If you love the water and want to get a dog, consider dogs who love to swim with you. While some dogs, like bulldogs, have difficulty swimming, others dearly love the water. These dogs make outstanding companions for those who love to take a dip on a hot summer day. Learning more about each breed allows you to choose the best one fitting your lifestyle.
The Best Swimming Dogs
The word poodle is the German word puddle, which means to splash, and standard poodles easily live up to their name. While you will find a few that are timid, most are extremely friendly to their families. Typically weighing between 50 and 75 pounds, these dogs come in various colors and are hypoallergenic. Although this is a low-shedding dog breed, you will need to do DIY dog grooming regularly or pay someone to do it. These dogs, who stand over 15 inches tall, live about 13 years. Enjoy playing in the water with this breed, but be prepared to be frequently splashed as they want to stick by your side. This breed is very intelligent, so it can easily be trained to do water tricks and will enjoy the mental stimulation.
American Water Spaniel
Hunters in Wisconsin developed this breed in the early 19th century to hunt from canoes and other small vessels. These dogs still love to go kayaking, and they still love to hunt, so they are the perfect dog for the outdoor enthusiast. When mature, these dogs will stand between 15 and 18 inches tall and weigh between 25 and 45 pounds. If you adopt one of these dogs that are eager to please, then you can expect it to live about 12 years. You will need to brush this dog weekly with either a rubber-tipped pin brush or a slicker brush.
Golden retrievers are happy dogs who love to play with children and other dogs, especially in a lake or pond. These dogs, standing about 23 inches tall and weighing about 65 pounds, have boundless energy, so they can easily participate in your favorite outdoor activities. Golden retriever grooming greatly involves using a slicker brush to maintain its coat twice a week throughout the year, but they may need daily brushing when they lose their coat about twice a year.
King Henry VI hunted waterfowl with a barbet. This breed was initially developed in the 16th century to help waterfowl hunters. People looking for a sweet-natured dog that will stand about 21 inches tall and weigh about 50 pounds will want to consider this breed. This breed is an outstanding addition to families because of its loving nature, and it does well around other dogs. This breed has curly hair that needs to be soaked down weekly and allowed to air dry. Dogs of this breed need to be groomed at least weekly.
Beagles love to hunt down scents, and if that requires crossing water, that’s fine with them, being a small hunting dog breed. This breed may be perfect for small homes and apartment dwellers because they only stand about 13 inches tall and weigh 30 pounds. This dog is a lover and will give you very few problems when grooming its smooth, dense double coat every week with a medium bristle brush.
Boykin spaniels love to hunt waterfowl in swamps, but they are equally happy going with the family for a day of water play. This breed also makes a great babysitter and gets along well with other dogs. When mature, you can expect it to weigh about 35 pounds and stand about 16 inches tall. Dogs from this breed developed in South Carolina have a beautiful wavy brown coat that benefits from a weekly brushing to remove dirt.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Considering they stand only about 25 inches tall and weigh about 62 pounds, these dogs are extremely powerful. Many people love to train them as gundogs, but they have a very independent streak. Therefore, they may not be the best choice for a first-time owner. This breed has a soft undercoat and a harsh outer coat that benefits from a weekly brushing.
Most cocker spaniels are friendly family dogs, but they have been overbred, and you will find exceptions to that rule, so be sure you are dealing with a reputable breeder. These dogs are highly intelligent and can easily be trained to play water games. They stand about 14 inches tall and weigh about 25 pounds. The cocker spaniel’s coat tangles easily, so commit to grooming this dog regularly before you decide to add one as a member of your family.
Curly Coated Retriever
This breed was developed in England, and it is one of the oldest breeds among the different types of retrievers. This breed requires a lot of mental stimulation as they are brilliant. While this breed loves to go swimming, its unique coat is also thorn resistant, so it is a great hiking companion. Dogs of this breed are incredibly loyal to their families. They stand about 26 inches tall and weigh about 77 pounds. You will want to have a rake-type grooming tool handy when this dog blows his coat, which happens about twice annually.
Most English settlers are happiest when they are swimming. This breed that weighs about 53 pounds and stands about 25 inches tall is a lover, and it gets along great with its family and other dogs. These energetic dogs also love to go on a bike ride with their owners, and they happily trot along beside the bike. The hair on an English setter becomes easily tangled and matted, so expect to groom this dog regularly. Try one of the best dog shampoos after a long day out.
