Spanish Water Dog At a Glance
Country of Origin:
AKC (Herding); FCI (Water Dogs); KC (Gundog); UKC (Gun Dog)
Medium. Weight: 31–48.5 lbs Height: 15.5–19.5 inches
Curly and thick.
Shades of White and Black, White and Brown; Also shades of White, Black, Chestnut
10 to 14 years
Cold Weather Tolerance
Hot Weather Tolerance
Did You Know?
This dog is called Perro de Agua Español in Spain.
Spanish Water Dog Overview
Similar in origin to other water dogs such as the Portuguese, the Spanish Water Dog boasts a history dating back to the 1100s. Their woolly coats and herding capabilities made them excellent water retrieval dogs in Spanish waters. This versatile breed is still used for work today, as both retriever and herder of sheep and goats.
Spanish Water Dog Characteristics
This dog breed has a coat very similar to other water dog breeds. The curly, woolly coat helps protect the breed from the cold waters during retrieval, and also provides some protection from the elements on land. The coat also doubles as good camouflage when tending to sheep or goats. The coat can be kept in a softer puppy style grown out or can be groomed into a more show-style trim.
Spanish Water Dog Temperament
The three traits that identify the Spanish Water Dog are obedient, hardworking and faithful. This breed has strong instincts in hunting, guarding and herding and are what keeps the breed happiest. Designed to work, they adapt well to any situation where he has a job to do. While easily trained, he may be standoffish toward those outside of his family unit.
Spanish Water Dog Care
The average lifespan of the Spanish Water Dog is 10 to 14 years, typical for their size. Health concerns include metabolic diseases such as Addison’s, hypothyroidism and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Other issues include cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, allergies and hip dysplasia. Careful breeding may help reduce some of these diseases.
Spanish Water Dog Coat
The coat can be kept curly, or may naturally form cords. Traditional owners recommend not brushing the coat and letting it naturally develop into cords on its own. The coat may be shaved or trimmed a few times per year to remove any debris that may have accumulated. Some owners also prefer a closer trimmed show-coat, however, it is uncommon.
Spanish Water Dog Training
Smart and quick to learn, they do well in any training situation. Socialization is key to prevent him becoming territorial toward people or other animals. This is a dog that likes having a job, so training to traditional jobs or more modern dog-sports will keep him occupied.
Spanish Water Dog Activity
As a herding and working breed, they require a lot of exercises. Long walks, hikes or even dog sports such as agility or herding trials will help keep the breed exercised in both mind and body. This is a traditional working breed that does best with a task to complete, or else he may become bored and destructive.