The Top 20 Water Dog Breeds for Comfortable Swimming

Dog Breeds
Dog Breeds

Dogs that enjoy swimming have physical attributes, such as partially webbed feet, that support their bred purpose of working in the water. The top 5 water dogs are listed here, along with the reasons behind their success in the water.

While many dogs love being in the water, certain dog breeds were created with the express purpose of helping people hunt and working in the water.

The following characteristics are typical of top water dog breeds:

  • Powerful and quick swimmers
  • Coats that repel water to keep them warm when diving into icy waters
  • Webbed feet are seen in some breeds.

If you like to be by the water and are considering growing your dog breeds family, a beach-loving breed is the best fit for you. Remember that all of these dog breeds require frequent training, exercise, and stimulation outside of the water due to their active lifestyles.

The world’s best dog breeds swimmers are these ones:

First Water Dog Breeds Is Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever, one of the most well-liked dogs in America, was initially bred to hunt ducks and retrieve the birds after they were shot. Labs continue to have a strong affinity for water. Labradors are drawn to water, have a short, thick coat, and a strong retrieving instinct. These dogs’ natural playfulness, energy, and extroversion make them highly sought-after family pets.

American Water Spaniel

This adorable little water dog is the ideal size for hunting from a skiff or canoe. Blending the qualities of a spaniel and retriever, they are accustomed to working in all types of water environments, from icy expanses to the marshes of the Great Lakes. Although they’re not very common, people who know about them adore the eagerness and energy of American Water Spaniels.

German Shepherd

Their original purpose was to be working dogs, capable of carrying out a wide range of tasks with the appropriate training. They are eager to learn new things, including swimming, because of that very ability. If you teach them that, you’ll have a dog breeds that can swim as well as a spaniel and can fetch or carry a game or just jump into your own pool with you.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The oily waterproof coat of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever dog breeds allows it to glide through the water and maintain warmth. It was originally bred as a duck dog to help hunters. Similar to how duck feathers repel water, the distinct oily coat does the same. These dogs breeds are popular hunting dogs because they have webbed paws and can swim very well in cold water while still having a strong retrieving drive.


The Barbet is a popular French water dog breeds that is uncommon in the United States, but it was popularized in France at least since the 16th century, when Henry IV used one to hunt waterfowl. The friendly, gregarious, and energetic Barbet bird is drawn to bodies of water, especially muddy marshlands. As a matter of fact, they go by “Mud Dog.”

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

This little retriever is designed to move through the water with strength. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers were developed to resemble foxes and were bred to bring game birds within shooting range without raising any red flags. The birds are then retrieved by these nimble retrievers entering the water. These dogs are high-energy, proficient swimmers who thrive when given a task to accomplish. They are also known for their unusual vocalizations, which are occasionally referred to as a “toller scream.”

Standard Poodle

This breed’s elegant appearance should not be taken as gospel: The Standard Poodle is a water dog by birth. German Standard Poodles were developed as duck hunting dogs and were bred to be excellent swimmers. The elaborate show Poodle haircut that is popular today was created in homage to the original purpose for which these dogs were bred: These dogs can move freely thanks to their hair poofs, or pom-poms, which also shield and warm their joints and internal organs.

Spanish Water Dog

It’s not often that a herding dog of the highest caliber is also regarded as a superb water dog breeds, but this breed is. Spanish Water Dogs are the ones who truly love to work on tasks. We do know that this is an ancient breed used for both land and water herding and hunting, even though their origins are unknown. They are strong, athletic, and proficient swimmers.

Boykin Spaniel

This mid-sized spaniel breed is treasured by those who hunt wild turkey and waterfowl in the marshy and swampy areas of the American South. A loving, intelligent, and energetic dog breeds, the Boykin Spaniel makes an excellent companion for an active household. And in the water, they will always outlast you.

Curly-Coated Retriever

One of the earliest of retrieving dog breeds is the English dog. Hunters still adore the Curly-Coated Retriever because they are a hardworking, versatile, and incredibly intelligent dog that can retrieve in the coldest water. Some refer to them as “the thinking man’s retriever”.

Standard Poodle

Even with their refined appearance, Standard Poodles are more than just props for fashion shows. They are excellent in obedience and other dog breeds sports because of their intelligence and athleticism. Poodles still love to swim and were once employed as waterfowl retrievers throughout Europe.

Portuguese Water Dog

Fishermen consider this athletic and observant dog to be a true friend. This web-footed breed was used in their home country to swim out and retrieve lost gear and broken nets, as well as to “herd” fish into the nets. The Portuguese Water Dog breeds requires a lot of care and exercise, and they will be even happier if these activities occur in the water.


This massive breed was developed specifically to survive in Canada’s frigid waters. With partially webbed feet and a natural ability to swim, New found lands were bred to suck fishing nets out of the icy waters of the North Atlantic. In the past, these dog breeds were employed for water rescue. An adult Newfoundland dog is capable of removing people and even boats out of the water. With a heavy coat to keep him warm in freezing waters, this powerful, large dog breeds still has strong working instincts.

English Setter

An enthusiastic athlete, the English Setter is also a friendly, gentle, and well-mannered dog breeds. Their original purpose was as pointing birds, but they also enjoy being on the water. Swimming, along with hanging out with their people, can become one of their favorite activities with the right training and support.

Irish Water Spaniel

Among the largest and most ancient breeds of spaniels, this canine is bright, hardy, and energetic. Its coat is naturally water-repellent. For waterfowl in particular, these characteristics make the Irish Water Spaniel an extremely versatile gundog. Often referred to as the “clown of the spaniel family,” they make wonderful companions as well.

Lagotto Romagnolo

All water dogs are believed to have originated from the Lagotto Romagnolo breed. They were once employed as gundogs to hunt ducks, but now their aptitude for truffle hunting has made them highly sought-after. They are, in fact, the only dogs of purebreed acknowledged as skilled truffle hunters. They’re still very good swimmers, though, because they still possess their water dog instincts.


Breeding specifically to hunt otters, the Otterhound is even rarer than the Giant Panda. They are large, gregarious dogs that are funny, amiable, and loving. They are referred to by breed enthusiasts as “the hound group’s clown.” They are ideal for the water because of their rough double coat and webbed feet. they can swim incredibly well.

Golden Retriever

The clever, devoted, and loving nature of the Golden Retriever has made them one of the most well-liked dog breeds in the United States. When they splash—which they do frequently—their renowned golden coat helps repel water in addition to being gorgeous!

Flat-Coated Retriever

The Flat-Coated Retriever is an intelligent and active breed that was developed to retrieve game from both land and water. Because of the breed’s past, its contemporary descendants enjoy swimming and have the necessary gear: These dog breeds are always prepared for a swim thanks to their water-resistant fur and webbed feet.

English Setter

The elegant English Setter makes a great bird dog and is especially happy in and near water. This breed enjoys the companionship of their pet parents and will happily go for a leisurely swim with them at the closest pool during the summer.

How to introduce a dog to water:

Take your time and make slow, methodical steps to acclimate your dog to the water, regardless of whether he or she is a naturally proficient swimmer. Select calm, gentle-sloped water that isn’t overly overwhelming and has few waves. Here are some more swimming tips for your dog. Once he is comfortable in the water, you can take him swimming or even teach him how to dock dive.

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