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Dog Breeds that Love the Water | Water Safety Tips for This Summer

Dog Breeds that Love the Water | Water Safety Tips for This Summer

Jun 12, 2023

Dog breeds that love the water

Some dog breeds are naturally more inclined to swim than others. These breeds often have physical characteristics and genetics that make them well-suited for swimming, such as a large body mass or an affinity for hunting and retrieving.

Although all dog breeds can learn to love the water, some pet parents are looking for a breed that is more likely to be up for a water adventure! If you are a pet parent with a pool, lake, or body of water nearby, it may be best to search for dog breeds that are naturally great swimmers. We’ve decided to help you out and compiled a list of a few of the top dog breeds that love to swim:

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world and for good reason. They are intelligent, friendly, and very good swimmers. Labrador Retrievers have an almost water-repellent coat of short hair and a well-known “otter tail,” which makes for fast and effortless swimming.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are another popular breed that loves to swim. They are similar to Labrador Retrievers in many ways, including their intelligence, friendliness, and swimming ability. Golden Retrievers were originally bred to retrieve waterfowl, making them strong swimmers in especially cold temps. This breed is famously known for being a great family dog breed, as well, and will be sure to keep an eye on the little ones while they’re in the water.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are a large breed of dog that is known for their swimming ability. They have a thick double coat that helps to keep them warm in cold water, and their webbed feet help them to paddle through the water.

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dogs are a medium-sized breed of dog that is known for their intelligence, loyalty, and swimming ability. They have a thick, water-resistant coat that helps to keep them warm in cold water, and their webbed feet help them to paddle through the water. Portuguese Water Dogs were originally bred to work alongside fishermen in Portugal.


Newfoundlands are a large breed of dog that is known for their gentle nature, their love of children, and their swimming ability. They have a thick, double coat that helps to keep them warm in cold water, and their webbed feet help them to paddle through the water. What’s more, Newfoundlands have a large lung capacity and natural life-saving instincts - talk about a good guard dog to have on duty!

The list goes on and on when it comes to dogs that are natural-born swimmers. Most dog breeds thrive during any physical and outdoor activity. Finding the best breed for you is about your lifestyle, needs, preferences, and desires. Before instinctively adopting, consider these important factors and make an educated decision. Before heading outside, be sure to pack a baggie of all-natural and preservative-free dog treats like those from Bully Sticks Direct!

Benefits of Swimming for Dogs

Swimming is a great way to keep your dog healthy and happy. It is a low-impact activity that is easy on the joints, making it a good option for dogs with arthritis or other joint problems. Swimming can also help to improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, and reduce stress. As the weather heats up this summer, swimming is a great activity to get you and your dog outside!

Here are a few of the many benefits of swimming for dogs:

Improved cardiovascular health: Swimming is a great way to get your dog's heart rate up and improve their cardiovascular health. Just like in humans, swimming helps to strengthen the heart and lungs, and can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and other health problems.

Strengthened muscles: Swimming is a great way to strengthen your dog's muscles. The resistance of the water helps to build muscle mass and improve overall strength. This can be especially beneficial for older dogs or dogs with joint problems, as it allows them to exercise without putting too much stress on their joints.

Reducing stress in your dog: Swimming can help to reduce stress in dogs. The calming effects of the water can help to relax your dog and relieve anxiety. This can be especially beneficial for dogs who are stressed or anxious about travel, thunderstorms, or other stressful situations.

Weight loss and weight management for your dog: Swimming is a great way for dogs to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Swimming burns calories and can help to improve your dog's metabolism. This can be especially beneficial for overweight or obese dogs.

Improved body condition and physical performance: Swimming can help to improve your dog's overall body condition and physical performance. Swimming can help to improve muscle tone, flexibility, and range of motion. This can make your dog more agile and athletic.

If you are lucky enough to live near a body of water, take advantage of this great form of exercise and fun with your dog!

Water Safety for Dogs

If you anticipate taking your dog into the water, there are a few standard safety tips to keep in mind. Even great swimmers can be at risk of external forces such as deep water, waves and rapids, other animals, and harsh weather. Before jumping in, it’s best to take note of your surroundings and make an educated decision that the coast is clear.

  1. Check your surroundings for hazards. Logs or fallen trees in the water, high tide, high winds, freezing water temps, nearby fishermen, and nearby boats.
  2. Know your dog's swimming skill level. It is not safe to assume that your dog is a strong swimmer. Ease them into the water before letting them roam free. It never hurts to put a life jacket on your dog just to be safe. If they appear timid near the water, bringing along a pack of all-natural dog treats may help to address their anxiety.
  3. Know your dog breed. Not all breeds are born swimmers, as we discussed above. Smaller dogs with smaller legs will become exhausted more easily. Dogs with flatter faces and smaller snouts may have trouble breathing in the water. Some breeds, like a Basset Hound or Corgi, may sink immediately. Know your dog's breed and its capabilities before entering any body of water, no matter the depth.
  4. Never leave your dog unattended. No matter their skill level, it is never wise to leave your dog unattended near water.

Beach Etiquette for Dog Owners

Planning to hit the beach this summer? With the above tips in your back pocket, it’s important also to consider common beach etiquette so that you can make sure that your dog is welcome and that you are not causing any problems for other beachgoers. Whether a public beach, private beach, or small group by the water, it is best practice to be respectful of the adults, children, and pets accompanying you.

  • Keep your dog on its leash unless given consent from surrounding beachgoers.
  • Clean up your dog's waste.
  • Avoid tossing your dog’s toys, balls, and frisbees in the direction of other beachgoers.
  • Restrain your dog from approaching other beachgoers without consent.
  • Attempt to keep your dog from barking and alarming other beachgoers.

The beach is an exciting environment! It is smart to bring along a bag of dog treats to ensure your dog is cooperative, engaged, and energized. Bully Sticks Direct has a large selection of treats that vary in size, flavor, and protein.

A few of our awesome items include:

Braided Bully Sticks, 5 to 12 inches

Beef Collagen Sticks, Braided and Normal

Turkey Tendon Strips and Sticks

“They (Turkey Tendon Strips) are lightweight and simple. I carry a couple of them in my pocket wherever we go with our GSD. Some treats are too small, and she's always looking for more, and others are just the opposite. Gobbles are the perfect size and taste and are great for distracting her when necessary.”

  • Louis Y. 5-Star Review

Fun in the Sun with Your Dog

The summer provides pet owners with a wonderful excuse to get outside. Whether you’re hiking, running, or swimming with your dog, make sure you know your dog breed and their strengths and weaknesses. By following these water safety tips and tips for taking your dog to the public beach, your pup can have its fun in the sun!

For the healthiest dog treats on the market, browse Bully Stick’s Direct’s large catalog of single-ingredient, 100% protein, and preservative-free treats. You can browse by protein and by size (3 inches to 12 inches) in order to ensure the healthiest and safest treats for your dog! Bully Sticks Direct is a family-owned company here in the USA. Support a small business today! 

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