About the breed Spanish Water Dog

The Spanish Water Dog is very old breed from Iberian peninsula. The most of population came from Andalucia called as "turco", "laneto", or "churro". RUSTIC - ROBUST - MEDIUM SIZED dog, well proportioned, dolichocephalic, of rather elongated harmonious shape and attractive appearance with well developed muscles. 


     Lenght of body | size = 9/8   

     Depht of chest | size = 4/8 Lenght of muzzle | lenght of skull = 2/3



ABOUT SWDs: Behaviour, Temperament and Socialization = MULTITALENTED DOGS

After gaining 10 years of experience in this breed, I can better describe you how Spanish Water dogs really are. Why did Spanish Water Dogs win my heart? Well, they are very funny, INTELLIGENT, loyal, faithful, obedient, gay, hard working and family dogs. They are great companion to other dogs or animals because they are not dominant or agressive breedIt´s able to adapt to any type of setting, whether it is urban village or apartment complex. In Spain were used like herding dogs, help of fishermen or working dogs. Today they are multitalented dogs used like agility dogs who love to work and jump, herding dogs, hunting dogs (in water) or gundogs, companion dogs, assistance dogs looking for bombs, drugs (police dogs) and they can handle many other activities like frisbee, obedience, caniscross, dog diving (they can dive 6m!) etc. They are suitable for families with children (smaller or older), active pairs or people who love walks in the nature. They are not hyperactive dogs, but they require some activity, walk, running or brain activity. They love to learn and listen to owner.

As a negative things in this breed (yes, each breed has positives and negatives) I might mention the shyness and protection of territory, because the breed was originally used for herding, some lines or combination of parents-dogs can still produce the herding genes and first time owners or very sensitive owners may not handle the training. You should be dominant over your dog, not dog over you! There are many positive training methods for using. Spanish Water dogs are very intelligent and they learn quickly. Yes, they bark on their territory, but they do not bark when it is not necessary. Some dogs after growing up, might not like the strangers. They are not labradors jumping on every stranger, but the family is in the first place for them. Usually they are fixed to only one person (adult one) in the family. In conclusion, I would say that everything depends from the owner: correct puppy socialization, taking take them as much as possible out of the house, on the street to meet new people, other dogs, cars, noisey things, take them to training halls, to puppy-kindergarden and do dog activities and trainings so they get skills for what they were bred - functionality. 



ABOUT SWDs: coat, colors and care about coat

The coat of Spanish Water Dogs is always curly (in short or long lenght too). They must have the same length on whole body. The maximum as recommended length for showing is 15cm and minimum 3cm to show the quality of the curls. The coat for shows is never brushed nor scissored, we can see that some exhibitors are using scissors on coat especially around neck, angulations, topline: Some dogs in long corded coat have not natural curly ends on cords (scissoring), dogs are groomed/fluffy from the hairdreyer. Such coat should be penalized. Myth 1: SWDs have hair - no, every dog has a coat. Myth 2: SWDs have no undercoat - no, they have the undercoat. Myth 3: SWDs have swimming membranes - no, they have normal paws and fingers like other breeds.


SHAVING/HAIRCUT: Spanish Water Dogs are usually shaved once or twice a year, but it depends from the owner´s preferences or show timing. In our kennel we use hairmachine MOSER-MAX45 + OSTER 7F blade (3,2mm) on adult dogs and OSTER 4 (9,5mm) or OSTER 5 (6,3mm) only in puppy coat which is softer from the adult coat. The body, ears, muzzle, head, legs and paws must be shaved with the same blade. We make final corrections with grooming scissors (between fingers, around eyes, ears, intimate parts etc). 



CORDS/SPLITTING: Long coat should be made of long, thin cords with curly ends (check middle photo). Usually the problem is when the coat is matted in skin, and the skin cannot breath - you can prevent it, if you take out the undercoat with fingers in matted areas (ex. neck, behind the ears, belly). The matt splitter (first picture) may help you to split the cords.



COLORS ALLOWED BY FCI STANDARD: In Spanish water dogs we can see beautiful differences in colors and coats. The solid colors are black, brown and white all in different shades and tones. Then we have lovely particolors (black-white and brown-white) and very favourite people´s colour pinto - the white with black spots or white with brown spots. A lot of people is confused by FCI standard saying: spotty or flecked coat is disqualifying fault, but if the coat has one or more big spots of recognized colour, the color and pigmentation is okey and can be shown on expositions (see the pictures below):

solid color: black   -   particolor: black and white   -   pinto: white and black with spotting or roan color    -   solid: white/cream)

solid color: brown   -   particolor:  brown and white   -   pinto: white and brown with spotting or roan colour (last 2 photos)


COLORS NOT ALLOWED BY FCI: In Spanish water dogs is very rare to see unrecognized colors, but yes, they exist. The most typical in Spain to see is so called "orito", color brown and tan. Very rare is black and tan, sable or tricolor. Sometimes the black is turning into unwish grey shade, which is also not allowed on shows. Albinism, it means white hair and no pigmentation is very rare as well. Dalmatian coat can be born if we cross often two pinto colors. In the pictures: grey, tricolor, sable, dalmatian and tans).



I hope that I helped you with better understanding of Spanish Water Dogs as a breed and its standard too. Please, if you see any inaccuracy or you wish to know even more information, please contact me through: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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