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Water Dogs

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If you’ve got a good dog and you’re on the water, that’s a hell of a start to having a perfect day. (Cold beer, good friends, and a decent stereo help too.) But some dog breeds are better suited to the pleasures of boating than others. These are my top dogs for the life aquatic.

Labrador Retriever: Granted, I’m biased since I have two labs curled up at my feet as I write this, but I really don’t think you can do better as far as finding a sweet, soulful dog that is absolutely crazy about the water. As a bonus, their short hair is easy to clean.

Labrador Retriever

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Not into having a giant slobbery mutt running roughshod over your yacht’s interior? Try a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Unlike most small dogs, they love to swim, and their temperament is said to most resemble that of a Labrador retriever. Win, win.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Newfoundland: These slobbery giants aren’t for everyone, but they might be more comfortable in the water than any other breed. They’re so big and powerful that some lifeguard teams use them as rescue swimmers. Don’t be scared off by the dog’s immense size. Remember the ever-faithful dog Nana that served as a nurse for Wendy in Peter Pan? She was a Newfie.


Poodle: I know, their haircuts look stupid. And they’re saddled with that unfortunate name too. But these dogs are actually one of the most intelligent breeds going, and they’re hypoallergenic too. Plus they come in all sizes ranging from about 6 to 75 pounds. And those notorious haircuts? They were originally meant to aid them as they splashed through the water retrieving waterfowl.