At the mention of “webbed feet”, the first thing that crosses your mind is animals that spend most of their time in the water, like frogs and ducks. This feature allows these creatures to swim easily and fast. It may seem unlikely but the webbed feet feature is also found in inland creatures, including dogs.
From the feet size to toe positioning and nail length, a closer look at your dog’s feet will show you multiple features that make dogs unique. Webbed feet in a dog are not rare. In fact, some puppies have been deliberately bred with webbed feet to give them greater speed in the water.
What are webbed feet?
Webbed feet are when the toes or fingers are joined by a membrane or web. The thing is, all dogs kind of have webbed feet if you would observe closely but most of them do not have a well-developed web. Just like with boat oars and flippers, webbing assists animals to paddle through the water effectively.
Animals with webbed feet also pass on tricky terrain such as muddy surfaces when they are on land without the risk of falling or sinking.
Are dogs’ feet webbed/can dogs have webbed feet?
Yes, all dogs have webbed feet – if you look closely between their toes. It is part of how their paws are composed like the skin between the human fingers. Webbing is a crucial trait in water dogs that makes them excellent swimmers.
It is worth noting that there are specific dogs that have webbed feet which helps them do certain things common to that line of breeds. Not all dogs have webbed feet. However, a few dog breeds have webbed feet and they use them for swimming.
Dog webbed feet image
Below are two images showing dogs with webbed feet
Why do some dogs have webbed feet?
Webbed feet are a common trait in land animals, especially in the embryonic stage. The membrane, however, disappears during the animal’s development cycle. To retain the webbed feet feature in dogs, consistent breeding and use of the webbed feet in water makes them develop.
In history, many dog breeds have been retrieving animals in water and choosy breeding and evolutionary transformation has made them water masters. Other than being robust swimmers, dogs with webbed feet are excellent in roaming the land.
Dogs with webbed feet PitBull/PitBull with webbed feet
Pitbulls have connective tissue between their feet but not webbed feet. This kind of webbing in Pit Bulls cannot be categorized under webbed feet.
14 Dogs With Webbed Feet
Wondering What dog has webbed feet? As mentioned before, there are dog breeds with webbed feet out there. In this section, we shall describe the 14 dog breeds with webbed feet.
- Labrador Retrievers
- Portuguese Water Dog
- German Short-Haired Pointer
- German Wire-Haired Pointer
- American Water Spaniel
- Chesapeake Bay Retriever
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
- Redbone Coonhound
In this section, we shall review the 14 dog breeds with webbed feet looking at their features as well as why they have the feature.
Labrador Retrievers are so popular that they make up the biggest population of family pets, especially because of their friendly and affectionate nature. Their intelligence levels make them the perfect choice for police dogs. Unlike many other breeds, their grooming maintenance is cheap.
Due to their notably food-oriented nature, Labrador Retrievers are easy to train and require plenty of exercises to balance food consumption with their high-energy temperament. Failure to do this, your Labrador retriever will be destructive and hyperactive.
Other than large webbed feet, Labrador retrievers boast a dual-layered water-resistant repellent coat, plus a robust rudder-like tail that navigates them through the water. Looking for a confident and off-the-charts swimmer? Look no further, the Labrador retriever is a fantastic choice.
Also known as the Gentle Giant (not the country music legend Don Williams, haha!), Newfoundland was bred with fishermen in mind. If you do fishing in the cold waters of Canada, this black wooly gigantic dog has all the traits that make it a pro at fishing activities.
Newfoundlands have oily thick fur that makes them water-resistant and is well-built to enable them to drag in fishing nets. With this webbed feet dog, you have a lifesaver in case one of your fishing crew falls overboard. Their webbed feet and longest toes (compared to other breeds) help them swim powerfully through surf and waves.
Seaman, a Newfoundland dog helped Lewis and Clark during their exploration and mapping of the American frontier’s rivers. Newfoundlands swim in a unique down-and-out motion.
Portuguese Water Dog
Are you looking for a dog that is bred to work in water? Meet the Portuguese water dog, a webbed feet dog with a thick furry coat that facilitates easy navigation through the water. These dogs were not, however, used for hauling fish.
The best thing about the Portuguese water dog is its great loyalty. As such, fishermen would use it to deliver messages from one boat to another. The breed has a reputation for retrieving small items, as well as herding schools of fish toward finish nets.
