When you think of breeds that love the water you might typically picture a Lab or a Retriever. They are breeds that have extreme aquatic tendencies! Many kinds of dogs love to swim, but here are some other canine splashers!
Schipperke – pronounced skipper-kee is a small (7-20 lbs) Belgian breed that is incredibly smart and pick up obedience commands quickly. Members of this breed are commonly known as “Belgian barge dogs”, since they were used for security and to keep the boats free of small pests. These little dogs love to swim!
Labrador Retriever – Considered the most popular dog in the world today, Labs have a long puppy hood and are often clumsy until they mature (around 3 years of age). These dogs were bred for hunting Waterfowl, thus stems their love of swimming!
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever – This is an unusual breed of gundog that is medium sized (37 to 51 lbs) red dogs, who–when used for hunting, romp around near the edge of the water. The dog’s white markings and activity entice the birds who then swim over to check out what is going on. This is known as tolling. They are always up for a good game of fetch–especially in the water!
Irish Water Spaniel – The Irish Water Spaniel is one of the largest (55-65 lbs) and most rare of the Spaniels. One of their most distinct traits is their strange “rat like” looking tails as they are smooth and hairless! This is a working breed and they must have access to the water that they are bred to work in! Irish Water Spaniels have webbed feet to aid their swimming habits!
Newfoundland – These gentle giants are renowned for their work in water rescue! These dogs usually weigh in between 100 and 150 lbs! These dogs were originally bred to pull in fishnets and other heavy equipment. Newfoundlands have a natural fondness for children!
Standard Poodle – Though their often-frilly appearance has caused rumors of “prissiness”–members of this breed are fantastic retrievers and gundogs. In fact, the show cuts you see on Poodles were originally fashioned from working clips that were done to protect the dog’s major joints when it was immersed in cold water.
Golden Retriever – These large (55-80 lbs) dogs were bred to retrieve fowl and have an instinctual draw to bodies of water! It’s difficult to keep them from swimming if there is a lake or stream in sight!
Portuguese Water Dog – The Portuguese Water Dog is a rare, medium sized (40-60 lbs) breed of dog that was originally bred to drive fish into fishermen’s nets, retrieve lost tackle and nets, and to carry messages from ship to ship, or from ship to the land. PWD’s are very smart and have a high working drive.
American Water Spaniel – An American original, it is believed that this medium sized (25-45 lbs) spaniel was developed in Wisconsin during the mid 1800’s. The breed is believed to be developed through selective breeding of the English Water Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Curly Coated Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Tweed Water Spaniel, and possibly the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever – Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are believed to have been developed in Maryland during the early 1800’s. The breed is rumored to have started with the pairing of 2 Newfoundlands who were then selectively bred to other dogs. This large, strong (55-80 lbs) breed has a wavy double coat that naturally repels the water. This breeds webbed toes aids them in their swimming ventures!
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