If you are a water-baby, you are certainly going to go head over heels for this fun list of 23 best swimming dog breeds who love a dip into the ocean as much as you do.
Did you know that dogs have a natural instinct to paddle when they hit the water? This is why so many of these dog breeds are easy to train as puppies to tread waters without much effort.
Many of these breeds were either discovered or bred by humans for the purpose of hunting, retrieving, and fishing. However, they have found themselves to be amazing house-dogs and always love occasional dips in the deep waters with their owners.
Dogs Breeds Who Love to Swim!
Dogs are our best mates and we love including them into our aqua sports and outings.
Maybe you already have one of these breeds back home and never spent quality beach time with them, or maybe you’re seeking a canine companion who will follow you to the serene and free-flowing water.
Without further ado, dive into this curation of 23 best swimming dog breeds!
1. Labrador Retrievers
They are kind, gentle, and jumpy! Labradors are one of the canines who do not require any motivation to swim. They have a very natural inclination toward the water, and always love to make a splash!
These pooches were bred to be the ideal water-dogs and this was back in the 1800s. They have webbed toes that can speed up their swims, and double-coated fur which provides insulation and wards off cold and infections.
2. Golden Retrievers
Many people confuse Golden and Labrador Retrievers. Goldens were crossbred with Spaniels and Labradors to act as gun dogs. Their main job was to be in the water, going back and worth.
There is nothing better than watching a healthy golden take dip into freshwater and flopping their ears and panting with happiness. This breed is extremely tolerant of cold and chilly weather too!
This breed is adored in the dog-loving crowd for their cuddly built. But did you know they are amazing water-dogs and can swim to long stretch without complaining?
This gentle giant has a similar web-feet like our lovable retrievers and has a heavy coat which protects them in cold water without falling prey to diseases. If you are fond of a long-distance swim, this breed is the best canine companion!
4. Portuguese Water-Dog
The name says it! This breed loves being around and in water, and if you are planning to house them then you must accommodate swimming activities for them.
Portuguese Water-Dogs are known to be very resilient, brave, and headfirst; qualities that help them tackle any and all hurdles in the deep waters. They grow to be around 23 to 27 kgs on average and live to be 12-15 years of age.
5. Irish Water Spaniel
Spaniels are an adorable breed as it is, but the thing with Irish Water Spaniels is so distinct and special. They grow up to 22 inches tall and weigh up to 50 pounds. This breed is clever, alert, and kind.
They carry a water-repellent coat which is curly and makes them amazing water-hunters! My hunch is you head to an adoption shelter right now and bring this cute pup home right away!
6. English Setter
This furry handsome is energetic, affectionate, and will not come out of the water once in! Behold if you are planning to make them your swimming partner, they will shower you will licks and cuddles that you simply won’t be able to resist.
When they’re lounging around in the house with you, they will love to cuddle up on a couch near you.
Okay, this is going to come off a surprise but poodles love to swim around in the water. In fact, their name itself means “to splash” in the German Language.
This toy-like breed is known to be one of the most intelligent breeds and they have their ways to navigate around in the water.
Poodles were used for huntings, mainly duck hunting, back in the 18th Century. Yes! Such an oldie. They love cuddles and love and prove to be loyal to their people.
8. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
These are one of the smallest-sized retrievers that you will find. But this is not to underestimate the power punch they are able to throw.
They are really good at jumping and swimming, and always love a good treat! Similar to Goldens, Tollers were bred to be hunting and gun dogs and have recently emerged as a new-found love for the pet-lovers.
Beagles were bred to be hunter dogs, however, they are known to follow their prey everywhere – even water. Although Beagles are not natural swimmers, if trained as a puppy they can turn into being excellent water dogs.
If you are planning to bring a Beagle home, you better be ready for all the running, climbing, sniffing around, and licking all day.
10. Boykin Spaniel
Boykins are lovable, friendly, and make great family dogs. They make great turkey and duck hunting companions in the South of America and will always outlast you in the water.
Training these pooches is easy-peasy and you will treasure every moment with these cuties.
11. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
This large dog breed belongs to the sporting, hunting, and retriever groups who always go forward with a zeal to catch their prey.
They are bright and affectionate and are always ready for a good swim at the shore. This dog breed is also popularly known as Chessie or CBR and was discovered in the United States in the 1800s.
You will love a Barbet around your house for several reasons, they are relatively rare and are a lesser-known breed altogether. This breed is known to have emerged in the 16th Century during the water hunt games in France.
These dogs have got zero chills and love always being on their paws. Also known as a French Water Dog, this one is certainly a gem.
13. Cocker Spaniel
The Cocker Spaniel is all things nice with their docile, lovable, and cuddly behavior and traits. These are highly sensitive dogs both mentally and physically. They are one of the most celebrated water dogs due to their affable nature.
