The Water dogs group includes water retrievers used to bring back downed game from water, essentially dead or injured waterfowl, decoy dogs, which will entice waterfowl into a position where they can be netted or shot, fish-herders, capable of herding the fish, moving the nets and even catching the odd fish that managed to escape from the nets and fisherman's draught dogs, versatile working dogs used on fisherman's boats and for rescuing people from drowning.
Black Labrador jumping into the water
Photo: Jan Paul Schrage
Typically these are highly intelligent dogs with good swimming ability and a waterproof coat.
Dogs used Water Retrievers and as Waterfowl Hunters
Black Labrador Retriever training to retrieve ducks on long island salt marsh
Photo: Karen Libby
American Water Spaniel: a duck-hunting dog breed originating in the State of Wisconsin and descending from the Irish Water Spaniel.
Barbet: believed to be the forerunner of the Poodle, and one of Europe's most ancient water dogs. Possibly also played a role in the genetics of the Briard and French griffons.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever: similar to the curly-coated retriever, but descending from small dogs of Newfoundland.
Curly-coated Retriever: the most ancient of the British retrievers, probably descending from the extinct English Water Spaniel and the Lesser Newfoundland.
Irish Water Spaniel: a waterfowl retrieving breed descending from three native varieties of Water Spaniels and adapted for working the cold winter waters of Ireland.
Black Labrador on duck hunting expedition, retrieving a hen
Photo: Karen Libby
(Waterfowl hunting dogs, Fish-herders, Dogs used for Rescue in Water and other Water Dogs)
Labrador Retriever: one of the most popular and most loyal dog breeds, tracing its origins back to the St. John's region of Newfoundland even though it was developed by British breeders.
Lagotto Romagnolo: a duck-hunting dog from the Romagna region in Nothern Italy, where it is also used as truffle-hunting dog.
St John's Water Dog: now rediscovered, this was the old Lesser St John's Dog, descending from Spaniels imported by the early settlers and local Newfoundlands. It is from this breed that the Labrador was created.
Spanish Water Dog: relatively unknown outside Spain, this breed is related to the Portugese Water dog and possibly also the Poodle.
Standard Poodle: originally a water dog, the typical Poodle haircuts were designed for the Poodle's duck retrieving job, keeping the chest and feet warm, while leaving the rest of the body free of hair to keep the dog from getting water-logged.
Wetterhoun: a waterdog of Friesian origin, a region in the North-western part of the Netherlands. Wetter means 'water' in the friesian dialect, and houn means 'dog'. The breed is also known as Friese Krulhaar.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Portugese Water Dog: the only surviving fish-herding breed. A typical fisheman's dog, used to pull nets in the water and also to bear messages from boat to boat.
Fisherman's Draught Dogs and Water Rescue Dogs
Landseer and Newfoundland
These versatile working dogs are also used to rescue people from drowning. See Newfoundland and Landseer.
Photo: Giovanni Rinaldi
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