9 Breeds of Water Dogs

The curly coat that most water dogs have serves as an insulator. This is why most dogs are excellent for aquatic tasks.
9 Breeds of Water Dogs
Cesar Paul Gonzalez Gonzalez

Written and verified by the biologist Cesar Paul Gonzalez Gonzalez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Water dogs are characterized by having a beautiful curly, woolly coat, so abundant that in some breeds dreadlocks are formed by the length of their hair. They have a cheerful, obedient, and loyal temperament. Besides, their body is strong, ostentatious and muscular, which makes them an excellent guardian for the family.

The name “water dogs” is given to this lineage because of the distinctive ability and predilection they have for aquatic activities. Keep reading this space and find out which are the best-known water-loving breeds.

Types of water dogs

Most of these water dogs are known for their great temperament, loyalty, and wonderful appearance. For this reason, they’re usually highly popular among canine lovers. Listed below are several of these popular breeds.

1. Portuguese Water Dog

This breed of water dog is one of the rarest to spot, as few of them compete in dog shows. In appearance, their physique is quite similar to that of any other dog of its type, although its body is a little longer than it is tall. In addition, although most have a very curly coat, the Portuguese Water Dog may have a wavy, lumpy coat.

A dog looking at water.
A Portuguese Water Dog.

2. Lagotto Romagnolo

This dog was originally from Romagna, a historic area of Italy that is now part of the Emilia-Romagna area. The Lagotto Romagnolo is a medium-sized dog, with a black or brown coat that’s tightly curled and quite dense. They have a great olfactory sensitivity, so this breed of water dog is often used to search for truffles.

3. Cantabrian water dog

This breed of water dog is little known outside its area of origin. There aren’t many specimens and most of them are found in the north of the Iberian Peninsula, near the Cantabrian Sea. In general, these dogs are a little smaller and lighter than other breeds of this type, but their size isn’t negligible either. In addition, their coat always has an elegant white color.

4. Poodles

Although you wouldn’t have imagined it, poodles are also classified as one of the water dog breeds. In fact, thanks to their aquatic abilities, at some point in history they were used to retrieve ducks that were hunted in rivers and lakes. This breed is quite popular because of the wide variety of colors and sizes available, as well as their curly coat.

5. Irish Water Spaniel

The Irish Water Spaniel is one of the largest breeds in the water dog group. It’s characterized by an erect and elegant body that stands out thanks to its dark brown color. In the past it was used by hunters to retrieve prey in aquatic environments, so it’s an energetic and active dog that needs to be stimulated with plenty of exercise.

6. Friesian Water Dog

Also known as the Wetterhoun, this breed of water dog originated in the region of Friesland, located in what is now known as the Netherlands. Contrary to other dogs of its type, this breed has a thick coat on almost all of its body, with the exception of its legs, ears and head. Their coat coloration varies from black to brown, with various white spotted patterns.

A dog in water.

7. Moscow Water Dog

The Moscow Water Dog breed was created with the aim of having a rescue dog that would be resistant to the freezing waters of Russia. For this purpose, two breeds were combined, the Newfoundland and the Eastern European Shepherd Dog. However, the crossbreeding of the two didn’t turn out as planned, as the dogs tended to be more aggressive and weren’t suitable for rescue activities.

These days, the Moscow water dog is believed to be extinct, as there are no records of its existence. Despite this, it’s possible that some specimens still remain or have been hybridized with other dog breeds.

8. American Water Spaniel

The American Water Spaniel has an active, sociable and intelligent personality, making it a good guardian for the family. It is medium-sized and has a curly coat that can vary between well-defined waves or strongly frizzy. The coloring of its coat is uniform with brown or chocolate shades.

9. Barbet

The Barbet was used to create new breeds such as the Poodle, the Portuguese Water Dog, and the Irish Water Dog. This means that it belongs to an ancient lineage that has been recorded since the 16th century. It has a beautiful curly coat with uniform colors such as black, brown, or gray. However, the hair grows more under the neck, which causes it to look bearded (hence the name barbet in French).

As you can see, there’s a wide variety of water dog breeds. Although they all have the distinctive curly coat and a fairly docile temperament, each has small characteristics that set them apart from one another. Rest assured that if you choose any of them as your companion, you’ll never regret it.

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