It’s recommended that from the time dogs and cats are puppies and kittens humans should begin getting them used to having their feet touched and inspected. This helps when they’re older and pet parents or veterinarians need to check them for stickers, thorns, ticks, and any number of other reasons an inspection might be necessary. You may never have noticed before, but several dog breeds actually have webbed feet.
That’s because they were bred for water activities. There are 13 in total, and we’re going to cover them for you here.
1. Labrador Retrievers
This working dog was bred for hunting and often times they end up wading into water to retrieve game birds for their masters. Also a loving family dog and therapy animal, the Lab is one of the most popular dogs on the planet.
Another water dog that loves to swim, both their coats and their feet are perfectly suited for the life they were bred for. They come in three sizes and are also excellent retrievers originally bred to fetch waterfowl.
3. German Wire-Haired Pointers
A large, solid dog, its weatherproof coat insulates them in the winter and cools them in the summer. High energy and incredibly smart, these dogs need plenty of exercise, which could include going for swims with those large webbed feet.
4. Portuguese Water Dogs
Used by fishermen for herding schools of fish into nets and with help dragging them in or out, these dogs are eager to please, loyal, energetic, and enthusiastic swimmers with webbed toes.
With their waterproof coats and webbed paws, Newfoundlands can stay in the water for long periods of time. Also bred for working with fishermen (in Canada), their strong frames and physical stamina meant they could pull nets and fetch fish for their owners as well.
Hardly a water dog with its compact snausage body, dachshunds have webbed feet for the purpose of digging rather than swimming. That’s because they were bred for getting into tight spaces to find animals that burrow like badgers and rats.
7. American Water Spaniels
Their thickly padded webbed feet make them an excellent choice for hunters in need of a retriever that doesn’t shy away from water. The breed is said to be especially owner-orientated and quick to learn and train.
8. German Short-Haired Pointers
Another powerful canine, they were bred to perform a variety of different gun dog roles. Unlike some of the other animals on this list, their paws are distinctly small in size and scoop-like, which allows them to easily paddle through water in search of downed game.
Originating in the UK, these hunting dogs are top-notch swimmers courtesy of their broad shoulders, rough coats, sizable webbed feet, and muscular builds. They’re also known for having an incredibly strong sense of smell.
10. Irish Water Spaniels
Between their thick, tightly-curled coats and webbed feet, these dogs can swim all day, as their name alludes. Considered awesome family dogs, they don’t like being left alone and prefer to be kept busy.
Used as hunting dogs by royalty in the 18th century, Weimaraners are known as intelligent, loving pets whose long legs and large arched toes and webbed feet can move them through any terrain with speed.
12. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers
Bred to hunt in water, these dogs are easily recognizable by their striking copper-red fur. With more webbing between their toes than most web-footed breeds, they are considered the quickest and most agile swimmers on the list.
13. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
Long used for duck hunting in the frigid waters of Chesapeake Bay, strong, muscular-framed Chessies put their webbed feet (featuring rounded supportive toes) to good use when hitting the water.
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