Perhaps the best moment of a dog owner’s week is when they get to take their pooch out to backyard for some fetch, or to the nearby trail to run free. However, many fishermen prefer spending their weekends on the open water, with their poles, flies, tackle box, and of course, their lovable pup by their side.
However, not all dogs are suitable for water activities. Here are the top 6 qualities you should look for when finding your new fishing buddy:
1) Active/ Energetic
Nobody wants a pup who’s going to be a beach bum while you’re doing all the work. A good fishing partner should be running around the beach or boat, helping you look for fish. Of course, they can’t jump in the water and splash or they’ll scare the fish away, but once a fish is hooked, they’ll be paddling out to help reel that bad boy in. Irish Setters, while bred for hunting, love the water and can easily apply their rambunctious energy towards catching that fish for dinner.
2) Water-Repellent Coats
These coats are great for dogs that will be constantly in and out of the water during a long time span. They help keep the dog warm during cold and harsh fishing conditions, allowing the dog to shake off water and dry off quickly, eliminating risks for cold weather illnesses, allowing you and your pooch to fish all year round. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers were bred specifically to tolerate those harsh conditions and their wiry coats repel water like the same poles of magnet will repel each other.
A dog that is smart enough to pick up on new tricks and tasks is your best bet to having a great helper. Dogs can be trained to point towards fish in the water so you’re able to easily hook them, and can help reel them in by swimming out and retrieving the fish. Golden Retrievers are best at this since they are easily able to pick up on these tasks, plus they are known for having a “soft mouth”, meaning when they bite down on the fish, their teeth won’t damage the fish at all. Your golden will bring it back to shore with no more harm than the hook caused.
As a fisherman, you need to be able to trust your dog to not run off into the woods while you’re busy focusing on the fish. Any loyal dog will not leave your sight for more than a few minutes. (They may go off on their own for a small adventure, but will be back before you even notice they’re gone.) Labrador Retrievers are commonly known for their loyalty and will not leave their human’s side so that they’re ready to go whenever something needs to be retrieved from the water.
Having a gentle demeanor is especially important for fishing. You can’t have a dog that’s going to be constantly splashing in the water and steering the fish in the opposite direction. Newfoundland’s are great long distance swimmers due to their webbed feet, but are more known for their sweet character and gentle demeanor.
6) Loves Water
All of these qualities are found in many dogs, but the most important trait to finding a fishing dog is finding a dog who LOVES water. It’ll be difficult to train a dog to help fish if they can’t bear to put their toes in.