Dog Swimming

11 Small Dog Breeds That Love Water (Solved & Explained)

Do Small Dog’s Love Water? Well, of course they do, but only if they’re used to it. Chihuahuas, Maltese, Poodles and some other small dog breeds will drown if they’re not trained to swim.

They can get hypothermia and/or drowning if they are forced to go in the water without proper training. So you should never leave your dog alone with water. Check out the list below for dog’s that love swimming.

#1 Beagle

Image by grz3s from Pixabay

Although they are not as outgoing as some breeds, a lot of people still wonder about the thought of having a Beagle in the water. One thing for sure though, is that these dogs love to swim. They have a naturally strong love for water and will do it for fun or for a very serious reason.

Many breeders also breed Beagles to be endurance swimmers because of their high tolerance levels for water. If you ever get the chance to own a Beagle who is into swimming and has a good temperament, then that would be an ideal type of dog to own.

#2 Jack Russell

Jack Russell
Image by didkapan from Pixabay

Jack Russell’s is so devoted to their sport that they love going to the beach with their owners, whether they are participating in the same activity. As a breed, these dogs are very athletic and energetic, and love being outdoors and moving around.

Their strength, agility and energy make them great candidates for many sporting activities, including but not limited to water-based sports and hunting. Many Jack Russell’s are regular participants in swimming, although the water does not seem to bother them, perhaps because they prefer it to dry land. 

#3 Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel
Image by Ilona Krijgsman from Pixabay

While the English Cocker Spaniel was once only used for herding purposes, today this breed is popular as a fashionable sporting dog. They’re very active and have an adventurous nature, being good joggers and good swimmers, needing only a few hours of daily exercise.

Due to their high energy levels they are very noisy, especially when excited, and are not recommended to be around children under 6 years of age. If you plan to include your Cocker Spaniel with children, they must be supervised at all times.

#4 Maltese

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

The Maltese dog breed is one of the many dog breeds that are highly popular around the world. The Maltese is an elegant breed of dog that is often used as a companion or a show dog. The Maltese dog breed is a very intelligent dog with a sweet temper and great companionship skills.

 You will also notice that the Maltese puppy will require a lot of attention as it grows up because of its intelligence. However, with enough love, patience and knowledge, you will be able to raise your Maltese puppy well into adulthood.

#5 Poodle

Image by carah_ from Pixabay

The Poodle is an elegant, compact dog with a long, droopy coat. These dogs have medium to high maintenance needs and are very good with children and other animals. Poodles need regular exercise to stay healthy, and although this breed is relatively inactive during the day, they enjoy spending time with their owners during the evening doing anything from playing fetch to jogging.

This breed is very intelligent, and eager to please, but may not be suited for very high-energy activities. Poodle dogs are also somewhat sensitive in regard to noise, so owners who live in small, quiet places may want to consider other breeds.

#6 Boykin Spaniel

Boykin Spaniel
Image by Kevinsphotos from Pixabay

The Boykin Spaniel dogs were originally bred for catching wild game in water, but they have since been bred for other things. Their temperament makes them excellent hunting dogs, being friendly towards strangers yet extremely alert to dangers from within and outside their boundaries.

Being a highly intelligent breed, the Boykin spaniel will quickly learn to trust its owner and become a trustworthy friend. While being a hunting dog, it should be kept on a leash at all times, especially when taking it hunting on ducks or geese.​​​​​​​ They love to swim, and can easily become bored if they do not have an exciting toy to chase after.​​​​​​​

#7 Portuguese Water Dogs

If you are looking for a unique pet that requires little maintenance, you should consider the Portuguese Water Dog. Unlike other breeds of dog, the Portuguese Water Dog has a thick and padded coat that acts as extra padding for their thin skin. Although these dogs may seem small in comparison to other breeds, they pack a punch and will not tire easily.

These dogs were originally brought to the city states of Brazil and Portugal from Spain centuries ago. Because of their ability to thrive in the cold climate, they were used as hunters by the Portuguese. They have strong hunting instincts and are good with tracking. 

#8 American Water Spaniel

American Water Spaniel
Image by Carola Kpunkt from Pixabay

The American Water Spaniel, is a beautiful and lively breed of spaniels that originally originated from the United States. It was initially developed in the southern state of Wisconsin during the late nineteenth century by a group of other small breeds, such as the English and Irish Water Spaniels.

Through careful breeding, the dog’s body structure was improved, and it now has more of an athletic body shape than its ancestors. It is well-balanced in nature, with an athletic build. Males tend to be heavier than females.​​​​​​​

#9 Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Image by Sonja Kalee from Pixabay

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the American Kennel Club (AKC). They are alert, energetic, alert, and highly intelligent. They need intense attention, a lot of exercise, a healthy diet, and regular hand-eye exercise. One of the best characteristics of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, is its ability to instinctively get along with other dogs.

Even the most outgoing dogs can become friendly when the right training is involved. Also, because it has such an independent outlook on life, it can be trained to do almost anything. They have an athletic and intelligent drive to do everything they can, but like many other dogs they don’t do well with being over-protected.

#10 Brittany Spaniel

Brittany Spaniel
Image by Johanna Charton from Pixabay

The Brittany Spaniel is typically a very pretty dog with a calm temperament. These dogs were originally bred in France and since then have become quite popular throughout Europe. The Brittany Spaniel is a great breed for bird hunting. While it’s often referred to as a Brittany Spaniel, the working qualities of this breed are more similar to that of a setter or pointer than a spaniel.

The breed is also known to be a good herding dog and loves getting into large places where there are a lot of birds flying around. These dogs were originally bred to be watchdogs, and they do really well when it comes to herding small animals.

#11 Lagotto Romagnolo

Lagotto Romagnolo
Image by Cemmerton from Pixabay

The Lagotto Romagnolo, is an Italian breed of dogs with a high hunting drive. It was first bred in the province of Romagna in the late 1890s and was originally bred for the purpose of hunting water animals. They have powerful legs and a very quick running speed and have been compared to the elusive Greyhound. Over the years it has developed into a very versatile hound that is used for hunting, herding, racing, trailing, tracking and retrieving.

One of the most popular breeds for sports in Europe, these dogs originally bred for water and has since developed into one of the most sought after sports dogs. Traditionally, they were used by farmers and herding families as herding dogs because of their powerful wagging tails and keen senses for trails.


  • Karin S

    Welcome to All About My Small Dog, where my love for small dogs and years of hands-on experience meet your need for trusted information. As a dedicated small dog enthusiast and pet parent, I'm deeply committed to sharing expert insights, reliable advice, and a community of support. Every blog you read here is crafted with the utmost care, guided by my passion and expertise. You can trust that you're in the right place for valuable insights and a warm community that understands the unique joys and challenges of small dog ownership. Together, we'll make sure your small dog's world is filled with love, care, and knowledge.