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Spanish Water Dog Mobile

Spanish Water Dog

A robust, medium-sized dog, the Spanish Water Dog has a curly, woolly coat that can be corded when long, or kept clipped short. They are strong and muscular and as their name suggests, love getting wet and are well suited to swimming and retrieving from water.

The need-to-know
  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys more than two hours of walking a day
  • Medium dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Quiet dog
  • Welcomes everyone happily
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • Great family dog
  • Needs a large garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left occasionally with training

Key Facts

Lifespan: 10 – 14 years
Weight:  Adult males weigh around 18-22kg and females 14-18kg  
Height:  Adult males are 44-50cm tall and females 40-46cm tall
Colours:  Solid black, white or brown, or black and white or brown and white
Size:  Medium
UK Kennel Club Groups: Gundog 

Ratings

Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 5/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 2/5
Shedding: 1/5
Dog kissing its owner

Personality

The Spanish Water Dog is bright, intelligent, friendly and even-tempered, and they love to work. With gainful employment via training, and a variety of dog sports or activities, the SWD is an excellent, active and fun companion dog. Although they may bond to one person in the family more than others, this is a gregarious dog who likes his family group to stay together, probably as a result of his herding ancestry!

Dog standing on the see shore

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Spain

If the woolly coat of the Spanish Water Dog puts you in mind of the poodle, you can be forgiven for your error, as both Poodles and Spanish Water Dogs likely have a shared ancestor - the Barbet. Known to exist in Europe for several thousands of years, water dogs with woolly coats have served a variety of purposes, including hauling in fishing nets, retrieving items lost overboard, but also herding sheep and goats.

Today this rare breed is mostly seen in the show-ring but retains an all rounder attitude to a variety of jobs and is a bright, intelligent dog who can make a fun companion if their grooming needs are not an issue.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • Although the Spanish Water Dog has existed as a type of working dog in rural Spain for some time, as breed they have only been internationally recognised very recently. Efforts to establish them as a pedigree breed began in the 1970s, and the Spanish Kennel Club accepted them in the mid-1980s. 
  • There is also some confusion as to which breed group the Spanish Water Dog belongs in, with the UK Kennel Club classifying them as Gundogs, but the American Kennel Club placing them in the Herding group.

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