Plenty of us decided to welcome new four-legged friends into our homes in the last couple of years – according to Kennel Club figures dog ownership soared by nearly eight percent – and post-lockdown demand for puppies remains high.
There are a whopping 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, alongside numerous crossbreeds, so there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your family’s latest addition.
There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
One thing to consider is that some dogs just don’t get on well with water due to a range of physical attributes which mean they are not designed for swimming.
Meanwhile others love the water – with some even having webbed feet to help them power through seas, lakes and rivers.
Here are the 10 breeds of dog make the best and worst swimmers.
1. Portuguese Water Dog
Another breed that has webbed feet perfect for swimming, the Portuguese Water Dog was used by fishermen to herd fish into nets and collect lost equipment from the sea. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
Starting with the breeds of dog that are completely at home in the water and the Otterhound. A very rare breed, as its name suggests it was used to hunt otters in Britain until the practice was outlawed in 1978. An exceptionally strong swimmer, they even have webbed feet for extra speed in the water. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, often known as 'Chessies', have an oily double-coat that retains heat and is water-resistant - perfect for long swims in cold water. They can happily spend hours in the sea, a lake or a river. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. Labrador Retriever
The UK's most popular dog breed, the Labrador Retriever was bred to collect shot wildfowl that often landed in the water, so being a good swimmer was crucial. Today Labs are happy to fetch sticks and balls from water for hours on end. Photo: Canva/Getty Images