Having thin layers of connecting tissue between the toes – commonly known as webbed feet – can help dogs in a several ways.
Most obviously, it helps them swim more efficiently, meaning many dogs bred to retrieve items from water are web-footed. The shape of the foot means that they can paddle quicker, displacing more water than otherwise would be possible, and be more controlled in their movements.
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It also helps dogs dig faster, while the greater surface area created makes it easier to walk on surfaces like sand, snow and mud.
This means that web-footed pups are also prized by hunters and those looking for the perfect search and rescue dogs for all terrains.
Here are 10 of the breeds of dog that have webbed feet.
1. Labrador Retriever
The world's most popular dog, the Labrador Retriever was originally used to retriever (hence the name) fish, fishing nets and even fishermen from the ice cold sea. This made their webbed feet invaluable - as well as their water repellent coat and rudder-like tail. These dogs are one of the strongest swimmers. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
Like the Labrador, the web-footed Newfoundland was used by fishermen to help them bring in the daily catch. Their thick coats mean they can stay in icy water for longer than almost any other dog - and these days they are frequestly used as search and resuce dogs. A reall all-rounder. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
Bred to retrieve waterfowl, Poodle may now be more at home at dog shows and as family pets. Whatever the size - toy, miniature or standard - they all have webbed feet. It also helps them walk on mud, hopefully meaning less muck gets into those beautiful coats during walkies. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
Not exactly known for their swimming abilities, it comes as a surprise to many that their cute sausage dog has webbed feet. Originally bred for hunting, their specialised feet help the Dachshund dig really quickly to locate critters underground. Photo: Canva/Getty Images