Spanish Water Dog, or Perro de Agua Espanol, is a versatile, ancient dog breed found on the Iberian Peninsula. For centuries, this breed was used to herd goats and sheep, but it is also a water retriever.
The Spanish Water Dogs stand 17 to 19.5 inches tall and weigh between 30 and 50 pounds. The head is strong, with a slightly flat skull, hazel to chestnut colored eyes, and dropped ears. The body is slightly longer than tall, with a deep chest, and a docked or naturally bobbed tail. The coat is curly and wooly. When the coat grows in length, cords form. The coat can be white, chestnut, black, or tricolored. The coat will grow and cord naturally, but the cords should be helped to grow without turning into mats, which can pull the skin or cause skin problems underneath. Special care must be taken when bathing the dog, too. The coat is usually shaved short once a year. Potential Spanish Water Dog owners should discuss this breed’s coat care with a breeder.
The Spanish Water Dog is an active dog breed. They do need their playtime; however, when one finds themselves wrapped up in the everyday chores, these dogs are naturally inclined to amuse themselves. The Spanish Water Dog is always ready to entertain, to retrieve, to swim, hike, herd, or to entice you into playing a game of ball. This is an intelligent dog breed. They are easy to train and have a high motivation to please. The training technique should be fun. Early and continued socialization is important, as those who are not well-socialized may be overprotective or shy.
The Spanish Water Dog breed needs an owner who can socialize and train the dog. The owner must be aware of the breed’s grooming needs and be willing to take the time to groom the dog properly. Many Spanish Water Dog breeders will not sell dogs to families with children under the age of 5, as the dogs often try to herd the kids. These dogs are also good with other dogs and smaller pets. Health concerns include eye defects, thyroid disease, and hip dysplasia.