8 dog breeds that make the best swimmers

Lisa Walden
Photo credit: Getty

From Country Living

Are you looking for a water-loving dog breed to join you for a swim this summer? While most dogs enjoy cooling down in fresh water, some pups are more comfortable with swimming than others.

"Water-loving dogs will certainly appreciate streams and lakes that they can splash around in to keep cool, although it's more important to keep the time outside in the hot sun to a minimum than to head further afield to find these," the team at the Kennel Club tell Country Living.

Before you head out into the sunshine swimming with your pup, there are some important things to remember — particularly if it's an incredibly hot day. For some breeds, hot sun can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, so it's important to understand your dog's heat tolerance during the warmer days.

"With the summer months fast approaching, bringing with it the possibility of soaring temperatures and extended hours of sunshine, it's very tempting to head outside to soak up the rays, and for those of us with dogs, we understandably want to bring our four-legged friends with us."

Don't forget...

  • If your dog is running into water to cool off, be sure to avoid water containing algae as some varieties can be harmful and even fatal to dogs.
  • Avoid the hottest points of the day, such as lunchtime heat. If you're able to, take your pup for a walk early in the morning or in the evening.
  • Always bring a portable water bowl with you to keep your pup cool.
  • Walk in shady areas.
  • Bring a damp towel for them to lie on.

8 dog breeds that love swimming

1. Flat Coated Retriever

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"As with all Retrievers, Flat Coated Retrievers love to keep active and were originally bred for hunting on both land and water, with their coats acting as a shield against harsh weather and cold water. They are a happy and energetic breed," the team at the Kennel Club tell us.

2. Irish Water Spaniel

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"Although called a Spaniel, this curly-coated breed was bred to work as a 'retriever', particularly retrieving wild fowl and is an affectionate and inquisitive breed who feels very at home playing in the water."

3. Lagotto Romagnolo

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"The name for this Italian breed derives from the dialect for "curly coated duck retriever" and the district in Northern Italy where they originated. They are a lively and loving breed that are full of character!"

4. Newfoundland

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"The Newfoundland has a long heritage in water-based rescue, from assisting fishermen, to saving swimmers in distress at sea. Nowadays, these gentle giants are known for being a patient and loyal family companion," says the Kennel Club.

5. Otterhound

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"One of the most rare and vulnerable UK breeds, the Otterhound is an easy-going and good-natured breed. Their weather resistant coat and webbed feet means they are just as comfortable in water as they are on land.

"If you don't live in close proximity to a body of water that your dog can swim in, other ways to keep them cool include giving them a paddling pool to splash around in, and adding ice cubes to their water bowls," continues the team.

6. Gordon Setter

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"Gordon Setters take their name from the Duke of Gordon, who introduced the breed in the early 19th century in Scotland. Vulnerable native breed, Gordon Setters are recognisable by their black and tan shiny coat. They enjoy long and active exercise, both on land and in water."

7. Brittany

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"The breed originates from Northern France and is known for its give scenting and pointing qualities, which makes Britanny an excellent gundog. Those dogs have relentless energy and need more than two hours of exercise per day, making them a great companion for anyone who enjoys sports and exercise."

8. Portuguese Water Dog

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"As the name suggests, Portuguese Water Dog was originally bred to help fishermen at sea including driving shoals of fish into nets, retrieving lost nets and to deliver messages between boats. Original working purpose of the breed was lost throughout the 20th century, but the breed was regenerated as a family companion."

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