Unless you can find a breed of dog with thumbs, you’d more than likely have a terrible time teaching it to reel in a fish. Our canine compadres do have a whole stack of other highly pertinent qualities, however. Even without thumbs, they’ve been by our side since our Neanderthal dodging beginnings as humans. They’ve lost a whole lot of fluff and menace since their days as wolves though. Yes, that’s right ladies and gents your wide-eyed poodle was once upon a time, a big bad wolf.

There isn’t much specific information in the way of Fishing Dogs. We can find some similarities if we examine some of the research and findings that have been done regarding dogs as hunting helpers. There are over 184 different breeds of hunting dogs in existence today. Some are easily recognisable as their names represent the jobs that they were bred for. Just look at staghounds, foxhounds and wolfhounds for example. They quite naturally were produced with those intentions stitched into their names. Then there’s the Lurcher, the poacher’s dog, a greyhound breed that would swindle rabbits from farms and bring them back to their owners. These dogs would’ve been trained from puppies to fulfil their roles, and regardless of the methods used, you can always be sure that dogs have an inbuilt propensity to please their masters as long as they are rewarded for doing so. So with that said, what could we correlate between the two?

Man’s best friend can often be found rubbing up against the wet boots of its master as they wade their way through ice-cold salmon fishing rivers and spending time soaking up the sun on their big buddies boat. And there are also some pooches that wouldn’t even be caught dead near water. Some dogs are just more geared towards fishing than others. They can’t all be Barack Obama’s Portuguese water dogs Bo and Sunny. But don’t let that deter you from finding your own genuine Bass Hound. Their characteristics are hardwired into their DNA! Here are five breeds that boast a love for water that might just rival yours.



THE GOLDEN RETRIEVER – Originally bred for the demanding job of retrieving ducks and other fowl for hunters, the Golden Retriever’s love of water is evident all through its life.



NEWFOUNDLAND – Back in the day, Newfoundland’s were used as working dogs to pull nets for fishermen. Quite a rare breed to find nowadays, but if you do, never let it go.



CHESAPEAKE BAY RETRIEVER – They have a bright and happy disposition, courage, willingness to work, alertness, intelligence, and love of water as some of their characteristics.



PORTUGUESE WATER DOG – Portuguese Water Dogs are initially from the Portuguese region of the Algarve, from where the breed expanded to all around Portugal’s coast. They were taught to herd fish into fishermen’s nets, and retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, and to act as couriers from ship to ship, or ship to shore. Portuguese Water Dogs rode in fishing trawlers as they worked their way from the Atlantic waters of Portugal to the waters off the coast of Iceland where the fleets caught cod.



LABRADOR RETRIEVER – Labs are athletic, playful, and the most popular breed of dog by registered ownership in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

OUR BASS HOUND – Since 2008, it’s been possible to clone your pet. You need about the equivalent of a million rand. Gene splicing is also common practice nowadays. So in the not so futuristic world, mixing different characteristics of your favourite kinds of dogs might be possible. Let’s not venture down the mine-riddled moral footpath on this one. Purely for the fun of it, here’s our curated Bass Hound:

Breed: I love Basset Hounds. Their long ears lap up more water than their little mouths. I’d mix the head and ears of a Basset with the body of a smooth and big Labrador.

Character: Like any good pup a playful disposition is always good.

Unique Skills: I’d give it opposable thumbs so they can reel in a fish.


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