You can easily teach a Cocker Spaniel to swim when they’re puppies. Their inclination toward water comes from their hunting ability ages ago.
14. Curly-coated Retriever
The world seems to not have enough of retrievers, here we introduce you to Curly-coated Retriever you won’t be able to spot on the regular Urban streets.
They carry a water-proof coat which lets them shakes off all the liquid residue after a good ol’ swim in the sea (or a lake). These water dogs are known to have originated in English for waterfowl hunting.
Fun fact – these dogs are the tallest of all the retrievers.
15. Drentsche Patrijshond
This orange and white-colored breed was first recognized in the year 1943, and they are known to be a very versatile kind of spaniel dog.
They would love to put a smile on your face, however, do not underestimate their loyalty and brave-heartedness. This breed is not an easily spottable one, but a person who has been bestowed with their company understands their value.
16. Irish Water Spaniel
They are the oldest spaniel breeds and cherish every moment in the deep blue sea. They have a personality that resonates with independence and determination with a lot of ruggedness.
They too have a water-resistant and curly coat that pushes them to be free in the water without carrying any baggage outside. But beware, they do not enjoy always taking orders and being treated submissively.
17. Lagotto Romagnolo
Yes, this is another curly-coated canine who we truly adore. Although they are not a hunting dog, it was studied and found that they may actually be ancestors to all waters dogs.
These canines will stick by your side the longest with a life span of up to 17 years. However, be ready to have your backyard dug up like there’s no tomorrow.
If it exists, Outterhound will sniff it out. This scent hound is rare, and they make really adorable family pets whose goofiness you’re sure to fall in love with.
They have been recognized as a Vulnerable Native Breed by the Kennel Club and are known to have originally bred in English.
Although great swimmers, this breed is prone to joint and hip issues; so make sure to provide them with a ramp to climb up and down for the pool or boat.
Schipperke are a very interesting breed and not too easily found as well. They pack a punch for their size and are always active.
The original job they were bred for was as a watchdog, but they still love a splash in the water. They are short-heighted and active pooches and there is forever running debate on whether they are a sheepdog or a spitz.
20. Spanish Water Dog
Another water dog who has assisted and helped humans hunt and gather. This one, in particular, was a great fishing companion who made their way into the realm of a house-dog.
You can already understand from their name – they were discovered in Spain – and they have a strong linkage to the other candidates on the list; Portuguese Water-Dogs, French Barbets, and Irish Water Spaniel.
21. Standard Poodle
They are graceful, noble, and elegant. When you look at this breed, it is sure to never come across your mind their headfirst attitude in the blue water.
In fact, swimming and making waves may be one of their most favorite things to do. If you plan on bringing a Standard Poodle home, or if you already have one, make sure to give them access to lots and lots of serene water.
Running in and out of water has to be one of the things that bring joy and comfort to our sporty Vizsla. This sleek dog is known for its gentle, affectionate, and playful traits which make them great companions to human beings.
Nevertheless, this utterly soft and loving nature also makes them really prone to separation anxiety, and they do not do too well on their own.
23. Flat-Coated Retriever
Flat-coated retriever is a large-sized dog breed of the Retriever group and they naturally make amazing water-dogs. This breed was originated to run back and forth on both land and the water and assist humans brings.
However, these pooches don’t stick around for long having a life span of 8 to 10 years on average. So, treasure their company for as long as they are with you and go out on the beach, and enjoy many water vacations with your pooch.
Many dogs love to be around water all day, one of the reasons being a human intervention in the early centuries in the breeding process.
With this complete list of 23 best dog swimming breeds that love to swim, you will find the perfect companion to all your water adventures. But wait! Even though they are great swimmers, it does not mean their safety is to be overlooked!
Always pack a sturdy life jacket, a boat or pool ramp, as well as some water booties for them for the best splash and soak experience.
Ellis is a retired veterinary technician and full-time contributor at DogLovesBest. He likes writing about pet health care tips and reviews the products that are useful for fidos on a daily basis.
Ellis also guardians a Siberian husky, Nova, and a cat named Shilly. They all live happily with his wife Ammy, and both the dogs on a seaside apartment in Queens, NY.
- Dogs Breeds Who Love to Swim!
- 1. Labrador Retrievers
- 2. Golden Retrievers
- 3. Newfoundland
- 4. Portuguese Water-Dog
- 5. Irish Water Spaniel
- 6. English Setter
- 7. Poodle
- 8. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
- 9. Beagle
- 10. Boykin Spaniel
- 11. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
- 12. Barbet
- 13. Cocker Spaniel
- 14. Curly-coated Retriever
- 15. Drentsche Patrijshond
- 16. Irish Water Spaniel
- 17. Lagotto Romagnolo
- 18. Otterhound
- 19. Schipperke
- 20. Spanish Water Dog
- 21. Standard Poodle
- 22. Vizsla
- 23. Flat-Coated Retriever
- Final Note