Lesser-Known Water-Loving Dog Breeds
We all know that Labrador and Golden Retrievers love the water…
…but did you know that poodles dig going for swims? Or how about Newfoundlands? In honor of lake season, we round up a list of some of the less mainstream water-loving breeds.
Scarily smart, impossibly charming, and endlessly kind, it’s no wonder that Poodles consistently rank among the top dogs to own. Just ask Winston Churchill, who counted his faithful Poodle, Rufus, as one of his closest confidantes. Bred to be water dogs, Poodles are skilled swimmers who are always happy to join you for a few laps but are also content just relaxing with you. They’re wonderful family dogs and a pleasure to be around, but just don’t be surprised if they outsmart and outfox you on a regular basis!
This rare beauty hails from England where it was originally bred for hunting—you guessed it—otter! Known to be playful and very friendly, there are estimated to be less than 1000 Otterhounds in existence today. They’re a large breed and are easily recognized by their long, shaggy double coats. They also have webbed feet and an exceptional sense of smell, making them perfect for hunting on both land and in the water. Incredibly friendly and always up for a good time, Otterhounds are downright irresistible. But good luck tracking one down!
With a name that translates to “lake dog from Romagna” it’s not surprising that this Italian breed feels so at home in the water. This working breed boasts a coat of thick, woolly hair (not fur) that not only works wonderfully at drying quickly but protects the dog from sharp sticks and thorns in the bush. Don’t expect to come across too many Lagotti at your local dog park, though. They’re incredibly rare, with only an estimated 500 in the United States.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
At first glance, you might mistake the Chesapeake Bay Retriever for a Labrador, but upon closer examination you’ll find that they’re actually quite different. The Chesapeake is a strong, athletic dog that loves to be outside. Unlike Labs, Chesapeakes tends to be more reserved when meeting new people and are often very protective of their pack. They are excellent swimmers and possess incredible stamina, making them ideal for outdoorsy types who want a dog that can keep up.
Hailing from the Great White North, the Newfoundland is a massive bundle of love and happiness that we dare you to resist. Their soulful eyes and happy grin are hard to ignore and they’re known for their wonderful temperaments. These sweet, gentle giants love to swim and are very much at home in the water. A day at the lake followed by an evening of laying at your feet—that’s what a Newfoundland’s dreams are made of.
Irish Water Spaniel
With a sweet face that’s full of expression and a uniquely curly coat, the Irish Water Spaniel is a sight to behold. This increasingly rare breed is considered to be the largest of Spaniels and is known for being active and incredibly sharp-minded. Irish Water Spaniels are excellent swimmers, as suggested by their name. They are a breed that requires plenty of exercise and are happiest when given tons of space to explore. Because they’re so smart, they require owners who are able to keep pace and ensure that they are taught manners. They’re keenly aware of their surroundings and fiercely protective of their family, making them very loyal and loving.