Water dog breeds list

Water dog breeds list

Water dog breeds list. Dogs that love water. These dogs love to swim. While many dogs enjoy playing in the water, some just can’t get themselves out of the pool. Certain breeds were bred to work in water and their history shows because they just seriously love swimming. If you’re looking for a swimming partner or a pup that enjoys staying cool in the warm weather, check out these breeds!

Labrador Retriever

Water dog breeds list labrador

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds for family companionship but they were originally bred for retrieving game in water. Because of their heritage, the breed is full of excellent swimmers that absolutely love water whether they’re retrieving ducks or toys.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Water dog breeds list Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever, or Chessie, is a large gundog bred for water retrieving. They are similar to the Labrador Retriever in appearance but have a wavy coat and a much stronger temperament. They are still excellent hunting and swimming dogs today. 


Water dog breeds list Newfoundland

The Newfoundland is a giant breed from Canada that has been used primarily for water rescue missions. The breed is strong and able to be used as a drafting dog as well. Their size and strength make them outstanding water dogs. 


Water dog breeds list Poodle

Although more commonly seen as a circus or show dog, the Standard Poodle was originally a water retrieving breed. The breed excelled as a waterfowl retriever and still maintains those abilities today, although you might see it more often on land in agility and obedience competitions. 

Portuguese Water Dog

Water dog breeds list Portuguese water dog

The Portuguese Water Dog is a water dog from Portugal, where it was used to herd fish into fishermen’s’ nets. They were also employed to retrieve broken nets and lost tackles and are still very good swimmers.

Lagotto Romagnolo

Water dog breeds list Lagotto Romagnolo

This Italian breed is considered the “Lake Dog of Romagnolo,” where it originated. It was used primarily as a gundog for waterfowl but has also been used to hunt truffles. They are excellent swimmers and workers that are happy to have any job.

Irish Water Spaniel

Water dog breeds list Irish water spaniel

The Irish Water Spaniel is the largest of the spaniels and also one of the oldest, although it is fairly rare today. They were used as generic water dogs and still require sufficient exercise and mental stimulation if they are to be family companions. 

Spanish Water Dog

Water dog breeds list Spanish water dog

The Spanish Water Dog is a very old breed with similar ancestry to several other European water breeds. While much of their history revolves around water, the breed also has a natural herding instinct. 

Flat-Coated Retriever

Water dog breeds list flat coated retriever

The Flat-Coated Retriever is a gundog from the United Kingdom. It was originally used to hunt game both on land and water and has maintained its love for swimming. They are active and outgoing dogs that make great family companions. 


Water dog breeds list Barbet

The Barbet is a rare water dog from France, where it was used to retrieve waterfowl and assist sailors on their boats. They are intelligent dogs that need ample exercise to be suitable as family companions.

American Water Spaniel

Water dog breeds list American Water Spaniel

The American Water Spaniel is a small dog developed in Wisconsin in the 19th century. It has a water-resistant coat and was used to hunt game on land and in the water.

Curly-Coated Retriever

Water dog breeds list Curly coated retriever

The Curly-Coated Retriever is an English dog bred for retrieving waterfowl. It looks similar to the other retrievers, except it does indeed sport a curly coat. The breed is still used to hunt in water today and their temperaments reflect their need for a job. 


Otterhound dogs swimming

The Otterhound is a very large British dog originally bred for hunting otter. They are powerful dogs and exceptionally strong swimmers, making them unsuitable for many families as a companion.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever image

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a small retriever from Canada primarily used for duck hunting. They are very active hunters and strong swimmers, needing sufficient exercise to maintain livable housemates.

Water dogs list – Webbed dog feet

Webbed dog feet

The dogs that usually exhibit webbing between their toes are breeds that fall under the category of water working dogs or water dog breeds. These dogs were specifically bred to become stronger swimmers.

Some dog breeds that also have a webbing between their toes are Akitas, Brussels Griffons, Chesapeake Bay retrievers, golden retrievers, field Spaniels, German wire-haired pointers, German short-haired pointers, Irish water spaniels, wire-haired pointing Griffons, Nova Scotia duck-trolling retrievers, Weimaranerpoodles and otter hounds. The webbed feet which water working dogs have, allows the animals to swim faster and more efficiently.

Newfoundlands are strong water working dog breeds and have excellent swimming abilities. Their size and power give the breed the ability to carry and swim with a fully grown person, and then paddle towards the shore with relative ease. This is the reason Newfoundlands are also trained for service as K-9 lifeguards.

Just like the Newfoundland, Labrador retrievers are also trained as K-9 lifeguards as the breed is also one of the best swimmers among the dog breeds. As a retriever breed, Labs are hunting companions that can sit quietly beside the hunter, waiting for the command to track down and retrieve a wounded or dead bird.

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