hunt for waterfowl, though they enjoy being pets and show dogs, too.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers
These retrievers are the smallest of their kind, but they sure don’t act small! They’re playful, energetic, and exceptionally fast swimmers. They have double coats that naturally repel water, helping them hunt, lure, and retrieve ducks and other waterfowl.
Portuguese Water Hounds
Originally from Algarve, Portugal, the Portuguese Water Hound is quite hard to find as they are a rare breed. These hardworking dogs were given the task of herding fish into nets and then taking them to the shore. The most famous Portuguese Water Hound is our first dog, Bo Obama, son of First Lady and President Barack Obama.
It’s no surprise that Labrador Retrievers adore water, since they are descendants of St. John’s Water Dogs. They used to help fishermen carry anything from ropes to fishing nets. They’re also very loyal, which makes them excellent companions. Labradors are well loved, ranking as the #1 breed in America, and are routinely used for water rescue missions.
Spanish Water Dogs
Spanish Water dogs are energetic, intelligent, and agile, as they can do anything from hunting to herding. They can be taught a great number of skills, but what they love to do best is engage in water sports.
These large dogs were bred to haul fishnets and heavy equipment from the water to the shore. “Newfies” have long coats that are thick, oily and waterproof, making them well-suited for swimming. Plus, their huge lung capacity is an advantage when it comes to swimming long distances.
Despite being fluffy and “prissy,” standard poodles are actually excellent gundogs. They’re considered working dogs in the same category as retrievers. Those flamboyant (and sometimes ridiculous) hairdos? Their fur is designed to protect the joints when they dive into cold water. They’re also intelligent and hypoallergenic, making them great family pets.
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
This large breed is believed to have been sired by two Newfoundlands several generations ago, then crossed with other breeds. Chessies have water-repellent wavy double coats and webbed toes to help them swim! Chessies are intelligent, protective, and very loyal.
These setters might look a bit unusual with their speckled or mottled coats, but English Setters are intelligent, sensitive dogs who love the water. Their “belton” coats have many recognized combinations, such as white and black, white and orange, and even some with a tricolor belton of white, black and tan.
Move over Michael Phelps, these aquatic pooches are ready to dive in headfirst!