Written by Vet Tech

Top 8 Dog Breeds That Are Born To Swim

Amber LaRock
Written by: Amber LaRock, Vet Tech
Some dogs will only dip a toe in the water, while some breeds are born for the water. Check the top eight dog breeds that are great swimmers.

Many dogs love to join their owners in the pool or run through the occasional puddle, but there are some breeds that are born to swim! If you’re looking for a dog that you can bring along on your water-related adventures, then look no further.

In this article, we’ll dive into the breeds that live for getting their paws wet, and can best accompany you on your outdoor adventures.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

If you have ever seen a Chesapeake Bay Retriever around water, it’s as if it’s where they’re meant to be. If you have ever owned one of these beautiful pups, you know just how excited they get during trips to the lake or beach.

Their name gives away their undying dedication to water and helping their owners retrieve their hunt.

This breed was born for assisting their owners in the rough conditions of the Chesapeake Bay.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever can fill many job positions. Though they are known to be excellent hunting dogs, their intelligence and athleticism make them well suited for a number of canine sports and competitions.

Aside from their ability to move gracefully through the water is their wonderful personality.

The Chesapeake Bay retriever has an outgoing and friendly demeanor, making them wonderful companions in an active family.

If you would like to involve your Chesapeake Bay retriever in water sports or hunting of any kind, it’s best to introduce them to water early. The earlier in life that they begin to swim, the more powerful they become in the water.

American Water Spaniel

This breed is well known in the Greater Lakes area of the US. The American Water Spaniel is athletic, intelligent, and known for their impressive hunting abilities.

Though this breed is popular in the Greater Lakes area, they can be a wonderful addition to any athletic family that lives near the water.

The American Water Spaniel can be useful in hunting any small game but is best known for their ability to hunt waterfowl.

Due to their adaptability and their eagerness to train, you can teach this breed to assist you in a number of sports and hunting activities.

Since this breed is mostly bred up north in the US, it’s mentioned that this breed can be more challenging to obtain.

You may have to search heavily for a reputable breeder, and possibly even travel to that area in order to find the pup you’re looking for.

After reading up on this breed, it appears that they’re worth the extra effort!

English Setter

The English setter is known for their affection toward their families, and how friendly they are to just about anyone.

Their gentle demeanor and willingness to meet others makes them a wonderful family dog, as long as you’re dedicated to daily exercise and time outdoors.

The English Setter does love to spend time indoors with their family, but they will need at least 45 minutes of outdoor time each day.

The English Setter lives for time off-leash, hiking through the forest, or a swim in the local lake. Due to their love of the outdoors, this breed loves to tag along on their owner’s outdoor adventures of any kind.

Since the English Setter is so athletic, they are easily trained in many canine sports. Though they do well in agility, they come with an ingrained ability to hunt.

While they can be wonderful hunters in general, they shine in any activities that involve water.

If you are looking for a canine partner that can assist you during your hunt, then come home and cuddle on the couch; the English Setter may be the perfect dog for you.

Irish Setter

The Irish Setter is known for their love of all things play. This breed loves to go go go and thrives in an active home that enjoys outdoor activities as much as they do.

If you’re looking for a fun-loving breed that can keep up with your adventurous lifestyle, this is the breed for you.

The Irish Setter is a beloved breed in the dog world for many reasons. They are friendly, adventurous, athletic, and quick to catch on to new things.

Though each of these qualities plays a role in the public’s dedication to this breed, they are known for their love of hunting both on land and in the water.

This breed will thrive in a home that brings them along on their hunting adventures.

Since the Irish Setter has so much energy, it’s important to realize how much daily exercise they require. If you are not able to set aside at least 45 minutes of exercise with your Irish Setter, this may not be the breed for you.

Since they are filled with energy, boredom, and lack of exercise can lead to destructive behavior. So as long as you are dedicated to daily playtime, the Irish Setter can be a wonderful companion.

Labrador Retriever

If you’re a dog lover, you likely already love this breed. The Labrador Retriever is America’s number one dog breed, and for good reason.

This breed is lovable, playful, athletic, and has just about every quality you look for in a canine companion.

The Labrador Retriever is found lounging around homes around the world, but we often forget their working routes.

The Labrador Retriever was originally bred to help fishermen hauling nets and retrieving fish that escaped from the nets. Once their long day of work was over, they’d go home and spend quality time with their family.

Due to their roots, it makes perfect sense of why they have such a deep love for the water.

Though most Labrador Retrievers spend most of their time indoors these days, there are still a large number of Labs that are used for work.

You will often see Labrador Retrievers as service dogs, police dogs, hunting dogs, and more. This breed is truly man’s best friend.

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is another popular breed in the US. This breed is social, friendly, intelligent, and extremely loyal. The Golden Retriever has always been seen as a perpetual puppy, as they keep their playful and energetic puppy attitude well throughout their lives.

The Golden Retriever is known for being a family dog, so be prepared to include them in your family activities.

There is nothing the Golden loves more than being around the people they love, so keep this in mind when you bring them into your home. You may be welcoming a dog into your home, but you will essentially gain another member of the family.

The only thing the Golden Retriever loves more than spending time with family is spending time with their family outdoors.

The Golden absolutely loves to accompany their humans on outdoor adventures, even more so if these adventures include water.

This breed could swim all day, and will if given the chance.

When you choose to welcome a Golden Retriever into your life, you’re gaining a loyal partner that will always be ready to play.


Aside from this breeds’ love of water, they are known for their kind nature toward children.

The Newfoundland is naturally gentle and caring and seems to enjoy their time spent guarding the children in their family. Despite their large size, they are gentle giants!

With their love of children and their strong ability to swim, there are many stories of Newfoundland’s rescuing children from drowning in icy waters.

Whether these stories are true or not, we know their swimming abilities are top-notch. With their love of caring for others and their strength in the water, there might be some credibility to these stories!

If you’re looking for a big fluffy teddy bear to accompany you on your outdoor adventures, this lovable breed may be perfect for you.

Standard Poodle

Though this breed is poised and dignified, that doesn’t stop them from tumbling around in the water.

The Poodle is known for their overall grace, but it’s often forgotten just how much this breed loves water. Though it seems impossible when you see this luxurious breed, they were actually bred for water retrieving.

Their beautifully styled coat once had a practical purpose for their life spent near the water.

Their trimmed areas would lighten the weight of the dog as they swam through the water, while the plush areas of their fur helped to protect their vital organs from the cold.

Though we often associate their coat styling with competition and show, it was actually originally for work purposes.

Though they may put off a regal vibe, this breed is actually extremely friendly and social.

If you bring a Poodle into your home, you are sure to gain an active and lovable family member!


If you love spending your time near the water, there are several lovable pups that would love to join you. If you are looking for a water-loving pup to bring along on your outdoor adventures, any of the breeds above could be your next furry best friend!