Often called drentses or Dutch partridge dogs, this breed loves the water . These dogs with their long-drooping ears were once bred for hunting, and they would go anywhere to retrieve prey. This dog stands about 23 inches tall and weighs about 62 pounds. It hates to be alone, so it loves other dogs and children to call its family.
This dog is perfectly content to go for a swim, even on the coldest of days as its unique coat protects it, even in icy water. This dog will grow to be about 24 inches tall and weigh about 65 pounds. Help keep its black-or-liver-colored coat looking sharp with weekly grooming using a brush and a metal dog comb. Hunters in England originally bred this breed in the mid-1800s as a close-working hunting dog, but they make great family dogs.
Irish Water Spaniel
The coat on the Irish water spaniel naturally repels water, and he loves to play in it, so if you are a water lover, this may be the perfect breed for you. The Irish water spaniel is a dog that often thrives in homes where it is the only dog. The no-nonsense Irish water spaniel stands about 23 inches tall and weighs 55 pounds. You must be willing to brush this dog at least weekly to keep its curly hair in shape.
Throw a stick into the water and watch a Labrador retriever get it. One of the most popular swimming dog breeds in America, this breed is very outgoing and often makes a great family dog. These dogs stand about 23 inches tall and weigh about 55 pounds. They love to have a dog and human friends. An occasional quick bath is all these breed needs.
All dogs who love to swim may have Lagotto Romagnolo in their background somewhere. These dogs that stand about 18 inches tall love to be in multi-dog households, but they have some problems handling young children. These long-lived dogs that are initially from Italy usually weigh about 30 pounds. This breed regularly requires haircuts because they have two layers of hair instead of the fur and hair coat found on most double-coated dogs.
Newfoundlands were initially developed as water rescue dogs, and they love to swim. This breed is a giant teddy bear that loves to be with its family and other dogs. Adopt one of these dogs, and you can expect them to stand about 27 inches tall and weigh about 120 pounds. Use a slicker brush and a long-toothed comb to groom this dog several times a week.
Irish setters love a day at the lake or a quick swim in the pool as long as they have a dog and human friends along . This breed stands about 26 inches tall and weighs about 65 pounds. Most have infinite energy, so owners need to commit to a regular exercise plan. This breed’s beautiful red coat tangles easily, so it needs to be brushed at least twice a week with a pin brush or a soft bristle brush.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
The water-loving Nova Scotia duck trolling retriever is the smallest of the retrievers, so if you love the characteristics of a retriever but are afraid you may not have room, this breed may be perfect for you. Most stand about 20 inches tall and weigh about 42 pounds when mature. This breed’s beautiful crimson coat only requires an occasional brushing.
An otterhound is likely to win a dog swimming race. Of course, some participants might protest that it has an unfair advantage because of its webbed feet. They also have an advantage because of their powerful chest and endless energy. This breed stands about 25 inches tall and weighs about 97 pounds. Generally, they have little tolerance for children or other dogs, so it usually does best in households with adults where it is the only dog.
Portuguese Water Dog
Take a Portuguese water dog fishing with you and watch it herd fish into your net. If your equipment falls overboard, this dog will be glad to retrieve it for you. This breed stands about 23 inches tall and weighs about 47 pounds. This family-friendly dog is eager to learn and lives to do what you want it to do. Groom this dog weekly, and give it a haircut regularly. Most owners choose the lion head cut.
Spanish Water Dog
The Spanish water dog loves to work, and if that is in the water, he considers that huge advantage. This dog stands about 18 inches tall and weighs about 40 pounds. It has a cheery attitude that it loves to share with its family. You should never brush this dog as it will ruin its coat. Infrequent haircuts are recommended to keep the hair one length over its entire body.
Always check regulations before taking your dog for a swim. These breeds would love to go with you as you play on a hot summer day. Many will also gladly join you as you go fishing or paddling. If you love water play, choose one of these breeds to be your companion and gain a new friend for life.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Top Swimming Dogs
What dogs can swim naturally?
There are many breeds of dogs that can swim naturally. They usually have a longer muzzle, so it is easy to lift them out of the water to breathe. They also usually have longer legs, allowing them to paddle through the water easily. Many dogs who love to swim have a double coat so they do not get cold easily.
What dogs are bad at swimming?
Many favorite breeds are bad swimmers as their body structure makes it hard to lift their heads and they have short legs that are not powerful. These breeds include English and French bulldogs, pugs, boxers, bull terrier, dachshunds, and basset hounds.