In the past, there were breeds of dogs that were bred to work in the water, rescue, hunt for waterfowl, herd fish into fishermen’s nets, retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, etc. Although these dogs today appear primarily as pets, family companions, but they are always water-loving dogs and good swimmers (but a bad or scary experience with water in the past, can make them dogs that don’t like water or even fear water).
#1 – American Water Spaniel
Height: 15-18 inches
Weight: 30-45 pounds (male), 25-40 pounds (female)
The American Water Spaniel is a breed of spaniel which originated in the United States. The American Water Spaniel is versatile regardless of the type of terrain, and in the water it is not the fastest swimmer but has a high level of endurance. The American Water Spaniel is a merry, intelligent, and versatile spaniel suited to a variety of dog sports. As hunters, they combine the working traits of spaniels and retrievers.
#2 – Barbet
Height: 19-24.5 inches
Weight: 35-65 pounds
The Barbet is a medium-sized French water dog. The Barbet is a rare breed that has the appearance of a prototype water dog, with long, woolly and curly coat. In addition, the Barbet is best known for being a waterfowl retriever in the marshes, wetlands, and estuaries of France. The Barbet is an intelligent, friendly, obedient, joyful dog and is considered a great breed for children, families, and the elderly. Barbets need regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental strength.
#3 – Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Height: 23-26 inches (male), 21-24 inches (female)
Weight: 65-80 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a large-sized breed of retriever dog that originated in United States of America. Chesapeake Bay Retriever has a Labrador Retriever-like appearance with wavy coat that is waterproof and oily to the touch. in addition to being able to swim and hunt well, this dog is also known for its ability to break underwater ice when hunting ducks with powerful chest. Today, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is known as the intelligence, affectionate, happy, bright, quiet, sensitive dog, but they are also a bit stubborn and difficult to train.
#4 – Curly-Coated Retriever
Height: 25-27 inches (male), 23-25 inches (female)
Weight: 60-95 pounds
The Curly-coated Retriever is a medium-large breed of retriever-gun dog originating from England. The Curly-coated Retriever looks quite similar to the Labrador Retriever covered by a layer of curly hair. In the past, the curly-coated retrievers were bred for upland bird and waterfowl hunting because they are agile, flexible, strong, endurance and very good at swimming. The Curly-coated Retriever is an intelligent, affectionate, loyal, lively and fun-loving dog and sometimes aloof from a stranger. The Curly-coated Retriever also needs mental stimulation and regular exercise to avoid boredom and keep them calm and comfortable in the home environment.
#5 – Flat-Coated Retriever
Height: 23-24.5 inches (male), 22-23.5 inches (female)
Weight: 60-70 pounds
The Flat-Coated Retriever is a gundog breed originating from the United Kingdom. It was developed as a retriever both on land and in the water. The Flat-Coated Retriever is an active, multitalented bird dog with a strong desire to please people. Exuberant, confident, and outgoing, they make a loving family pet and can be companions to small children, provided adults are nearby to direct this dog’s boisterous enthusiasm.
#6 – Irish Water Spaniel
Height: 22-24 inches (male), 21-23 inches (female)
Weight: 55-68 pounds (male), 45-58 pounds (female)
The Irish Water Spaniel is a breed of dog that is the largest and one of the oldest of spaniels that originated in Ireland. The Irish Water Spaniel has a crispy curled, liver-colored, waterproof coat and sheds very little. Irish Water Spaniels are also good hunters and swimmers in the water. Irish Water Spaniel is also a playful, hardworking, brave, energetic and easy-to-train dog. however, they are quite wary of strangers and need to be socialized early.
#7 – Labrador Retriever
Height: 22.5-24.5 inches (male), 21.5-23.5 inches (female)
Weight: 65-80 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)
The Labrador Retriever is a medium-large breed of retriever-gun dog. The Labrador Retriever has a short and stiff coat, and is very thick, which helps them stay warm and dry quickly when in water. In addition, the Labrador Retriever also has webbed feet like a perfect propeller when swimming. Previously, the Labrador Retriever has been used to help fishermen, who jumped into the water to retrieve fish that had fallen out of the net. Today, most Labrador Retrievers love water and are good swimmers (bad water experiences can make them dislike water).
#8 – Newfoundland
Height: 28 inches (male), 26 inches (female)
Weight: 130-150 pounds (male), 100-120 pounds (female)
The Newfoundland is also known by another name is Newfie, is a large working dog originating from Newfoundland and Labrador (is the easternmost province of Canada). In addition to its large, strong appearance, this breed is better known for its sweet, cute, sociable, patient, rarely barking personality. Newfie also particularly likes water and they can work underwater, for rescue cases. Newfie can overcome rough ocean waves and powerful tides. They can swim long distances due to their huge lung capacity, and withstand the cold of cold water due to their thick, waterproof coat.
#9 – Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Height: 18-21 inches (male), 17-20 inches (female)
Weight: 35-50 pounds
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a medium-sized gundog bred primarily for hunting originating from Canada (Nova Scotia). It is the smallest of the retrievers, and is often mistaken for a small Golden Retriever. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are known to be very intelligent, alert, curious, outgoing, and high-energy dogs. They are affectionate, eager to please, busy, and get along well with children. They are good family dogs, however during the decision process potential owners should be wary of the physical and mental commitment that is required in order to keep a Toller busy.
#10 – Portuguese Water Dog
Height: 20-23 inches (male), 17-21 inches (female)
Weight: 42-60 pounds (male), 35-50 pounds (female)
The Portuguese Water Dog is a working dog originating from Portuguese. Previously, they were taught to herd fish into fishermen’s nets, retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, and act as couriers from ship to ship, or ship to shore. Nowadays, this breed also becomes more fame by being the chosen breed of US President Barack Obama. In addition, the Portuguese Water Dog is also an intelligent, independent, adorable, easy-to-train dog and they have coat that is considered hypoallergenic.