With the same tight curly coat as the Poodle, the Irish Water Spaniel’s curls cover everything but its face and tail. This thick, water repellant coat was necessary in Ireland, where the breed originated and was used as a bird-hunting partner. Known for plunging into freezing water in pursuit of waterfowl, Irish Water Spaniels are powerful, athletic and loyal to their owners. A medium-sized dog with a wavy coat, the American Water Spaniel is similar in size and appearance as the Boykin Spaniel. With strong legs and a muscular body, the American Water Spaniel is a powerful swimmer and loves a good water game. The breed should be given plenty of daily exercise to match its stamina. With a waterproof coat, webbed feet and a tail it can use as a rudder, the Portuguese Water Dog was used to assist fisherman on boats, swim to shore with messages and act as the guardian of a ship. Today, this well-mannered, adventurous breed makes a wonderful family companion. With a name that comes from the German word pudel or pudelin, Poodles were bread to hunt and retrieve waterfowl. Although they’re more commonly recognized in the show ring, the Poodle is an athletic, intelligent and all around excellent dog. With a dense, curly coat, Poodles are well protected from harsh elements and can move easily in the water. Though Labradors are among the most popular breeds for families today, they originated in Newfoundland as water dogs bred to help fishermen pull in large nets of fish and catch any fish that escaped. With a tail that works like a rudder and a thick, water-resistant coat, Labradors will do anything for their people, especially if it involves retrieving water toys or taking a dip on a hot day. Arguably the greatest water dog of all, the Chesapeake Bay Retreiver, or Chessie, is built for the water. With a short, rough coat that is virtually waterproof and webbed feet, the Chessie was bred to withstand the icy cold waters of the Chesapeake Bay so that they could retrieve ducks for hunters. The state dog of Maryland, the Chessie loves having a job to do and enjoys lots of playtime with its family. Bred to hunt otters and protect the fishing industry in Scotland, the Otterhound no longer serves this purpose but still retains its love for the water. A large, rough-coated dog that possesses great strength and athleticism, the Otterhound can tolerate long hunts in even the harshest of weather. Because it is a scent hound, the Otterhound also enjoys trailing and having a good sniff in addition to swimming. Originally used for pulling nets and boat lines in their namesake island, Newfoundlands were eventually used as search and rescue dogs because of their excellent swimming abilities. A popular family dog with a thick, water resistant double coat and webbed feet, Newfoundlands love to be near the water with their people. Affectionate and loyal, Newfoundlands are also great with children and can make good watchdogs. The largest of the terrier breeds, the Airedale Terrier was bred originally to hunt small game and waterfowl but can also be used to hunt larger game because of its size. An intelligent, adventurous companion, the Airedale is versatile and active and requires a job to do or plenty of vigorous daily exercise to meet its energy requirements. Their dense, wiry coats require regular combing as well as an occasional shaping and trimming. The Schipperke is not as conventional a water dog as the other breeds on the list but has origins working on boats and being on the water. With a name that means “little skipper” or “little captain,” Schipperkes worked on canal boats traveling between Antwerp and Brussels as ratters and guard dogs.