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Dogs swimming

Just Add Water- Top 8 Swimming Dog Breeds

One of the most iconic summer scenes is a dog going for a dip at the lake or beach, but unfortunately for myself and a lot of dog parents with terrier breeds our pups tend to detest water. But fret not for there are plenty of dog breeds out there that love the water so much that it seems like they are part fish! Read on to find out a little more about some of the top water dog breeds.


Even though Poodles are often depicted as a high society, prim and proper pooch it is a rather athletic and intelligent breed.

Black Poodle

They excel at obedience and in France was used to retrieve waterfowl. To this day poodles enjoy a good dip in the pool, pond, or even ocean!


This large, fluffy and gentle dog might not seem like it was built for the water, but the breed was in fact developed as a water rescue dog. Newfoundlands have natural lifesaving instincts and a large lung capacity.


They have the ability to swim long distances and bring people to safety. At one point in history they were even a requirement at lifeguard stations along the British coast because of their accomplished skills in saving those that would have otherwise drowned.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

As their name suggests these hearty pups are able to withstand icy water and in fact take joy in diving in.

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Developed to have an oily waterproof coat with a high level of strength and endurance means they were born to work in rough, cold waters. It is a versatile and energetic breed that thrives well with highly active and outdoorsy families.

English Setter

This breed tends to be sweet and amiable which is why you might not automatically think that the dapper English Setters are energetic, athletic, or even a fan of water sports.

English Setter

The breed was originally bred as a bird dog to point. They enjoy the water and swimming just as much as hanging out with their people.

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dogs are highly intelligent and athletic. Originating from Portugal these dogs were bred to have slightly webbed feet and used to “herd” fish into nets.

Portuguese Water Dog

They were also used to swim and retrieve broken nets as well as lost equipment for fishermen. This breed requires a lot of exercise and attention and enjoys the playing in the water.

American Water Spaniel

Coming straight out of Wisconsin this small dog breed was originally developed to hunt from a canoe or other small water vessel.

American Water Spaniel

These little guys combine the traits of retrievers and spaniels which means they are used to working in water whether it be in the marshes or in open water situations. It is a rare breed, but have a lot of energy and an eagerness to please.

Flat-Coated Retriever

The beautiful silky coat of the flat-coated retriever not only provides a pleasing asthetic, but also protects against harsh weather and icy water.

Flat-Coated Retriever

The breed was originally bred to hunt in the water and on land. Flat-Coated Retrievers are known for their happy and energetic demeanors making them the perfect family dog!

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers or Labs are one of the most popular breeds in the US. As its name suggests the breed was originally bred to retrieve waterfowl.

Labrador Retriever

They are a great sporting dog as well as a family dog and always up for a dip! They are excellent swimmers and often enjoy retrieving their favorite toys from the water.

You can find more water-loving dog breeds here.

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