Whilst the majority of dogs have the natural instinct to ‘doggy paddle’ as soon as they hit the water, some breeds are more equipped than others.
In this blog we find out what makes a dog a good swimmer and look at some of the natural born swimming breeds.
The majority of breeds that are known for their strong swimming skills are horizontal swimmers with webbed feet. These breeds use both their front and hind legs to swim, rather than less agile breeds which use just their front legs to paddle causing their hind end to sink.
A dog’s body muscle mass can be a hinderance when it comes to swimming. Breeds such as Boxers or Bulldogs tend to be far less buoyant and therefore may require assistance such as a canine floatation aid.
Many breeds such as those listed below have webbed feet, enabling them to tread water easily. Some of these breeds also have a long history of being bred to work in and around the water.
- Field Spaniel
- German Shepherd
- Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Irish Water Spaniel
Those breeds with smaller, non-webbed feet, tend to find it harder to tread water and therefore struggle to stay afloat. Breeds such as Greyhounds, Bedlington Terriers and Chihuahua’s will need a little more assistance in water.
Short legged breeds such as pugs also find it harder to stay afloat, as a smaller percentage of their body weight is under water. Whilst short legged dogs often can and enjoy swimming, they tend to use more energy to do so.
Does your dog love to swim? If so we would love to see your photos. Email us at Hello@Buddies.co.uk.