TAGS: swimming | rankings | dog breeds

Top 10 dog breeds at swimming

15 Feb, 2023

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Teaching a dog to swim is an integral part of being a doggy parent. Some dog breeds are much more willing to hop in the water without hesitation, but others need an extra incentive before diving in. However, the following 10 breeds are absolute professionals in swimming, and it is second nature for them. Before you continue reading this article, can you try to think of the dog breeds that cracked the top 3? 


#10 - Irish Setter

Irish Setter Dog


The Irish Setter makes an excellent companion and is best known for its happy, fun-loving nature. The Irish Setter was originally bred as a gundog, which essentially means their specialty was finding prey for their hunter counterparts. This intelligent dog thrives at obedience, tracking, and agility competitions. One of the best qualities of this animal is its incredible ability to put everyone around them in a better mood with its unconditional love and friendly personality.

#9 - Australian Shepherd


Australian Shepherd Dog

One of the most versatile dog breeds that exist today. The high energy and working mentality of the Australian Shepherd allow them to excel in competitive dog sports, police-related work and even thrive as guidance dogs. These pups need to release their energy at some point in the day, which does not mean taking them on a casual walk around the block. They need to be exerted mentally and physically to remain calm and good-natured, and a long strenuous swim will accomplish this. 

#8 - Flat Coated Retriever


Flat coated retriever

This dog was initially bred in the mid-1800s in England and was once considered Britain's most popular Retriever. They were used for retrieving game for their hunter partners on land and water. The Flat Coated will be perfect for an active family that loves the great outdoors, especially if the places they go include a spot where their dog can go for a nice swim. These pups have retained their hunting instincts, so bringing them to a nature spot with plenty of interesting smells and noises will make them as happy as can be.

#7 - Standard Poodle


Standard poodle Dog

An elegant and proud-looking dog. The Poodle is best known today for its dog show abilities and excels in agility and obedience contests. While these dogs often look pampered, don't let this fool you. This is one of the most ancient breeds and was initially bred to retrieve waterfowl for hunters. Their name was derived from the German word "pudel," which translates to "splash in the water." 

#6 - Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever


nova scotia duck tolling retriever

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is the smallest of all the retriever breeds, but don't let their size fool you. The history of this breed is fascinating as well. They were bred in the 19th century in Nova Scotia and were purposefully bred to have red coats to resemble small foxes. When hunters would let their Duck Tolling Retrievers play in the water, all the ducks would go investigate this strange fox's behavior but were then ambushed by the hunters, who were able to catch an easy dinner.

#5 - Newfoundland


newfoundland dog breed

This gentle giant is hard not to love. The Newfoundland is so sweet and friendly towards everyone they meet; they are Canadian, after all. They were initially used to haul wood from the forest and pull nets for fishermen. Their work with fishermen turned them into excellent swimmers, and they still display this trait today. This giant teddy bear makes a fantastic family pet. They have a particular affinity for children and will act as their protectors at all times. The Newfoundland is also extremely intelligent and will learn new commands quickly. Just make sure to train them from an early age because they grow up quickly, and they grow up BIG.

#4 - Golden Retriever


Golden retriever swimming

The dog breed that everyone is familiar with. The Golden Retriever is ranked as the second most popular dog in the United States, and it is not without reason. These pups make lovely family pets and have a sweet nature. The history of this dog breed began in Scotland. The breed's purpose was to create the ideal Retriever for hunters, and the Golden Retriever certainly lived up to the expectations. They were used primarily for retrieving ducks and other fowl and could do so on both land and water.

#3 - Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog


The Portuguese Water Dog is one of the most unique dog breeds that exist today. Also known as "Cao de Agua" (dog of the water), these pups are notorious swimmers. Plenty of dog breeds can swim well, but the Portie has one advantage - they have webbed feet. This advantage brings them into the top 3 swimmers on our list. These pups were an invaluable tool for Portuguese fishermen. They were taken on fishing trips and could assist in many different ways. The Portie would herd fish into the nets, retrieve lost gear from the water, and even pass messages from boat to boat!

#2 - Chesapeake Bay Retriever


Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a large and powerful dog breed developed in the United States for retrieving ducks and other waterfowl in the Chesapeake Bay region. Their coat is very distinct, with wavy fur and an oily coat. This helps protect them from cold waters. In addition, their strong and muscular build makes them well-suited for swimming and retrieving in challenging conditions. You can be sure that a duck would not want to get in the way of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever out on a hunt.

#1 - Labrador Retriever


Labrador Retriever dog

Labrador Retrievers are extremely friendly dogs and are the most popular breed in North America. Most importantly of all, Labs make unbelievable assistance and guide dogs. Labs will often be seen helping those who are blind or have other disabilities. Labrador Retrievers were originally used by fishermen in northern Canada, where they helped reel in fishing nets from the sea. Labs were the go-to dog not only because of their webbed feet but because of their short, weather-resistant coat, as opposed to long-haired retrievers whose coats would become encrusted with ice after jumping in the frigid waters. Labs also have the ability to stay in freezing cold water for extended periods. Labs, to this day, love to swim and are, without a doubt, the top dog in swimming abilities.


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