The 10 Most Loved Water Dogs

These dogs were developed to be effective land and water retrievers and they passed the grade with flying colors! Read on to learn more interesting facts about these 10 most loved water dogs.


The Wetterhoun (translated into English as the Frisian Water Dog) is an excellent water dog developed about 400 years ago in the Dutch province of Friesland. This breed is traditionally used effectively as both a land and water retriever. The Wetterhoun was specially developed to hunt otters and other water fowl. A medium-sized dog, adult males measure this breed measures between 55 – 59 centimeters (21.6-23 inches) at the withers. Average weight between 25 – 35 kilo (55 and 77 pounds).

The Wetterhoun has thick and curly coat except for the head and legs, where the coat is shorter and smoother. Coat colors range from solid black or brown, brown with white or black and white. It has large head, deep set eyes, strong neck and muzzle, rounded chest, and very strong legs. The long tail is rolled alongside the croup.

The breed is intelligent, independent-minded and active. It requires an assertive and firm owner. The dog suits to any kind of environment, but requires lots of exercise and regular walks. It needs little grooming. Bathing should be done only when very necessary. The Wetterhoun can live up to 12 to 13 years.


The Barbet, French word “barbe”, which means beard, is a medium-sized French water dog. It was developed and used as a waterfowl retriever in the marshes, and wetlands in France. The breed measures between 58 to 65 cm (20.5-25.5 inches) tall for males and weighs between 17 to 28 kg (35-60 pounds). A rare breed that generally comes in black, brown or black and white. Grey and white are extremely rare.

It has a long, woolly, and curly coat along with a beard. It has a large, slightly rounded head; round nose, medium-length muzzle, sturdy legs, webbed feet and a hanging or slightly curled tail. It is an intelligent, loyal, joyful and a carefree breed of dog. It is comfortable in a home with a large, fenced yard. It also suits in close quarters, provided it gets regular walks and outdoor exercise. The breed is prone to ear infections and hip dysplasia. The lifespan of the Barbet averages 13–15 years.

American Water Spaniel

The American Water Spaniel is a rare breed of spaniel developed in Wisconsin, USA during the 19th century as an all-around hunting dog. A medium sized dog that measures between 38–46 cm (15–18 inches) at the withers and weighs around 11–(25–45 pounds).

The breed’s unique double layered coat can come in brown, dark chocolate or variety of brown related shades. Depending on the coat color, the eyes can come in dark brown, yellow-brown or hazel-brown. It has a broad head, squared muzzle, black to brown nose and long, hanging ears.

The American Water Spaniel is active, muscular and hardy. It is an intelligent, friendly, and a very enthusiastic breed of dog. It will suit well in an apartment as long as it gets enough exercise. A light shedder, it needs brushing twice a week. Bathe only when necessary. The life Expectancy is about 12-15 years.

Spanish Water Dog

The Spanish Water Dog (SWD) is a medium-sized dog developed in Spain. The SWD was primarily used as a water dog and herding sheep. Adult males normally measure 44 to 50 cm (17 to 20 in) at the withers and weigh between 18 to 22 kg (40 to 49 lbs).

A curly coated breed, it comes in a variety of colors: beige, brown, solid black, white, bicolor or tricolor. This breed has a robust body, medium-sized head, short neck, expressive eyes, well-formed teeth, slightly sloping croup, and tail is set at medium height.

This loved water dog is affectionate, loyal, intelligent and diligent. He is versatile and easily trained. The SWD can adapt to almost all environments as long as it gets plenty of exercise and a daily walk. Life Expectancy: About 10-14 years.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever or “Chessie” was developed in the United States Chesapeake Bay area during the 19th century. An extraordinary swimmer, it was originally bred to hunt waterfowl under adverse conditions, often retrieving several hundred birds per day.

It is a medium to large sized dog where adult males measure 58-66 cm (23-26 inches) at the withers and weigh between 29-36 kg (65-80 pounds). The waterproof double coat feels slightly oily — dense wooly undercoat and harsh outer coat. The coat can come in three basic colors: Brown, sedge and deadgrass. The head is round, yellowish or amber eyes that are very clear, and a medium short nose. The tail is thick at the base and tapers to the end.

