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Top 10 Best Swimming Dogs

  • Fun


Many dogs love to play with water, but sometimes you just can’t get them out of the pool. It’s a saying that all dogs are born natural swimmers, or at least they know the dog paddle, but this isn’t true. That’s a reason why you should never toss your dog into the pool or lake without knowing its capability to swim. Some dogs appear to be made for water with a sturdy build, webbed toes, and thicker coats, and all these features help them swim with more stamina. But it’s important to note that not all dogs are natural swimmers. 

If you live near the beachside, or you’re an avid swimmer, you may want to look at these water-loving dog breeds that are absolutely perfect for water. 

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever has always been Americans’ favorite pooch. These cute, sturdy dogs are known for their friendly and loving nature and because they love to swim. They love water as much as a duck, and they happily follow you, whether on land or in the water. They can swim very well due to their waterproof double coats and webbing between their toes. 

Labs will happily follow you in the pools, lakes, ponds, etc. (best if a ball is involved). So, if you need a dog that can swim, is happy, friendly, full of energy, loyal, alert and a perfect family dog, look no further. 


A giant breed from Canada, Newfoundland has been used majorly for water rescue missions. They are also known as gentle giants. These dogs started to swim since European Fishermen brought their dogs in the boat for the first time. These fishermen began to breed a capable and strong breed that will help them in water. Newfoundland’s size and ability make them capable of saving any person in a time of distress. 

If you want a companion, friend, and someone who loves you unconditionally, Newfoundland is a perfect choice for you. They indeed can play with you at the pool; just make sure you have a big pool for your giant friend and you. 

Golden Retriever

Just like the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever also loves to swim. They have their roots from Scotland and come from a mix of retrievers and water spaniels. The wavy double coat this dog has protects him from cold water. Its padded tail, webbed toes, and strong legs make him a perfect water dog. So if you have a pool, your pooch will love to play in it. Just remember that the dog hair in the pool means you have to clean it more frequently. Another thing to note, whichever breed you bring home, make sure you don’t leave them unattended and teach them how to get out of the swimming pool. 

Irish Setter

An Irish Setter combines the best traits of  Irish Water Spaniels, Irish Terrier, Pointer, and English Setter. These dogs are bred to hunt waterfowl, which means they love to swim in the water. Its strong limbs help him to stay in water for a longer period. If you’re a dedicated swimmer, your pup will definitely follow in your footsteps. Like all other dogs, these dogs are also to be kept in attention while in the waters. 

Portuguese Water Dog

As you can understand with the name, this sturdy, webbed toed guy is natural in the water. These dogs were bred to help fishermen travel from Portugal’s coast to Iceland’s frigid waters and back. Portuguese Water Dogs have an oily and wavy coat that acts as an insulator from cold water, and their strong limbs help them swim in the water. Now that the times have changed, Portuguese Water Dogs have been serving as water rescue dogs. If you want a fun swimming partner, look no further. Also, these dogs are greatly obedient and so intelligent that they quickly adapt themselves to the training. 

Curly Coated Retriever

Like the other retrievers on our list, Curly Coated Retrievers are also very good with water. They are known for their exceptional hunting and retriever abilities both on land and water. This dog is an English dog that was bred to hunt waterfowl. It looks very similar to the other retrievers; the only difference to find is that they sport curly coats. This dog’s curly coat helps it stabilize the body temperature while diving into the lakes or rivers. Though they are very good at training, they still need a lot of attention from you. If you’re looking for an active companion and a gentle family dog, this should be your choice. 

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever, also known as Chessie, is a large gun dog bred for retrieving. Though they are similar to Labrador Retrievers in appearance, they have a wavy coat and better temperament. Its double coat is oily, giving it excellent protection from cold waters. This warm coat gives these dogs the required strength and stamina to stay for hours and hours in the water, and their size and energy make them outstanding water dogs. 


People often think that a Poodle is best to play on the streets but not water. This isn’t true, as Poodles are true water dogs at heart. Do you know where these dogs get their name from? It’s from the German Word “Pudl,” which means to splash in the water. The curly coat helps this dog to stay warm in the water. The very iconic puff balls of hair were purposely done to keep the specific areas of knees, feet, head, body, and tail warm, which later turned into a fashion statement. This breed is an excellent waterfowl retriever and still maintains it’s capabilities. 

Irish Water Spaniel

The Irish Water Spaniel is the longest and oldest of the spaniels. Thanks to the dog’s curly, water-resistant coat, it makes it one of the best dog breeds for swimming. It is an athletic dog that makes it a strong swimmer. These dogs were used as generic water dogs in the past, and they still need proper mental stimulation and physical exercise. The best part, just a vigorous shake, and they get rid of all the water on their body. 

American Water Spaniel

This charming dog was bred in Wisconsin in the 19th century and used to hunt both on land and in water. This dog has the combined abilities of a retriever and a Spaniel. However, this breed is quite rare to find. 

Which Breeds Cannot Swim?

As we mentioned earlier, many people think that every dog can swim really well, but this isn’t true. A few breeds like Pug, Boxers, French Bulldogs and Daschunds are among those breeds who cannot swim in the water. In simple words, dogs with short or stubby legs compared to their body couldn’t get the paddling power to keep moving. Dogs with short snouts have to struggle to keep their flat muzzle above the waterline—some dogs with heavy bones and chest face buoyancy challenges. A thick and long coat that can’t adapt to water weighs down the dog and gets strained quickly. 

Summing Up

If you strongly want to welcome a dog in your family who can play well, is loyal, friendly, and water-loving, choose a breed known for its water surviving abilities. All these breeds mentioned above make amazing family dogs and are very intelligent and water-loving. Just make sure you train your dog to swim very patiently and keep an eye on them when they are near water. None of the breeds should be left alone in the water as we don’t know what circumstances may happen, so always be near them where you can protect them in need. 

We hope you have a clearer picture in your mind than you had before about which swimming dog to bring home. Honestly, all these breeds are the best swimmers, and you’ll have a great time with them on both land and water. Also, we have selected family dogs that can easily adapt to your house and with your kids. 


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