With origins in Portugal, the breed has large webbed feet that make them outstanding doggy paddlers.
Poodles are intelligent, curly, and adorable dog breeds that are often linked to classy city people. While they are indoor-oriented dogs, Poodles are amazingly comfy relishing the impressive outdoors as well. This breed boasts a very gentle, low-allergen coat.
When it comes to maintenance, the Poodle’s coat requires regular grooming to ensure the fur remains smart, but they hardly shed. Poodles have a swimming affection, which means you have to include regular swimming in your daily schedule. They are also great to train for sprightliness and respect.
Initially bred in France to rescue waterfowl, Poodles have webbed feet that facilitate swiftness and accuracy while working in water, making them brilliant retrievers. When choosing the breed for your family, ensure you consider the size.
German Short-Haired Pointer
German Short-Haired Pointers are streamlined and vigorous hunters with a pretty friendly nature which makes it a perfect family pet. The breed is known for its high energy levels. As such, they are at their best with active people who love regular adventures and long walks
The German Short-Haired Pointer has uniquely small paws with a scoop-like shape which allows it to paddle through water easily. The breed was bred to do a range of different gun dog roles and work comfortably in upland habitats and forests.
Also known as GPS, they have webbed feet that help them swim effectively in ponds and rivers, and they paddle like experts.
German Wire-Haired Pointer
The German Wire-Haired Pointer is a dog that was selectively bred to suit hunting needs. The breed was typically bred to track and retrieve fowl for hunters. As the choosy breeding process continued, the breed got webbed feet, a robust smell sense, and a thick coat. This coat protects the dogs in winter and cools them off in summer.
Their typical beards give the German Wire-Haired Pointer an attractive look, with easy maintenance. This breed can navigate nearly any terrain, from rough mountains to muddy swamps. Their webbed feet make them excellent swimmers in both ponds and rivers at the same speed they do on land.
Naturally, the German Wire-Haired Pointer loves swimming, so do not be shocked if it doesn’t hunt. They are high-energy, responsive, and intelligent dog breed. It also loves being engaged in hunting, tracking, canicross, and more.
American Water Spaniel
American Water Spaniel is a 19th-century dog that was bred in America with hunters in mind. If you are looking for something attractive or high-performing, the American Water Spaniel is not for you. But if you want a webbed feet dog with a thick coat that will navigate via the Great Lake region’s icy waters, you found what you are looking for.
The American Water Spaniel has toes that are very close to each other and can be excellent swimmers. These webbed feet dogs used can retrieve shot birds even in wet, dark, and muddy areas for their hunters (their owners).
These dogs are bred for working with plenty of physical and mental stimulation via swimming, training, and hunting; otherwise they will become destructive and noisy. It is worth noting that the American Water Spaniel is owner-oriented, which means it can be unfriendly to strangers.
Dating back to the 18th century, Weimaraners are huge and active that have been bred for hunting big game such as deer and boar. This intelligent, affectionate breed was naturally used by royalty. You can tell their hunting capabilities just by looking at their poise and elegance while sitting. Weimaraners and their mixes also make great family pets.
Weimaraners have soft sleek coats that are easy to maintain with special concentration on nail trimming and ears cleaning. The breed’s long ears need regular cleaning to minimize the risk of infection since their shape restricts airflow.
The breed has webbed feet and curved toes that help them walk or run through any terrain while retrieving game animals when hunting. This webbing is ideal for swimming and swampy places without compromising speed.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Yet another very loyal dog breed, the Chesapeake Bay retrieval makes a wonderful companion. While they love working, these dogs are best with active people or families who like long walks, hikes, among other outdoor activities. Their external appearance resembles that of Labrador retrievers with a difference in furry coat.
Their history dates back in 1807 when they were found on a ship in Maryland. They multiplied in numbers eventually and were then bred to help hunters. Their thick coat can endure the Chesapeake Bay’s cold temperatures to retrieve ducks.
Their webbed feet allow them to swim swiftly through the ice-cold waters as well as large, rounded toes for increased support. The Chesapeake Bay retriever (named such in 1918 by the AKC) is believed to have been bred with the local bay area into the dogs you cherish.
Originally bred in medieval England to hunt otters, Otterhounds make great family pets since otter hunting was banned. Otterhounds were used by hunters to track otters that reduced fish supply in native fishing streams. As such, you could walk them to sniffing spots.
