The days are getting longer, the temps are heating up, so you know what that means: fun in the sun with your best four-legged friend! While any dog can navigate the water with proper training, there are some who were born to doggy paddle:
Huge and hairy, Newfoundlands are total water-loving dinguses (or is it dingii?). Either way, these pups’ heavy coats are perfect for icy waters, plus their large lung capacity allows them to swim long distances. Newfies’ sweet personalities and eagerness to learn make them the perfect family pet… if you have the room.
2. Irish Water Spaniel
With a naturally water repellent coat and arguably fashioning the coolest hairstyle, the Irish Water Spaniel is an easy pick for our top 10.
3. Standard Poodle
With a can-do attitude — and a ‘do perfect for the water — Poodles make an ideal beach or pool companion. And in case you need more convincing, the word ‘Poodle’ comes from the German ‘pudel’, meaning ‘to splash in the water.’ Says it all.
If you think these little dogs aren’t made for the water, look at their name —Schipperke is derived from the Flemish word ‘schip,’ which translates to ‘boat.’ Originally bred for river travelers in Belgium as ratters and watchdogs, they earned the nickname “Little Skippers,” making them the ideal “first mate.”
5. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
As a part of the retriever family, the perfect day for a Chesapeake Bay Retriever would be for their human to grab their favorite ball and throw it in the lake for hours. And hours. And hours.
6. English Setter
A sweet-natured English Setter makes friends where ever they go — land or water. These dogs are high energy and require a lot of exercise. They’re always up for a run to the beach, and then on the beach, and then, yeah, why not, back home from the beach.
7. Boykin Spaniel
The native and state dog of North Carolina was bred for swamps, lakes, and everything in between. Not only do they have a pretty cool name, but they also have webbed toes, making them excellent swimmers.
8. Lagotto Romagnolo
This may sound like a delicious pasta dish, but it’s in fact a water-adept ancient Italian breed. Also known as the Romagna Water Dog, they are believed to be the founding breed from which all water dogs descend. Even cooler than being a pasta dish.
9. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
On the smaller side of the retriever family we have the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. As evidenced by their name, they are great hunting dogs, and you better believe that double coat is water-repellent.
10. Labrador Retriever
Considered by the AKC to be one of the most (if not the most) popular dog breeds, Labrador Rertievers are also naturals in the water. Like the Newfie, this lovable family dog was bred to retrieve fishermen nets in Newfoundland. Today they work in all walks of life, from guide dogs to therapy animals to members of the family.
If you’re introducing your pup to the water for the first time, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1) Take it slow! Some dogs have natural instinct; others need to be taught.
2) Dog life jackets are great and strongly advised if taking your pup on a boat.
3) Consider taking a pet CPR class.
4) Find a killer bikini. (We’re only half kidding.)
Stay safe and have fun this summer!