Why do some dogs like water while others do not?

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Dogs who like water tend to belong to breeds that have a long history of loving aquatic environments. These breeds have adapted to become great swimmers that are comfortable and agile in the water. Other dog breeds, such as those that tend to be small companion dogs, are not recognized as being great swimmers. While it‘s possible for any dog to become comfortable with the water, some dogs are naturally more comfortable in pools, oceans, lakes, rivers and any other body of water.

Dogs known to be comfortable in water are typically hunting and sporting group breeds. The breeds that rank highest in terms of being accomplished in water include the Schipperke, Labrador Retriever, Spanish Water Dog, Irish Water Spaniel, Newfoundland, English Setter, Irish Setter, Golden Retriever, Portuguese Water Dog and Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Many of these dogs were bred to retrieve fowl or perform tasks in water for their owners.

Dog breeds that are not good at swimming include the Bulldog, Dachshund, Boxer, Pug, Maltese and Chihuahua. While these dogs may enjoy an occasional dip in the pool, they don’t have the body structure or durable coat to keep them comfortable and afloat in the water for long periods of time.

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