The Best Dog Breeds for Water Sports
Water sports are a beloved pastime for many people, and dogs can participate in this activity too. There are several popular breeds that have been bred to be great swimmers. These dogs enjoy being in the water and will not hesitate when it comes time to get in the pool or the lake. If you are looking for a dog breed that can join you on your next water adventure, here are some breeds to consider.
Breeds Great For Water Sports
American Cocker Spaniel - These small dogs are excellent swimmers due to their dense coats that protect them from the water. Their long, flat tails provide balance for swimming and they have webbed feet too.
American Water Spaniel - More than just a pretty face, the American Water Spaniel is a working retriever that loves being in the water. Their webbed feet and slightly loose skin around their neck allow for efficient movement through the water.
Barbet - This medium-sized dog has a water-resistant double coat which is great for swimming. Many Barbets are found working in the duck blind, retrieving downed birds.
Border Collie - A natural herder that loves activity, this breed is great for both swimming and running. They were originally bred to work livestock along the border of Scotland and England where they would be in the water every day.
Boykin Spaniel - This medium-sized Spaniel is a true water dog, with webbed feet and a plumed tail that acts as a rudder while swimming. They were bred to be strong retrievers for waterfowl hunting in the American South.
Brittany - This sporting breed is known as an excellent pointer and retriever. They have been used as hunting dogs in France, Spain, and England for over 100 years. They are strong swimmers that love the water.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever - One of the most popular water dogs, the Chesapeake was bred to retrieve for hunters. They have webbed feet and a thick coat that provides insulation in cold water.
Clumber Spaniel - This breed is recognized by its pure white coat and slightly sad face. They are closely related to the English Cocker Spaniel, sharing the same thick water-resistant coat.
Curly-Coated Retriever -This medium-sized breed is named after their awesome curly locks which help contain heat. Their webbed feet are great for swimming too.
English Cocker Spaniel - This version of the American Cocker is also a fantastic swimmer. They are great for hunting ducks because of their strong sense of smell. Their webbed feet and waterproof coats make them great swimmers.
English Greyhound - This breed is not seen very often in the United States, but they are another dog with webbed feet. They were bred to be hunting dogs in England and are still used for this purpose today.
English Setter - This breed was originally bred to be a gun dog for very early (by today's standards) flushing of game. They were also used as bird dogs because of their intelligence and affinity for water.
Field Spaniel - This medium-sized spaniel has a stocky body which makes it easy for them to swim through water. Their long coat is water-resistant and they have webbed feet too.
Flat-Coated Retriever - This is another large retriever that was first bred to be an outstanding water dog. They were originally used on the coast of England as hunting dogs, swimming out into deep waters to retrieve game for hunters.
Irish Water Spaniel - These dogs are known for their thick curly coat and webbed feet. They were used as all-purpose dogs by hunters, retrieving game on land and in the water.
Jack Russell Terrier - This small terrier not only loves to swim but also enjoys running and jumping into the water. Their short legs help them paddle with ease.
Kerry Blue Terrier - These dogs are strong water dogs that love to swim and retrieve balls. They excel in the water and at work, which makes for a happy dog and owner alike.
Labrador Retriever - Everyone's favorite family dog also loves to swim and is a fantastic water dog. They are eager to please which makes them great at sports, the obedience ring, or just playing around in the pool.
Lagotto Romagnolo - These Italian retrievers were bred to be all-purpose hunting dogs in Italy. They have a unique "boat-shaped" body that makes them great swimmers and strong retrievers.
Newfoundland - The Newfoundland dog breed was bred to be a water dog. They are known for their webbed feet that make them excellent swimmers. These dogs have been used as rescue dogs, specifically in the water. They come from the island of Newfoundland off the coast of Canada and have also been used as working animals on fisherman's boats.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - These dogs were bred to be excellent retrievers that also loved the water. They call and entice ducks by licking the water around them, then they jump in after their prey.
Otterhound - As its name suggests, the Otterhound is a water dog that likes to hunt and fish for prey in the water. They are known as "scenthounds" because their keen sense of smell leads them to game after their excellent swimming skills help bring it back to shore.
Portuguese Water Dog - These dogs were originally bred along Portugal's coastlines and rivers, where they would help fishermen by catching fish and retrieving ropes. They have a thick water-resistant coat and webbed feet, making them excellent swimmers.
Pudelpointer - These German dogs are used for pointing and retrieving game in Germany. They were originally bred to retrieve waterfowl, but they can also be trained to hunt upland game because of their intense drive for work.
Spanish Pointer - This pointer was originally bred to be worked close to shore in Spain. Their water-resistant coats help them swim through the salty waters of their native country.
Spanish Water Dog - This is a rare breed that was once kept as a status symbol by Spanish royalty. They are known as excellent swimmers and were often given as gifts to those who ruled other countries.
Standard Poodle - These dogs are well-known for their intelligence, which also makes them great water dogs. They were bred to retrieve game for hunters by swimming out into the water and bringing the prey back.
Sussex Spaniel - These dogs were bred to be hunting companions that could retrieve both on land and in the water. Their webbed feet help them swim through the water looking for game.
Welsh Springer Spaniel - These Spaniels are another group of retrievers that were bred to retrieve on land and in the water. They have webbed feet to help them swim, or they can just run through the water with their powerful hindquarters.
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon - Griffons were originally bred to be all-purpose gundogs, and the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is no different. These dogs can be trained to retrieve both on land and in the water, especially if they have a strong work ethic like other Griffons.