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Spanish Water Dog

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Spanish Water Dog Books

Group: Gundog - Breed Standard


The Spanish Water Dog or Perro de Agua Español is a breed of dog developed by the shepherds in Spain as a multi-purpose herder who was also used sometimes as a gundog, as well as an assistant to fishermen.


Height: dogs 44-50 cms (17½ ins); bitches 40-46 cms (15½-18 ins). Weight: dogs 18-22 kgs (40-48lbs); bitches 14-18 kgs (31-40 lbs).

The SWD is a medium size, athletic, robust dog that is slightly longer than tall. Their tails were customarily docked. The head should be strong and carried with elegance. The skull is flat and the top is parallel with the top of the muzzle. The nose, eye-rims and paw pads are the same colour as the darkest part of the coat or darker. The eyes are expressive and set fairly wide apart. They should be hazel, chestnut or dark brown in colour, depending on the coat colour. The ears are set at medium height on the skull, and are triangular. It has a distinctive curly coat which is woolly in texture and may form cords when long. The coat should not be clipped or groomed for aesthetic purposes. Instead, it should look entirely natural, as though it is not groomed at all. It should never be trimmed, but sheared down at least once a year. SWD puppies are always born with curly hair.

The SWD can be seen in a variety of colours. It may be black, beige, brown, white or bicolour where the second colour is white (brown and white or black and white). Tri-colored dogs are strictly prohibited by the currently held (world-wide) standards for the breed as are black and tan or brown and tan.


The SWD is diligent, loyal, affectionate, and intelligent. They have very strong natural herding and guarding instincts. SWD’s thrive on work and play. Their athleticism and extremely hard working nature illustrates how they need a lot of exercise. They enjoy working, and can be trained to perform a variety of tasks. They can be wary with strangers, and early and continuing socialization with a variety of people and other animals is essential.

Breed Health

The breed's life expectancy is about 14 years. SWDs have few known health problems. Some health problems seen in SWDs are: Hip dysplasia, cataracts, allergies, hypothroidism.

Breed Care

SWD's should never be brushed, instead, as the cords grow they should be checked for matting. When matting does occur they should be gently pulled apart without tearing the cords. If there is too much matting the cords should be sheared. SWD's should be bathed only when dirty in lukewarm water. Use a neutral shampo, never use human shampoo. SWD's should be allowed to air dry. The cords must be sheared one or more times a year. Ears and eyes should cleaned as often as they are dirty. As with all dogs nails should be trimmed. SWD's puppies should be trimed for the first time at around the age of 6 months.


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Last link added: 09 Aug, 2006