10 Dogs With Webbed Feet: Natural Water Loving Pups
They’re definitely not the first animal you’d think of when it comes to webbed feet, but it’s true! Almost all dogs have some webbing (go and check your pooch – you’ll see what we mean).
Kind of like our fingers, dogs’ toes are connected by very thin skin and tissue which have a number of uses. Some dog breeds have specifically developed fully webbed feet to be able to hunt, swim, and cross snowy terrain without problems.
And whilst you may not have thought it very common, some of the most popular breeds are actually dogs with webbed feet! Here are a few of our favorite water-loving doggos.
Dogs With Webbed Feet – The Ultimate Swimming and Hunting Pups
These 10 dog breeds have much more webbing than other doggos and use it to their advantage for working and having fun. It may be worth thinking about getting them a waterproof dog collar too!
We told you. The most popular dog breed in America actually has webbed feet! Labrador retrievers were first bred as hunters and helped their owners retrieve waterfowl and other animals from hard-to-reach places.
Their high energy levels, athletic bodies, and agility made them one of the best hunting companions around. Their webbed feet make them excellent swimmers that owners could trust to master puddles, lakes, ponds, and rivers.
Not only is the Labrador Retriever an excellent working dog, but it’s also a wonderful pet (hence it being the US’s most loved canine). These dogs are incredibly sensitive, adoring, and playful.
They can be black, chocolate, and yellow dogs. They’re great around children, are seriously eager to please, and also make wonderful therapy and service dogs. Because of their high energy levels, Labrador Retrievers do need a lot of exercise – both mental and physical.
They’ll enjoy walks, hikes, runs and – surprisingly – anything to do with water.
Portuguese Water Dog
Portuguese Water Dogs are excellent herding dogs – but not of sheep or cattle. These pups were actually used to herd whole schools of fish into fishermen’s nets! Their agile bodies, webbed feet, and thick coats meant these water dogs could spend a lot of time working in the water.
Portuguese Water Dogs are highly intelligent and skilled swimmers and were even used to deliver messages between boats.
These pups are very energetic, eager to please, and adoring of their family members. They need positive training that’s fun and interactive and that can keep their brains engaged.
They need regular exercise and will love dog sports and classes. Just like Poodles, the Portuguese Water Dog has a curly coat which means it’s considered a hypoallergenic dog breed which is great for those that suffer from canine allergies.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
These dogs were first bred in Chesapeake, an estuary close to Virginia and Maryland, and are considered excellent swimmers. When it comes to appearance, they look fairly similar to Labrador Retrievers except they have a dense, curly, and water-repellent coat.
They have strong legs, curled toes, and lots of energy which make them strong swimmers.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is known for being exceptionally loyal, happy, and playful. As with many other retrieving and hunting dogs, they need lots of exercise to keep them fit and plenty of time playing with you.
They can be prone to weight gain. So make sure they get their daily exercise needs and a nutritious and well-balanced diet. Fresh dog food can be excellent for these dogs.
Irish Water Spaniel
These amazing doggos are incredible swimmers – as their name would suggest. They’re a really old Spaniel breed and have been around for centuries. Their webbed feet and water-repellent coat make them one of the best swimming dog breeds you can find.
The American Kennel Club only accepts the Irish water Spaniel with a liver-colored coat that’s tightly curled and they’re easily recognized for their rat-like tail and adorably large, floppy ears.
These pooches are relatively easy to train because their sporting dog nature means they’re eager to please. They do, however, need plenty of fun and diverse exercise. Irish Water Spaniels are very playful dogs but can be a little wary of strangers and other dogs to begin with.
They can be good around children and other pets if trained well and brought up with them.
German Wire Haired Pointer
The German Wire Haired Pointer is an excellent hunting dog and, surprisingly, a fabulous swimmer. These dogs with webbed feet have a beautiful, mottled coat and an iconic beard!
Clever breeding means that these pups have an incredible sense of smell and a thick coat which makes them the perfect hunting companion.
German Wire Haired Pointers are very responsive, intelligent, and sporty dogs that really need to put their brains as well as their bodies to good use. Like other breeds on the list, they’d do well in canine classes and competitions such as agility, tracking, and hunting.
Another big plus for these doggos is that they require very little grooming.
Although not exactly the same breed, the German Short Haired Pointer is also a great water dog with webbed feet. This breed, however, does better in slightly warmer conditions but the German Wire Haired Pointer is happy to swim in icy cold waters.
This beautiful breed comes in two varieties – long and short-haired. The royal Weimaraner was first bred as a hunting pup (as most of the dog breeds on this list were!) and they have arched toes and webbed feet. T
heir strong, athletic bodies and specially formed feet mean they can handle nearly any terrain, including water.
Weimaraners are very fun-loving dogs that enjoy playing with their family members and canine friends. They have muscular bodies which need a lot of exercise – in fact, you should only consider getting a Weimaraner if you’re an active family.
They’re also very intelligent and need to engage their brains if they’re not to become mischievous. These gray dogs don’t require a lot of grooming but you should check and clean their ears to prevent infection.
Newfoundlands are the ultimate swimmers. Their thick, shaggy, waterproof coats and large, powerful bodies make them fearless in the water. This dog’s paws are large and webbed, meaning they’re strong swimmers and are even used as search and rescue pups across the US (because they’re also a great mountain breed).
Similar to other water dogs, these pups were first bred to haul in nets and herd fish. Their size and history mean they’re a dog for the outdoors and wouldn’t be a good fit for those who live in apartments.
They love to go on adventures and explore their surroundings. Newfoundlands need an experienced owner who can manage their size. Even though they’re wonderfully caring dogs who love to be with their families, their size can make them difficult to train and manage.
When you think of dogs with webbed feet, you really wouldn’t think of a Dachshund – these tiny little dogs don’t look like they’d naturally love water. And whilst some do like splashing around in puddles, these doggos have webbed feet for a different reason.
Dachshunds were originally bred to hunt badgers (Dachs means badger in German) and so they have webbed paws to help them dig and go down burrows.
Even though they’re little, Sausage Dogs need plenty of exercise to ensure their legs are strong enough to support their long bodies. They can also be prone to weight gain, so make sure you feed them a nutritious diet and watch the treats.
Dachshunds come in many different varieties and colors. If you’re thinking of getting one, research dog breeders in your area to make sure you get the coat length and size you want.
Otterhounds are one of the rarest dog breeds on this list of dogs with webbed feet. Even though they’re not as common as other breeds they’re wonderfully affectionate pups that have a great sense of smell and that are very strong swimmers.
Otterhounds were originally bred to hunt otters (a sport which has now been outlawed) and they can be traced back to medieval England.
This large dog breed is bouncy, playful, and a determined hunter. They need regular exercise, although a few Otterhounds may prefer just to lay around in the shade. It’s therefore really important you entertain them with toys and they’ll enjoy canine classes such as agility and tracking.
American Water Spaniel
How cute are American Water Spaniels? These curly-coated hunters are excellent retrievers and originated in the cold, Great Lakes region. These expert swimmers have athletic and agile bodies which means they can easily get in and out of water. That, and the fact they have large, padded, and webbed dog paws.
American Water Spaniels are charming, playful, and very alert dogs but they can sometimes be a bit stubborn. They’re good around family members and dogs they know (actually, they’re very loving and even a little goofy) but they can be aloof around strangers and pups they’re unsure about.
American Water Spaniels are workers at heart and they have to take their job seriously!
There are lots of dogs with webbed feet and they have them for different reasons. Most are to make them exceptional swimmers but some have webbed feet to help them dig or manage other types of terrain. Have a look at your pup, do they have webbed feet?