The Chesapeake is an intelligent, affectionate, alert, and water-loving breed of dog. It adapts to most living environments: Indoors or outdoors, medium to large yard. However, it needs regular, longer periods of exercise to avoid getting involved in destructive behaviors. The breed is prone to hip dysplasia, cataract, and Type 3 von Willebrand disease. Life expectancy: 10-12 years.

Curly Coated Retriever

The Curly Coated Retriever (or Curly) is a large, hardy dog originally bred in England as early as 1860. The tallest of the retrievers, it was used primarily for upland bird and waterfowl hunting. The breed measures 63-69 cm (25-27 inches) at the withers and weigh between 29-36 kg (65-80 pounds).

The breed is easily distinguishable by its crisp curls and water-resistant coat that can come in black or liver in color. It has almond-shaped eyes; small, hanging ears, teeth that meet in a scissors bite and curly-haired tail.

This dog is affectionate, loyal, intelligent, confident, loving, and excellent with children. It is also an agile, graceful and elegant dog. This breed is highly-energetic and loves to swim. The Curly will do best living in surroundings with large yard. It needs a lot of exercise and a daily walk. This breed is prone to epilepsy, hip dysplasia, and eye problems. Life Expectancy: About 8-12 years.

Irish Water Spaniel

A dog of ancient lineage, the modern breed as we know appeared in Ireland in the 1830s and was originally used as land and water hunting dog. The Irish Water Spaniel is that is the largest amongst spaniels. Adult males measure between 51-(20-23 inches) tall and weigh around 20-30kg (45-65) pounds.

The Irish Water Spaniel can easily be recognized by some distinctive features, namely: the smooth “rat tail”, the entirely smooth-coated faced, and its liver-colored, water-repellant double coat consisting of dense curls. The IWS has brown almond-shaped eyes, long ears that are set, large dark-brown nose, straight front legs and hairy webbed feet. The clown of the spaniels, the IWS presents a picture of an intelligent, active, smart, loyal, and a loving family dog.

This breed adapts well in a large environment or with at least an average-sized yard. It needs plenty of daily exercise or long, brisk walk. The coat needs to be trimmed regularly. The IWS is prone to hip dysplasia, ear infections, and eye problems. Life Expectancy: About 10-12 years.

Lagotto Romagnolo

The Lagotto Romagnolo which means “lake dog from Romagna,” is a small/medium sized dog, that originated from the Romagna sub-region of Italy. The breed was originally developed as a retriever or a hunting dog. Today, the Lagotto is often used to hunt for truffles.

A stocky, hardy muscled dog, the breed normally measures 43–48 cm (17–19 in) at the withers and weighs between 13–16 kg (29-35 lb). The thick, curly coat comes in white, brown or off-white. The big, brown eyes can be dark yellow or dark brown in color. It has a big head and a powerful neck.

The Lagotto is a good pet, and an excellent family dog. It is an affectionate, happy, loyal, gentle, keen, clever, agile and obedient dog. The Lagotto would do okay in an apartment, but needs plenty of exercise. Its dense, curly coat needs regular care. It is prone to hip dysplasia and Benign Juvenile Epilepsy. Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years.

Standard Poodle

The Standard Poodle is a medium to large-sized dog that traces its origin in France. Known throughout Western Europe since the 15th century, the breed was originally used as a waterfowl retriever and gun dog. To note, there are three recognized poodle type: The Standard Poodle (over 15 inches at the highest point of the shoulders), The Miniature Poodle is 15 inches or under at the highest point of the shoulders, and The Toy Poodle is 10 inches or under at the highest point of the shoulders.

The Standard Poodle has a squarely built body, a long head and muzzle, a fairly broad, deep chest, and a well proportioned sturdy neck. The skull is moderately rounded, a dark oval-shaped eyes, and curly or wavy coat. It comes in all solid colors such as: apricot, black, blue, brown, cream, gray, or silver. The coat requires grooming and must be clipped every six to eight weeks.

This breed is valued for its intelligence, grace, nobility, cheerfulness and loyalty. This breed can suit fine in an apartment provided it gets sufficient exercise and a daily walk. The standard poodle is prone to cataracts, skin allergies, ear infections, and hip dysplasia. Life Expectancy: About 12-15 or more years.

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever (also Labrador, or Lab for short) is a relatively large dog that originated on the island of Newfoundland, Canada in the 16th century. With its signature webbed paws, the Lab was originally used for retrieving fishnets. There are two types of Labradors, the English Labrador (heavier, thicker and blacker in appearance) and the American Labrador (tall and lanky).

