Dog in water
Looking For A Dog That Loves To Swim? These 9 Breeds Will Jump Right In

by Lindsay E. Mack

Some dogs love the water more than just about anything. So if you want a canine companion for boating, kayaking, or other outdoor water activities, then consider one of the dog breeds that love swimming. These pups will happily jump into any pool, creek, lake, or puddle around.

To learn more about the dog breeds that like water, Romper spoke with Russell Hartstein, CDBC, CPDT-KA, the CEO of Fun Paw Care, a dog training and care organization. "It’s a good bet that any water dog is going to have a good chance of liking the water," says Hartstein. This goes for breeds such as retrievers as well. However, not every dog from a particular breed is going to love water. "It is important to remember that dogs are individuals and that some breeds that are 'supposed' to love water are not interested or scared of it and others that are not supposed to be swimmers gravitate towards the water," says Hartstein. So although some breeds are known for their amazing swimming skills, there will be a few dogs in the group who dislike water.

Plus, even breeds that love swimming need some training around water, too. It's important to teach your dog how to swim in a safe way, as explained in Bustle. For instance, introducing your dog to the water slowly, and offering lots of praise for a job well done, are excellent ways to help your dog enjoy swimming.

Lastly, you don't have to get a dog from any specific breed in order to have a swimming buddy. "That being said, don’t forget about mongrels! They love the water as much as any pure breed. It is all dog specific. Just as with people," says Hartstein. For the most part, though, dogs from these breeds tend to love swimming, according to Hartstein.


American Water Spaniel

When "water" is part of the breed's name, then it's probably a dog who enjoys swimming. "The American Water Spaniel, native to the lake country of the upper Midwest, is an upbeat, outdoorsy athlete who loves to hunt and swim," according to the American Kennel Club's overview of the breed.


Chesapeake Bay Retriever

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Bred to swim in the icy waters of Chesapeake Bay, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a tough and active dog, according to PetMD.


Golden Retriever

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For many owners, the issue is keeping retrievers out of water. They tend to love the stuff, and Goldens are no different. "Most Goldens love to swim, and it's excellent exercise for them, even when young," according to the Golden Retriever Rescue of North Texas.


Irish Water Spaniel

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The Irish Water Spaniel has a "distinctive curly and water-repellent coat" to help with swimming, according to the American Kennel Society.


Labrador Retriever

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Most labs are absolutely in love with the water, and this goes back to their ancestry. "Labradors were prized canine companions among the aristocracy, chiefly for their ability to track and retrieve downed waterfowl and other small prey," according to The Labrador Site. "Here, it just makes sense that breeders would carefully cultivate these abilities by choosing to breed parent dogs who excelled in swimming and water activities." Chances are, your lab's love for swimming is genetic.



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These dogs are such great swimmers that they were historically used as lifeguards. "The Newfie was so accomplished in its ability to save the drowning that at one time they were required at lifeguard stations along the British coast," according to PetMD. With their webbed feet and excellent swimming stroke, these dogs were basically made for the water.



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The dogs who are most well-known for their distinctive haircuts were originally water dogs. Strong swimmers, poodles were bred to retrieve water fowl, according to Mental Floss.


Portuguese Water Dog

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It's another water-loving water dog. "PWDs are eager and athletic companions built for water work," according to the American Kennel Society. And yes, the Obamas have a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo.


Spanish Water Dog

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First, take a moment to appreciate this dog's fantastic coat. And as its name suggests, most Spanish Water Dogs "enjoy boating, swimming or playing in water," according to Vetstreet. For the most part, anyone who lives an aqua-loving lifestyle will enjoy these dogs who love the water.