The breed has a rough but waterproof coat that protects them against severe temperatures, as well as a robust sense of smell for ease of tracking. Otterhounds have large noses that are very sensitive in picking up scent even under the water.
Their large webbed feet make them outstanding and fast swimmers. They are tall and have broadly-built shoulders which means they can jump out of the fence. So, if you plan on adopting one, ensure you have a high secure fence.
Irish Water Spaniel
As the name suggests, Irish Water Spaniels are water doggies with a thought of existence since the 7th century. Top-notch swimmers, this breed features magnificent soft curled coats – great for folks with dog allergies. Irish Water Spaniels are great with kids making them an impeccable family pet, but they dislike being neglected as this triggers separation anxiety.
The Irish Water Spaniels have webbed feet which make them exceptional retrievers and hunters. It is also worth noting that you should start training early on in this breed’s life if you have dog allergies so they can pick it up as a positive experience.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
If you want a dog breed with the ability to lure (tolling) prey into a trap or a shooting range, the Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers is a fantastic choice. They have a remarkable copper-red thick coat and thick fur coat that makes them identifiable.
Word has it that the Nova Scotia Tolling Duck Retriever possesses a Chesapeake Bay’s brain and a Spaniel’s heart. Their webbed feet are a notch higher than other dog’s which makes them the swift Nova Scotia Retriever most active swimmers on the list.
When it comes to grooming, they require minimum attention (weekly brushing) with special focus at the back of the ears. Trimming excess fur between their feet’s pads to protect them from sliding or slipping indoors on hard floors is vital.
Although the modern-day Dachshunds are typically canine companions, they were initially bred for hunting. They have a long slender body that is ideal for entering snug spots, making them perfect for hunting small animals such as badgers.
While other dogs in our list have webbed feet for ease of swimming, the strong shovel-like webbing in the Dachshunds is for ease of digging. The breed does not also like anything long distance, but you should make sure it gets enough exercise to maintain muscle strength. But make sure it does not eat too much.
While Dachshunds are highly affectionate, they are stubborn creatures especially in training. Please note that they will be reluctant to train based on punishment, so be gentle to them.
If you are interested in a dog’s fierceness and bravery, the Redbone Coonhounds breed is a perfect choice. With origins in Europe, this breed worked in the American South for Europe in the 1700s, where the territory was quite different. It has a striking red coat that hides their robust muscles.
The American South has lots of swamps and forests which were dangerous for hunters as animals would climb trees or throw trackers off in muddy water. The Redbone Coonhound was specifically bred for this terrain. Their fearless nature would threaten alligators, cougars, or black bears while keeping raccoons in trees till the hunter kills and leaves. That explains why the breed is mostly found in the United States.
Other than being fast and graceful, Redbone Coonhounds have webbed feet which allow them to chase their prey through swamps.
Do Bernese Mountain Dogs have webbed feet?
Originating from the Switzerland farmlands, the Bernese Mountain Dogs are an adaptable working dog breed that was bred for herding cattle, watchdogs, pulling carts, and as canine companions. It is one of the four Swiss Mountain Dogs types, and only one with long hair.
Yes, Bernese Mountain Dogs do not have webbed feet.
Do Golden Retrievers have webbed feet?
With origins in Scotland, the Golden Retriever is a large-sized dog breed that is bred as gun dogs for retrieving waterfowl and upland game birds when hunting and shooting. They have a calm temperament and are friendly and have a golden and yellowish gold fur with black eyes and nose.
Yes, Golden Retrievers have webbed feet and a water-resistant coat.
Do Poodles have webbed feet?
Yes, Poodles have webbed feet which makes them excellent swimmers with paws that act like paddles in the water. The three Poodles breeds, including Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodle, and Toy Poodles have webbed feet. Poodles are ranked among the best dog breeds with high swimming abilities.
All dogs are somehow webbed (have webbed feet), but these are the 14 dog breeds with webbed feet on the list. Check if your puppy has webbed feet or if they like to swim, hunt, or shove and we’ll be glad if you inform us below.
Hi there! My name is Alex Landy, one of the co-founders here at Our Pets HQ and a parent to a small-breed Yorkie. I am a published author of two books on dog breeding and currently write on various pet-related blogs about caring for dogs. I am a parent of two daughters and live outside Boston where I spend a lot of time with family and serve in different breeding clubs. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org