The Labrador is a medium-sized dog where males that typically measure 56-61 cm (22-24 inches) tall and weigh between 27-34 kg 960-75 pounds). A most distinguishing feature of the Labrador is its short, dense, weather resistant coat. It has a broad, clean-cut head, strong neck, powerful jaws, thick nose, friendly eyes, and straight tail. Labrador Retrievers come in black, chocolate and yellow.

Typically, Labradors love to play “catch and retrieve” games and love to swim. Labradors are an intelligent, even-tempered, outgoing, kind, and sociable breed of dog. This breed will adapt well in an environment with average-sized yard. Labrador will be fine in an apartment provided it gets ample exercise and gets a daily walk. Labradors are prone to eye disorders and hip and elbow dysplasia. Its double coat is easy to groom. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. Life expectancy: About 10-12 years.

27 thoughts on “The 10 Most Loved Water Dogs

  1. nova hedges

    another way for me to be educated with what animals can do and why they were here…never thought about water dogs and how magnificent their rules are.

  2. Fernando Lachica

    What a lovely dogs! I love to have one as my new pet. I'll try to complete my 2015 wishlist.

  3. Eri Votsari

    I love dogs and my favourite of all here is labrator. I am planning t adopt one actually and take it to the sea with me as it loves water 😀

  4. Amie Hu

    I never knew the term water dog exists. I just googled it 😛 The Labrador Retriever still comes across as my favourite 😀 But they all look so cute too 😉

  5. Fred Hawson

    Of course we know the Labrador Retriever and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. I am surprised to see the Poodle as a water dog! The other breeds are new to me, very interesting to see them for the first time.

  6. Nanda Reis

    I didn't know all of these dogs were water dogs! I always wanted to have an English Labrador, they are so adorable =)

  7. Russ R.

    Except for the retriever, I noticed that all these water dogs have this stuffed-toy kind of hair which I think makes them look really cute and cuddly. This one's a very informative post.

  8. May Palacpac

    my children have been begging us for a dog. we're looking for a less pricey one and i'm hoping we find a labrador which will be just as active as my children.

    I noticed that most of these water-loving dogs have plenty of hair!

  9. rebecca wong

    I always wanted a pet dog and Lab is definitely top of my list! Will definitely get/adopt one when I have a bigger space for them to move around.

  10. Roj Tom

    I love dogs and the so the post as well.. From the post I like Standard Poodle more, coz it seems to be so different from others and have its own identitfy.

  11. Anna Sophie

    I do not know a lot about dogs, except that I am scare of them. Nevertheless, the post was interesting and I liked the combination of text and pictures

  12. Sin Yee

    First time knowing about water dog. Huh?! Seriously this exists? Thanks for letting me know about it.

  13. Franc

    I used to have a labrador retriever but died of old age. These dogs are really effective on land and water.

  14. Louise Banta

    I didn't know that there were other breeds that love water like a labrador. This is very informative. I don't know if I've seen some of these breeds because they all look the same. Quite confusing, yeah?

  15. Suzanne

    I know there are many breeds of dogs in this world, but I would not have thought so many fall under the "water dog" category, LOL. They are all beautiful animals in their own right..

  16. I Am Kevin Fanciz

    its my first time i saw the majority of this dogs. Thank you for this, earlier today a got a shih tzu from my cousin and maybe i'll get a labrador retriever i guess 🙂

  17. eLaNaKcL

    All the dogs are so cute. I do know Labrador love to swim. Thx for sharing about the rest breeds.

  18. Angelo The Explorer

    I am a proud owner of a toy poodle and he loves water! We went to the beach once and he went straight to swim.

  19. Mia Foo

    i love dogs but there's so many dog breeds i never knew existed in the list! i only know of Chesapeake, Poodle and Labrador.

  20. Vanessa

    I love dogs so much, they have the ability to make me calm down if I am stressed or feel tension, I just need to hug a dog, and I feel like this noble animal takes all my pain away. Water dogs are amazingly cute!

  21. Eliz Obih-Frank

    Interesting… I've never heard the term water dog. All the dogs you featured look so adorable and well cared for..

  22. lee rosales

    i love dogs. used to have one but not anymore. my kid is allergic to anything and everything. 🙁

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